UK student finance, scholarships, and other funding

Last modified: 12 January 2024

If you want to study in the UK, you will need to think about how you will fund your studies. There are costs to consider and plan for, such as paying for tuition fees and other course-related expenses, accommodation and living costs, as well as ongoing costs such as travel or other unexpected events.

It is important to understand whether you are eligible for UK student finance, which is provided to eligible students on undergraduate courses and some postgraduate courses.

There is also research funding available for some postgraduate study, and a limited number of scholarships for some students in specific situations. However, it is important to note that all funding comes with strict eligibility criteria.


UK student finance

Last modified: 12 January 2024

UK student finance for eligible students can include support towards the cost of your tuition fees, living costs and your course-related costs. It can take the form of a loan or a grant. There are also supplementary grants for specific categories of student, for example, disabled students.  

Student finance (also sometimes referred to as ‘student support’ or ‘student funding’) is offered by all four nations in the UK: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Each nation offers different types or levels of financial support.

You apply for support from the government of the UK country in which you normally reside – this may be different from the country you choose to study in.

UK student finance is not considered as one of the 'public funds', as defined in paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules. Therefore, a student with UK immigration permission containing a condition stating ‘no recourse to public funds’ would not be in breach of that condition by applying for, and receiving, financial support from the UK government.

After eligibility has been established, the relevant authority will assess your, and/or your family's, income to calculate the level of support to which you are entitled. If you are not eligible for student finance, you might want to consider applying for a scholarship.

In most cases, it is possible to apply for student finance for later years of your course even if you do not apply for student finance from the start of your course. You might wish to apply for student finance at a later stage because you believe you have become eligible for it or because you didn’t think you would need student finance at the start of your course, but you have experienced a change of financial circumstances. If you have experienced a change in your financial circumstances, but you are not eligible for student finance, you should read our information about unexpected financial hardship.

Undergraduate study 

Postgraduate study

Research funding

Other subject areas

Applying for UK student finance

Last modified: 12 January 2024




Northern Ireland



Last modified: 12 January 2024

Although there are scholarships available to study in the UK, many of them have strict criteria and can be highly competitive. They are usually for specific groups of people or for specific courses of study. Most of the scholarships on offer are for postgraduate-level students. A small number of undergraduate-level scholarships (which include bursaries and partial fee waivers) are offered by UK universities or colleges – get in touch with them directly to find out if you are eligible to apply.

When you apply for a scholarship, you will usually be expected to have first applied for UK student finance if you are eligible for it. In most cases, you will need an unconditional offer from a UK institution to study a specific course before you can apply for any scholarship.

Please note that UKCISA is not a funding organisation and we do not give grants or scholarships.

How to find a scholarship


Last modified: 12 January 2024

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