Funding your postgraduate degree

Sophie Pike_ PhD Criminology

Many postgraduates are surprised to discover that there’s not the same government support available to postgraduates as undergraduates. However, there are new postgraduate study loans that you may be eligible for, including the new loan of up to £10,280 proposed by the Welsh Government.

For those who don’t have savings or employer support, the first step is to try to find grants and bursaries, but be warned, these are limited. Take a look at our Home and EU funding information or International funding information

Here are some tips that will help

1. Start early

There is lots of competition for postgraduate funding, so apply as early as possible, ideally six months to a year before you intend to start since deadlines for charities and funding bodies will vary across the board. 

If you intend to progress from undergraduate to postgraduate study, start exploring your options as soon as you begin the last year of your undergraduate course.

2. Look for more than one source of funding

University funding

If you achieved a 2.1 or above in your undergraduate degree, you may be eligible for our postgraduate scholarship. This is £2k for USW graduates and £1.5k if you graduated elsewhere. 

External funding 

USW applicants and current students can use The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding for free (normally a £25 charge applies). This is an online resource for students who are looking to fund PhD, Masters, and PGCE study in the UK through grants from charities, trusts, and foundations. Our Student Money website lists funding search engines and external bursaries you can try. The Careers Service also has some good links. Harder to find but not impossible is funding from the British Academy and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

3. Consider a Career Development Loan

Professional and Career Development Loans are bank loans to pay for courses and training that help with your career or help get you into work. You may be able to borrow between £300 and £10,000. Loans are usually offered at a reduced interest rate and the government pays interest while you’re studying.

You could also be eligible for a postgraduate student loan of £10,000 as a contribution to your course and living costs. 

Fee facts

How much does postgraduate study cost?

USW charges £6,000 for a standard full-time postgraduate course. Non-standard courses, research degrees and part-time study vary. Check the course page for further information.

How and when do I have to pay?

Fees are due in full at enrolment. If you are studying full time and pay in full, you may be eligible for an early discount fee of £300. You can also opt to pay the fee by in three or seven equal monthly instalments by direct debit. For more information on course fees contact our Revenue Team on 01443 483340 or

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