Fees and Funding

Scholarships and funding

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Masters scholarship and funding opportunities

There are a variety of different scholarships and bursaries available for Postgraduate students to support your studies. Our main awards are listed below and you can search our Scholarship Finder to see what else you might be eligible for.

Loyalty discounts for Masters students

The University is offering a tuition fee discount to students who successfully completed a University of Essex validated Bachelors degree, Masters degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Diploma, either at Essex or one of our partner institutions. The discount is available for the first year of study at both Masters and PhD level.

Scholarships and bursaries

I am ordinarily a resident in:

European Union

Scholarship / bursary name Valid year of entry Who it's for
Master (PGT) EU Scholarship


Students from the EU who are classified as international fee paying students in academic year 2024-2025


Scholarship / bursary name Valid year of entry Who it's for
Academic Excellence International Masters Scholarship


International students meeting high academic standards
Essex Global Partner Scholarships


Self-funded international Masters students studying at one of our global channel partners
Africa Scholarship Programme


Students from African nations
Essex ITESM Doble Grado Scholarship


Self-funded international Masters students who have graduated from ITESM
GREAT Scholarship 2024-2025
For Masters students from Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, India and Pakistan
Latin American and the Caribbean Scholarship
Masters students in our Department of Language and Linguistics
University of Sanctuary Scholarships 2024-2025 The University of Sanctuary Scholarship is available to new Masters students, who have UK Asylum status or Discretionary/Limited Leave to Remain as a result of an asylum application, and those with Humanitarian Protection, as result of an asylum application or through a dependants claim. 

United Kingdom

Scholarship / bursary name Valid year of entry Who it's for
Masters Excellence Scholarship
2024-2025 Home/EU students with a first class degree from a UK university

Non-residential specific Scholarships

Scholarship / bursary name Valid year of entry Who it's for
The Essex MBA Dean's 2024-2025 Self-funded students applying to the full-time and part-time MBA programme
Black, Arab and Mature Students Bursary 2024-2025 For black, Arab or mature students progressing directly from undergraduate study at the University of Essex to postgraduate study
Chinese-English Translation and Interpreting Scholarships 2024-2025 Master students in our Department of Language and Linguistics
Essex Futures Refugee Care Scholarship 2024-2025 Students taking the MA Refugee Care course within the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies.
Hugh Brogan Scholarship 2024-2025 Masters students studying history degrees in our School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Postgraduate conversion courses in AI and Data Science Scholarships 2024-2025

Masters students on the following programmes: MSc Data Science and its Applications, MSc Applied Data Science, MSc Artificial Intelligence and its Applications.

The Ronald J. Hill Fund 2024-2025 Postgraduate students applying for courses in the Department of Government.

Scholarships from other organisations

 Scholarship / bursary name  Who it's for
AZIZ Foundation-University of Essex Scholarships Muslim students who are citizens of the United Kingdom
British Council Scholarships International students
Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund
CCSF awards are for Canadians who are undertaking postgraduate academic and artistic studies in the UK, and are exclusively for students who have already commenced their postgraduate programme of study in the UK
Chevening Scholarships International students from eligible countries
Civil Society Leadership Award International students from eligible countries
Commonwealth Masters Scholarships 20% discount for International students from eligible countries
Fullbright Scholarship US graduate students for study in any subject (although there are restrictions in Medicine) in the UK who are expected to be leaders, or future leaders, in their field of study
HESPAL Scholarships Palestinian Territories resident citizens
Jean Monnet Scholarship Discount
20% discount for students who are in receipt of the Jean Monnet Scholarship
Marshall Scholarships The award is available to US citizens 
SAID Foundation Scholarships International students from eligible countries
Santander Universities Brighter Futures Grant
The award is available to all registered University of Essex students and is open for applications until 30 June 2023 
Schwab & Westheimer Trust Scholarships - The Scholarships supported by the Marks Family Charitable Trust The award is available to students who are asylum seekers.
Snowdon Masters Scholarships The award is available to students who have a disability 

Other sources of funding

UK Government student loans

The UK government offers eligible students Postgraduate Loans to help pay towards tuition fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master’s course.

For full-time study:

  • £12,167 if your course started on or after 1 August 2024
  • £11,836 if your course started on or after 1 August 2023

What you need to know

  • You cannot get a Postgraduate Master's Loan for a postgraduate certificate or diploma, or for integrated courses.
  • It isn’t means-tested, so it isn't dependent on your income or your family's income.
  • Loans are available for full-time, part-time (with at least 50% intensity) and distance learning courses.
  • The loan is paid directly to you in three instalments over the year (33%, 33% and 34%).
  • For part-time study (two years), the loan amount will be split across the two years.

