Funding guide for prospective postgraduate students

Securing funding for postgraduate study can be a complicated and competitive process, but there are opportunities available if you start looking early enough. 

It is important that when you start your course you have sufficient funds, or an achievable plan in place to obtain funds, to cover both your tuition fees and living costs.

I am a home or EU student

I am an International student

UK and EU students

Research courses (eg PhD, EngD, MPhil)

Try following the steps below to help find funding for your course.

Step 1

Start with your School at the University - eg School of History, School of Chemistry

Schools administer the University's research funding and have specific funds for certain research areas. They can also advise on external sources of funding including UK Research Councils.

Step 2

Speak to your prospective Supervisor about funding and ask their advice. If you apply for funding from a Research Council you will need to write a research proposal. Your supervisor should be willing to help you and ensure your proposal is sufficiently developed.

Step 3

Take a look at our Doctoral training programmes which offer high quality training for postgraduate students and often include an industrial placement. Full funding is usually available for UK and EU students.

Step 4

See what Scholarships are available. University of Nottingham Studentships usually cover tuition fees and provide a contribution towards living costs.

EU students - please also refer to our International Office web pages

Step 5

Search the internet for external funding from businesses that relate to your area of specialism.

Step 6

Investigate whether you are eligible for any other financial support; for example;

Proposed £25,000 student loan towards the cost of studying a PhD (towards fees and living costs - paid to the student) from the Student Loans Company - full details have not yet been released by the Government but more information can be found at  

Government benefits eg child tax credit

Childcare Support Scheme - a University Support Fund to help with essential childcare costs

Step 7

Earn while you learn!

Consider working alongside your studies to help fund your course. The Graduate School offers short paid placements and Unitemps is the University's in-house recruitment agency.



Postgraduate Masters Loan from the Student Loans Company

The Government offer Postgraduate Loans of up to £10,280 for students living in England or the EU and studying a taught or research Masters course commencing after August 2017. For students starting a new course in August 2018 or later the loan will increase to £10,609.

There are strict eligibility requirements for Postgraduate Loans students.  Students should ensure they understand these eligibility requirements prior to applying as the students will be financially liable for the loan should they fail to comply.

Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are also offering funding for postgraduate courses for new students from August 2017.

If you are not eligible for the new loans please ensure that before signing up for a course you investigate other funding available, for example through Research Councils, Studentships, Professional & Career Development Loans and charitable trusts. 



Professional & Career Development Loans

This is a commercial loan, currently offered by the Co-op Bank, where the Skills Funding Agency pay the interest on the loan while you are studying and for one month afterwards. You then make repayments as agreed when you took out the loan.

The University of Nottingham is a Professional and Career Development Loans registered Learning Provider - our registration number is 8714

For further information visit ; the National Careers Service web pages or telephone the National Careers Service on +44 (0)800 100900.

If you are advised that your course is not listed on the register, please contact the Funding & Financial Support Team on 0115 82 32071 or by email at



W H Revis Bequest Fund - Part time postgraduates (Masters or PhD)

Students taking a Masters course part time will, if eligible, be able to access the Postgraduate Loan - see above

However, the University also offers limited help with the cost of tuition fees to part-time postgraduate masters or research students through the W H Revis Bequest fund.  Applicants should be residents of the UK, self financed, unemployed or on a monthly net income of up to £2,200 for single students and £2,350 for couples (see breakdown below). Special factors are if the applicant has dependants, or a disability or long term medical condition. As this fund is a support fund, financial hardship must also be proved.

Grants are paid in the form of a direct deduction from tuition fees.

W H Revis award breakdown
 Monthly net income  Award
 Single person  Couple  
 up to £1,200  up to £1,350  £1,500
 £1,201 - £1,800  £1,351 - £1,950  £1,000
 £1,201 - £1,800 +special factors  £1,351 - £1,950 +special factors  £1,500
 £1,801 - £2,200 +special factors  £1,951 - £2,350 + special factors £1,000 
over £1,800 with no special factors  over £1,950 with no special facts  No award


The fund may also offer limited financial assistance to full time postgraduate students with 'home' fee status, who are experiencing financial difficulty due to an unexpected change in circumstances, during their course. Full time students can apply for help towards living costs only.

The application form for 2017/18 can be downloaded here. PDF file icon



The Memorial Scholarship - Theology & Religious Studies (Masters or PhD)

The Memorial Scholarship is awarded to academically talented applicants (as assessed by their School). A maximum of £1,250 is available to award between successful applicants in each academic year.

• Postgraduate research students, full-time or part-time holding an offer to study or already admitted to the MA (by research) in Theology/Religious Studies, MRes in Theology/Religious Studies or PhD in Theology/Religious Studies and undertaking research in Hebrew Bible.

Applications for 2017/18 are now closed.



The Lillian M Ruff Postgraduate Scholarship (Masters) 2017/18

Dr Lillian M Ruff was a graduate of The University of Nottingham who generously established this scholarship in her name.

There will be one recipient in 2017/18, being awarded a scholarship equivalent to the full cost of the UK/EU fee for a full time/part-time taught MA course in the School of Humanities at The University of Nottingham.

To be eligible to apply you must meet the following criteria:

• Be planning to enroll in the first year of a full time/part-time taught postgraduate MA course in the School of Humanities at The University of Nottingham in 2017.

• Meet the residency requirements for a ‘home’ or European Union student, and be liable for the relevant home/EU fee.

• Be a self-funded student.

• Have a low income which necessitates your continuing to work throughout your course and be working prior to your starting on the course (please see the application form for required evidence). If you are unable to work due to a disability or long term medical condition please highlight this in your supporting statement.

When assessing applications we will also take into consideration:

• Caring responsibilities

• Disability or long-term ill health

Applications for 2017/18 are now closed.



Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)

Postgraduate students, with home fee status, are also eligible to apply for the Disabled Students Allowances.


Useful information from HEFCE for Postgraduate Students


International students


Funding guide for international postgraduate students

Try following the steps below to help you find funding for your course.

Step 1

Start with the Scholarships for International Students.

The University's International Scholarship Team has a funding portfolio, specifically for international students, which is one of the largest in the UK. They also have links to further information about external sources of funding and sponsorship.

Step 2

Search the internet for funding from charities, trusts or businesses that relate to your area of specialism.

Step 3

See what Studentships are available.

These are offered by the University and usually cover tuition fees, and provide a contribution towards living costs. Some of the Studentships are available to international students.

Step 4

Earn while you learn.

Consider working alongside your studies to help fund your course. The Graduate School offers short paid placements and Unitemps is the University's in-house recruitment agency.

International students studying on a Tier 4 visa are usually eligible to work 20 hours per week in term time, and 40 hours per week during vacations. Find out more about working in the UK.



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