Sign up to our newsletter today
We've been helping students find the right postgraduate course for over a decade.
Finding funding can be one of the trickiest parts of a Masters application. There’s plenty of it out there, but different scholarships have different deadlines and requirements. Trying to stay on top of them all can quickly become confusing – particularly if you’re busy with other parts of your application.
That’s where this blog comes in.
As the new decade begins, we’ve picked out some of the most important sources of funding and created an application timeline for 2020. By reading this post you’ll know when the deadlines are coming up and will be able to give yourself plenty of time to prepare.
Most of what we’ve covered here is funding for international students, but we’ve also mentioned the main deadlines for UK and EU applicants.Note that some of the deadlines below are based on previous years. It’s possible that the exact 2020 dates might vary slightly, but you can still use this guide to plan your Masters funding timetable.
International students in Scotland
Scotland doesn’t just have some of the UK’s oldest universities. It’s also home to one of its most generous international funding schemes. The Saltire Scholarships offer up to £8,000 towards your tuition fees on a Masters degree in Scotland.
You’ll need to be a citizen of Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Pakistan or the USA. Applications will open in Spring 2020 and normally close by the end of May.
Just for citizens of the USA looking to study abroad in the UK, the Marshall Scholarships are a long running (post)graduate funding programme. They’re designed to pick out scholars with the potential to become future leaders and ambassadors.
Applications open in late spring and will need to be made through your university by the October at the very latest (though you should really aim to have your application ready earlier than this).
The Fulbright Awards are a long-running scholarship competition that supports UK students to study abroad in the USA and vice versa. The deadlines for UK and US applicants differ slightly, but they're usually between October and November for degree programmes starting in the following year.
The Saïd Foundation supports students from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Syria to study in the UK on one-year Masters courses. Applications open in August and the deadline is usually set at the very end of October or the beginning of November
One of two prestigious funding schemes offered by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfiD), the Chevening Scholarships provide full tuition and generous maintenance support to ambitious international Masters students.
Applications will open in August, but the latest you can apply will be November 2020. Of course, as with most of the scholarships covered on this page, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible on your application.
The year ends with the second of the two DfiD funding options (in fact, we've previously previewed the 2019 version).
The Commonwealth Scholarships are available to international students from across the 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Separate awards are offered to citizens of high income or low and middle income countries, but all provide generous funding for fees, living costs, travel and other expenses.
The British Council offers a range of government scholarsips worth at least £10,000 for international students to study a Masters in the UK.
Separate GREAT Scholarship schemes are available for students from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Turkey. Applications are managed by universities and each has a certain number of scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. Institutions also set their own deadlines,but most are between March and June.
UK & EU students
Applications for the UK postgraduate loans normally open in June or July, but there’s no deadline before your course starts (in fact, you can actually apply during your Masters).
You’ll need to be a UK student or EU student (applying for a Masters that starts in 2020-21) in order to get a UK Masters loan, but some exceptions may be made for students from other countries.
We’ve covered some of the biggest sources of international funding here, but there are a huge number of other organisations offering scholarships, bursaries and other awards for postgraduate study. It’s definitely worth doing some research and including them in your funding search.
You can also look at our full guide to international Masters funding. It covers everything on this page in a bit more detail, plus lots of targeted awards for students from specific countries.
Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates about funding news and other information. We’ll remind you when these deadlines are coming up and provide additional information, advice and student success stories to help with your application.
What countries do other students choose for their Masters degrees and is there a great option you're missing?
We've shown how to 'hack' the big global league tables and learn more about the best options for a Masters.
We asked the experts at the British Council's Study UK service for their international study advice.
Great! We're always adding new advice articles, funding tips and student stories. Our free newsletter will keep you updated.