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Funding your postgraduate degree

Why do a Postgrad at UL?

In an increasingly competitive jobs’ market, a postgraduate degree is one of the biggest advantages you can have.

You learn new skills, improve your job prospects, and forge the first steps to the career you want.

Thousands of students are taking up postgraduate studies every year – but one big question remains. Is funding available and, if so, how do you go about getting it?

Funding options

While it is a worthwhile investment in your future, the financial cost of a postgraduate degree can be a roadblock for some students, with courses costing upwards of €5,000 a year. However, some options are available to prospective students:

  • SUSI grants.
  • Scholarships & bursaries.
  • Funding for professional learners.

Tax relief is also available on postgraduate tuition fees, up to €7,000 per person per course. You can read more about that on Citizens Information.

 

Funding options for postgraduate students

SUSI grants for postgraduate students

Students enrolling in a postgraduate course may be eligible for financial assistance in the government’s student grant scheme.

The courses must be in Ireland or Northern Ireland and will cover some/all of the cost of tuition fees.

SUSI awards grants on two levels:

  • A flat rate fee contribution of €2,000 if you pass a fee contribution means test (essentially based on your earnings and living situation).
  • Cover for all tuition fees and essential field trips (up to €6,270) if you meet the qualifying conditions of the special rate of grant for disadvantaged students.

To qualify, you’ll also need to meet the criteria for nationality, immigration status, and residency.

So how does the means test for fees work?

The means test will apply to either your income or your parents’ income, depending on whether or not you’re independent or dependent on your parents (i.e. if you’re living with your parents from October 1st of the year before you start your postgraduate degree).

If you’re dependent, the means test will assess any income you have alongside your parents’ income. The means test doesn’t include any earnings you made up to €4,500 outside of term-time (summer holidays, etc.).

Independent students are over the age of 23 and live away from their parents, from the 1st of October of the year before they start their postgraduate degree. You’ll be assessed on your income, and any income of your spouse/civil partner/cohabitant if applicable.

If you’re applicable for full assistance (all fees covered) from any other source (for example a scholarship), you won’t qualify for the postgraduate fee contribution. Likewise, if you’re eligible for partial assistance, your postgraduate fee contributions will be reduced by the amount of assistance you get.

Income limits for the fee contribution

The family income limits to be eligible for the postgraduate fee contributions/grant are:

Rate Less than 4 dependant children Between 4 and 7 dependant children 8 or more dependant children Income threshold increase per additional person
Postgraduate fee contribution (special rate)

Reckonable income must be under

€23,500

Reckonable income must be under

€23,500

Reckonable income must be under

€23,500

 
 Rate of Fee contribution grant available Maximum €6,270  Maximum €6,270  Maximum €6,270    
 Special Rate Adj. Rate of Maintenance grant available (45Km or Under) €2,375  €2,375   €2,375  
 Special Rate Non Adj. Rate of Maintenance grant available (Over 45Km)  €5,915  €5,915  €5,915  
Postgraduate fee contribution (standard rate)

Reckonable income must be under

€31,500 

Reckonable income must be under

€34,615

Reckonable income must be under

€37,580 

+€4,980 
 Rate of Fee contribution grant available  €2,000  €2,000  €2,000  

The reckonable income limits (the proportion of gross income that SUSI considers when doing its calculations) may be increased by €4,980 for each additional family member who is also doing a full-time course of at least a year.

The bracket you fall into will determine how much (if any) funding you’ll be able to get.

If you’re an independent applicant, your income will count, as well as the income of your spouse/civil partner/or cohabitant (this doesn’t include housemates).

To learn more about the income limits and deductions, etc., head over to the SUSI website.

What are the special rates for disadvantaged students?

Some applicants may be applicable for special rates, which covers tuition fees and essential field trips up to €6,270.

The conditions are:

  • You must meet the same conditions as the standard maintenance grant under the Student Grant Scheme for the academic year. You can read more about that here: grants for student in further and higher education.
  • Your total reckonable income in the tax year prior must not be more than €23,500.
  • You must be getting certain social welfare payments or participating in a designated programme at the end of the year prior, i.e. long-term social welfare payments; Family Income Supplement; Designated programmes (for example a Community Employment Scheme).

