Funding your studies


The rising cost of higher education is constantly in the news, and is no doubt a cause of worry for many students. We’ve put together a list of some of the funding opportunities available to you to make sure you get the financial help you are entitled to.

Sources of funding

Before you start your studies, it’s important to review the different sources of funding available to allow you to plan how you will afford the different expenses required of you at University. For more information on managing your money once you have your funding in place, click here.

Funding is often dependent on your specific situation, so take a look below to find what opportunities fit your circumstances.

UK/EU Undergraduates [+]
  • Government funding – it is likely that your main source of income will be support from the government via Student Finance. You can apply for student finance through your government’s website.
  • Durham Grant – this provides extra financial support of £2,000 per year for students from low-income families. Provided that you/your parent/carer consent to share your household income during the Student Finance application, you will be emailed automatically about the Durham Grant if you are eligible.
  • College Accommodation Bursaries – an extra £1,000 per year is available to students with a household income between £25,000 and £35,000 to help pay for college accommodation. Provided that you/your parent/carer consent to share your household income during the Student Finance application, you will be emailed automatically about the Durham Grant if you are eligible.
  • Scholarships and Bursaries – there are a variety of other scholarships and bursaries with different eligibilities
Postgraduates [+]
  • Faculty-based funding opportunities – individual faculties often have their own specific funding opportunities for postgraduates. These will often involve a written application.
  • Scholarships and bursaries – the University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries, as well as attracting them from external sources.
  • Commonwealth shared scholarships – provide an opportunity for Commonwealth nationals from developing countries to receive a fully funded scholarship on a Taught Masters programme. This will involve an application via The Association of Commonwealth Universities website.
  • Loans – a variety of loans are available from different sources.
International students [+]
  • Foreign loans – students from the USA or Canada can receive support from the University with obtaining loans from their home country. You can get this help from the Scholarships and Student Funding Office in The Palatine Centre.
  • Working in the UK – your student visa may permit you to find part-time work to support your studies.

The Student Support Fund

If your circumstances suddenly change and stop you from being able to afford essential living expenses (e.g. you’re struggling to pay rent, or have an unexpected bill or debts piling up), you don’t have to suffer alone. You may be able to apply for support from the Student Support Fund.

Who is the Student Support Fund available to? [+]

The Student Support Fund can support students:

  • who had a sound financial plan in place before they started the current academic year, which was then compromised by circumstances beyond their control
  • whose income from statutory support does not cover a reasonable level of expenditure for their personal circumstances, where the student did not start their studies in knowledge that they had significant extra costs which would not be covered by statutory support
  • are not able to access income from any other reasonable source
  • do not require more than £3,500 to complete their studies or to end their studies at a logical point e.g. the end of the academic year

The Student Support Fund can also provide a variety of loans:

  • Short-term Loans in the event of unexpected occurrences which negatively impact on students’ finances (e.g. delays to Maintenance Loans/Research Council stipend payments/US Federal Aid/other funding)
  • Bridging Loans to students whose applications for financial support cannot be assessed until outstanding information is provided
  • Discretionary Loans to students who would have to withdraw from the University without financial support (at the discretion of the panel where all of the eligibility criteria are not met)
How do I apply? [+]

The first step in applying to the Student Support Fund is to contact the Student Support Office in your college, who will help you throughout the application and assessment process.

If you’re just having a cash-flow problem which will be resolved soon – for example if your Maintenance Loan/Grant hasn’t been paid at the start of the academic year – you will be given a Short-term Loan Application Form.

If your financial problems are a bit more complex you will be given a Financial Support Application Form. These can take some time and effort to complete, but your college will be able to support you through the process.

What's on the Financial Support Application Form?

Below is a rough outline of the form, to give you an idea what to expect. You can find a more detailed guide here, and if it still looks intimidating, don’t worry: your college will be able to help you throughout the process.

  • Page 1 – evidence you might be required to provide
  • Page 3 – background information on yourself
  • Page 4 – details of what bank accounts you have
  • Page 5 – your income and expenditure
  • Page 7 – space for a Personal Statement

Page last reviewed: 01/04/2019