Scholarships and other funding opportunities

Money is the single biggest barrier to people undertaking postgraduate study, and securing funding for your Masters or PhD is vital to realising your ambitions.

As a member of the Russell Group, we attract funding to support postgraduate study and research from all major research councils through a number of high profile Doctoral Training Partnerships, and via a multitude of philanthropic sources, as well as investing heavily ourselves.

Search for funding

Our fully searchable funding database contains every single PhD studentship and Masters scholarship we offer, as well as numerous bursaries and non-academic scholarships. You can search via subject, fee status, campus, level of study and more to find funding that fits you.

PhD funding

Research is at the heart of everything we do. Ranked 8th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014, we are a Russell Group university with an excellent research reputation, confirmed by our success in the recent REF 2014.

Our commitment to research excellence and desire to support and train the next generation of researchers means we are successfully involved with a number of Research Council-funded Doctoral Training Partnerships Doctoral Training Partnerships. These provide talented PhD students with funded support through their PhD, as well as the advantage of being part of a wider research community of other respected universities and organisations in the private and public sectors.

You can view University of Exeter PhD studentships currently available through Doctoral Training Partnerships and other funding sources by following the subject links below.

Doctoral Training Partnerships

We have successfully secured significant Research Council funding via our participation in a number of high profile Doctoral Training Partnerships. We are proud to boast significant relationships with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC),  Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Funding by subject


Search for available scholarships

Visit our dedicated page or search our funding database to find full details of our available scholarships.

Find out more

Contact the Postgraduate Research team in the School/College you are interested in studying in for details of their funding opportunities.

Many awards are competitive and merit-based, with deadlines often early in the admissions cycle, so if you are considering applying for a funding scheme, we recommend investigating options early.

Masters funding

In my city centre library I looked at the Grants Register, which lists various grants available to local students studying at postgraduate level. My scholarship in particular was aimed at those who had lived in the area where I grew up and had attended college or sixth form within the borough. The application form asked what course I was hoping to study and why I thought it would be beneficial to me and the wider society in the future. I was awarded the full cost of my tuition fees which took a huge weight off my mind!

Amy Huxtable, MSc Paediatric Exercise and Health.

Scholarships tend to be highly competitive and merit-based, so we recommend investigating options early as deadlines and eligibility vary. Many schemes will not cover full costs, but may go some way to reducing the costs.

You cannot normally hold more than one scholarship awarded by the University, but you can usually apply for as many external schemes as you like.

£10,000 scholarships available for 2015 entry

We are delighted to announce the availability of a significant number of scholarships, worth £10,000 each, which are offered to current undergraduate third year finalists who start a Masters programme in 2015. This scholarship is open both to our own students and those from other institutions.

Find out more about 2015 Masters scholarships (value £10,000)

University-wide scholarships for current Exeter students

To acknowledge the outstanding contribution you have made to the University during your time with us so far, and to help those of you who would like to stay on and study for a Masters degree, we are offering a range of Postgraduate Progression Scholarships for 2015. Most are awarded in the form of a reduction in fees.

£1,000 Progression Scholarship 

We are pleased to offer University of Exeter graduates progressing directly from undergraduate to postgraduate study in 2015 a £1,000 scholarship towards the cost of their tuition fees.

The scholarship is available to any 2015 University of Exeter graduate progressing to a taught Masters degree (eg MA; MSc; MRes; MFA) in all Colleges.

It also applies to the first year of a research degree in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences or the College of Life and Environmental Sciences if a taught Masters degree is not a pre-requisite and you are self-funding.

Find out more about the Progression Scholarship (value £1,000)

£3,000 Excellence in Cornwall Scholarship

Our Penryn Campus is part of a Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative and part-funded by the EU Regional Development Fund. Combined Universities in Cornwall is a partnership of six universities and colleges working together to give more people the chance to study in Cornwall, and to use university level education to help local businesses and communities to thrive.

In support of this ambition and in our drive for excellence, we are delighted to offer Excellence in Cornwall Scholarships. Each award, worth 20% of the tuition fee*, is payable as a reduction on your tuition fees for the first year only.

Find out more about the excellence in Cornwall Scholarship (value £3,000)

£7,500 Business School World Class Progression Scholarship

The Business School will award a generous £7,500 scholarships for up to two University of Exeter graduates who gain First Class Honours and progress directly to Masters study in The Business School in September 2015.

