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Funding options

There are many ways you can source the funding you need, including the government postgraduate loan scheme for UK students (EU students remain eligible for January 2021 entry).

There is also support available in the form of BU scholarships and bursaries from external providers. We also offer tuition fee discounts in some circumstances, so make sure you explore all of your options. If you are not sure what fees you should be paying, read our working out your fee status page. 

Funding information

Funding your degree

Postgraduate Loan Scheme – England and EU students

The Postgraduate Loan Scheme offers loans up to £11,222 for January 2021 entry and £11,570 for September 2021 and January 2022 entry to eligible students under the age of 60 who are studying a taught postgraduate programme. EU students may be eligible for January 2021 entry.

Your employer

If you are currently in full-time employment, and the course you want to study will improve your knowledge of the field you work in, your employer may be happy to cover all or part of the cost of your course. You will need to speak directly to your employer about this possibility and agree how much funding (if any) they will provide. Find out more.

Students from Scotland or Northern Ireland

Students from Scotland can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for a loan to help cover their tuition fees. Students from Northern Ireland can apply to the Department of Education and Learning for a postgraduate award. This will provide payment for approved fees and financial support during your time at university.

Other postgraduate loans

We are aware that there are a number of companies that may offer student loans to postgraduate applicants. However, BU does not have any affiliation with any such companies.

BU financial support funds

We want to provide you with all the support you need to succeed in your postgraduate studies. A range of financial support will be available to you once you have enrolled.

There are three financial support funds available for postgraduate students.

BU Financial Support Fund – This fund provides non-repayable support if you are struggling financially during your studies. It is only available for UK students and the money you receive can be used to cover the cost of accommodation, travel, childcare, books or equipment, among other things.
Small emergency grant – These small grants are designed to provide very short-term assistance to students who are short of money. They are paid in denominations of £15, usually in the form of supermarket vouchers. Any BU student can apply for an emergency grant, but you will be asked to prove that you have very little or no money available.
Emergency loan – This is a short-term advance on your mainstream student funding that is designed to last four weeks. You will need to pay this back once your student loan has been paid. It is only available to UK students and you’ll need to provide details that you have applied for the relevant student support.

Disabled Students' Allowances

If you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you can receive further financial assistance in addition to the funding you have already received. This is provided by the UK government and is only available to UK students.

Any disability or impairment will be considered as long term if:

  • it has lasted for at least 12 months
  • it is likely to last for at least 12 months
  • it is likely to last for the rest of the person's life.

The amount you are awarded will be based on your individual needs, not your household income.

You can find information about how much funding you are eligible for and how to apply on the website.

MA Social Work

If you are studying the MA Social Work course, you may be eligible for a bursary specifically to support students taking this course. The Department of Health capped the number of bursaries available to full-time UK students. Find out more.

BU scholarships

We offer non-repayable scholarships to postgraduate students. See the full list of scholarships

External funding

There are various bursaries and grants available to fund postgraduate taught study.

Bursaries and grants from charities, foundations and trusts

Many charities, foundations and trusts offer bursaries or grants to fund part or all of postgraduate study within their specialism.

The Grants Register, which is available in libraries, universities and at careers services, is the best place to begin your search. This book is updated every year and features all of the grants available in 49 countries - with information about 4,500 awards. Bursaries and grants for UK, EU and international students are all listed within this publication.

BU subscribes to a funding database specifically for those looking for funding to support postgraduate studies, called The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online. The guide contains a huge database of funding opportunities, comprehensive guidance, and tools to help you prepare a winning grant application, including:

  • Funding database of 600+ charities
  • Comprehensive guidance written by real students
  • Grant application writing tools
  • Personal statement and financial statement assistants.

​Prospective students can access this for free by using a personal email address and using the PIN: 6199.

Other external bursaries

There are several other external bursaries available to postgraduate students, including the following:

  • study bursaries – you can apply for one of these bursaries if you are going to begin postgraduate study in 2021/22. Each bursary is worth £500 and students from anywhere in the world can apply via the website.

Additional support

Funding support for US students

Funding support for US students

If you are a US citizen, there is specific funding support available to you in the form of Federal Loans. Find out more about US Federal Loans.

Postgraduate international student studying

Postgraduate loan

Find out about the government student loans available for eligible students.

MA Social Work bursary

MA Social Work bursary

Find out about the bursary available specifically for MA Social Work students, who is eligible and how to apply.

Page history

13 December-7 January: student family discount was showing in error as 20% rather than the 10% published in the fees policy.