Two female postgraduate students talking

Part-time Home/EU postgraduate student funding

This information relates to 2019/20 entry.

Postgraduate Masters loans

Postgraduate Loans (PGLs) are available from Student Finance England to study a Masters course. Masters students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,906 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Finance for part-time PGCE programmes

Part-time PGCE students will be covered by the funding arrangements for part-time undergraduate students with access to a tuition fee loan. New part-time students already holding a qualification equivalent or higher in level than their PGCE remain eligible for this support. Please see more details of part-time undergraduate funding.

Fee waivers from UWE Bristol

You will not be eligible to apply for a fee waiver if you are able to obtain a postgraduate loan from Student Finance England for your course. This rule will allow the Waiver Scheme to support students who have no alternative method for paying for their tuition fees.

Please note: Existing recipients of the fee waiver will remain unaffected up until the completion of their current studies, providing they continue to meet the qualifying criteria outlined below:

  • Part-time postgraduate students who have been in receipt of a means-tested benefit continuously for at least six months prior to either Sunday 1 September 2019 or Wednesday 1 January 2020 (dependent on your course start date).
  • Care leavers can now apply for a fee waiver without needing to be in receipt of the qualifying benefits. To qualify, you must have been in local authority care for three months between the ages of 11 to 16 and not returned to live with parents since then. If you meet this criteria, please let us know by emailing

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for a UWE Bristol fee waiver for your postgraduate part-time course, you need to be:

  • studying at postgraduate level for the first time. This means that you have not already achieved a qualification at the same level as your new course. If you have a Masters qualification, you can apply for a waiver for a course at PhD level.
  • considered a UK resident ('home') or EU student for fee purposes and
  • registered on a designated part-time postgraduate course that lasts for at least one academic year and
  • registered for 80 credits or fewer and
  • in receipt of a means-tested benefit on Sunday 1 September 2019 (or Wednesday 1 January 2020 if you are starting your programme in January 2020), and continuously for the previous six months or a care leaver.

If you meet the above criteria, UWE Bristol will consider a waiver of 75% of your tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year.

If you are eligible to apply for the new Postgraduate Loan for Masters courses, you will not be entitled to the fee waiver.

Please note: The funding available for fee waivers is limited and demand is usually high. We cannot, therefore, guarantee that every eligible student will be awarded a fee waiver.

Which benefits count?

The relevant benefits for this fee waiver are:

  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income-based)
  • Pension Credit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based)
  • Housing Benefit or council tax reduction
  • Universal Credit (to include either Income-based JSA/ESA or Income Support or Housing Benefit).

Tax credits do not count as a qualifying benefit for the fee waiver.

How to apply

Care leavers:

If you are a care leaver, please email providing evidence of your status. You do not have to complete an application form.

Receiving means-tested benefits:

If you receive means-tested benefits and are starting your course in 2019/20, please download the relevant form for you:

You will need to get  the application form approved by your benefits office before returning it to the University. You can return it to us by sending it to, handing it in to any Information Point or posting it to:

Student Money Service
1D03, Frenchay Campus
BS16 1QY.

Continuing students:

If you are a continuing student who already receives this fee waiver, you will have already been sent an application form by email.

PhD loans - Postgraduate Doctoral Loans (PGDL)

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans (PGDLs) are available from Student Finance England and Wales if you wish to study a PhD course. PhD students under 60 can access a loan of up to £25,700 in total for PhD courses lasting between three to eight years. The loan is spread evenly over each year of the course.

The PhD loans work in the same way as the PGLs outlined above. It is important to be aware that it will not cover the costs of both tuition fees and living expenses, so you will need additional funding to cover those costs.

Research Council Funding

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funds postgraduate training at both Doctoral and Masters level. They do not give money to students directly, but fund universities through Doctoral Training Accounts (DTAs) and Collaborative Training Accounts (CTAs).

Natural Environment Research Council

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funds around 1,400 postgraduate students each year. The majority of these students are carrying out research and training in a three-year programme leading to a PhD. The others hold one-year studentships which support them whilst they study for an MSc or MRes degree.

Arts and Humanities Research Council

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) provides support for students taking taught postgraduate courses and research in the humanities. Each year, they make around 550 awards from their research schemes and around 1,500 awards from their postgraduate schemes.

Economic and Social Research Council

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) provides studentships for postgraduate training and research in the social sciences.

These Councils provide a variety of awards which may cover some or all the tuition fees, a maintenance grant or bursary and a contribution towards programme-related expenses. Please note that competition is strong and only a small percentage of candidates are successful. Find out more information on the UK Research and Innovation website. 

Trust funds and grant-making charities

There are a number of trusts and charities that make awards to students. Many have very particular qualifying criteria, meaning that very few applicants get awards. The following websites are good places to start looking for funds:

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