A Step-by-Step Guide to Financing Your Studies in the UK

A Step-by-Step Guide to Financing Your Studies in the UK

The United Kingdom is one of the most popular study abroad destinations for international students. It is also the perfect destination for students who want to study in English. However, with the country’s popularity there also comes a hefty price tag as tuition fees continue to rise in the UK every year.

Accordingly, a precondition of studying in the United Kingdom is that students are able to show proof of financial support while in the country.  The UK government expects students to prove that they will not require government support at any time during their studies.  Although, it is difficult to assess the exact amount of funds needed to get visa approval, since certain areas within the country are more expensive than others.

For this reason, when deciding where to apply, there are some important factors to consider, such as tuition fees, housing costs, and living expenses.   All three add up and are used during the visa approval process.  If you are not able to prove that you can fund your studies and living expenses, you risk your visa not getting approved.  Therefore, It is important to do your research when deciding where to study in the UK.

There are many ways to fund your studies while studying in the UK. We have compiled a list of funding sources to consider when arranging your financing.

Financial Aid

Students from the United States have the option of using Financial Aid as a source of financing. Eligible US students are able to access federally-subsidized Stafford and PLUS loans to help finance their studies. 

The maximum amount that a student can borrow each academic year depends on eligibility and loan limits  determined by the estimated Cost of Attendance (COA); an assessment of how much it will cost you to study for one academic year.

The amount you can borrow through Direct Loans is determined by your COA and the borrowing limits are set by the US Department of Education.

The following criteria is used to calculate your Cost of Attendance (COA):

  • Tuition fees (deduct any scholarships received)
  • A set monthly amount for living expenses, including books and supplies
  • One return flight home
  • Any fees or charges associated with taking a Direct Loan (usually charged when the loan is paid to you)
  • Deductions representing your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Any other Estimated Financial Aid (EFA) that you will be receiving.

UK Participating Institutions:

3435300Anglia Ruskin UniversityCambridgeENGLANDEligible
3794400Anglo European College of ChiropracticBournemouthENGLANDEligible
3589400Arts University College at Bournemouth (The)PooleENGLANDEligible
1225800Aston UniversityBirminghamENGLANDEligible
3533300Bath Spa UniversityBathENGLANDEligible
1221500Birmingham City UniversityBirminghamENGLANDEligible
3350300Bournemouth UniversityPooleENGLANDEligible
1178000Brunel University LondonMiddlesexENGLANDEligible
869300City UniversityLondonENGLANDEligible
1049300Cranfield UniversityBedfordENGLANDEligible
2310500De Montfort UniversityLeicesterENGLANDEligible
3859400Falmouth UniversityFalmouthENGLANDEligible
1176500Goldsmiths College - University of LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
2196700Guildhall School of Music & DramaLondonENGLANDEligible
4180700Heythrop College, University of LondonLondonENGLANDDeferment Only
4180700Heythrop College, University of LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
1156700Imperial College of Science, Technology and MedicineLondonENGLANDEligible
1081600Kingston UniversityKingston Upon ThamesENGLANDEligible
3501400Leeds Beckett UniversityLeedsENGLANDEligible
4115900Liverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolENGLANDEligible
3287300Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (The)LiverpoolENGLANDEligible
3580300Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolENGLANDEligible
2108600London Academy of Music & Dramatic ArtLondonENGLANDEligible
4134200London Contemporary Dance SchoolLondonENGLANDEligible
1057400London International Film SchoolLondonENGLANDEligible
2235300London Metropolitan UniversityLondonENGLANDEligible
3738300London School of TheologyNorthwoodENGLANDEligible
3352300London South Bank UniversityLondonENGLANDEligible
845800Loughborough UniversityLoughboroughENGLANDEligible
3033300Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterENGLANDEligible
2180500Middlesex UniversityLondonENGLANDEligible
2496700National Film & Television SchoolBeaconsfield, BucksENGLANDEligible
3770300Nazarene Theological CollegeManchesterENGLANDEligible
4076300Newcastle CollegeNewcastle upon TyneENGLANDDeferment Only
4076300Newcastle CollegeNewcastle upon TyneENGLANDEligible
4244500Norwich University of the ArtsNorwichENGLANDEligible
3092500Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamENGLANDEligible
2087900Oxford Brookes UniversityHeadingtonENGLANDEligible
4218800Regent's University LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
1059400Richmond, The American International University in LondonRichmond Upon ThamesENGLANDEligible
2101900Roehampton UniversityLondonENGLANDEligible
3807300Rose Bruford CollegeSidcupENGLANDEligible
1176400Royal Academy of MusicLondonENGLANDEligible
4181800Royal Agricultural UniversityCirencesterENGLANDDeferment Only
1008900Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (The)LondonENGLANDEligible
942300Royal College of ArtLondonENGLANDEligible
1233500Royal College of MusicLondonENGLANDEligible
2320500Royal Northern College of MusicManchesterENGLANDEligible
3824300Royal Veterinary College (The), University of LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
3080300Sheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldENGLANDEligible
2561600Southampton Solent UniversitySouthamptonENGLANDEligible
2266600St George's Hospital Medical SchoolLondonENGLANDEligible
4143700St Mary's University TwickenhamTwickenham LondonENGLANDEligible
1052000Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and DanceGreenwichENGLANDEligible
4212900University College BirminghamBirminghamENGLANDEligible
2338900University for the Creative ArtsFarnhamENGLANDEligible
1167900University of BathBathENGLANDEligible
890800University of Birmingham (The)BirminghamENGLANDEligible
1219800University of BradfordBradfordENGLANDEligible
3517300University of BrightonBrightonENGLANDEligible
763200University of BristolBristolENGLANDEligible
3012700University of BuckinghamBuckinghamENGLANDEligible
403000University of CambridgeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2207300University of Cambridge - Christ's CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
1033200University of Cambridge - Clare CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2271700University of Cambridge - Clare HallCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2167400University of Cambridge - Corpus Christi CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2052400University of Cambridge - Darwin CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
685000University of Cambridge - Downing CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2186100University of Cambridge - Emmanuel CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
992700University of Cambridge - Fitzwilliam CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
1210100University of Cambridge - Girton CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
1230200University of Cambridge - Gonville & Caius CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2142000University of Cambridge - Homerton CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2232100University of Cambridge - Hughes HallCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2296300University of Cambridge - Jesus CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2177700University of Cambridge - King's CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2116700University of Cambridge - Lucy Cavendish CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2186000University of Cambridge - Magdalene CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2272200University of Cambridge - Murray Edwards CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2087400University of Cambridge - Newnham CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
669100University of Cambridge - Pembroke CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
1175800University of Cambridge - PeterhouseCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2082400University of Cambridge - Queen's CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2212300University of Cambridge - Robinson CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
1283900University of Cambridge - Saint John's CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
3494400University of Cambridge - Selwyn CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2133400University of Cambridge - Sidney Sussex CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2094400University of Cambridge - St Edmund's CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
3492400University of Cambridge - St. Catharine's CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
1207500University of Cambridge - Trinity CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2335100University of Cambridge - Trinity HallCambridgeENGLANDEligible
2083400University of Cambridge - Wolfson CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
1019000University of Cambridge Churchill CollegeCambridgeENGLANDEligible
3515300University of Central LancashireLancashireENGLANDEligible
4170900University of ChesterChesterENGLANDEligible