A ‘home fees’ assessment by the University does not guarantee Government funding for fees or living costs. The Student Loans Company will conduct its own eligibility assessment. If you have been assessed as eligible for home fees based on an application to the EU Settlement Scheme, your entitlement to Student Loans Company funding for fees or living costs may be affected in future years if your status changes. Once registered at the University, all students, regardless of funding source and fee status, are liable for their fees. Further information can be found in the University’s Tuition Fees and Liability Policy and on our fee status page.

For further information and how to apply

UK government student finance information

If you are from Wales

You could get a mixture of a loan and a grant to help with your course costs. How much you get depends on your household income.

The maximum amount of funding available is:

  • £18,770 for 2024 to 2025
  • £18,430 for 2022 to 2023

If you’re studying for 2, 3 or 4 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. To check eligibility and for further details please visit the Student Finance Wales website.

If you are from Northern Ireland

If you're from Northern Ireland you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £5,500 for the duration of your course. If you’re studying for 2, 3 or 4 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. To check eligibility and for further details please visit the Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI) website.

If you are from Scotland

If you're from Scotland you can apply for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee loan of up to £7,000 for the duration of your course. If you’re studying for 2, 3 or 4 academic years, the loan will be divided equally across each year of your course. Full-time students can also apply for a loan towards their living costs of up to £4,500.

To check eligibility and for further details please visit the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) website.

EU student funding

Some EU students who have a settled or pre-settled status may be eligible for UK Government funding. For more information, please see our changes after Brexit webpage.

If you have permanent residency in Germany and are in the UK studying at Essex for educational purposes only, you may be eligible to receive a German Government grant or loan of up to €5,600 towards tuition fees as well as up to just under €1,000 a month to cover living expenses to study a one-year Master’s programme. Check out the BAföG-Amt Hannover Region website for more information.

Private lenders such as FINS Student loans can be considered to help you fund your studies at Essex. We would always advise you to check terms and conditions to ensure that any loans you take from private lenders are suitable to your financial circumstances.  

We offer a wide range of discounts, bursaries and scholarships to make funding your studies easier, including our Masters (PGT) EU Scholarship worth up to £5,500.

If you're an Essex graduate you could be eligible for our alumni loyalty discount too. There are country-specific funding opportunities, please see our country pages for more information.

International student funding sources

There are country-specific funding opportunities, please see our country pages for more information.

If you're from the United States, you may be eligible for a federal direct loan from the US Department of Education.

Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

Our University currently subscribes to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. This independent guide to financing postgraduate study can be an invaluable tool to anyone considering study beyond undergraduate level. The Guide is free to use for our current and prospective students.

You can access the resource using the following PIN: 2529.


Bank Graduate loans

You might be able to apply for a graduate loan, either from your own or another high street bank. Make sure you compare the various packages on offer to find out which is best for you. A first step is to look online for sites which do this for you and then make an appointment to talk to the local branch of the banks which interest you. Don't be put off if you already have an existing overdraft. Many banks will now take on the responsibility of this is you are taking out a graduate loan.


Some companies offer to sponsor students, this is becoming an increasingly common source of funding in certain subject areas, primarily the sciences. Some firms will also consider finance-related disciplines such as accountancy and business studies.

Financial assistance offered by a company will usually be accompanied by work experience which you might be asked to undertake during your holidays or after graduation.

Charitable trusts and grants

Information about charities and trusts that offer awards and sponsorship to students and their application procedures can be found in the Educational Grants Directory and The Grants Register. Copies of these are available in our Albert Sloman Library, as well as in most public libraries.

You can also try a grants search at Turn2us. Use the keyword "higher education" and then narrow your search by filling in other information about yourself.

Many charities and trusts are only able to award a small number of grants each year, so competition can be fierce. To be in with the best chance of receiving an award it is a good idea to:

  • research charities and trusts carefully as they may have eligibility requirements (eg based on your area of residence, family background and subject area)
  • apply as soon as possible (many give deadlines for applications)

East 15 Acting School - charitable trusts and grants

Funding for Acting and Drama courses can be limited and competition for grants is fierce, but it’s worth looking at the sources of funding above as well as these, which are aimed specifically at students in your field:

For ideas of how to secure additional funding take a look at Damian Gaskin’s booklet ‘How to Raise £40,000 and train at Drama School’ (.pdf). (The author has asked you to bear in mind that this was written in 1996, well before all the fundraising advances that the internet and social media have given you and so needs to be read in that context. Please do not contact the author himself for sponsorship!)

You can also take a look at Degrees For Free which has some useful and interesting ideas for fundraising and money-saving. (There is a book of the same name, but don’t feel compelled to buy it, the website is useful in its own right!)

Students with children, carers and care leavers

We provide information for parents, carers and care leavers, including additional sources of funding that you may be eligible for.

Financial support for current students in difficulty

We and the Students' Union offer financial support if you are experiencing difficulty with your finances in the form of bursaries, grants or loans depending on your situation. Have a look on our Financial Support page for more information.