Scholarships and funding your studies

Last modified: 03 September 2015


Last modified: 03 May 2016

The British Council's Education UK website has a facility allowing international students, from both inside and outside the EU, to search for, and gain advice on, scholarships.

The following bodies also administer scholarships for specific groups of international students who study in the UK

  • Chevening Scholarships – "the UK government's global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations...awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK"
  • Marshall Scholarships – "finance young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the United Kingdom"
  • Commonwealth Scholarships – "The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which member governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries"
  • The Scottish Government lists scholarships for study in Scotland.
  • Study in Wales lists scholarships for study in the UK, including Wales.

Scholarships are, generally, limited in number, and have very specific target groups. They are always highly competitive and are aimed largely at postgraduate level students.

For undergraduate studies, scholarships (which include bursaries and partial fee waivers) are much rarer. However, a number are offered by UK universities or colleges for exceptional students. In most cases you will have to gain an offer of a place on a course at a UK institution before you are eligible to apply for any scholarship. In the first instance, you may wish to contact your prospective/chosen institution's financial support office, or international student office, for information on institution-specific scholarships, bursaries etc.

Please note that UKCISA does not sponsor students or give any type of scholarship or funding.

Government Student Support

Last modified: 01 October 2015

The education departments of the four UK countries - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - decide which categories of student are eligible for loans and grants. There are many different categories of eligible students, and the regulations can be quite complicated. We have produced summaries of these regulations for you in our Student support section.

Welfare benefits

Last modified: 30 July 2015

If you enter the UK as a student, immigration conditions mean that you cannot normally claim welfare benefits or tax credits.


Last modified: 27 November 2015

Do my work conditions change when the rules change?

Not immediately. New rules do not affect you if you already have immigration permission to be in the UK. You have to comply with the rules that were in force when you applied for that permission. However, if you need to make an immigration application to stay longer, the new rules will apply to you from the date when you are granted permission to stay.

For example, if you applied before 3 August 2015 for Tier 4 leave to study at a publicly-funded further education college, your work conditions show that you can work up to 10 hours per week. It is only those who applied on or after 3 August 2015 who are subject to the new rules, and have a prohibition on working, except for work placements that are an assessed part of your course, and you should then comply with that prohibition.

Can I pay for my studies through work?

You should be able to pay your tuition fees and living costs without having to work in the UK. However, if you need to make an immigration application in the UK, and you are working lawfully within the restrictions described above, you can use your UK earnings to show that you can meet the maintenance requirements. You should not rely on money from work in the UK because:

  • it can be difficult to find work
  • it is unlikely that you will earn enough to cover all your costs
  • you might lose your job
  • you might have problems with your studies if you spend too much time working.

Can I take a gap year and work full time?

No. If you want to defer your studies for a year, you should leave the UK and come back when your studies start again. You can work full time only in your vacations, or when you have finished your studies, or if you are doing a work placement or an internship