3694300University of ChichesterChichesterENGLANDEligible
3728300University of DerbyDerbyENGLANDEligible
858700University of DurhamDurhamENGLANDEligible
1091500University of East AngliaNorwichENGLANDEligible
3045000University of East LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
868700University of EssexColchesterENGLANDEligible
944200University of ExeterExeterENGLANDEligible
3880300University of Gloucestershire (The)CheltenhamENGLANDEligible
3619300University of GreenwichLondonENGLANDEligible
1052500University of HertfordshireHatfieldENGLANDEligible
1297800University of Huddersfield (The)HuddersfieldENGLANDEligible
891000University of HullHullENGLANDEligible
3029400University of KeeleKeeleENGLANDEligible
866500University of KentCanterburyENGLANDEligible
944400University of LancasterLancasterENGLANDEligible
669200University of LeedsLeedsENGLANDEligible
2229100University of LeicesterLeicesterENGLANDEligible
3684400University of LincolnLincolnENGLANDEligible
924900University of Liverpool (The)LiverpoolENGLANDEligible
2095500University of London - London Business SchoolLondonENGLANDEligible
669300University of London - London School of Economics & Political ScienceLondonENGLANDEligible
2210000University of London - London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineLondonENGLANDEligible
669700University of London - Queen Mary and Westfield CollegeLondonENGLANDEligible
908600University of London - Royal HollowayEghamENGLANDEligible
669600University of London - School of Advanced StudyLondonENGLANDEligible
669400University of London - School of Oriental & African StudiesLondonENGLANDEligible
2120000University of London - The Courtauld Institute of ArtLondonENGLANDEligible
669500University of London - University College LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
908500University of London King's CollegeLondonENGLANDEligible
908400University of London, BirkbeckLondonENGLANDEligible
1213600University of Manchester (The)ManchesterENGLANDEligible
846000University of Newcastle Upon TyneNewcastle upon TyneENGLANDEligible
3029500University of Northumbria at NewcastleNewcastle Upon TyneENGLANDEligible
892000University of NottinghamNottinghamENGLANDEligible
839400University of OxfordOxfordENGLANDEligible
1009000University of Oxford - Balliol CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
2271900University of Oxford - BlackfriarsOxfordENGLANDEligible
1107200University of Oxford - Brasenose CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
2271800University of Oxford - Campion HallOxfordENGLANDEligible
1107100University of Oxford - Christ Church CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1008800University of Oxford - Corpus Christi CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1107000University of Oxford - Exeter CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
3492300University of Oxford - Green Templeton CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
3494600University of Oxford - Harris Manchester CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106900University of Oxford - Hertford CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106800University of Oxford - Jesus CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106700University of Oxford - Keble CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1105500University of Oxford - Lady Margaret HallOxfordENGLANDEligible
1276500University of Oxford - Linacre CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106600University of Oxford - Lincoln CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1086600University of Oxford - Magdalen CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1183800University of Oxford - Mansfield CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106500University of Oxford - Merton CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106400University of Oxford - New CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106300University of Oxford - Nuffield CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106200University of Oxford - Oriel CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106100University of Oxford - Pembroke CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1106000University of Oxford - Queen's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1220100University of Oxford - Regent's Park CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1098000University of Oxford - Somerville CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1105400University of Oxford - St Anne's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1105900University of Oxford - St Antony's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
3494500University of Oxford - St Benet's HallOxfordENGLANDDeferment Only
3494500University of Oxford - St Benet's HallOxfordENGLANDEligible
963400University of Oxford - St Catherine's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1105800University of Oxford - St Edmund HallOxfordENGLANDEligible
1105300University of Oxford - St Hilda's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1094200University of Oxford - St Hugh's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1086700University of Oxford - St John's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1008700University of Oxford - St Peter's CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1105700University of Oxford - Trinity CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1105600University of Oxford - University CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1099900University of Oxford - Wadham CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1227500University of Oxford - Wolfson CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
1078900University of Oxford - Worcester CollegeOxfordENGLANDEligible
2183500University of Oxford - Wycliffe HallOxfordENGLANDEligible
4227300University of Oxford-St. Stephen's HouseOxfordENGLANDEligible
2352100University of PlymouthPlymouthENGLANDEligible
2115900University of PortsmouthPortsmouthENGLANDEligible
1014300University of ReadingReadingENGLANDEligible
900600University of Salford (The)SalfordENGLANDEligible
839800University of Sheffield (The)SheffieldENGLANDEligible
839900University of SouthamptonSouthamptonENGLANDEligible
3507300University of SunderlandSunderlandENGLANDEligible
986000University of SurreyGuildfordENGLANDEligible
669900University of SussexBrightonENGLANDEligible
3473300University of the Arts LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
2194800University of the West of England, BristolBristolENGLANDEligible
838000University of WarwickCoventryENGLANDEligible
3945300University of West LondonLondonENGLANDEligible
3945300University of West London (The)EalingENGLANDEligible
2195100University of WestminsterLondonENGLANDEligible
2149700University of Winchester (The)WinchesterENGLANDEligible
3085100University of WolverhamptonWolverhamptonENGLANDEligible
4128600University of WorcesterWorcesterENGLANDEligible
670000University of YorkYorkENGLANDEligible
3721300Writtle Agricultural CollegeChelmsfordENGLANDEligible
3721300Writtle University CollegeChelmsfordENGLANDEligible
4032300York St John UniversityYorkENGLANDEligible

