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Graduate Admissions


Funding Opportunities

There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Colleges, departments, Research Councils and central University funds. You can use our Cambridge Funding Search page to find out which type of funding you might be eligible for, and how and when to apply. We also operate a Graduate Funding Competition to co-ordinate some of these funding opportunities and make the process easier for you as an applicant. The PDF showing typical sources of funding for Graduate students at Cambridge breaks down the application timeline for the 2020/21 Postgraduate Funding Competition. 

How to Apply

It is easy to apply for funding at Cambridge. You can be automatically considered for many different funding opportunities by just completing the funding section of the Graduate Application Form (via the Applicant Portal). Eighty per cent of the funding awarded to applicants last year was from competitions that only required that section to be completed. You will be able to check for funding opportunities that you aren't automatically considered for by using our funding search tool. The most important thing to remember is this: get your applications in early! See below for deadlines.

When will I hear?

Most funding awards are made between the beginning of March and the end of July with the majority of awards being made in March and April. If you haven't heard by the end of July, you should assume that your application for funding has been unsuccessful.

See the timeline for decisions through the Graduate Funding Competition for 2020 entry.

Funding Deadlines

The deadlines for the Graduate Funding Competition (including Gates Cambridge) are listed below. You can find deadlines for other scholarships in the Cambridge Funding Search (note that some of the scholarships listed in the Funding Search may be earlier than those listed below).

Please note these deadlines are for applicants for courses starting in Michaelmas 2020, Lent 2021 and Easter 2021 Students starting their courses in Lent or Easter 2020 are no longer eligible for the Graduate Funding Competition.

Applicant Eligibility For the Graduate Funding Competition (including Gates Cambridge)


(12:00 UK time)

Decisions Made

If you are a USA citizen, resident in the USA, and wish to be considered for Gates funding.

9 October 2019

For all other applicants, the funding deadline is course specific so please check the course directory to see if your course has a December or January funding deadline.

3 December 2019 / 7 January 2020 

Early March onwards

Currently a few funding opportunities are not included through your application to study, the Competition or the search. Your College or department may be able to tell you about these.

Useful Advice

Research early

Start researching funding opportunities at least a year before your course begins.

Apply early

Many scholarship deadlines are around early December, for admission in the following year. If your course starts in January or April you may need to apply for funding 18 months in advance.

Get funding or financing before you start studying

Without proof of finances you will not be admitted to the University and will not be able to study here. Do not expect to be able to find funding after your course starts.

Apply for many funding opportunities

Apply for all the funding sources you’re eligible for, both internal and external to the University. Our funding page gives details. If you’re applying for a departmental award or funded place do also apply for other funding schemes – so that you won’t miss the deadlines for other funding opportunities if the department does not offer you an award.

If you’re awarded more than one full scholarship, you have to choose just one and reject the others. But you are allowed to hold multiple scholarships for smaller amounts that total a full award.