Overseas postgraduate funding opportunities

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Overseas postgraduate funding opportunities: what’s available for you?

In terms of funding for Level 10 study, those involved in research or applying for a research position may be eligible via the various programmes operated by the Irish Research Council. They also offer the same opportunities to EU students studying in Ireland as those available to Irish students.

Another resource for Irish students would be the O’Reilly Foundation; this awards funding which can be used for study in any country. The programme sponsors scholarships at both postgraduate study and PhD level. To apply for this programme you will need to have excellent academic credentials and demonstrate considerable commercial and business acumen. It is also open to applications from students from any discipline but there is a preference for those from areas such as technology, law, business, tech, and humanities.

UK & EU Opportunities

In the UK, students can apply for a scholarship via Scholarship UK and they’re also eligible to apply for a career development loan. For students who wish to study in Scotland, there is a Student Awards Agency which is open to applications from Irish students.

For Irish students, no matter where you study in the EU, you can claim tax relief on any postgraduate fees and you should also keep an eye on EU opportunities such as the funding opportunities awarded by the Council of Europe. Other EU and international sources of funding include the European Commission, which also has comprehensive information on fees, admission procedures and much more. Visit www.europa.eu for more information. The first port of call for students seeking funding and advice about fees should be EUNICAS. Remember you can apply for up to eight degree programmes via this EUNICAS system.

In addition to EUNICAS, the European Youth Portal has plenty of cost and study-related information available including information on working, traveling and study in both European Union and non-European Union countries. Another interesting online resource is the WorldWide Classroom, a great source of information on what courses are available in each country, and what other information you need in order to study in that country.

Across the pond

In terms of studying in the US, the Fulbright Commission is the pre-eminent source of funding. It provides students with the opportunity to do postgraduate study at level 9 or research at level 10 throughout recognised institutions throughout the US. While the funding only covers one year of study, it also means that they are eligible to remain in the US to complete the full duration of their studies.

There are also funding opportunities available from individual universities, whether in Europe or the US or elsewhere, but if you wish to pursue these openings, make sure you put plenty of time aside to do your research and put together your applications, as the criteria for entry is very strict for all such programmes. Also, each application will need to be different and you will need to tailor it specifically for the course to which you are applying. In addition the funding for your studies, you really need to consider the full costs of study abroad, accommodation is one of the biggest of course. While learning in places like the Netherlands is relatively cheap, it can rise considerably when you include the cost of living. You may quickly realise that you will need a part-time job too, so how will you go about finding that? It all comes back to good planning and organisation, leaving enough time and making sure you make a responsible decision that gives you the best possible chance of making a success of your overseas study.


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