UK Scholarships

The British government and several UK universities provide student scholarships to study in the United Kingdom. If you are interested in applying for a grant or scholarship, you need to start the process as early as possible. It can take several months to hear back if you have been approved.  

There are many scholarship portals available to students to help research scholarship opportunities. We have compiled a list of portals to begin your search.

Scholarships for International Students

Available to Students From:ScholarshipsEligibility
Multiple RegionsAga Khan Foundation International Scholarships / LoansMasters & PhD. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar and Mozambique.
Multiple RegionsAll Saints Educational TrustVarious.
Multiple RegionsBellerbys Colleges Outstanding Achievement ScholarshipsUndergraduate. Open to international students who are currently studying at Bellerbys College in Brighton, Cambridge, London or Oxford.
Multiple RegionsChevening Scholarships160 countries, Masters only.
Multiple RegionsCommonwealth Shared ScholarshipStudents from developing Commonwealth countries, selected subjects only. Masters only.
Multiple RegionsCommonwealth ScholarshipsStudents from developing Commonwealth countries, selected subjects only. Masters and PhD.
Multiple RegionsCommonwealth BEIS Scholarships for PhDStudents who are resident/citizens/refugees in Australia, The Bahamas, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cyprus, Malta or New Zealand
Multiple RegionsDistinguished Alumni ScholarshipsAny country. University of Birmingham alumni seeking to undertake a Masters.
Multiple RegionsFoundation PathwaysAny country, foundation study
Multiple RegionsGen Foundation ScholarshipsAny country. Postgraduate. Study and/or research in the field of natural sciences, in particular food sciences/technology.
Multiple RegionsIslamic Development Bank Scholarships56 countries, PhD only.
Multiple RegionsOpen Society Foundations Grant ProgrammeVarious grants, scholarships & fellowships with varying requirements.
Multiple RegionsRoberto Rocca FellowshipsStudent from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Romania, Venezuela. Candidates from the fields of Materials Science, Mechanical, Metallurgical or Petroleum Engineering and whose research offers potential benefits to the steel industry. PhD only.
Africa & Middle EastBeit Trust ScholarshipsMalawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe. Masters and PhD.
Africa & Middle EastEgyptian Government Research ScholarshipsEgypt. PhD. Awards are administered by the Egyptian Cultural Centre & Educational Bureau in London.
Africa & Middle EastEgypt Qalaa Scholarship (also know as 'Citadel Scholarships')Egypt. Masters.
Africa & Middle EastIsrael AJA Karten ScholarshipIsrael. Masters & PhD.
Africa & Middle EastIsrael Kenneth Lindsay Trust ScholarshipsIsraeli citizens (including those from all religious or other communities).
Africa & Middle EastKenya Higher Education Loans Board Loans & ScholarshipsKenya. Postgraduate.
Africa & Middle EastLebanon 'The British Lebanese Association' ScholarshipsLebanon. Masters.
Africa & Middle EastNigeria 'Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company' (SNEPCo) Postgraduate ScholarshipNigeria, MSc Geotechnical Engineering only
Africa & Middle EastOman Government ScholarshipsOman. Undergraduate & postgraduate.
Africa & Middle EastPalestinian Territories Gaza Fakhoora's ScholarshipPalestinian students from Gaza. Undergraduate & Postgraduate.
Africa & Middle EastPalestinian Territories 'Higher Education Scholarship Palestine' (HESPAL) ScholarshipJunior academic staff in Palestinian universities.
Africa & Middle EastSaïd Foundation ScholarshipSyrian, Palestinian (including Palestinians inside Israel), Lebanese or Jordanian students. Masters only.
Africa & Middle EastSaudi Arabia Government ScholarshipsSaudi Arabia. Various levels.
Africa & Middle EastSudan Gordon Memorial College Trust ScholarshipsSudan and South Sudan. Masters.
AmericasArgentina BEC.AR FundingArgentina.
AmericasCanadian Centennial Scholarship FundCanada. Postgraduate.
AmericasCanada Student Loans ProgramCanada. Government of Canada offers student loans to students who demonstrate financial need in most provinces and territories across Canada.