How do you apply for postgraduate grants?

SUSI is the go-to single grant-awarding authority in Ireland.

If you’re a new applicant, you’ll need to go to the SUSI website, sign up, and fill out the application form. Thankfully, the process is relatively straightforward and SUSI explains some of the trickier bits in its guide, which you can follow here.

The application form follows six sections:

  • Section A: Your personal details.
  • Section B: Nationality and residency.
  • Section C: Course details, previous education, and info about any financial support you’ve received.
  • Section D: Personal details of your parents/guardians/partner, etc.
  • Section E: Info on any dependent children or relevant people in your household.
  • Section F: Income information.

Before you start filling out your application form, you should know:

  • Your CAO number if you have applied through the Central Applications Office.
  • Your UCAS number if it’s relevant, i.e. from the UK application system.
  • PPSN numbers for yourself, your parents/guardians, your partner etc.
  • Income details for yourself, your parents/guardians, your partner etc.

Scholarships and bursaries

At UL, we offer scholarships with a value up to €2,000 which reduce the tuition fees for the recipient. Scholarships will be allocated by the faculties on the basis of financial need and a personal statement from the applicant.

Postgraduate funding

The following bursaries/scholarships for students are administered by the Graduate School. The funding is provided with assistance from the UL Foundation, Campus Life Services and UL Graduate School.

Faculty scholarships

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships

 

Taught PG Scholarships

P&PA

Scholarships for students wishing to do MAs who will hold SUSI grants, the scholarships will be equivalent to 50% of an EU fee waiver.

Law

  1. LLM/MA (Human Rights in Criminal Justice)
    • Judge Michael Reilly Scholarship – one-third fee waiver [open to an Garda Síochána];
    • 2 x One-Third Fee Waiver [open to an Garda Síochána].
  2. LLM (International Commercial Law)
    • One half-fee waiver.
    • Eversheds, Solicitors – This international corporate law firm offers a very generous scholarship to the student registering for the LLM in International Commercial Law in September 2018 with the highest undergraduate degree award.
  3. LLM (General)
    • One half-fee Waiver.
  4. Online MA (Human Rights in Criminal Justice)
    • 14 x fee waiver for candidates from Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

MLAL

 

4 half-fee waivers for taught MA programmes in the School. As part of the award, the successful candidates are required to do two hours of teaching per week per semester.

EIC

Two competitive €1,000 part-fee waivers to the MA in English 

Sociology

No scholarships this year.

 

For more information on taught postgraduate funding and scholarships, please contact: ahsspg@ul.ie or visit https://www.ul.ie/artsoc/fee-waivers-and-scholarships

Irish World Academy Scholarships

PCC Scholarship

As part of its commitment and support of the cultural experience at the University of Limerick, particularly in the performing arts, Campus Life Services is offering a PCC scholarship to the value of €5,000 towards accommodation to an undergraduate student of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

This scholarship is only available for applicants of the BA Performing Arts. Campus Life Services aims to support students in residence to enjoy the best student living experience and get the best out of campus life. Campus Life Services, formerly Plassey Campus Centre (PCC), has also generously made an allocation of two residential scholarship places to support a number of postgraduate research students over the last number of years.

Academy Comhaimseartha Fee Waivers

The Irish World Academy is offering 2 full research EU fee waivers to current PhD students. As part of the conditions of the fee waivers, successful applicants will provide editorial support towards the compilation and publication to deadline of the Irish World Academy’s biannual Comhaimseartha/Of Our Times brochure.

Irish World Academy Fee Wavier

The Irish World Academy offers a limited number of full and/or partial fee waivers for research students at MA and PhD level.

These are distributed on an annual basis and decisions regarding the awarding of the Irish World Academy Fee Waivers will be made by the Academy Director.

RTÉ Lyric FM Scholarships

The RTÉ Lyric FM Scholarships were established in 1999 in support of the MA Classical String Performance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

The aim of the scholarship is to support talented string players who wish to study at UL. Since the scholarship was established in 1999, it has been awarded to students from Ireland, Australia, Malaysia, China, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Italy and the US. Recipients may be required to engage in work at the Academy, aimed towards professional development while making a valuable contribution to Academy life.

