Every year, UK schools, colleges and universities attract thousands of students just like you. Many students who come to study in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales rely on help from family and friends to meet the costs of course fees and living expenses.
There are a number of bursaries and scholarships to help you fund your studies, so make sure you don’t miss out on any financial help that may be available to you.
Where do you start?
To find out whether you might be eligible for a scholarship or for financial grant support, start by asking the Ministry of Education in your own country.
Another good place to find out more is right here, on the Education UK website! You’ll find a scholarship tab in the Search box at the top right -hand side of every page. There are details of thousands of scholarships, so you can find those that are appropriate to your country of origin, level of study, subject, and whether you want to study at school, college or university.
And your local British Council office will have information about UK and country-specific award schemes.
A variety of scholarships and awards to help international students come to the UK to study are offered by UK government departments and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and a number of other UK organisations. While most of these awards tend to be for postgraduate-level study, many UK universities, schools and colleges also offer a range of awards for international undergraduate students.
When should you apply?
It’s important to apply in plenty of time; the deadline for many awards is often a whole academic year before the start of the course.
Boarding schools and colleges
Many boarding schools and colleges offer a range of bursaries and scholarships to help with the cost of fees. These are usually awarded to people with particularly strong academic or musical ability, or who are in financial need.
Scholarships and bursaries can cover all or part of the fees, depending on the school and the type of award.
To apply for a scholarship, gifted students are usually invited to take part in an open exam or test, normally held in the academic year before admission. Alternatively, examination papers can be sent to British Council offices in the student’s home country so they can sit the exams locally.
The Independent Schools Council (ISC) website has guidance on scholarships for independent boarding schools.
Most higher education (HE) scholarships tend to be for postgraduate study, but many colleges and universities also offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for undergraduate students.
Many of these awards cover course fees (either a percentage each year, or sometimes the full tuition fee), while others also make a contribution to living expenses. They are usually awarded on the basis of academic achievement in your pre-university studies, or according to financial need.
Some UK universities offer a scholarship or ‘loyalty bursary’ to international students who remain at the university to take a degree after completing a previous course, such as a foundation programme, HND or Foundation Degree.
If you are following in the footsteps of one of your family members, such as your parent, your brother or sister who went to the same university, you may find you can apply for a family bursary.