If you are planning to do a postgraduate course, you need to think about funding for your course well before you start.
The main sources of funding for UK postgraduate students are:
Further details on these are provided below.
The government introduced Postgraduate loans for Masters courses starting on or after 1st August 2016. You can apply for a maximum of £10,609 (September 2018 figures) to help pay for your Masters studies.Entitlement is not dependant on your household income Please note: The amount you get is dependant on the year you started your course, and is subject to change on a yearly basis. For up to date figures please check the gov.uk website.
You can get it for Part Time and Distance learning courses. Please note for Part Time courses, the maximum amount you can get still remains the same as the full time (as above), and it is spread equally across the duration of your course.
More details on Postgraduate Loans including eligibility and how to apply can be found on the government website here.
Postgraduate loans are paid directly to the student, so it is your responsibility to pay the fees to the university and set up an appropriate payment plan.
It is also important to remember that the maximum Postgraduate loan you can get is £10,609 (2018/19 rate), so it is not likely to be enough to cover both your tuition fees and living costs. Therefore, it is important to plan and budget how much money you will need before you start the course and plan how you will make up the shortfall after the Postgraduate loan, whether it be through savings, part time work or other sources of funding.
From September 2018, the government introduced Postgraduate Doctoral Loans for new Phd students. Full details, including eligibility, repayment and how to apply can be found on the government website.
Some key features of the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan include:
To be eligible, you must:
Again it is a important to remember that the maximum Postgraduate Doctoral Loan you can get is £25,000 for the whole course, so it is not likely to be enough to cover both your tuition fees and living costs. Therefore, it is important to plan and budget how much money you will need before you start the course and plan how you will make up the shortfall after the Postgraduate loan, whether it be through savings, part time work or other sources of funding (Although you are not entitled to the loan if you get any form of Research Council funding).
The University of Sheffield offers over 100 scholarships worth £10,000 each for home students starting a taught postgraduate course in September 2018.
The scholarships are for students who meet at least one of the widening participation criteria and/or students who achieve a first in their undergraduate degree. If your application is successful you can use the scholarship towards fees or living expenses.
You can apply for a scholarship if you meet the following four criteria:
And one or both of the following:
For more details on eligibility criteria, application details and the selection process please visit the university webpage here.
There are also a range of other scholarships available from the university and external sources for postgraduate studies. For further details please visit the university scholarships webpage.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL) are bank loans that can be used to fund your Postgraduate study. Your course must only last up to 2 years, or 3 years if they include 1 year of work experience.
If your application is approved, 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 start repaying the loan (plus interest at a reduced rate) 1 month after leaving your course.
Repayments are not based on a minimum income threshold, and you still have to repay your loan even if you don’t complete the course or your course provider goes out of business.
Please note: this loan scheme is now coming to an end. The final date for applications will be 25th Jan 2019. After this no new applications for Career Development Loans will be accepted.
To find out more about eligibility criteria and how to apply please click here.
The fees for both Teacher Training courses are equivalent to undergraduate fees. You can apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England to pay your fees in the same way that undergraduate students can. You can also apply for a Maintenance Loan in the same way.
You may also be eligible for a bursary or scholarship, depending on the subject area that you are training in. You can find more details about this funding on the Department for Education website.
Certain courses such as MA Social Work may attract bursary from the NHS to help with fees and funding. However this is subject to continuous change, so it is advised for you to check the course webpage for up to date information.
From August 2017, the government phased out NHS bursaries and replaced the funding for the relevant coruses with loans from Student Finance England. The MMedSci in Nursing (Previously Postgraduate Diploma) is one of these affected courses. Please visit your course webpage for up to date details about the relevant funding if you are not sure.
For further information on how this relates to your course, please contact the relevant academic department or a money adviser at the Student Advice Centre.
Postgraduate students who are studying on a course for at least one year are eligible to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).
DSA helps to pay for any extra study-related costs which you incur at University due to an illness or disability. This includes mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
DSA can help with the costs of:
• support workers like specialist study skills tutors, support and guidance mentors or sign language interpreters
• specialist equipment you need for studying, like digital recorders or computers and assistive software
• travel to and from University
For more examples of the kinds of support which students can be funded for through DSA see the following University Disability & Dyslexia Support Service's webpage.
