Where to find the best scholarship offers

Scholarships are precious sources of financial support offered from a variety of sources. They vary a great deal from provider to provider, so this article explains where to find the best masters, PhD and postgraduate scholarship offers.

What is a scholarship?

A scholarship can be described as a financial gift for an eligible student. They are available to students that fulfil specific criteria, such as academic excellence in a particular subject, or through nationality, background or family circumstances. The Masters Compare scholarship requires students to meet certain eligibility criteria.

For many years scholarships and bursaries were the primary source of funding for masters degrees. For international students they remain a most valuable source of support, without which they would not be able to consider Higher Education in the UK.

UK Universities include scholarships to support study funding. Postgraduate Studentships regularly updates these details and shares them online with our subscribers.

Universities welcome gifts in the form of student scholarships. These include benefactors and legacy donations from the families of former students. Research projects are created to focus on particular issues that have specific connections with an individual or family.

Many UK students take advantage of an Alumni bursary which is in effect a fee discount of as much as 20%. This is really valuable, and universities are happy to provide this support.

Scholarships encourage access to education

UK Universities are required to support students from families who may not have experienced higher education. Students from specific cultural groups or who may be asylum seekers are able to draw upon specific extra funding.

Most university offer two types of scholarships. They recognise individual merit and also encourage applications from specific territories overseas.

Sometimes these are included as part of the study offer. The admissions team will have them factored- in to their candidate processing. However, additional financial help does depend on demand for places.

If a student is within a disadvantaged group it will be important. The admissions team need to be made aware of the individual circumstances. Acting early enough ensures the student can take advantage of the support.

How to Find International Scholarships

There are a number of well-established International scholarship schemes. Some of these were established may decades ago as philanthropic gestures by wealthy figures.

Some of the best-known examples include:-

    As the name suggests, these are offered to students from each of the 54 countries that make up the Commonwealth. They are offered specifically to low- and middle-income individuals in order to give support to students who would be unlikely to reach their full academic potential.

    • Euraxess UK is an online portal run through The British Council, another UK Government funded service that has historically supported overseas volunteering, training and work experiences.

    Grants from charities and trusts

    Postgraduate Studentships lists dozens of charities and trusts that offer study grants to student of all backgrounds. These are mostly in regard to research areas that the charity or trust is supporting. This includes women’s health, cancer treatments, and also issues that are of relevance to a specific region or faith based.

    These require candidates to meet specific requirements. There can be a number of opportunities available that cover postgraduate study at all stages of the student journey, from post undergraduate through to post-doctoral.

    Crowdfunding your studies

    Crowdfunding has grown in popularity in recent years. More online platforms have been established to offer sources of money for good causes. Websites such as GoFundMe are part of the mainstream in the US and individuals use the site to raise cash for graduate study. The funding environment in the US is different from the UK and Europe.

    Students who set up successful crowdfunding campaigns are often supported by wealthy supporters. They recognise their fundraising efforts and then step in to support the student. This happens after a student has achieved traction for their efforts from online and mainstream media

    The publicity they attract is the catalyst for drawing interest from benefactors. Benefactors notice individuals via their crowdfunding campaign. In these instances, the student is expected to refund any monies raised if the benefactor provides the majority of financial support.

    Other ways of reaching a similar outcome is by vlogging on YouTube and enabling donations to a channel via Patreon. This type of investment covers the costs of creating new video content rather than diverting the funds towards further study.

    Sponsorship from your employer

    Employer sponsorship is the primary source of training and development courses offered by healthcare providers. Programmes are designed in collaboration with universities to meet the needs of Health Trusts and individual departments.

    This type of Continual Professional Development (CPD) is a pre-requisite of continual professional development for thousands of healthcare workers. It is a mandatory requirement to maintain their professional practice registration by the completion of an agreed number of CPD hours each year.

    The UK Government Apprenticeship scheme has been a very successful. Organisations have been able to improve the quality of their staff training outcomes through partnering with local education providers to tap into the Apprenticeship Levy.

    There are a number of masters level qualifications that reputable universities have established. These are L7 equivalent qualifications such as an MBA or Leadership Masters degree.

    Top Tip - Start looking as early as possible to find the best scholarship offers

    Most scholarship schemes are funded by charities and trusts that have an interest in widening access to education. Universities are just as committed to this cause, so you should make searching for funding an equal priority to searching for a masters course.

    Find an bookmark any pages on university websites that list sources of funding, and regularly refresh your browser so you are alerted to any changes.