The Scholarships are competitive and require you to submit an application form with a 1500 word essay on what you consider to be "The Most Challenging Aspects of Today's Global Business Environment."

Find out more about the Business School World Class Progression Scholarship (value £7,500)

Other University of Exeter scholarships

GREAT University of Exeter Scholarships

The University of Exeter and British Council are delighted to offer a number of GREAT University of Exeter Scholarships – India 2015 to residents from India who accept a place to study on eligible programmes, enrolling in 2015. Further details can be found on our International Office pages.

Merit Scholarships

Our range of merit scholarships reward the very best students based on extra-curricular achievements. The University of Exeter is pleased to offer the following awards from September 2015.

Endowed scholarships

Endowed scholarships are financial gifts given to the university to help students fund their studies. Often they come with a number of conditions and are subject to an annual funding review. For further details, please see our Endowed Scholarships for Masters students page.

College scholarships

Some of our Colleges offer awards for students studying taught Masters programmes with them. These awards are normally for general study with the College, study on specific programmes they offer, or for students from selected academic/employment backgrounds or countries.

The Business School

The Business School offer a range of scholarships for their MBA programme, as well as a number of international scholarships for students from spoecific countries. Full details of their scholarships can be found on their dedicated Masters and One Planet MBA funding pages.

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

The College offers several scholarships, including a Career Mentor Scholarship. Full details can be found on their dedicated funding page.

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

The College offers numerous scholarships including awards for academic distinction and for students from specific countries. Full details of these and their other scholarships can be found on the dedicated funding page for each of the College's disicplines:

College of Social Sciences and International Studies

The College offers several scholarships, especially in the Strategy and Security Institute and The University of Exeter Law School.

Full details of these and other Masters funding can be found on the dedicated funding page for each of the College's disciplines:

External funding for Masters study

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme 

The Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and UK universities, to support students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study a Masters programme in the United Kingdom.

The University of Exeter has been granted a total of six awards. For more information on the scheme please visit our dedicated page.

Charitable trusts

Details of charitable trusts and other funding organisations can be found in a number of publications including the Grants Register, published by Palgrave Macmillan, and the Directory of Grant-Making Trusts. These can be found in libraries and university careers services. Most of these organisations would only make a relatively small contribution towards the costs of your studies.

Kidderminster Medical Society

An award of £3,000 to help towards the first year of a 4 or 5 year Graduate Entry MBChB at a UK Medical School, see the Society website for further information and how to apply.

Other sources

Alternative funding

Whilst searching for funding for my masters, I came across a local charity called The Elizabeth Byford Trust, who provide grants to local people to support educational activities. Hearing that they were open for applications I wrote a short letter explaining I was self-funding a masters and wondered if they would be able to help. A month later they replied with a cheque for £750.

Will Nicholson, MSc Psychological Research Methods.

There are as many ways to pay for your postgraduate studies as there are postgraduate students; scholarships, studentships, wages, bursaries, savings, inheritance, and, increasingly, alternative methods such as crowdfunding and philanthropy.


You may have seen stories in the press about people crowdfunding to help pay their tuition fees. Crowdfunding services, such as,, or, allow you to raise monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet, and can help you fundraise directly towards the cost of your degree. It's worth researching the options available via these and other services to see if they suit your needs.


Our students have also had success securing funding from a range of local, national and international philanthropic sources, most usually charitable bodies. It's worth investigating parish churches, city councils, and other local bodies, many of which offer scholarships, grants, or bursaries of some kind.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online

We have subscribed to this online guide, which can help you find alternative sources of funding - especially charities - which can make awards (for fees, maintenance, or research costs) to any student regardless of subject, or nationality.

The guide contains a huge database of funding opportunities, comprehensive guidance, and numerous tools to help you prepare a winning grant application. The guide is free for all current University of Exeter students and staff; simply select 'logon automatically from campus'.

Login to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

Other sources of funding information's Funding Guide provides advice and guidance for funding postgraduate study.

The Department for Education provides information on funding for postgraduate teacher training programmes, such as a PGCE.

Turn2Us provides a searchable database of local grant-giving organisations, many of which are educationally motivated.