In today’s climate, it is increasingly difficult to achieve funding for postgraduate study. Many excellent applicants fail to secure funding every year, so if you don’t get funding, it doesn’t invalidate your proposed study or research. But what can you do to pursue it?
At Warwick, we offer a supportive, flexible environment for postgraduate study and research, to ensure that as many excellent students as possible can study here whether they have achieved funding or not. If you hold a place here, we would like you to take it up - and we hope that the following possibilities might enable you to fund it ‘without full funding’
There are many charities or societies offering some support for those taking PG study. Their awards will often be targeted by nationality, profession, or other factors, but it is worth persevering and thoroughly investigating charitable sources as there may well be one where you will fit the criteria – and as these are often very small organisations, they may be more flexible and responsive to individual circumstances than Research Councils. They are very unlikely to offer you complete funding, but you may be able to combine several awards and so go a considerable way towards complete funding.
Apply for a scholarship during your first year (PhD study only)
Many scholarships are not just to new applicants for PhD study, but also to those in the first year of a PhD course, in order to fund the second and third years. If you’ve been through the process once, could you learn from that to produce an even stronger application next time? Can you demonstrate new achievements since the last application – e.g. higher than predicted undergraduate or Master’s results, or a publication?
Work as a postgraduate tutor (PhD study only)
As a PhD student, there may be opportunities available to work as a postgraduate tutor for your department. Many departments employ PhD students to teach certain undergraduate modules. Contact your department directly to find out if this would be a possibility for you.
Apply to join the Residential Life Team
At Warwick postgraduate students are eligible to work as resident tutors in our halls of residence. The work is unpaid but on-campus accommodation is provided at a very low cost, so this will be a huge potential saving on your accommodation costs. Available posts are advertised on the Warwick website as and when they become vacant (a number of vacancies do normally emerge during each academic year) and are very competitive, as it is an excellent opportunity. Bear in mind that the Residential Life recruiters will be working to entirely different criteria to Research Councils – so if you are a responsible, people-orientated person who doesn’t mind working during some nights and weekends, this could be for you.
If you are a recent UG or taught PG student, bear in mind that academic fees for a PhD might be considerably less than you have paid for your previous courses: £4,270 for a full-time Home student in 2018-19. If a partner or family member can afford to support your living costs through three years of study, could you afford to pay the fees from your own finances? You might also choose to study part time (see below).
The government has introduced Postgraduate Loans which you can apply for if you:
- are studying a taught or research Master’s course,
- are aged under 60 years old at the start of the first academic year of your course, and
- normally live in England.
External companies offering loans
There are a number of commercial lenders who offer finance for postgradute students. The University of Warwick is not affiliated with the companies listed below and we would recommend researching the full terms and conditions before undertaking any finance. Please note that these are not government loans.
Study part time
For more information on studying part time, see the relevant postgraduate study page.
Work part time
Bear in mind part time work will need careful balancing with your academic commitments, whether you study full or part time – but Warwick is more realistic and helpful about students doing part time work than many other institutions.
Warwick offers a huge variety of opportunities to work part time for the University, from cleaning jobs to working as a Research Advisor in the Wolfson Research Exchange.
You can apply for jobs via our dedicated student employment agency, Unitemps. Unitemps can help you find temporary work both within the University and in the local area.
Additionally, every year Warwick Arts Centre recruits a number of students as volunteer stewards. Whilst this work is unpaid, the stewards are given free access to see many films, performances and exhibitions, so if this kind of cultural experience would be one of your expenses, you could save on it by becoming a steward.
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