AmericasChile CONICYT (Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica Y Tecnologica) ScholarshipsChile. For leading Chilean students to undertake postgraduate study abroad at Masters and PhD level in a range of subject areas which includes science, engineering, architecture and business.
AmericasColombia COLFUTURO FundingColombia.
AmericasMexico CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) ScholarshipsMexico. CONACYT will consider most subjects for funding, however applicants to priority areas are at an advantage. PhD research applicants are a priority but masters applicants will also be considered. Note applicants must hold an 'unconditional' offer to study at a UK University before they can apply for a CONACYT scholarship. Applicants can apply to both the Federal level calls and State level calls which have different deadlines.
AmericasMexico FIDERH LoansMexico. Masters. Loans to support the education and self-improvement of technical and higher-degree specialists in scientific, technological and administrative fields that significantly contribute to the country's economic and social development.
AmericasMexico FUNED GrantsMexico. Masters. Subjects: Business Administration and Financing, Economics, Law, International Trade and Political Science, Engineering, Architecture, International Relations.
AmericasPeru PRONABEC FundingPeru.
AmericasSantander ScholarshipsStudents from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, USA or Venezuela. Masters.
AmericasUSA Federal Student Aid / Sallie Mae LoansUnited States citizens or permanent residents may be eligible. The University of Birmingham is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to offer the Federal Direct Loan Programme and the Funding, Graduation & Awards office process loan applications from July-Aug each year.
AmericasUSA Fulbright ScholarshipUSA, Postgraduate.
AmericasUSA Marshall ScholarshipUSA, Postgraduate.
AsiaAviva ScholarshipChina, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan & Vietnam. Masters only. Must be an Aviva customer or son/ daughter of Aviva customer.
AsiaAzerbaijan SOCAR ScholarshipsAzerbaijan. Masters.
AsiaCharles Wallace Trust Bursaries & FellowshipsStudents from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar or Pakistan. Various funding opportunities available at Masters or PhD level.
AsiaChina Medical Board Next Generation FellowshipsChina. Masters degree in fields related to Health Policy and Systems Sciences.
AsiaHong Kong Scholarship for Excellence SchemeHong Kong, Undergraduate and Masters.
AsiaIndia Goa Education Trust ScholarshipsGoan students, India. Masters.
AsiaIndia Inlaks ScholarshipsIndia. Masters (Excluding: Engineering, Computer Science, Business Studies, Medicine, Public Health, Fashion Design, Music and Film Animation).
AsiaIndia JN Tata Endowment Loan ScholarshipsIndia. Masters & PhD.
AsiaIndia Lady Meherbai D. Tata Education Trust ScholarshipsOpen to Indian women seeking postgraduate study.
AsiaIndia Ravi Sankaran Fellowship ProgramIndia. Masters in ecology or conservation fields.
AsiaIndonesia LPDP ScholarshipsIndonesia. Postgraduate.
AsiaKazakhstan Bolashak ScholarshipsKazakhstan. Masters
AsiaPakistan Higher Education Commission ScholarshipsPakistan. Postgraduate.

Loans and Grants through UK Government

The UK Government may provide some additional funding via loans and travel grants based on your programme and need. The process can differ based on region, so make sure to research the funding available to you.

University Financing

Many UK universities offer financing to international students.  Once you receive your letter of acceptance, contact your university’s international office and inquire if the university offers financing to international students.

Private Student Loans

If you have exhausted all of your options, and you are still coming up short, there are many private student loan organizations offering international students loans to finance your studies in the UK.

  1. IEFA International Students Loans
  2. InternationalStudentLoan.com
  3. InvestoPedia.com

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