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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.

***New for 2019-20***

From the 2019-20 academic session, 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.

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.

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.

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 our more about the scheme

Other sources of funding

When you become a student you can become eligible for childcare and discretionary funds, trust funds and scholarships. You may also find that your entitlement to benefits can change, so use the following links to ensure you receive the financial support you are eligible for.

STEM Teacher Education Bursaries

In the last few years The Scottish Government developed a new bursary scheme for students undertaking a one year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme in Scotland.

The bursary scheme is an initiative to develop and strengthen the number of people that are aspiring to become secondary school teachers in areas such as chemistry, computing science, maths, physics and technical education by changing their current career path.

Bursary Award

Applicants that satisfy the eligibility criteria, listed below, will receive a bursary of £20,000 payable over 10 equal monthly instalments.

Academic Eligibility criteria

Applicants will be expected to have been in employment for at least three out of the last five years (including exceptions) at the point of the application for the bursary. For entry in 2019 there is no requirement to be in employment on the date of application to the STEM Bursary.

However at the point of application applicants will be expected to be three years from full time education.

Applicants will be expected to have a relevant degree at 2.1 (or above) or meet the minimum ITE entry requirements with a relevant Masters to teach in Chemistry, Computing Science, Home Economics, Maths, Physics or Technical Education.

Normal entry requirements for PGDE Initial Teacher Education courses will also apply, including a requirement to have Higher English (or equivalent) and National 5/credit level Maths (or equivalent). However, flexibility on entry requirement may be applied by the General Teaching Council for Scotland, and support can be provided for the provision of English/maths qualifications if necessary.

Applicants must have an offer of a place from UWS on one of the following eligible (PGDE) programmes:

  •  PGDE Chemistry
  •  PGDE Mathematics
  •  PGDE Physics

Residency Eligibility criteria

Applicants will need to satisfy the following SAAS residence requirements:

  • You must be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years immediately before 1st August 2019. If you fall short of being ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the three year qualifying period, even by one day, you will not be eligible.
  • You must be ordinarily resident in Scotland on 1st August 2019.
  • You will not be regarded as being ordinarily resident in Scotland if your main purpose in coming here is to receive full-time education and that you would have otherwise been living elsewhere.
  • If you are not a UK or other EU national, you must have ‘settled status’ in the UK (as set out in the Immigration Act 1971) on 1st August 2019.

For further information (and for modifications to this requirement for holders of refugee status or other protected humanitarian status in the UK) refer to

Those already in receipt of any other subsidised Initial Teacher Education (ITE) provision where salaries or allowances are already in place will not be eligible.

How do I apply?

Applications for should be made direct to the STEM Bursary Scotland website

Further Information

You can email or telephone 0141 468 4115 if you have any questions.

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: 01/05/2018