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UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Please note that the following information applies to the 2019/20 academic year, and may be subject to change for the 2020/21 academic year.

A new package of support was announced by the Welsh Government in Spring 2019 for postgraduate students that ordinarily reside in Wales and the EU (Non-UK). This package follows the recommendations made by Professor Sir Ian Diamond as a result of the Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance Arrangements that postgraduate Master’s study should be supported by a similar finance package to that which is available for undergraduate study.

If you receive funding under this scheme you'll still be eligible for our Master’s Excellence Scholarships.

Key facts

If you’re a Welsh or EU student starting a postgraduate master’s course, you could receive up to £17,000 as a combination of a grant and loan.

  • A maximum grant of £6,885 available to eligible students with a household income* of up to £18,370 per annum
  • A non-means tested contribution to costs grant of £1,000 available to all eligible students
  • A non-means tested contribution to costs loan available to all eligible students – the amount of loan available will be equal to the level of total support (£17,000 in 2019/20) less the total grant (base grant plus additional grant) a student is eligible for.


Eligibility for the funding package remains the same as for the previous postgraduate loans:

  • This funding is only available if you don’t already hold a Master’s degree or other higher qualification gained either in the UK or overseas
  • This support is available for full standalone postgraduate Master’s courses such as an MSc, MA, MPhil, MRes, LLM, MLitt, MFA, MED or MBA.
  • Courses can be full-time, lasting one or two academic years, part-time, lasting two, three or four academic years, and studied at a university or college, or by distance learning.
  • You must be aged under 60 on the first academic year of their course.
  • You must be a UK national, have 'settled status' (that means no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK) or have section 67 leave to enter or remain in the UK as eligible students.
  • You must normally live in Wales, and not have moved there for the purposes of study.

You could also be eligible if you are:

  • a member of the UK Armed Forces, or a relative of someone in the UK Armed Forces, and studying on a distance learning course outside the UK
  • a refugee, or a relative of one
  • under humanitarian protection as a result of a failed application for asylum and living in Wales
  • granted Discretionary Leave to remain in the UK or a relative of someone granted Discretionary Leave to remain in the UK where no application for asylum has been made
  • granted leave to enter or remain in the UK or a relative of someone granted leave to enter or remain as a result of a failed asylum application
  • an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one
  • the child of a Swiss national, or the child of a Turkish worker.

If you are from another part of the UK but you are currently living in Wales while you study, you will not be eligible for the Welsh Master’s support package but may be eligible under a scheme from your home nation.

This support is not available for the following:

  • integrated master’s courses
  • Master of Architecture (MArch) qualification full-time
  • postgraduate doctoral degrees
  • master’s degrees that are undertaken as part of a Postgraduate Doctoral degree
  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) or Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
  • if students are receiving a healthcare or social work bursary from any of the following - NHS, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Student Awards Agency Scotland or the Care Council Wales.

Loan payments

You will get the first payment when you start your course, and your university confirms the course you are studying.

Payments will be made in three instalments of 33%, 33% and 34% for each academic year.

Key facts

  • Maximum loans for new students starting postgraduate master’s degree courses in 2019/20 were £10,906
  • Available for postgraduate master’s degrees across all subject areas, including MSc, MA, MBA, MPH, MTh, LLM, MPhil and MRes in all subject areas, but not available for the Master in Architecture (MArch), Postgraduate Diplomas (PgDip) and Postgraduate Certificates (PgCert).
  • Available for full-time, part-time and distance learning programmes.
  • A full-time programme can be one or two years long.
  • A part-time programme can last up to four years with the following restrictions: up to two years for the equivalent of a one year full-time course, up to four years for the equivalent of a two year full-time course, or a three year part-time course with no equivalent full-time course.


  • You must be a UK national (or an individual with settled status in the UK) and have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for three years on the first day of the first academic year of the course.
  • You must have a permanent home address in England, but you can have been elsewhere for temporary absences, such as for travelling and education, including for the purpose of completing an undergraduate degree.
  • You must be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of the course.

You would not be eligible if you already possess a master’s or doctoral degree or another higher level degree, this includes integrated master’s degrees such as MEng, MChem and MPharm and even qualifications achieved outside the UK but does not include Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

EU students are eligible to study a distance learning master’s degree at Cardiff University as long as they are a permanent resident in England.

Information on how to apply is available on the Student Awards Agency Scotland website.

Information on how to apply is available on the nidirect government services website.