How to get a Scholarship


UK universities are among the best in the world, have flexible study plans, are connected to many industries, have famous alumni, and degrees that are recognised all around the world. However, getting into a UK university is an achievement in itself. Many find themselves unable to afford to study abroad, especially if they are international students looking to move to study in the UK.

What is a scholarship?

Scholarship is financial aid, provided by universities or third parties under certain criteria and students don`t need to pay it back. The amount that you are entitled to get will depend on your personal circumstances as well as your household income. So whether you have a Fulbright scholarship, Chevening scholarship, Marshall scholarship, Commonwealth scholarship or even a Rhodes scholarship, this will be given in the form of a grant to reduce your study costs.

Bursary vs Scholarship

Bursaries and scholarships are usually the same thing under different names and students will not have to pay them back. The bursary is also a type of grant, giving students some extra funds to enable their studies at university or college. There are lots of different types of bursaries, and you can get them from different departments. The main bursary will be from your institution, and the amount you will be able to get is based again on your household income.

Types of Scholarship

Academic excellence scholarships: many universities offer scholarships to students who achieve specified grades in their A Levels to encourage the higher achieving students to choose their university. They are not all asking for A*AA, some are offering money for ABB or less.

Musical scholarships: If you are good at singing or playing a musical instrument, and would be happy to perform during your stay at the university, you could be awarded a musical scholarship. You do not have to be studying Music to be eligible.

Personal circumstances: Scholarships that are based on your personal circumstances, such as where you come from, if you are a careleaver, what your parents do for a living, or your religion. These might come from local authorities, religious or charity organisations.

Financial need: These are the more traditional types of scholarships that award money to individuals who are in financial need and may not be able to attend university without the money. These are often called grants or bursaries and you may need to prove your financial situation to be awarded.

Sporting achievement: If you have made outstanding achievements in sports, many universities will offer scholarships to attract the best talent. You will, of course, have to compete for the university in your sport.

Company scholarships: More and more companies are starting to offer scholarships and some include work experience as part of the offer. Industry associations are also using scholarships to encourage new talent to join their profession. Females studying Engineering are in particular demand.

Your interests and hobbies: there are some scholarships that are based on your extra-curricular activities such as showing a commitment to social engagement or improving the lives of others.

Scholarship available for home students

Besides Student Finance and Postgraduate loans, which are available to home students and all UK residents, including EU nationals with settled/pre-settled status, there are a number of other grants, allowances, and scholarships available. However, these are usually restricted to people within certain criteria, such as students from low-income households.

We have compiled a list of scholarship providers and other resources below. It is also worth checking for scholarships provided by individual universities rather than larger organisations, such as Oxford and Cambridge. We have an extended list of university-specific scholarships at the bottom of the page.

Additionally, you should check UCAS for opportunities.

Scholarship for Undergraduate students

Undergraduate scholarships and financial help for international students are not as widespread as postgraduate ones. However, they are available if you know where to search. Some are given by UK universities, and others are provided by independent organisations, such as local governments or corporations.

The very first thing to do should be to check the UK Council for International Student Affairs – it is the first point of access to information on all kinds of funding. They do not provide scholarships themselves but it is an up-to-date repository of information on where you can find undergraduate scholarships in the UK.

After you have checked UKCISA, your next step should be UCAS, which provides more general news and information on available scholarships.

Scholarship for Postgraduate students

A.S. Hornby Trust Scholarship

Scholarship to improve the English language proficiency of teachers who teach English. The Hornby Educational Trust focuses on strengthening English language teaching in countries with lower and middle incomes.

British Council scholarship for women in STEM

The Women in STEM scholarship gives women scientists from eligible countries a chance to keep learning in STEM. They get a full scholarship for one year to finish a master's degree at a university in the UK.

Chevening Scholarship

If you're a determined future leader and want a postgraduate opportunity that will prepare you really well for success, then you might want to consider applying for a Chevening Scholarship. It's also a special opportunity for future leaders and important people to build a strong connection with the UK that will help them in their careers for a long time. The best candidates are selected by British embassies and high commissions all over the world.

Commonwealth Scholarship

The Commonwealth Scholarship is for Postgraduate students from countries in the Commonwealth, who have excellent academic records but do not have enough money to study in the UK.  If you're a refugee or a British-protected person, you can apply too.

GREAT Scholarship

Scholarship to improve the English language proficiency of teachers who teach English. The Hornby Educational Trust focuses on strengthening English language teaching in countries with lower and middle incomes.

Global Wales Scholarship for International Students

Scholarship to improve the English language proficiency of teachers who teach English. The Hornby Educational Trust focuses on strengthening English language teaching in countries with lower and middle incomes.

Society of Woman Engineers

SWE Scholarships help women who are studying in engineering, engineering technology, or related fields that are accredited by ABET. This helps them prepare for careers in engineering and similar areas.

University Scholarships

As mentioned above, it is also worth checking the websites of individual universities, as many of them provide their own scholarships for both home and international students. We have highlighted some of the most popular UK universities below.

Ready to find out more?

Check if you are qualified to apply for a student loan, provided by the UK Government. If you are an Undergraduate student you might be eligible for a Tuition Fee as well as a Maintenance Loan. Postgraduate students may apply for a Master's Loan. There are also some grants available for parents, disabled students, or students with low income.