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

If you successfully complete a University of Essex validated Bachelors degree, Masters degree, Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Diploma, either at Essex or one of our partner institutions, you may receive an Alumni Loyalty Discount token. This can be spent on one year of postgraduate study at either Masters or PhD level.

If you have an Essex undergraduate degree then the discount will reduce your first year tuition fees by:

  • 33% if you achieved a First
  • 25% if you achieved a 2.1
  • 10% if you achieved a 2.2

If you have an Essex Masters degree, or a Graduate or Postgraduate Diploma then the discount will reduce your first year tuition fees by:

  • 33% if you achieved a Distinction
  • 25% if you achieved a Merit
  • 10% for successful completion

University Campus Suffolk applicants

Following the launch of the University of Suffolk as an independent institution, students studying towards a joint University of Essex and University of East Anglia award, are no longer eligible to receive the Essex Alumni Loyalty Discount.

Study abroad loyalty discount

If you studied abroad at Essex, you can benefit from a 10% discount on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study.

You must have spent at least one term at Essex as a non-graduating student on a study abroad programme. You must also be registering for your first postgraduate course at Essex (either taught or research), following completion of your study abroad.

This discount is only available if you are fully self-funding your tuition fee.

See our Study abroad loyalty discount terms and conditions 2022-23 (.pdf) for more information.

Spouse discount

If you are the spouse/civil partner of a full-time international student paying overseas fees and wish to register for a part-time taught-course here, you will pay the Home/EU fee for that course while your spouse/civil partner remains registered at Essex.

You must have valid immigration permission that allows you to study part-time in the UK for the duration of your course. The University is only able to sponsor international students studying full-time courses under Tier 4 (General) of the UK’s Points Based Immigration System.

Please email the Graduate Admissions office at pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for more information.

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 2022-2023


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
The Eleonore Koch Fund 2022-2023
Students from Latin America to study MA in Art History and Theory in our School of Philosophy and Art History.
European (non-European Union) Regional Scholarship



Self-funded European Masters students from non-EU countries
GREAT Scholarship 2022-2023
For Masters students from Bangladesh, Brunei, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka
GREAT Scholarship for Justice and Law
For Masters students from China studying Justice and Law related subjects
ITESM “Doble Grado” Tuition Fee Discount



Self-funded international Masters students who have graduated from ITESM
Latin American Scholarship (including the Caribbean)
Masters students in our Department of Language and Linguistics
The Essex Study Abroad Scholarship 2022-2023  Overseas students coming to Essex for the fee paying study abroad programme
Tinson Scholarships 2022-2023
Masters students from the former Soviet Bloc in our School of Law

United Kingdom

Scholarship / bursary name Valid year of entry Who it's for
Masters Excellence Scholarship
Home/EU students with a first class degree from a UK university
Schools Membership Plus Staff Discount 2021-2022
For staff members of eligible SMP schools undertaking a full or part time postgraduate taught course

Non-residential specific Scholarships

Scholarship / bursary name Valid year of entry Who it's for
The Essex MBA Dean's Award
Self-funded students applying to the full-time and part-time MBA programme
Black, Arab and Mature Students Bursary 2022-2023 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
Master students in our Department of Language and Linguistics
Essex Society for Family History Award
2021-2022  Masters students in our Department of History
Friends of Historic Essex Fellowship
Masters students in our Department of History
Postgraduate conversion courses in AI and Data Science Scholarships 2022 - 2023 New Home, EU and International Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Masters students studying MSc Data Science & Applications, MSc Applied Data Science and MSc Artificial Intelligence & Applications courses. 
University of Sanctuary Scholarship 2022-2023 New Masters students taking up a place to study in 2022-2023, who have UK Asylum status or Discretionary/Limited Leave to Remain
University of Sanctuary Scholarship for Afghan Refugees  2022-2023  New UG or PGT students from Afghanistan who have been granted UK Asylum Status or Discretionary/ Limited Leave to Remain and those with Humanitarian Protection, as result of an asylum application or through a dependants claim 

Scholarships from other organisations

 Scholarship / bursary name  Who it's for
British Council Scholarships International students
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
Jean Monnet Scholarship Discount
20% discount for students who are in receipt of the Jean Monnet Scholarship
Marshall Scholarships US citizens
HESPAL Scholarships Palestinian Territories resident citizens
SAID Foundation Scholarships International students from eligible countries
AZIZ Foundation-University of Essex Scholarships Muslim students who are citizens of the United Kingdom
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
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

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 you can get up to:

  • £11,836 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2022
  • £11,570 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2021

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:

  • £18,430 for 2022 to 2023
  • £18,025 for 2021 to 2022

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 £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. 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

Following the UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union, EU students who started their studies after October 2021 are likely to be classed as international students for tuition fee purposes and you will need to pay international fees. We'll assess your fee status when you apply to Essex and if you are successful in gaining an offer, your fee status will be confirmed in your offer letter. Visit our fee status page for more information.

EU students starting their studies after October 2021 will no longer be eligible for UK Government funding unless you have settled or pre-settled status. For more information, please see our changes after Brexit webpage.

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 or studied abroad here, 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.

Private loans

The best option when financing your studies is a government-funded student loan, but if that isn’t enough to cover all your expenses, or you’re not eligible for government support, Future Finance offer loans to UK, EU and international students with a UK domiciled address. They offer amounts from £2,000 - £40,000 to cover both tuition and living costs.

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!)


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.

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 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.