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THE UK: Student Finances

3 Scholarships in the UK to start you off...

Our guide to three key scholarships for international students in the UK


With one of the world’s highest standards of education, it’s not surprising that the UK is a keen choice for students looking to study abroad. But whilst it’s popular, you’ll still need to pay tuition fees and be able to support yourself as you study. There are plenty of funding options available to cater to needs of the UK’s high proportion of international students, and as selection is often competitive you should be sure to have a few funding options in mind before you apply to your study programme. Let our overview of three key scholarships get you started in planning your time abroad in the UK.

If you aren’t applicable for any of the scholarships listed, don’t worry: we’ve included plenty of links and tips to steer you in the right direction to find the funding option for you.

Funding Bodies

UK Government

There are a limited number of scholarships awarded to international students by the UK government. The main award granted is the Chevening Scholarship Programme, helping students that display key leadership potential and promise within their field to pursue Bachelor, Postgraduate and Doctorate studies in the UK. 

Sometimes UK government bodies may also work in partnership with foreign governments or organisations to create funding programmes for students of a particular nationality. You check if there are any available programmes for students of your nationality via the website of the UK embassy or consulate in your home country.

Click here to find your nearest UK embassy or consulate

Host University

Almost all universities in the UK will offer some kind of funding to international students. However, funding is more commonly offered to Postgraduate students, as their specific areas of focus (particularly in research programmes) are of a high value to the university. Scholarships are typically awarded based on academic merit, and as competition for funding is often high you should try to do anything you can to stand out in a positive way when completing your application. For example, you might mention any kind of volunteer work or work experience you’ve done in your field, community work or instances where you’ve been required to demonstrate leadership skills.

As well as scholarships, many UK institutions offer funding in the way of bursaries, reduced fees or one-time payments for students of particular circumstances. Usually the application process for university-granted funding will coincide with your university application process. You should always check and confirm these details on your host’s website.

External Companies and Funding Bodies

There is a breadth of external companies, councils, organisations and funding bodies that offer scholarship programmes to international students. For example, Research Councils UK has a number of different research bodies that offer Postgraduate funding based on study area.

External funding possibilities are virtually endless, and can be tracked down from anything as simple to an internet search of your study area to using a scholarship search engine such as The Scholarship Hub, the Postgraduate Funding Guide and

You can also search for a scholarship on our site via the scholarships page.



Chevening Scholarships

Awarded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organisations, Chevening Scholarships are granted to high-achieving students at Postgraduate level: typically, for a one-year Masters programme.

Selection is based on academic merit and students’ potential for future leadership in their field. Awards are granted across a range of study fields, including Politics, Business, Media, Environmental Studies and Religion. Whilst applications from all fields are accepted, there are certain areas that are prioritised depending on your home country. To find out application requirements specific to you, including deadlines and selection criteria, select the name of your home country from the drop-down box on this page.

To be eligible, you will need to prove that you intend to return to your home country after you’ve completed your studies, and will also need to hold a Bachelor degree equivalent to a UK upper second-class honours (2:1). If English is not your native language, you will also need to meet English language requirements.  

The Chevening application process is separate to your university application, but you will need to lodge both around the same time. You will need to apply online for a Chevening scholarship, and include a personal statement that outlines how you best fit the selection criteria. You will also need to nominate three UK Masters courses you would complete in order of preference, with your ‘reach’ course being your first choice.  If you have been shortlisted, you will be required to complete an interview.

Funding is either grated as a full or partial scholarship, will full awards covering tuition, travel to and from your home country, an allowance for start-up costs, visa costs, a thesis grant (if applicable), and a monthly allowance for living costs.

There is a comprehensive breakdown of the application process on the Chevening website.

Find the UK equivalent of your Bachelor degree

Click here to check the English language requirements

Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship EMEA

Inspired by Dr. Anita Borg’s ‘50/50 by 2020’ proposal, this scholarship works towards making 50% of computer degree graduates woman by 2020. Students studying Computer Science, Computer Engineering or a closely related field at Bachelor, Masters or PhD level at any UK university may apply.

You will need to apply for this scholarship online, and attach digital copies of your CV, essay responses, relevant academic transcripts and reference details. Before you apply you are required to register, and uour application MUST be submitted in English. Deadlines are subject to change year-to-year, but for example, in 2014 it was February 17 for a start in semester one of the 2014 academic year. There is some useful application advice on this page.

The award is a one-time payment of €7,000 (US$9,702) or equivalent. You must be currently enrolled at a university (any) in the year prior to the commencement of your study programme in the UK. Selection is based on academic merit, leadership capabilities and passion to excel in your field of study. All students on this award will also be invited to attend at retreat at Google, including student workshops, speakers and panellists.

QUEST Undergraduate Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded by the Queen’s Jubilee Scholarship Trust (QUEST) to high-achieving students about to commence Undergraduate study on an Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)-accredited Civil Engineering degree at a participating UK university. Most of the scholarships on offer are funded by external civil engineering and construction companies that work in partnership with ICE. Students are obliged to work for the company sponsoring their studies both during their summer holidays and in a full-time position once they graduate. Summer placements are paid, and awards granted are up to £2,500 (US$4,196) per year.

There are a small amount of scholarships funded directly by QUEST. Students on these awards will need to organise their own summer placements.

When you apply, you will need to nominate five companies that you would like to work for, in order of preference. You will need to download and complete an application form, collect your supporting documents and ask a referee to fill out a reference form for you. You will need to e-mail your complete application to: For a start in semester one of the 2014 academic year, the application deadline is June 5.

Students will need to prove their commitment to civil engineering, demonstrate a high academic standard (the equivalent of A B B predicted A2 level grades), leadership potential, ambition and strength of character. Shortlisted candidates will need to complete and interview. You may have up to five interviews, depending on the response to your application.

Check if my study programme is ICE-accredited

Find the UK equivalent of your high school qualification


Now that you know where to look in financing your studies, why not start browsing courses in the UK now and plan your study abroad adventure?

Useful Links

Tuition fees in the UK

3 Fields to study in the UK

Study in the UK


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About Author

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.