Sourcing funding

Some postgraduate courses such as PhDs receive funding, whilst the majority of Masters courses are self-funded, with students taking out a loan or finding sponsorship. If you are self-funding your postgraduate course, make sure you can cover both tuition and living expenses. It is advisable that you check with the institutions’ department / school about any funding opportunities available and when to apply.

There are a number of funding options that you may wish to research, such as loans, grants, bursaries as well as charities, trusts and research councils.

For Masters-level

Postgraduate loan

If you are a home or EU student, the current amount of loan available is up to £11,570 if you are taking a taught or research Masters course in the 2021-22 academic year. Below is the latest Student Finance England video for the 2021-22 academic year; please note the amount may vary for future academic years.

Follow the Government website for more information on the Masters loan.


Student Finance England - Postgraduate Master’s Loans Explained (Video transcript)


You can also find useful information, with answers to commonly asked questions on FindAMasters.

For PhDs

Research Councils

There are seven Research Councils which provide awards for academic excellence to Home and EU students.

The University of Birmingham currently hosts a number of Doctoral Training Partnerships and Centres for Doctoral Training that are funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), via the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Doctoral Researcher database

You can search for PhD projects at this university and find out whether they can be funded e.g. competition funded in your college.

Visit the Doctoral Researcher database.

PhD loans

These are loans available to help Doctoral students residing in England or Wales pay for their course fees and living expenses. You must be a UK national to apply. They offer loans worth up to £26,445 for 2020/21.

Find out more on the Prospects website.

For all postgraduate courses

Earning while you learn

Most Masters-level courses are self-funded, but there are plenty of ways to earn money during your course, whether through Teaching Assistantships, the Postgraduate Ambassador schemes or part-time work.

Charities and trusts

Some charities, trusts and foundations offer funds to students who are undertaking particular routes of study and research. Awards will have a range of amounts and eligibility criteria, which may include academic, sport, hobbies, parental occupation and residency.

Find out more about some of the funding bodies:

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding is a very useful resource to search for funding opportunities in the UK.

You can also request a bespoke digital Doctoral Research Prospectus from

This link provides more information on charities and trusts.

Postgraduate funding database contains a range of funding opportunities for studying at Birmingham. Search by keyword or filter results by subject or nationality.

Professional and Career Development Loans

These are bank loans to pay for courses and training that specifically help with your career. You must be a British citizen to apply. They offer funding from £300 to £10,000.



Professional Services