Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS may be entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

PGDE students are funded through the undergraduate funding system. Further information can be found in the undergraduate fees and funding section. This includes information on the new STEM Teacher Education Bursaries.

Postgraduate Social Work courses fall under the remit of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and you can find more information about this in the section below.

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

Funding for students from Scotland is administered by an agency of the Scottish Government known as SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland). SAAS operate an online application process and their website has a lot of really useful information about your entitlement and how you apply for it. Applications open in April and we recommend applying early to ensure your funding is ready for you starting your course.

SAAS will provide funding for taught postgraduate studies up to Masters level as long as you have not already used UK or EU funds to study at this level. ‘Taught’ refers to courses with an element of teaching, so it is possible to get this funding for distance learning courses where there is a taught element. This can include online tutorials, seminars and webinars.

SAAS will also provide the following funding package to eligible students undertaking a Research Masters course at SCQF level 11. 

Full-time students

Student funding packages are made up of a tuition fee loan and living costs loan. The tuition fee loan is worth up to £5,500 and the living cost loan is worth £4,500 and is not income-assessed.

The tuition fee loan is worth up to £5,500. This will be paid directly to the University but you are responsible for applying. Should your course fee be lower than this, you should apply to SAAS for a lower amount. Should it be higher than this, you will remain responsible for meeting the additional costs.

The living costs loan is not income-assessed so you do not need to send SAAS any details of your household income. While you will be eligible for £4,500, you can elect to take out less of a student loan if you do not need your full entitlement.

Part-time students

If you are a part-time student undertaking an eligible course you can apply for a tuition fee loan. In order to be eligible for this, you must be completing the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take to complete if you were a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a 1 year MSc, you will be funded for a maximum of 2 years' part-time study. If it is available to full-time students as a 2 year MSc, you will be funded for a maximum of 4 years' part-time study. 

In all cases the fee is split equally across all years of the course, so you do need to plan your studies in advance. You should apply for this in each year study and are not eligible for any living cost support.

The total tuition fee loan, across all years of the course, is worth up to a maximum of £5,500. This will be paid directly to the University but you are responsible for applying. Should your course fee be lower than this, you should apply to SAAS for a lower amount. Should it be higher than this, you will remain responsible for meeting the additional costs.

Remember that your support will be in the form of loans, which need to be paid back. You do not have to take out the student loan, or can elect to take out only a proportion of what you are offered. The student loan is repayable and does accrue interest but it is much cheaper than other types of finance such as bank loans, overdrafts or credit cards. 

Find out more about how the student loan works here, Student Loan Advice.

Scottish Social Services Council Bursary

Postgraduate Bursaries are available for nominated and eligible students studying the MSc Social Work at UWS. This is administered through the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Funding is limited and subject to a quota. Students must be nominated by the University, who will have a set number of funded places. Nominations are at the discretion of the academic teaching team, who you should contact directly with any questions relating to this process.

The bursary is made up of:

  • Tuition fees, which are paid directly to the University on your behalf. Please be aware that the maximum award available may not cover your tuition in full. You will be responsible for meeting the cost of any shortfall.
  • Means tested maintenance grant and additional allowances depending on circumstances. Your personal situation and household income is used to determine this support. If you are under 25, this will usually be based on your parent’s income. Additional allowances may be available for parents in the form of a single parent allowance, dependents allowance and childcare allowance.
  • Placement Travel Expenses to help with any additional costs associated with the practice placement.

Please see the documents below for information. While these refer to the 2017/18 academic session, the funding remains unchanged and we will update this information if and when any changes are announced:

There is no guarantee that a University will nominate a student for a Bursary and they may have more students than quota places. If you have studied a Postgraduate course previously this may also affect your eligibility.

Please note, if you are not nominated to apply for the Bursary, or are not eligible to receive the Bursary, you cannot apply to SAAS for funding, but may find useful information in the sections below.

Please also note that, if you are not nominated to apply for the Bursary, you will also be unable to access placement and travel expenses. These costs can be quite significant so it will be important for you to plan and budget for your studies and placements. You can find lots of helpful resources and support for budgeting on our Money Advice pages.

For further information, please contact the SSSC.

Alternative Sources of Funding

There are lots of alternative sources of funding, like charities and trusts, that can help finance your studies. These can include grants that can pay tuition fees, living cost support and funding for research expenses so this can be a good avenue to explore whether you have been unable to get funding through the above sources, or a simply looking to top this up.

When searching for additional financial support, it is important to understand that this can take up a lot of time. While there is no guarantee that you will find a source of funds for you, you definitely won’t find anything if you don’t try.

This type of funding can vary from small amounts, such as £200, to larger amounts that might cover your full tuition fee for a year. Most students who achieve success with these types of funds do so because they continually research and apply to everything they can. Numerous grants of £200 can really add up.

It’s also important to remember that most of these funds are competitive, similar to applying for a job. Many people might apply, but there may be only one award available. As such, it is important that you spend time on any application. Carefully follow any guidance notes and make sure your application will stand out in a crowd.

The best place to start exploring this avenue is through our Alternative Trusts and Scholarships page. Click on the link below and you will find a lot of resources to help get you started. Just remember, we can’t possibly include every fund on our page, so don’t limit yourself to this page alone.

Self-funded Students

It's important to remember that you are responsible for meeting the cost of tuition throughout your studies, so if you do not apply for support, or are not eligible to receive this, you will be classed as a self-funded student and will be expected to meet this cost yourself.

It's important to plan ahead if you are going to be funding your studies yourself. In most cases, you will be able to spread the cost over the academic year, but that is still an additional monthly expense that you should plan for. You will also be required to pay a deposit at the point you enrol, and enrolment will not be completed until this is done, meaning any student funding you are due to receive will be delayed.

Check out our information on Tuition Fee Payment Plans.

 If you are self-funding, we encourage you to plan ahead by visiting our Budgeting and Planning web pages. 

MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC)

If you are a member of the Armed Forces, you may be eligible to apply for financial support for studies through the MODs Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme. Many of the courses available at UWS are registered as part of this scheme, which could provide some financial support towards the cost of tuition, should you not be eligible for SAAS, who in most cases can cover the full amount.

Find out more about the scheme

Everything you need to know about funding

Pre entry Money Mag

Whether you are a young student, or are returning to education later in life, making the shift to student funding can be a big change. This magazine will take you through student funding that you may be entitled to, but will also help you budget and plan ahead, and better understand how student funding works.

Download now

Managing your money

Once you have a better understanding of the funding you can receive, it’s important to start thinking about what you need to spend it on and how far it will stretch. Visit our Money and Debt Advice section for advice on budgeting, and making your money go further.

Last updated: 12/01/2021