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Postgraduate Study


Every year, the University of Cambridge awards over £100m in scholarships to new postgraduate students.

This money comes from many generous University and College sources, as well as funding awarded to the University from funding bodies.

Our major internal sources of funding are:

Cambridge Trust

The Cambridge Trust works with partners worldwide to provide a variety of scholarship schemes. The Trust has been offering scholarships at Cambridge for over 30 years. In this time it has awarded more than 20,000 scholarships to students from around the world.

The Cambridge Trust awards around 500 scholarships a year to support the most outstanding students. It also supports more than 1200 current students each year. The Trust awards students at both PhD and Master's level, in all subjects, at any of the 31 Colleges.

For more information, please visit the Cambridge Trust website.

Gates Cambridge Trust

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established in October 2000 from a US$210m donation by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is the largest ever single donation to a UK university. 

The programme awards between 80 and 90 full scholarships each year to scholars who show:

  • outstanding intellectual ability;
  • a commitment to improving the lives of others; 
  • and leadership potential. 

The programme takes Masters and PhD students from any country outside the UK.

For more information, please visit the Gates Cambridge Trust website.

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships

The Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (HDPSP) was established in February 2019 thanks to an extraordinarily generous donation from the David and Claudia Harding Foundation. This is the biggest single gift made to a university in the UK by a British philanthropist. 

The programme awards at least 25 full scholarships each year to the most talented PhD students. Awardees can be from any nationality, studying any subject. 

For more information, please visit the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars website.  

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme (Africa)

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme at Cambridge  is designed to provide bright students from under-represented communities in Africa with fully-funded opportunities to complete their Master’s training, develop transformative leadership skills and contribute to climate resilience and sustainable futures in Africa.

The programme covers the cost of travel and visas, accommodation, meals, allowance for a laptop, and a living stipend – as well as tuition costs.

For more information, please visit the Mastercard Foundation Scholars website.

Departmental awards

Many departments have specific awards they administer themselves. Information about these is available on department websites. You can also search for these on the Postgraduate Funding Search.

College funding

Most Colleges have funding opportunities listed in the Postgraduate Funding Search. Some Colleges also partner with Research Councils funding. The Research Councils administer these studentships by their usual funding processes. Recipients of these awards will need to transfer to that College (unless they are already a member).

There are three main types of College funding:

  1. Open funding: A small number of Colleges do not need you to state their College as a preference in your application. If awarded the funding, you will need to transfer to that College (unless you are already a member). Applicants will need to complete and send a separate funding application to the College.
  2. Funding based on College preference: Most Colleges need you to state their College as a preference in your application. Funding application processes vary from College to College. Some may automatically consider your application for funding, whereas others will need you to submit an extra funding application.
  3. Post-offer application: Some College funding is only available to those who have already accepted a place at that College. Applicants may be automatically considered for any awards they are eligible for, or the College will invite them to submit an extra funding application.

Information in the Postgraduate Funding Search will tell you what the criteria and process for applying are. There is also guidance available on each of the College websites

Funding Search

Search the University's database of postgraduate funding opportunities.

Search now