How to get funding for your arts and humanities postgrad

Funding for arts and humanities master’s courses and PhDs is like gold dust. There is no national loan scheme for postgraduates like that available to undergraduates – which means that your ability to do a master’s is far more heavily dependent on how significantly funds you have. Just 22% of postgraduates think the present finance program is doing work.

Nonetheless, there are pots of income available for extraordinary candidates.

Analysis council studentships

Investigation councils, such as the Financial and Social Study Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Investigation Council (AHRC) offer complete scholarships for PhDs – covering charges and residing bills – to Uk and EU students who meet academic and residential specifications. They supply funding through networks of doctoral training centres (DTCs), rather than to students right.

The ESRC money 600 college students each year by means of 21 doctoral coaching centres at 46 institutions across the nation. Awards are well worth £13,863 in 2014-15.

Although the AHRC’s funding priorities incorporate contemporary languages and heritage, it even now supports subjects across arts and humanities. But it is now anticipated that any pupil undertaking an AHRC-funding master’s ought to be intending to continue to a doctoral degree.

As for maximising your odds of accomplishment, Dr Ian Lyne, associate director of programmes at the AHRC, says: “All productive AHRC-funded college students will be setting out research proposals that define strong and interesting study questions and show a great understanding of the appropriate research contexts.

“Their proposed research will be innovative, insightful, and will show their potential to make a actual contribution to information, scholarship and comprehending in the arts and humanities.”

University grants

Many universities supply scholarships for students on specific courses based mostly on academic merit. But these are fiercely contested and seldom cover the total expense of charges and living bills.

Dr Charlotte Hempel, director of the University of Arts and Law Graduate School at the University of Birmingham, says successful funding candidates also display a commitment to their picked course and prospective to contribute to the university neighborhood.

“Genuine enthusiasm constantly shines by means of. This implies hunting at data about the course and the modules, attending open days, visiting the campus and engaging with programme conveners and admissions tutors.”

Master’s candidates ought to recommend some first tips for their dissertations, “both in terms of how it fits in with the candidate’s specialist advancement and to the institution”, says Hempel.

Kathryn Maude, 25, got a £5,000 grant from the Institute for Medieval Scientific studies at the University of Leeds for a master’s in medieval research. “I was really fortunate to have my fees paid for me, and Leeds is a low-cost city – I do not feel I could have managed it otherwise. It’s a lot worse now that I’m funding my PhD in London by means of part-time operate. I want to operate 25 hrs a week to pay out lease and help myself.”

The best piece of guidance for candidates? Be organised when applying, says Sybil Adam, 23, who won a Wolfson Foundation Scholarship for her English literature PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

“Apply to 4 to five places and request for guidance from your proposed supervisors. Identify individuals you want to work with and excellent universities with a lot of funding and function from there. Your proposal has to be outstanding – give by yourself time to create an notion and get as a lot of individuals to appear at it as achievable.”

Charge special discounts for alumni

In a bid to hold on to students, some universities offer discounted fees to individuals with undergraduate degrees at their institutions.

Newcastle University alumni, for instance, are entitled to twenty% off their postgraduate fees if they’re self-funding and University of Essex alumni could qualify for cash off based on their undergraduate degree classification – with 33% off if you attain a 1st and 25% off for a 2.1.

Undergraduates at the University of Leicester are instantly entitled to a 10% low cost on postgraduate fees and at the University of Exeter, college students who carry on to most master’s degrees may possibly qualify for various scholarships.

Bank loans

Numerous will have no choice but to get out a loan to either partially or completely fund their postgraduate qualification. Occupation growth loans (CDL) of in between £300 and £10,000 are accessible for full- or component-time expert or vocational study. The government pays the interest for the duration of research, but repayments – at business interest rates – begin a month following the course finishes.

Despite their growing acceptance, only Barclays and the Co-Op financial institution offer the CDL.


For many, doing work portion-time to fund their research is needed. Naomi, 24, paid for her MLitt in comics scientific studies at the University of Dundee by functioning two portion-time jobs – as a existence-model and product sales assistant.

“I did not come to feel like I had sufficient time to get by means of the whole workload. I did the minimum and was exhausted for almost every class or seminar.” She thinks her last grade may possibly have been larger if she hadn’t essential to fully fund herself.

Even though at Leeds, Maude did her master’s whilst functioning part-time at the university library and it wasn’t an excellent arrangement for her either. She says: “I did my MA perform in the week and then worked my work at the weekends, so I did not have much time off or time to socialise.”

Leave a Reply