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‘Steps to Postgraduate Study’ 

A new guide to postgraduate study offers information and advice for prospective students on study options, finance and other practical matters, and the benefits of study at this level. 

See the ‘Steps to Postgraduate Study’ website

Funding postgraduate education

We prioritise the funding we allocate for teaching at universities and colleges. This aims to address areas where the money institutions get through tuition fees alone may be insufficient to meet all their costs. 

For 2016-17 we are investing more than £400 million funding in taught and research postgraduate education.

Postgraduate taught degrees

We provide funding to HE providers to help them to meet the costs of delivering high-cost programmes.

We also provide funding to providers for intensive postgraduate taught provision, for courses that are taught over longer periods in the year.

The 2016-17 allocations announced in March 2016 included around £164 million to support postgraduate taught students. 

Additional information about how we calculate funding for postgraduate taught students can be found in our 2016-17 Guide to Funding (HEFCE 2014/06).

Postgraduate research degrees 

Research funding is allocated through a ‘dual support’ system. We provide funding for general activity such as overheads, training and ‘blue skies’ research. The Research Councils fund specific programmes and projects, and provide research studentships. 

The funding we provide includes £240 million for the ‘postgraduate research supervision fund’. This fund aims to support the costs to universities and colleges of supervising research degree programmes. 

Further information about our funding method can be found on our funding pages. 

Postgraduate Support Scheme 

We issued £75 million through the Postgraduate Support Scheme over the years 2014-15 and 2015-16. The first year funded a number of pilot projects and the second distributed £50 million funding to HE providers via a formulaic allocation.

The aim was to support students on postgraduate taught courses, particularly those who would not otherwise progress to this level. More information can be found at our Postgraduate Support Scheme webpages.

We are now evaluating the 2015-16 scheme which is due to report in spring 2017.

Page last updated 3 October 2016