Costs of learning: student funding guide 2019 to 2020

Funding guide for learners and students including those going to college or university.

Funding for postgraduate courses

Postgraduate Loans

If you are planning to study on a full time or part-time postgraduate course you may be eligible to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 towards the cost of your tuition fees. Full Time students may also be eligible for a living cost loan of up to £4,500.

Courses can be taught, research based or delivered via distance learning. However, there must be a minimum amount of teaching or contact time between the student and teaching staff at the institution. For example, courses which are entirely correspondence based or delivered exclusively online may not be eligible.

You can find out more on the SAAS website -

Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)

If you take this course you may be eligible for the same funding as an undergraduate unless you have already taken a postgraduate course

If you are studying a PGDE course in a priority subject you may receive an award no matter what you studied in the past. You can get more information from SAAS about priority subjects for 2019-2020.

Funding from a Research Council

The UK Research Councils fund some postgraduate degrees, such as a Masters degree or a Doctorate (PhD). All the Research Councils are independent from each other. Even if your course meets their conditions for funding it does not mean you are guaranteed support. Research Councils each have their own rules for awarding grants to students on postgraduate courses.

Other funding

Most students on postgraduate courses fund themselves, whether through loans from banks, asking a company or organisation to sponsor them, receiving help from educational trusts or studying part-time so they can work.

Help for disabled students on a postgraduate course

If you are a postgraduate student, you may also be eligible for the Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA), as long as you are not receiving support from a Research Council or the Scottish Social Services Council, who can provide similar support to the DSA. The amount of basic allowance you receive and any allowance for your non-medical helpers will be in line with the time you spend studying. For example, if you are studying 50% of an eligible full-time Higher Education qualification, you will be able to claim 50% of these allowances.

More information on postgraduate funding can be found at

Part-time students

Part-time study includes all study that is not full-time and can range from a morning/afternoon or evening class, day or block release, and can include infilling into classes of full-time courses.

As a part-time student you can claim for some of the same support as full-time students, such as:

  • childcare costs;
  • help from the Discretionary Fund; and
  • help towards travel and study costs.



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