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How To Fund Your Degree

Explore the different funding options open to international and EU students, from sponsorships and bursaries, to scholarships and loans

You can get financial assistance from various sources to help fund your course. Sources of financial help include sponsorship, bursaries, scholarships and loans. You can also get a discount on your tuition fees by referring a friend to the University.


In some cases, you may have your study sponsored by a government organisation or large company. This means that the organisation will pay your tuition fees (and sometimes your living costs), and may even be able to cover your deposit for you. In some cases, you might receive this sponsorship in the form of a scholarship.

There will usually be some terms and conditions, such as you returning to your home country after the course, or working for a particular organisation for a fixed time. You could get sponsorship for your undergraduate or postgraduate study, but you'll need to check the exact details with your sponsor.

Read more about sponsorship


Unlike a bursary, a scholarship is usually awarded to you on merit. This means that they are normally awarded to students who may have a proven skill in academics or athletic ability, or to those who fit the specific criteria of the scholarship.

Many scholarships have rules associated with them, such as an expectation that you maintain a high grade throughout your studies, and you'll normally need to follow these rules to continue receiving aid.

Unlike a loan, you are not expected to pay scholarships or bursaries back.

Read more about scholarships


Student loans are normally designed to help students pay for educational expenses, like tuition fees, course materials and living expenses. You'll be expected to pay these funds back at various repayment thresholds. There are no UK Government-backed loans available for international students. But, if you're an American national or permanently resident in the US, you can apply for a US Federal Loan if you've accepted an offer to study here.

However, if you're an undergraduate student from the European Union starting your course in the 2020/21 academic year, you can apply for a tuition fee loan. These can cover your tuition fees while you're studying in the UK and are paid directly to the University. If you're starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you won't be eligible for a tuition fee loan.

Government Postgraduate Master's Loan

Most students fund their Master’s degree with a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to fund your tuition fees, living costs and other course costs. The loan is paid directly to you.

These loans aren’t based on your income or your family’s income, so you can choose how much you borrow, up to a maximum of £10,906 per course. You'll start repaying your loan after your course, once your annual income is more than £21,000. The loan starts accruing interest from the day you receive the first payment.


To be eligible for a Postgraduate Master's Loan, you must be under the age of 60 at the start of your course and be a UK or EU national living in England or Wales.

You also need to be studying an eligible course – most of the Master’s courses we run are eligible. If a course isn't eligible, it will say so on the course page.

How to apply

If you’re an English or EU national, you can apply for a Government Postgraduate Loan online through Student Finance England. If you’re a Welsh national, apply online through Student Finance Wales.

Read more about loans

Referral Awards

If you're a current student or alumnus, you can get a reward for promoting the University of Portsmouth to your friends, family or colleagues. You can earn up to £400 by recommending us to others.

Read more about referral awards

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