Postgraduate support funds

Financial support for your studies will be made up from a variety of sources including scholarships, savings, loans and family funds. It is normally expected that this will be sufficient for the duration of your course. However, if you find your original source of funding is no longer available, the University and the College will try to help. Sources of aid are limited though and there is no guarantee that funding will be granted.


Taking paid work is not normally permitted. There are only two exceptions. See the University website for more information.

  • Part-time students may take on paid work
  • Research students may, with the permission of their supervisor, take on up to 10 hours of undergraduate teaching in the form of College supervision, or other teaching duties in the department.

All applications require the support of your College Graduate Tutor, so in general, if you find yourself in financial difficulties, your Tutor should be your first point of contact.

  • Cambridge Bursary Fund - This fund is primarily for undergraduates, but some UK postgraduate students do qualify. It's worth reading through the details.
  • Other University Hardship funding for those who find themselves in need of extra financial assistance. There is also assistance with medical costs where it is not conveniently or readily obtainable under the NHS.
  • Childcare support - The University offers two types of financial support to help eligible families with their childcare costs.

Thanks to the generosity of alumni of the College, and other donors, the College can award bursaries to students according to individual circumstances to help cover living costs. 

Fitzwilliam College Maintenance Bursaries
All students are eligible, regardless of fee status. Awards are made according to individual circumstances.

The application process will require you to explain why your original sources of finance is no longer available and to discuss this with your Graduate Tutor. Awards are made by the Tutorial Committee, to a maximum of £750 per year, but may typically be £250 or £500. 

In exceptional circumstances an award of £1000 can be made. If a postgraduate student has already received an award of £750 or less, and their circumstances remain difficult, they can also apply again within the same academic year.

  • Deadlines - Normally you must apply to your College Graduate Tutor at least 14 days before the next Tutorial Committee meeting.  Committee meetings are held twice a term. See the College Events diary in MyFitz for the date of next meeting.
  • Application form

List of funds that support the College Maintenance Bursaries. 

PhD extension funding

The College is able to provide up to £3,300 towards the living costs of PhD students whose original source of funding runs out at the end of their third year. This includes self and family funded students. Applications should be made towards the end of the ninth term of study. Funding applies for the tenth term.

Students should meet the following criteria:

  • Currently in the third year of the course and making satisfactory progress.
  • Original funding package was for three years only (including self-funding)
  • Need help with living costs for the tenth term of their studies
  • Expected to complete their thesis by the end of four years
  • The funding is not intended for students who have submitted their thesis

Arrangements for 2021-22 and 2022-23 eligibility
For those whose research has been affected by COVID, the scheme has been extended to those the 11th and 12th terms and in the most exceptional circumstances, for those going into their 5th years.

Arrangements for 2023-24 and onwards
Awards will revert to the expectation that PhD Extension Funding is available for the 10th term only. Applications for Funding beyond this will be considered only in exceptional circumstances, such as cases where research has been significantly delayed as a result of the pandemic and where there are compelling reasons why the delays have not been mitigated in the interim. 

All applications will be considered individually and awards are subject to College funds being available.


Deadlines: Applications must be fully completed, approved by both the PhD supervisor and the College Graduate Tutor and submitted by the last day of Full Term of the ninth term.

Application form

The University provides information on student loans for postgraduate study on their website

UK Government loans for Masters and PhD students

US Federal Loans  - see also Consumer information page

Canadian Loans