The United Kingdom has a long history of welcoming international students to study in its universities and colleges. Besides the fact that the top part of every list of world university rankings are dominated by British universities – proving that British universities provide high-quality education – undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the United Kingdom tend to be shorter than those in other countries including in the United States and Australia, which can help prevent you from spending so much money on your studies. Even so, almost every British university provides financial support to the students, in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and bursaries. In addition, the United Kingdom governments also provide the support to allow students, specifically UK and EU students, study for free or have the tuition fees waived.
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The university is made up of 38 constituent colleges, and a range of academic departments which are organized into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city center.
UK ad EU students from a lower-income household are eligible to receive an annual non-repayable Oxford Bursary to help with their living costs. The amount of bursary each person gets will depend on their household income.
There are also numerous scholarship programs that the students at Oxford can apply for, such as:
- Moritz-Heyman Scholarships: for UK residents studying their first undergraduate degree and are from a household with an income of ₤16,000 or less. There is no separate application process for this scholarship.
- Hill Foundation Scholarship: for Russian nationals wishing to study for a second undergraduate degree.
- The D.H. Chen Foundation Scholarship: for students ordinarily resident in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
- Oxford Center for Islamic Studies Scholarship: for UK residents from Muslim communities.
- Chevening Scholarships: offered in over 150 countries and are generally awarded for one year master’s courses.
- The Claes Isacson Scholarship: for students from any country who are studying a subject related to the shipping industry and/or marine insurance business.
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world and the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. It is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent colleges and over 100 academic departments organized into 6 schools. Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the world’s oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world. The university also operates 8 cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden.
There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Colleges, departments, Research Councils and central University funds. You can use the Cambridge Funding Search page to find out which type of funding you might be eligible for, and how and when to apply.
- Cambridge Trust: awards approximately 500 scholarships annually to selected students at PhD, Masters and undergraduate level, in all subjects.
- Gates Cambridge: awards 95 full-cost scholarships each year for a postgraduate degree in any subject at the University of Cambridge.
- UK Research Councils: fund research in arts, humanities, science, and engineering disciplines. Scholarships are normally for doctoral study.
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, England. It was established in 1907 by Royal Charter, bringing together the Royal College of Science, Royal School of Mines, and City and Guilds College. In 1988, the Imperial College School of Medicine was formed through a merger with St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. In 2004, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Imperial College Business School.
The main campus is located in South Kensington, with a new innovation campus in White City. The college also has a research center at Silwood Park, and teaching hospitals throughout London. With more than 140 countries from outside the UK, the university is amongst the most international in the world.
Imperial College London provides a variety of financial support such as bursaries, scholarships, loans and grants. The Imperial Bursary scheme provides support on a sliding scale for Home undergraduate students with annual household incomes of up to ₤60,000. Home and EU students who meet certain criteria can also apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government. This will cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of study, which means they don’t have to pay any money towards their fees while they are studying. The loan is not means-tested so, unlike the Maintenance Loan for living costs, it doesn’t matter what your household income is. The Maintenance Loan is designed to support full-time Home students with their living costs e.g. food, rent and travel.
Other funding opportunities offered are Professional Career Development Loans, US student loans, Canadian student loans, President’s Undergraduate Scholarships, Non-Imperial scholarships (undergraduate), Imperial College PhD Scholarship Scheme, Non-Imperial scholarships (postgraduate), and Research Council studentships.
University College London (UCL)
UCL is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. It is a constituent college of the federal University of London, and is the third largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment, and the largest by postgraduate enrolment. Established in 1826 as London University, UCL was the first university institution to be established in London, and the first in England to be entirely secular and to admit students regardless of their religion. UCL also makes the contested claims of being the third-oldest university in England and the first to admit women. It has its main campus in the Bloomsbury area of central London, with a number of institutes and teaching hospitals elsewhere in central London and satellite campuses in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London and in Doha, Qatar. UCL is organized into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centers.
UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies. You can search for the right scholarship that you may be eligible to apply for using the Scholarships finder. Below is a list of some of the financial support provided by UCL.
- UCL Bursaries
- UCL Undergraduate Bursary: for full-time UK/EU students who apply for income-assessed student support (including those provided in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland or via the NHS Grants Unit), where assessed household income is ₤42,875 or less. Part-time students from the UK and EU studying at a level of at least 25% of the full-time equivalent, and whose assessed household income is ₤42,875 or less, will also be eligible to receive a UCL Undergraduate Bursary.
- UCL Care Leaver Bursary: awards of ₤1,000 per year for the duration of the program, for prospective UK students who live in or have lived in care for more than three months.
- UCL Scholarships: scholarships for UK and EU students based on both academic merit and financial need. Some scholarships are tied to particular departments and some are open to all. Certain awards are restricted to student from specific countries.
- UCL Financial Assistance Fund: financial assistance for UCL students who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulty once they have enrolled.
The University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s ancient universities. The university is deeply embedded in the fabric of the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university.
The University of Edinburgh is ranked 18th in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2019. It is ranked as the 6th best university in Europe by the U.S. News’ Best Global Universities Ranking, and 7th best in Europe by the Times Higher Education Ranking.
Loans, bursaries and scholarships are offered at the University of Edinburgh for undergraduate and postgraduate students. These financial aid opportunities can be found on the scholarship search. Below is a list of some of the awards available to prospective and current, undergraduate and postgraduate students.
