Love your degree so much that you want to go on to study at postgraduate level? Or perhaps postgraduate study is necessary for the career you’re pursuing – the law conversion course, for example. Either way, you’re going to be at university for another year (at least), and given that the Student Loans Company suddenly lose all their generous qualities when it comes to postgraduate funding you’ll have to either fund your postgraduate studies yourself or get funding.
That’s where postgraduate scholarships come into play.
What is a Postgraduate Scholarship?
You may have received an undergraduate scholarship, based on the fact you achieved good A-level grades and maintained a good level of performance throughout your degree. This may have amounted to a sum of around £500 or so, and was obviously welcomed by your fine self to pay for all those textbooks and printing credits (read: a big food shop and an even bigger night out).
Postgraduate scholarships usually amount to a much higher sum than £500 and will usually cover most or all of the tuition fees (which is an average of just under £6000). Additionally, whereas undergraduate scholarships were usually given to the student to spend as they wish (obviously on extra course materials), postgraduate scholarships will usually have to contribute toward the cost of the course – but hey, that’s not a bad thing, as you won’t have to dig deep into your own pockets.
Awesome… How Do I Get A Postgraduate Scholarship?
Ah, that’s the problem. Demand for postgraduate scholarships far outstrips supply, meaning that competition is fierce. Scholarships are usually awarded for excellence in undergraduate studies or based on your application and interests.
Moreover, different scholarships may be available for different courses. For example, if you wanted to do an MA in the School of History at the University of East Anglia, the scholarships you are eligible to receive would depend on the specific course you study. The Dominic Christian Scholarship is available for those studying the MA in Medieval History, whereas the Leipzig Postgraduate Scholarship in Modern European History is available for students wishing to study the (yep, that’s right you guessed it), the MA in Modern European History.
There is no complete list of scholarships available for every course at every university, so you’ll have to carry out research yourself.
Other Sources of Postgraduate Funding
Fortunately, there are other sources of postgraduate funding other than scholarships. You could, for example, undertake a teaching or research assistantship. This means you would help teach a number of undergraduate courses for around six to eight hours a week, whilst also proving a handy bit of funding. Again, you’ll have to check with each university about the availability of these roles.
Alternatively, you may be eligible for a hardship grant, if you have children for example or are from a low income family. You could also head over to trustfunding.org.uk where you can search for charitable trusts who may provide some grants for your postgraduate studies.
However you choose to fund your postgraduate studies, it’s important to know that there are options out there and that postgraduate study isn’t just for those with a spare wad of cash lying about gathering dust!