Masters study is a great investment for your future, so you should have a solid financial plan in place before starting your course.
To help you get started, we’ve put together seven top tips for making your Masters a reality with funding.
1. Create a personalised funding package
Funding your postgraduate study is much more personalised than at undergraduate level. It's unusual for one source of funding to cover both fees and living costs, so most students create their own personalised package of funding from a variety of sources.
2. Take out a government postgraduate loan
If you're a UK student, you can apply for a government loan. Worth £11,836, it is paid directly to you, so you can choose how to use it. Whilst it won't cover all of your costs, it can be used to cover course fees or pay for accommodation and living expenses.
The loan isn’t means tested, so all UK students are eligible, and you will only begin repaying once you earn over the threshold amount.
Visit the government website for more information on postgraduate loans.
3. Apply for University funding
At the University of Leeds, we have a wide range of scholarships for UK and international Masters students. If you're awarded one of these scholarships, you won't need to pay it back.
You can apply for University funding if you meet our criteria. Check your eligibility for our funding options.
- For students with notable academic achievement.
- Full or partial fee waiver.
- More information on subject related scholarships.
- For former students of the University of Leeds.
- 10% tuition fee bursary.
- More information on the alumni bursary.
Leeds Masters Scholarships
- For UK fee-paying students from under-represented groups.
- Worth £7,000.
- More information on Leeds Masters Scholarships.
International Excellence Scholarships
- For international students starting in 2024.
- Up to 50% fee reduction.
- More information on International Excellence Scholarships.
4. Investigate employer sponsorship
If you are in employment, consider asking your employer whether they can assist with funding your Masters.
Postgraduate study can accelerate your career by helping you specialise in a specific field, qualify for professional practice or progress on to more senior roles. It can also be a form of continuing professional development (CPD).
Speak with your current employer to see what might be available for you.
5. Consider part-time work
A great way to help fund your studies is finding a part-time job or arranging more flexible working hours with your employer. This can be a great way to cover some of your living costs whilst studying.
Joblink, the Leeds University Union’s job centre, advertises opportunities that are suitable for students in Leeds. They can help you find paid positions and internships, as well as giving you advice about your rights in the workplace.
Remember that your earnings from part-time work are unlikely to cover all of the costs associated with Masters study, so it’s important that you look for additional sources of funding.
6. Explore part-time study
You may also have the option to study your Masters part-time. Part-time and distance learning courses offer you the flexibility to study for a postgraduate qualification whilst enabling you to work and fund your studies at the same time.
The University of Leeds offers more than 160 part-time Masters courses, as well as a number that are available online. Use Course Search to filter Masters courses by part-time.
7. Research other funding sources
Some independent charities and trusts offer grants to help fund postgraduate study. Charities can make awards to any student, UK or international, and you are unrestricted as to how many you apply for.
You will normally need to apply directly to a charity for funding. You may need to meet certain eligibility criteria and some charities might require you to submit a personal statement or attend an interview as part of your application.
It’s important to remember, however, that whilst charity grants are a great way to ‘top up’ your postgraduate funding, they are unlikely to cover all your costs.
The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding website is a great resource for researching alternative sources of funding. If you are a current university student, you can log in now and explore their database for free.
You can also find more useful information on finding charity funding on the Find a Masters website.