If you need to secure funding for a postgraduate course there are a number of options. Very little funding is guaranteed and most postgraduate students need to consider applying to a wide variety of sources to make up the funding required to complete their course or research.
The first thing to do when looking for funding is to contact the director for the course of study you want to pursue. They will be able to advise you about any funding that is attached to that course and provide you with details of application procedures and deadlines. They may also know of other bodies where students have obtained funding in the past.
Funding bodies have different methods of allocating awards. In some cases awards are allocated directly to schools or colleges who then nominate suitable candidates. In other cases, students have to apply directly to the funding body.
As funding is in short supply many postgraduate courses are offered on a part-time basis, allowing for the fact that the only way for an increasing number of graduates to finance further study is to have a job.
Typical sources of funding include:
You can find brief details of current funding opportunities notified to the Careers Service by downloading the following pdf document.
Please note that it is not a comprehensive list of sources of postgraduate funding, and you should use it in conjunction with other resources that are detailed on this page.
University of Edinburgh Scholarships and Student Funding Service - information on scholarships and other sources of funding for both prospective and current students at all levels in the University and beyond. This includes funding for travel and hardship as well as a database which is searchable by subject.
Edinburgh 4 Learning - An online portal for current students, undergraduate and postgraduate, providing details of funding opportunities available to support you through your studies. You must register with your university email address to access this database.
Local education authorities are now only obliged to fund the PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) and PGDE (Professional Graduate Diploma in Education), other awards are discretionary.
Student Awards Agency for Scotland - funding for first degree study for Scottish domiciled students, but also give awards for some postgraduate courses.
Directgov - provides information about postgraduate courses eligible for government funding in England and Wales, and links to other sources of postgraduate funding.
Department for Employment and Learning - is responsible for higher and postgraduate education in Northern Ireland. The site includes links to information about postgraduate funding.
Research Councils - joint website with links to the individual Research Councils' sites.
University of Edinburgh - Edinburgh Research and Innovation - the website provides information and support for all researchers. The website includes a Funding Opportunities page, with links to all the major funding bodies, which is particularly useful for early career researchers and funding for projects. The Research Support and Development page includes information about making successful funding applications.
Research Professional - a comprehensive and accessible database of research-based funding opportunities, including doctoral and postdoctoral awards, travel and conference grants, prizes, and hardship grants, and news about research policy. Staff and students of the University may register free of charge (email address must end @ed.ac.uk) to access the databases, receive daily email updates and alerts, and save interesting items and searches.
Association of Medical Research Charities - can provide help with funding in medical research fields.
Educational Grants Search - Family Action's Eductional Grants Search matches you to charitable funding for education or training from your answers to online questions based on your circumstances and needs.
Euraxess UK - part of an initiative to increase the mobility of researchers, students, scientists and academic staff, you can search for UK and international funding. Funded studentships and fellowships in the UK and overseas are also advertised.
FindAMasters.com - is a website for students looking for a postgraduate Masters qualification in the UK and Ireland. The database lists many Masters courses in a variety of disciplines, including funded opportunities. The site also has its own annual Postgraduate scholarships competition. To increase access, it has now launched a mobile site (m.FindAMasters.com).
FindAPhD.com - a guide to current research and PhD studentships, including funded opportunities. The database contains details of research topics from many major universities and institutions throughout Europe.
The Leverhulme Trust - makes awards for 'the support of research and education'. The awards fall into three main categories: specific research projects, research or study undertaken by individuals holding fellowships, studentships or bursaries, and those for recognition of individual research achievement, by way of prizes.
Money4MedStudents - information and advice about sources of funding for medical students, covering grants, bursaries and awards, charitable trusts, with a section specifically on studying medicine as a second degree.
Postgrad.com covers all aspects of postgraduate study, including advice about funding.
Postgraduate Funding - this guide was compiled by the National Postgraduate Committee, a charity established to advance postgraduate education in the UK.
Postgraduatestudentships.co.uk - a commercial website (free registration) with collated information on different sources of research and taught postgraduate student funding.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL) - Many courses qualify for a government supported PCDL . A number of banks are involved in the scheme, and the loans are granted at the discretion of the individual banks.
Remember that you have to consider tuition fees as well as your living costs. If you decide to take out a loan to cover all or part of your postgraduate education, think very carefully about what you hope to gain from your studies and how you intend to pay off your debt.
Prospects: Funding My Further Study - this section of the graduate careers website provides information and links to all the major funding bodies, universities, charities etc., and includes a vidcast presentation covering the main schemes available for postgraduate study in the UK.
The Royal Society offers grants and fellowships for blue skies research, as well as to establish collaborative links with other areas of science and industry, both in the UK and abroad.
Royal Society of Edinburgh - administers various Research Fellowship schemes, prizes and international awards.
Scholarship Portal - an integrated, centralized European platform providing information on all scholarships offered for studying in Europe. The database employs comprehensive search critera and students can also compare relevant programmes.
Student Money - a site to help you plan and organise your student finances. Deals with issues such as searching for funding, planning your budget, repaying loans and predicting wages. The site includes a searchable database of postgraduate and undergraduate funding opportunities.
Targetcourses Postgraduate Funding - a comprehensive, searchable database of funding opportunites in the UK.
Times Higher Education - This publication advertises research studentships and teaching assistantships.
We have a wide range of reference books and journals in our information centres which offer further information and advice on finding funding.
The following titles are free to takeaway from the Careers Service, while stocks last:
This article was published on Nov 18, 2013