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Other ways to fund your PhD

Explore the different options for funding your postgraduate research degree – from government loans to alumni and staff discounts

If you're self-funding your PhD or postgraduate research degree, there are plenty of funding options available. Find out what's on offer, who's eligible, and how to apply.

UK government doctoral loans scheme

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans are Government loans you can use for tuition fees, living costs and other course costs, if you're applying for a PhD or Professional Doctorate with us. The loan is paid directly to you, and you can apply online here.

The amount you’ll receive isn’t based on your or your family’s income. So you can choose how much you borrow (up to £26,445 over your whole course). The loan will be divided equally across each year of study. You can apply for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan in any year of your course. But if you apply after your first year, you might not get the maximum amount. You can get up to £11,222 each year if your course starts on or after 1 August 2020.

You will start repaying your loan after your course if your annual income is more than £21,000. If you took out a Postgraduate Master's loan these 2 balances will be added together. If you had an undergraduate loan, you’ll pay both at the same time.

To be eligible for a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan you must be under the age of 60 at the start of your course and be a UK or EU national starting your programme in the 2020/21 academic year. Further residency criteria apply, please check the official government website.

You won’t be able to get a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan if you’ll be receiving any Research Council funding or are on a paid studentship. Some courses may not be eligible – if yours isn't, it will say so on the course page.

Postgraduate Master's loans

If you're applying for an MPhil or MRes course, you might be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan – find out more here

Alumni discount

You may be able to get an alumni discount if you have previously studied at the University of Portsmouth. This is a 20% discount on any self-funded element of your tuition fees on a full-time or part-time postgraduate course. 

Staff discount

If you're a member of University staff, you can get a 30% discount on fees you pay personally.

This is for part-time courses only. You can apply to pay your fees in 6 instalments (completing in March) by deduction from your salary. Please note, you cannot claim more than one of these discounts against each fee.

Further funding advice

We can also help you identify other potential funding sources and provide letters to support your applications too.

You can also search and apply to charities and other funding bodies on the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding website. (Choose the ‘I am a prospective student’ option and enter our PIN – 7517 – and your email address to get your username and password.)

Resources such as the Grants Register, Charities Digest and Directory of Grant Making Trusts, which may be available at your library or careers service, will also have information on organisations that may be able to fully or partially fund your research.

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