FINDING FUNDING FOR
INTRODUCTION should be provided by the institution
If you are a UK student, grants for you are applying to
postgraduate study do exist and they can • Specialised funding schemes may
cover fees and living expenses, but they are apply to some vocational courses -
not available for every course. It is usually professional associations sometimes
easier to get the offer of a place than it is to produce guidance on funding courses:
get the money to fund it. This is particularly CCD can advise you on locating
true in the arts and social sciences. relevant sources of information.
• Grant-Making Trusts and Charities -
You can collect a copy of Prospects CCD has relevant resources.
Postgraduate Funding Guide, a take-away • Funding through employment:
booklet from the CCD, which outlines various including Research and Graduate
funding options. For general information on Teaching Assistantships which are
applying for funding, information can be advertised in the educational press
found in the postgraduate study section on and specialist journals (The CCD can
Prospects Web at www.prospects.ac.uk advise you on relevant sources of
information. Employers rarely fund
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS an individual’s personal study unless
they employ you.)
This leaflet is aimed at UK students but • Part-time work either within the
International students should check the University or outside it
‘International Students’ section on Prospects • Loans from family members, banks or
Web and check out files at the Centre for through Career Development Loans -
Career Development (CCD). The British see www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/cdl.
Council provides information on the
affordability of study in the UK on their FUNDING YOUR STUDY FROM
website www.educationuk.org/. In CHARITABLE TRUSTS
addition check out the UKCOSA website at
www.ukcosa.org.uk and International What are Trusts and Charities?
Education Financial Aid website at These are organisations that administer
www.iefa.org/. sums of money set aside by individuals or
corporations to help specific groups or
MAIN SOURCES OF FUNDING individuals. Those that offer money for
educational purposes may be able to help
As a UK student there are various sources of with costs such as maintenance, fees, books,
funding you can apply for. In the first equipment, travel, childcare, field trips etc.
instance you should establish how students however resources are limited and help, if
normally fund the course you wish to apply any, is generally small scale.
for. These might include:
• Research Councils or the Arts and Who do they help?
Humanities Research Board - The charity's aims are likely to be very
separate arrangements may exist for specific, e.g. they may help according to age,
Scottish and Northern Ireland sex, nationality, religion, subject area and so
residents on. For example: a female student applying
• Scholarships and bursaries offered by for a speech therapy course may apply to the
individual universities - information Hilda Martindale Trust whose aim is to assist
young British women intending to “fit
themselves for a profession or career likely www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/fundin
to be of use to the community for which g/
special training is required”.
There is no point applying unless you are − Educational Grants Advisory Service –
sure that you do fit the requirements. Your helps those looking for funding for post
application will not be considered until you 16 education.
have a confirmed place so start early. www.egas-online.org
There are a few words of warning. It is
difficult to get funding for second − Community of Science Funding
undergraduate degree courses. The majority Opportunities - an up-to-date database of
of trusts are not willing to consider announcements for grants, fellowships,
applications from students undertaking awards and more from around the world,
second degrees, even if they did not comprising than 22,000 records worth
complete their first degree, unless the over $33 billion.
second qualification is in a specific subject http://fundingopps.cos.com/
area such as medicine, dentistry or
− Jobs.ac.uk is an academic recruitment
It is extremely difficult to secure funding for
website advertising awards and
general humanities postgraduate courses or
studentships plus teaching and research
courses with no direct vocational link.
It is particularly difficult to secure funding for
overseas students in the UK. As a rule trusts
expect overseas students to have identified
sufficient funding before embarking on their − Guardian Unlimited advertises awards
course of study. and studentships plus teaching and
Trusts can seldom help with an immediate http://jobs.guardian.co.uk
financial crisis. Allow plenty of time to raise
the funds and certainly a minimum of six
months before the start of your course. − Support4learning offers links to funding
and welfare benefits available within the
Where do I find them? UK.
