What finance options are available if I want to study in the UK?

If you plan to study in the UK, you might be interested in what financial support is available to help you during your studies.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees can vary depending where you're studying and whether you're from the EU or outside the EU – check university and college websites. Find the links in our search tool.

For guidance on whether you are eligible to pay overseas or home/EU fees, please refer to the UKCISA website.

Student finance

If you are an international non-EU student, it's unlikely you will be able to get a student loan from the Government. Some universities will create their own student loan schemes for talented students from low-income backgrounds, including non-EU students. Contact the university you're interested in attending to ask if they run a student loan scheme, and what the eligibility requirements are. 

Other funding options: scholarships and grants

International (and EU) students may be able to find a scholarship, grant or bursary.

What types of scholarships are there?

There are lots of scholarships to study in the UK. This is great news, but it’s important to remember they have strict eligibility criteria and are highly competitive.

There are also more scholarships, bursaries, and fee waivers available for postgraduate and research students than for undergraduates, so check what the university offers before applying.

Here are the main state-governed scholarship schemes for postgraduate international students in the UK:

  • Chevening Scholarship is a UK scheme for scholarships that financially support international students with academic potential. 
  • Commonwealth Scholarships financially support students from developing Commonwealth countries to study in the UK. Scholarships are typically awarded to postgraduate students, to cover tuition and transport, and offer a monthly allowance.
  • GREAT Scholarships offer students from certain countries the opportunity for a scholarship towards their tuition fees for a wide range of one-year taught postgraduate courses.

How do I find a scholarship?

Applications for scholarships involve completing a form, but sometimes you may be asked to complete an assignment or test, or to attend an interview.

Research the criteria and your eligibility before applying, and prepare a strong application.

The following organisations have online databases listing scholarships:

What do I need to receive a scholarship?

Universities and colleges offer scholarships and bursaries to students with many different skills.

Academic merit and excellence scholarships are awarded to students with a strong academic background. This isn’t just good grades, but also includes extracurricular achievements and future ambitions.

Subject-specific scholarships are given by the university department and they are usually donated by an external organisation, or in memory of a former professor. The eligibility criteria are likely to focus on your interest, skills, and experience in that subject. This type of scholarship may also cover your equipment and research, plus it looks great on your CV.

Performance-based scholarships are awarded to those who have exceptional ability in things like sports, music, or performing. You do not have to study a related degree, but you may be expected to take part in certain activities relevant to your skills – for example, play sports for your university, or join the band. This scholarship is not intended to cover your tuition, but instead to help develop your skills and contribute towards living costs.

Can I get a private grant?

Private grants are another financial option for international students studying in the UK. Companies and non-governmental organisations have finance options to help students complete their higher education. 

If you take out a private loan, always read the agreement before you sign it. These loans often come with repayment time limits and interest. Some companies will give students a loan under the condition they work for them once they have completed their degree. 

Remember, as an international student in the UK there are no guarantees with these financial options, so always think about how you can finance your studies if these options are not available to you.

Read more about scholarships, grants and bursaries for EU and international students.

Refugees and asylum seekers

Equal access or sanctuary scholarships are available for refugees and asylum seekers who have fled persecution in their home country.

Read more about financial support for refugee and asylum seeking students.

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