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How to apply for postgrad funding – where to look

So, once you’ve you’ve decided you want to apply for further study, at whatever level, you’ll want to think about the practicalities. As discussed in other posts, deciding to go back to school will have a big impact on your life and the lives of those around you. One of your first concerns will be where is the money going to come from to pay the rent and put food on the table? This post will be in two parts: Part 1 – Where to look for funding and Part 2 – How to make a strong application, to follow soon.

Where to look for Funding Opportunities

There are plenty of options for funding. Plenty of people work hard and save hard for some time in advance. Or, you can borrow money. In the UK, the student loans company offer loans to undergraduates who haven’t had a loan previously, and several banks offer career development loans for one year vocational courses. You can find out more about these options on the prospects website.

There are also charitable organizations that fund study on a certain subject, or students studying in or who are from a certain geographical area, or even with a certain name. Your local public Library will probably have a copy of the book Educational Grants Directory and it’s worth taking some time to take a look at what may be on offer. These websites are also often helpful:
Postgraduate Studentships
Find A Masters
Find A PhD
Student Cash Points

And of course, there’s always the institution you are applying. Often, there are scholarships to be had, and almost always a hardship fund if you get into unexpected difficulty after starting your course. Get investigating, usually with the University Student Support office or similar, to find out what’s available and how to apply. Funding is available from the Research Councils too, but usually only for students who aim to pursue a career in research on completion. Competition is usually fierce for both, but if you don’t apply you stand even less chance. And a good application can increase your chances. I don’t have a whole heap of experience of applying for scholarships. On the others hand, I have a 100% success rate – three out of three – for being offered the scholarships I’ve applied for, so I must be doing something right. My top 5 tips for making a strong application will be in part 2 – what this space.

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