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One way to fund your postgraduate studies is through government funding. 

You can get government funding for postgraduate study through loans, studentships, bursaries or grants.

Eligibility criteria, application deadlines and terms and conditions apply, so read below for government funding details.

Here you can find out about:

  • PGCE funding
  • Postgraduate loans
  • Social work bursaries
  • Doctoral loans


PGCE Funding

General information

Home students and EU students with 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status in the UK studying for a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) can apply for three types of funding and could receive all three depending on their circumstances:

1. Tax-free bursary or scholarship for specific subjects only

2. Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan

3. Additional grants for students with children, with adult dependents, and/or with disabilities

Award summary

Home and EU students studying for a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) may be eligible for a tax-free bursary from the government, worth up to £24,000. These are paid in ten monthly instalments, directly into your UK bank account, starting in October each academic year.

Eligibility Summary

As a PGCE student, your bursary eligibility and the amount you may receive depends on the subject you plan to teach, and highest relevant academic qualification. This is only available for specific subjects.

For more information and to check how much bursary you may be eligible for please visit the Get Into Teaching website.

How do I apply?

September 2022 trainees; please submit the completed and signed PGCE Bursary application form via email to ittfunding@uel.ac.uk.

September 2023 trainees; updated PGCE bursary application form and guidance notes will be available here from July 2023.

Please refer to the PGCE Guidance Notes for information on eligibility, payment details and implications of leaving your programme with regards to your PGCE bursary, if awarded.

Refer to the application form to provide bank details to receive bursary payments, where eligible. If for any reason you decide to defer or withdraw from your PGCE programme email ittfunding@uel.ac.uk or login to My Portal (ensuring you have your login details (email and password)) to hand, promptly to prevent any overpayments which will be reclaimed.

Further Information

For further information and advice on PGCE bursaries you can email ittfunding@uel.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)20 8223 4444 and ask to speak with SMART (Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm).

Postgraduate loans

Get up to £11,570 to fund your Masters Programme in academic year 2021/22 with a Postgraduate Master's Loan.

Loan Summary

Student Finance England provides a loan for postgraduate Masters study. The Postgraduate Master's Loan will provide non means-tested loans of up to £11,570 to taught and research masters students. It will be paid to students as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.

Applications are made directly through Student Finance England.

Eligibility Summary

Loans will be available to UK Nationals, and individuals with settled status in the UK, who:

  • have been ordinarily resident in England and have lived in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man, for three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course
  • are most recently resident in England
  • have not moved to England from elsewhere in the UK and Islands solely for the purpose of attending the course

Students may be eligible if they are an EU national or they have residency status. For further details on eligibility, visit Student Finance England.

Brexit and Postgraduate Loan eligibility

If you're an EU, EEA or Swiss national beginning a Masters in England from August 2021 onwards, you will only be eligible for a postgraduate loan if you have EU settled or pre-settled status.

In order to apply for EU settled status, you would need to have been living in the UK before 31 December 2020.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national studying a Masters in academic year 2020/21, you will be eligible for UK student finance support for the duration of your programme.

For further details please visit Student Finance England.


Postgraduate loan for two year Masters courses

If you're studying for two years, your loan will be divided equally across the two year duration of your programme.

Please note that tuition fees need to be paid in accordance with UEL's Fees Policy.

Social Work Bursaries

Award Summary

If you have been accepted for one of our postgraduate social work courses, you can apply for a bursary from the NHS.
Successful applicants will get help with tuition and living costs. You may be able to receive other allowances if, say, you care for a dependent adult, you are a parent, or if you have a disability.

Eligibility Summary

You must be studying a college-based social work course on the NHS-approved list. You must not already hold a higher education social work qualification, including the Diploma in Social Work (DipSW).

You must have been resident in the UK for the previous three years and to have settled status in the UK.

You cannot apply for a social work bursary if you are receiving support from a social care employer, such as paid time off to allow you to attend your studies, or payment of all or part of your tuition fees.

How do I apply?

You can apply for the bursary at the NHSBSA website.

Doctoral Loans

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.

You'll be able to apply for funding for the 2022/23 academic year from summer 2022.

You have to repay your Postgraduate Doctoral Loan at the same time as any other student loans you have. You'll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment.

You can also get extra support if you have a disability.

Further information about eligibility visit gov.uk/doctoral-loan

Contact us

For more information, or for advice and guidance, contact our Student Money and Advice Team (SMART), who will be happy to help.

Phone: +44 (0)20 8223 4444
Web: login to My Portal, ensuring you have your login details (email and password) to hand.