Students at the Museum of the University of St Andrews

Funding yourself

Julie Nightingale, 07.03.2019
Students can access a host of schemes, from loans to bursaries, to ease the burden
The introduction of postgraduate student loans four years ago opened up the master’s market. Loans offered in Wales, England and Scotland cover course fees and living costs.

Wales’s scheme is the most generous: students may borrow up to £13,000, compared with £10,280 in England and up to £10,000 in Scotland. Northern Ireland’s scheme only covers tuition fees up to £5,500.

Loans are available for fulltime, part-time or distance learning courses. If you are ineligible for a student loan – if you already have a master’s, for example – you can consider the government’s career development loan scheme, which will lend up to £10,000.

Details are at

Alumni schemes, which offer significant discounts to universities’ own graduates who stay on to study with them, can knock a big chunk off costs, with 25% discounts being common. Check the website of your undergraduate university for details.

Widening participation schemes, targeting groups under-represented in postgraduate education, can provide bursaries. Conditions vary but, typically, students must have been undergraduates in the past five or six years. If you are self-funding, some universities will reduce your fees if you pay in full in advance.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding lists hundreds of charities that could potentially help fund courses.

Visit for more details.

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