Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Portsmouth student in workshop

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate studies with us. The funding avenues open to you vary depending on several factors, starting with what you choose to study. Explore what financial support you could get for your postgraduate degree here.

Most postgraduates pay for their studies using loans, scholarships and bursaries, and often a combination of the three. In case you're not sure – loans need to be repaid (depending on what you earn after graduating), but scholarships and bursaries don't.

Loans, discounts and bursaries

Government Postgraduate Master's Loan

Most students fund their Master’s degree with a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to fund your tuition fees, living costs and other course costs. The loan is paid directly to you.

These loans aren’t based on your income or your family’s income, so you can choose how much you borrow, up to a maximum of £10,906 per course. You'll start repaying your loan after your course, once your annual income is more than £21,000. The loan starts accruing interest from the day you receive the first payment.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan, you must be under the age of 60 at the start of your course and be a UK or EU national living in England or Wales.

You also need to be studying an eligible course – most of the Master’s courses we run are eligible. If a course isn't eligible, it will say so on the course page.

How to apply

If you’re an English or EU national, you can apply for a Government Postgraduate Loan online through Student Finance England. If you’re a Welsh national, apply online through Student Finance Wales.

Alumni discounts

If you've studied at the University of Portsmouth on an undergraduate programme before, you may be able to get a 20% discount off your course tuition fee – use our alumni discount checker to see if you're eligible for this scholarship.

Our Master's discounts for new and current students

If you apply for a Master's course and accept your offer by 28 June 2019, you could get £3,000 off your course tuition fee with our Master's Scholarship.

We also offer a £3,000 Master's Scholarship to current final year students who complete their undergraduate degree with us and accept an offer by 28 June 2019 to join a Master's course here in September 2019. 

Master's in Architecture Funding

If you’re studying MArch Architecture, you can usually get undergraduate student funding instead of postgraduate funding, but you'll need to start your MArch course within 3 years of completing your undergraduate degree. Email our Student Finance Team for more details – student.finance@port.ac.uk.

Faculty of Business and Law Scholarship

This scholarship awards a 40% discount off any tuition fee relating to a full-time or part-time 180 credit postgraduate course in our Faculty of Business and Law. It excludes distance learning or 'top up' courses. See our Faculty of Business and Law Scholarship page for more information.

MSc Social Work bursary

If you’re a UK student studying an MSc in Social Work, you may be able to get a bursary from the NHS Business Services Authority. The bursary consists of a basic grant of up to £4,052 towards course tuition fees and £3,362 towards your living costs. You might also get a further maintenance grant of up to £2,721. You can apply for this bursary on the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Other sources of Master's funding

Charitable grants and bursaries

Some organisations, charities and trusts offer bursaries and grants. These are often given to high-performing students or people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

You can search for sources of Master’s funding from charities, trusts and foundations on The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding website. To register, you'll need your email address and our PIN – 7517.

You can also use the following publications to search for grants. You can access these at local libraries:

  • Educational Grants Directory
  • Charities Digest
  • Grants Register
  • Directory of Grant Making Trusts

Staff discounts

If you or one or both of your parents works at the University, you can get a 30% discount on course fees. Email income@port.ac.uk to check you're eligible before applying for a course.

PGCE funding

If you’re doing a PGCE, you can get undergraduate student funding, such as a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan to fund your course. Depending on your circumstances and the course you choose, you may also be eligible for one of the following bursaries. You won’t need to pay these back.
Further Education and Training PGCE bursary 
If you’re doing the full-time Further Education and Training PGCE, you could get a bursary of £750, depending on your income. If you specialise in teaching Maths or English, you could also qualify for a bursary of up to £25,000 from the Department of Education.
Secondary PGCE Bursaries 

If you’re training to teach at a secondary school, you may be able to get a bursary of up to £26,000 from the Department of Education. The amount you receive depends on the subject you study and how well you did in your undergraduate degree.

You can apply for the bursary if you plan on studying one of the following PGCE courses:

  • Computer Science
  • English
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Science

Research degree and PHD funding

To find out how to fund your research degree or PHD, see our funding your research section. You'll find details about research council studentships and bursaries, plus guidance on finding a funded PhD project at Portsmouth.

Financial support

Other sources of funding include financial support for postgraduate students with dependants and financial support for disabled postgraduates.