There is no one source of information and so www.support4learning.org.uk
you will need to look at a range of the
− Times Higher Educational Supplement
• RESOURCES advertises awards and studentships plus
teaching and research assistantships.
− Educational Grants Directory www.thesjobs.co.uk
− Grants Register
− Directory of Grant Making Trusts (CD
ROM) − Charity Commission for England and
Other books are listed on CCD website under Wales - covers all charities, searchable
Careers Resources www.charity-
• WEB SITES es/first.asp
− Hot Courses Student Money Guide
http://www.scholarship- − Charities Direct – similar to the above
search.org.uk/ www.charitiesdirect.com -
How do I apply?
− Gradfund - database for post graduate
The Trust may have its own application form,
if not then you should apply using a CV.
Here are some suggestions of the kind of criteria such as residency, age or nationality.
information you should include: They will also have aims and objectives, so
align yourself and your own goals with them
• for what purpose is the help required for a better chance of success.
e.g. tuition fees, living expenses, Understanding the origins of the trust and
travel who the trustees are may also help to focus
• how much money is needed your application. Every scholarship is
• personal details including name, different, so approach each one differently.
address, date of birth, nationality, The more you know about the organisation,
religion (if any) and marital status the better your chance of success
• family details
• your own income and expenditure Trusts may not help with fees for private
summaries and forecasts institutions. Study abroad is rarely
• name of current and/or previous considered unless you are applying to a body
school, college or university dedicated to funding study in a particular
• details of any grants or sponsorships country.
obtained or applied for
• academic and employment history Your application must be realistic. Ask for an
• required references amount which the trust or charity is able to
In all cases send a covering letter - this is give. Most trust grants are under £300 and
one of the most important parts of the local charities often give much less.
application and should be carefully prepared
for each application. Try not to use a If you need to raise a large amount of money
standard application and use clear and then you could put together a package which
simple statements to explain your difficulties you can present to a series of trusts and
and demonstrate that you are doing each may agree to help with a certain
everything possible to help yourself raise the proportion of the total need on the condition
necessary funds e.g. by working, tapping that the others help too.
friends and family for support, living cheaply
and cutting expenditure etc. There is no guarantee that you will be able to
raise money this way but if you are sure that
Also submit a good academic reference - the you fit into the trust's aims and have
trust or charity will want to know that you presented your case well then you may be
are progressing satisfactorily on your course. successful.
You will need to detail your finances Other tips
accurately, and show how you intend to raise
the rest of the money. Many trusts have a Some charities have a deadline, others will
maximum grant which may not cover all award on an ongoing basis. Look at the
your expenses. If you are under 25 your closing dates and plan your applications
parents’ financial situation is usually taken accordingly.
into consideration. Referees are often asked
to guarantee that the applicant’s family Some charities will only offer money to those
cannot support them. You will need to show not in receipt of money from other sources
that you have exhausted all other sources of so read the small print.
funding and also that your difficulties are
unforeseen e.g. illness, redundancy, family Don’t apply to charities if you do not match
difficulties - charities can be reluctant to help their criteria. You are wasting your time.
people who start a course knowing that they
have not enough money to complete it. Whilst some charities specifically request a
stamped addressed envelope for application
Careers Advisers can give you feedback on details, it is probably a good idea to send
your letter of application. You can do this in one anyway. An A5 envelope is the best
a Quick Query session with an Adviser. choice.
Will they give me any money?
Remember that there are a lot of people Finally remember to keep copies of all
competing for limited resources. Usually you correspondence with the different trusts. It
must have exhausted other possible sources sounds obvious, but each trust wants to
of funding. Each trust has its own eligibility know the status of your other applications.
It can be a very tedious process but wads of
stamps, CVs and well thought out covering
letters are essential.
Updated August 2005
Contact us at:
Centre for Career Development (CCD)
Level D West
Tel: 0115 951 3680
Fax: 0115 951 3679
Check www.nottingham.ac.uk/careers for
details of services at Sutton Bonington