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Postgraduate Support Scheme 2015-16

What is the Postgraduate Support Scheme (PSS)?

In December 2014 we announced the 2015-16 PSS, which will provide £50 million to support £10,000 scholarships for 10,000 masters students. The 2015-16 PSS provides individual scholarships to contribute to the costs of masters study in any subject. The funding is matched by institutions so that each award comprises £5,000 HEFCE funding and £5,000 institutional or employer funds.

Why we launched the scheme

The scheme builds on key findings from the pilot PSS in 2014-15, which showed that finance is a key barrier to progression for the most under-represented students. Read further information on postgraduate education trends.

Programme analysis

Read the final report on HEFCE’s Postgraduate Support Scheme.

See more

Project findings and reports

We have now received interim findings from all pilot projects, which have informed guidance for the PSS 2015-16, and expect to receive final project reports in summer 2015.

Findings from those reports, along with the programme analyst's report, will inform both Government funding policies and future funding opportunities.

How much money was allocated to each institution?

In December 2014, we informed institutions of their initial allocations and provided guidance on delivering awards. We have now informed institutions of their final allocations, and this information is available to download in the spreadsheet below.

Information about how the funding can be used is available in a series of frequently asked questions.

How students should apply for the scholarship

Please do not apply to HEFCE for these scholarships.

To apply for a PSS scholarship, please ask the institution (university or college) you are planning to attend about the funding options available to you.

HEFCE does not give funding directly to students. Instead, we allocate the funding to institutions. These institutions then decide how students should apply for the scholarships and which students are allowed to get them.

How we decided which projects to fund

For the PSS 2014-15, we invited proposals for funded projects in the summer of 2013, and received 79 proposals in response. After assessing the proposals we agreed to fund 20 projects. To determine the funded projects, we first assessed project proposals internally. An external validation panel, chaired by Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, then reviewed those assessments and recommended the final group of projects to receive funding. The external panel included members of HEFCE's strategic advisory committees as well as representatives from the UK Council for Graduate Education and the National Union of Students.


Page last updated 17 September 2015