The DSA application support and delivery is provided by the University Disability & Dyslexia Support Service. Please contact DDSS for further information with regards to your individual situation and assistance in applying.
If you are a home PhD student and you have finished your full time study, you may be able to claim benefits while you are writing up. You must be writing up on a part time basis to claim Jobseekers’ Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support or Employment and Support Allowance if you are not fit for work.
Please note: Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are administered by the Local Authority that you reside in. The above links for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are for Sheffield City Council, for people living in Sheffield. If you are not living in Sheffield, you will need to apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support from your Local Authority.
Most students are simply registered as writing up. You will need to show that you are not required to attend full time if this is the case in order to claim benefits. Your department or the Research & Innovation Services should be able to provide confirmation of this.
Postgraduate students that have dependent children are able to claim benefits if you meet the other eligibility requirements of the benefit. Examples of benefits you may be able to claim (and links to the information and application pages):
If you are pregnant or recently given birth, you may be entitled to additional funding. Please click on the links below for more information:
You can use the Maternity Benefits Calculator to help work out which, if any maternity support, you are entitled to.
1. The University offers a Carers bursary for postgraduate students who have recognised caring responsibilities for an ill or disabled family member to assist with support for study costs.
You will need to provide evidence of your caring responsibilities, which include any of the following:
For more information on the carers bursary from the university, including how to apply, please click here.
2. Carers allowance: You can’t usually claim carers allowance if you’re a full-time student (classed as studying for 21 hours or more a week or more (this includes supervised study and things like coursework and experiments, not just time spent with a tutor).
If you are on a part time course for less than 21 hours a week, and you have caring responsibilities for an ill or disabled family member/ other person for over 35 hours a week, you may be able to claim Carers Allowance.
If you are under the age of 25 on the first day of your course, UK home student, and you are estranged from your parents you may be entitled to additional support from the university to help with the cost of your studies by way of the estranged students bursary.
To be classed as an Estranged student, you would have to be:
Irreconcilably estranged from both parents
By 'irreconcilably estranged' it would mean that either:
You would need to provide a supporting letter with your application from a professional person that knows and confirm your circumstances. This can be a social worker, teacher, nurse, doctor, minister etc.
For more information on the estranged students bursary from the university, including how to apply, please click here.
Students registered at the University of Sheffield that come into unforeseen financial difficulty can apply to the university Financial Support Fund for a hardship grant to help ease their financial difficulty. This is a one off grant that does not need to be repaid, which you can only apply once in an academic year. You must demonstrate that you are in financial hardship and that it was unforeseen.
Please note; as this is a hardship fund, each application will be assessed on need, and often an award or only very small award can be made due to limited funds, so it cannot be used as a shortfall or min source of funding.
Below are links to other resources for potential funding sources if you are facing financial difficulty:
Funding for international students is very limited, and students are expected to secure their full maintenance and tuition fee funding before they arrive in the UK.
If you are international financial student in financial hardship, please see the above section 'Students in financial hardship' for details on potential funding sources.
You may also find our webpage ‘Funding for International Students’ useful.
If you are an EU student resident in England, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan to help with the cost of your Masters course. Please visit the gov.uk website for more information.
For Postgraduate students studying the PGDE, if you meet the eligibility criteria for student finance as explained above you can apply for tuition fee support and/maintenance support. If you are studying Medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, architecture, social work, courses which attract an NHS bursary and Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses as a second degree you may be able to get a maintenance loan for living costs from Student Finance England. Please contact us for further information if this applies to you.
Please note, this advice will be rapidly changing as BREXIT starts in the near future, therefore if you are not sure on your situation please come and see a money adviser at the Student Advice Centre.
As well as disabled students allowance, Home students with illnesses or disabilities may be entitled to additional money from the government due to their health condition.
These are (click on the links for further information including how to apply) :
Please note; Employment and Support Allowance is usually means tested, which means the amount you get depends on your household income. Student funding oil be included in this. If you are a Postgraduate Masters Student and are entitled to a Masters loan (even if you haven’t taken it out), the DWP would include 30% of your master’s loan eligibility as income for the ESA calculation.
Our money advisers at the Student Advice Centre can assist you with the applications and the forms for these benefits, and even attend medical assessment for the benefit if you require this additional support.
If you would like support in applying for one of these benefits or want to discuss them further, please make and appointment to see a money adviser at the Student Advice Centre.
Last updated: October 2018