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Financing your LLM or MA in law

Funding options for postgraduate legal study include grants, awards and bank loans. This handy overview explains where to go for more information.

There are no mandatory awards for postgraduate study in law. Fees for a full-time LLM or MA in law tend to be around £7,000 for EU students but are higher at certain institutions. Competition for financial awards is fierce and most people who receive funding assistance have at least a 2.1. Look out for early closing dates for financial awards.

University funding for postgraduate students

Most universities offer awards to students continuing their studies at the same institution, and some are available for graduates from other universities. Postgraduate teaching posts are a useful way to earn some money and fees can sometimes be offset against earnings.

Grants and professional funding

Several publications provide listings of grant-making trusts and funding bodies. Your careers service or library should have:

  • The Grants Register (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Educational Grants Directory (Directory of Social Change)
  • Postgraduate Study and Research (AGCAS)
  • Charities Digest (Waterlow).

Research council awards

Awards from research councils are the main source of funding for research students. Get hold of a list of postgraduate courses that qualify to find out what assistance is available for masters courses.

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council, tel: + 44 (0) 1793 41 6000
  • Economic and Social Research Council, tel: + 44 (0) 1793 413000

Bank loans

Postgraduate students are not eligible for loans from the Student Loans Company. However, there is a professional and career development loan scheme available through Barclays and the Cooperative Banks, providing between £300 and £10,000 towards fees and living expenses. See the information available on professional and career development loans from or call the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.

Government resources

You'll find information about funding, resources and housing or council tax benefits from the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions.


Check out the TARGETpostgrad website for links to sites with funding information, including Scholarship Search UK. The National Postgraduate Committee also has useful information for prospective postgraduate students and a funding guide.

International students

The majority of awards for overseas students studying in the UK come from the British Council. Call +44 (0)161 957 7755. The Department for International Development's website also contains a list of funding sources. Call 0845 300 4100 (from overseas +44 1355 843 132). Check for any awards available through your home country’s education department.