- Beit Trust and University of Edinburgh Scholarship
- Chevening Scholarships
- Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
- The Cross Trust
- GEN Foundation Scholarships
- John Watson’s Trust
- Kennedy Scholarship
- Kerr-Fry Awards
- Schilizzi Foundation
- The Ruth Page Scholarship
The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is a public research university in Manchester, England, formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester. Its main campus is south of Manchester city center on Oxford Road. The university has approximately 40,000 students and 10,000 staff, making it the second-largest university in the UK (out of 167 including the Open University), and the largest single-site university. For 2018-19, the University of Manchester was ranked 29th in the world and 6th in the United Kingdom by QS World University Rankings.
The University is committed to supporting students from low-income households through its financial support packages. The Manchester Bursary is available to UK students registered on an eligible undergraduate degree course at Manchester and who have had a full financial assessment carried out by Student Finance England. This cash bursary is additional to the Government package of support. The University also offers generous financial support worth up to ₤4,000 for UK students enrolling on its foundation ‘Year 0’ programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Biosciences, Science and Engineering.
The University’s Undergraduate Access Scholarships are generously funded by the University’s alumni community and donors. These scholarships are in addition to any other bursaries students may receive from the University.
The Equity and Merit Scholarships for international students assist talented but economically disadvantaged students from some of the world’s poorest countries. The University of Manchester offers two types of scholarship:
- One-year, full-time, on-campus master’s – 17 scholarships
- Part-time distance learning master’s (three to five years’ duration) – 10 scholarships
The Equity and Merit Scholarships are available to students from Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania. The scholarships cover full tuition fees, and for students who will be studying in Manchester, the award includes return international air fares, living expenses and visas.
Some Faculties and Schools across the University have their own scholarships that are awarded on the basis of specific criteria.
King’s College London
King’s College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a founding constituent college of the federal University of London. King’s was established in 1829 and claims to be the fourth-oldest university institution in England. It has five campuses: its historic Strand Campus in central London, three other Thames-side campuses and one in Denmark Hill in south London. It is the 12th largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment. It has the fifth-largest endowment of any university in the United Kingdom, and the largest of any in London. Its academic activities are organized into nine faculties which are subdivided into numerous departments, centers and research divisions.
There are numerous scholarship and bursary opportunities at King’s such as:
- Li Ka Shing Foundation Lord Sandberg Memorial Scholarship
- Harilela Scholarship
- UNITE Foundation Scholarship
- Sanctuary Scholarship
- King’s Living Bursary
Information about the wide range of postgraduate funding opportunities both at King’s College London and externally can be found via the searchable online Postgraduate Funding Database. King’s administers and provides an extensive range of funding opportunities for postgraduate taught courses and postgraduate research courses throughout the year. The King’s Center for Doctoral Studies also administers / offers a wide range of postgraduate studentships and bursaries for both masters and doctoral / PhD programs. The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online is all about alternative sources of funding, especially charities or trusts which make awards (fees, maintenance, research costs) to any student regardless of subject, or nationality.
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
The London School of Economics (officially the London School of Economics and Political Science, often referred to as the LSE) is a public research university located in London, England, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895, LSE joined the University of London in 1900 and established its first degree courses under the auspices of the University in 1901. The LSE started awarding its own degrees in 2008, prior to which it awarded degrees of the University of London.
The LSE has more than 11,000 students and 3,300 staff, just under half of whom come from outside the UK. Despite its name, the school is organized into 25 academic departments and institutes which conduct teaching and research across a range of legal studies and social sciences. It has over 40 undergraduate degree programs and over 160 graduate programs.
Each year, LSE awards scholarships and financial support to its students. In addition to LSE’s own funds, students may be able to access scholarships and financial support from governments and agencies around the world. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students, whilst Government support is available to UK and some EU students.
- Kadas Scholarship
- LSE Stelios Scholarships
- UK Undergraduate Scholarship
- LSE Access to Education Gradate Scholarships
- The Snowdon Scholarship Scheme at LSE
- Anniversary Scholarships
- Graduate Support Scheme
- Master’s Awards
- Awards for Home UK/EU Students
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a red-brick research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1909, although like the University of the West of England and the University of Bath, it can trace its roots to the Merchant Ventures’ Technical College, founded as a school in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers. Its key predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.
Bristol is organized into 6 academic faculties composed of multiple schools and departments running over 200 undergraduate courses largely situated in the Tyndalls Park area of the city. It is ranked 51st by the QS World University Rankings 2019, and is ranked amongst the top 10 of UK universities by QS, THE and ARWU.
The University of Bristol provides the support you need to take control of your finances. It offers a comprehensive package of financial support to students from low-income backgrounds, in addition to the support provided by the UK government.
- Futures Scholarships
- The Rosie Lavender Bursary
- The Anne Sleigh Bursary
- The Christopher Frederick Edwards Bursary
- The Denise Coates Foundation Bursary
- The Department of Economics Bursary
- The Nicholls Arts Bursary
- The Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship
- The Bristol Standalone Bursary
- The Sanctuary Scholarship
The University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university on the outskirts of Coventry, England. It was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand higher education. It is consistently cited as amongst the world’s most targeted university institutions by employers. It is organized into three faculties – Arts, Science Technology Engineering and Medicine (STEM), and Social Sciences – within which there are 32 departments. Warwick Arts Center, a multi-venue arts complex in the university’s main campus, is the largest venue of its kind in the United Kingdom outside London. Warwick consistently ranks in the top 10 of all major domestic rankings of British universities. It is ranked 7th in the UK for its research, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) by GPA. It ranks 54th in the world by according to the QS World University Rankings 2019.
The University of Warwick provides several different scholarships to its undergraduate students. These include sporting and musical bursaries, and scholarships offered by commercial organizations as well as tuition fee loans for EU students, international scholarships and sanctuary scholarships. As for its postgraduate students, the University will allocate over 250 scholarships across all its subjects, for home and international students, through its departments, doctoral training centers, and central university funds.