3 ways to pay for your master’s, PhD in the UK

Here are three funding options to make your postgraduate studies dream come true.

By U2B Staff 

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More and more people in the UK are going back to university to get their master’s in light of the economic downturn and challenges in securing jobs during the pandemic. By doing so, students hope to improve their overall capability and strengthen their competitiveness in the job market. 

Education experts also believe that periods such as these can be an opportune time for people to grow their knowledge, skillset and network for opportunities that will crop up once the economy recovers. If you’re among those in the UK who are planning to head back to school, you might be wondering what your options are when it comes to postgraduate funding. has highlighted several ways for aspiring postgraduate students to do so. Here are some of your postgraduate funding options:


Postgraduate Master’s Loan

Students who plan to undertake postgraduate studies in the UK can apply for study loans offered by the UK government as part of their postgraduate funding options.

The Postgraduate Master’s Loan, for instance, can help you with course fees and living costs. The amount you receive varies depending on your intake, but the figure could start from £10,906 and up.

You only need to apply once for the Postgraduate Master’s Loan, even if your course is longer than one year, said Student Finance England will write to you in the summer to tell you how much you’ll get in the next academic year.

The deadline for applying depends on when you start your course. Check your eligibility here.

Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD. The amount you receive can vary depending on your intake, but you could expect to receive over £20,000.

The loan is paid directly to you, which you can use for your course fees and living costs. The loan will be divided equally across each year of your programme. It’s worth noting that you can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in any year of your course, but if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount.

Check your eligibility here.



Another way to fund your postgraduate studies is via studentships. 

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) notes on its website that it provides UK universities with grants – awarded through a competitive process – to cover the fees and living costs of postgraduate students. Each place a university offers as a result of this funding is called a studentship.

“You will need to apply for a studentship through the research organisation – normally a university – where you want to study. UKRI-funded studentships are offered by many research organisations in the UK. UKRI does not provide doctoral funding directly to students,” notes the government department.

UKRI can also offer access to training, networking and development opportunities to help you build a research and innovation career.

Students could get support for their tuition fees (minimum £4,500 per year) and a minimum stipend of £15,609 per year for living costs, which is paid in regular instalments. Click here for details. For alternative options for studentships, click here.