Bursary in Community Music

Universal Music UK Sound Foundation Bursary in Community Music Universal Music UK Sound Foundation (formerly EMI Music Sound Foundation), an independent charity, is now the single largest sponsor of Specialist Performing Arts Colleges in England and has created vital bursaries at music colleges to assist music students.

In 2005, EMI Music Sound Foundation extended its remit to cover the Irish World Academy in Ireland. A bursary was made available on an annual basis towards the establishment of the EMI Music Sound Foundation Bursary in Community Music at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Patrons: Sir George Martin, Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Cliff Richard, Diana Ross and Tina Turner.

Roche Continents – Youth! Arts! Science!

Roche Continents – Youth! Arts! Science! is a project grown from a partnership between Roche and the Salzburg Festival. 100 students from across Europe are selected to participate in this exceptional challenge; all aged between 20 and 29 from the life sciences, chemistry, the fine arts or music.

Roche is well known for promoting culture in novel settings, and Roche Continents is an example of this commitment. Participants attend concerts and talks by guest speakers, and are given the opportunity to join discussions with artists as well as take part in group workshops, exploring the common ground of innovation and creativity in the arts and science.

Stepping Stones

The Stepping Stones Scholarship fund is available for study on taught MA programmes at the Irish World Academy. Among other criteria, priority is given to applicants whose projects resonate with the spirit of the Stepping Stones initiative: equality of arts practices, interdisciplinary vision and the desire to build bridges between arts practices.

The two types of scholarships are: The Stepping Stones Scholarships for Non-EU Students are available to international students on taught MA programmes at the Academy.

Students must have a demonstrable record in a performance and/or academic specialisation relevant to a programme of study at the Academy. General Stepping Stones Scholarships are open to all applicants to taught MA programmes at the Academy. There are three €1,000 general scholarships available.

For more information on taught postgraduate funding and scholarships, please contact: Barbara.Christie@ul.ie

Further information on criteria and application procedures for all scholarships is available at: www.IrishWorldAcademy.ie

 

Science and Engineering Scholarships

10 x €2,000 fee waivers for EU Applicants, paid as a reduction of fees. 

You can see terms and conditions and application forms by visiting here. 

Kemmy Business School Scholarships

KBS Taught Postgraduate Programme Scholarships

10 x €2,000 fee waivers for EU Applicants, paid as a reduction of fees. 

1 x 50% fee waiver open to Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA).

** Please note applications are now closed for this year. 

KBS Research Scholarships

KBS offers scholarships in each semester for full-time PhD study. In alternate semesters it’s a Departmental Scholarship or a Dean’s Scholarship. These cover full fees for four years, subject to satisfactory progression, as well as a stipend of €1,000 a month.  

For more information contact: Deirdre O’ Dwyer, Taught Postgraduate Studies, Kemmy Business School on +353  (0) 61 202230. 

Education & Health Science Scholarships

School of Allied Health

2 x Structured PhD Scholarships – fees pa for 4 years (€17,284 in total).

1 x Structured PhD Scholarship – fees pa for 4 years €4,494 fees pa (€17,976 in total) + €16,000 stipend for 4 years, Research Expenses (Consumable & Travel) €2,250 for 4 year. (€90,976 in total).

Fee Waiver – MSc by research – fees pa for 2 years.

SAH Interprofessional Education PhD scholarship – Fees pa for 4 years (€4,942 per annum for 4 years + €16,000 stipend for 4 years, research expenses (Consumables  & travel) €2,250 for 4 years. (€92,768 in total).

Research Award – Foundation award and Student peer award – book tokens €50 per student.

Physical Education and Sport Sciences

Pat Duffy Teaching and Coaching Scholarship – Part-time Research Masters. The PESS Dept. will contribute €3,000 per year over the 2 years towards the fees.

Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) Postgraduate - Scholarship Scheme – Four-year PhD inclusive of fees (approx. €5,000 per annum) and bursary valued at €13,000 per annum.

PJ Smyth Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) Postgraduate - Scholarship Scheme – Four-year PhD inclusive of fees (approx. €5,000 per annum) and bursary valued at (€13,000 per annum).

Graduate Entry Medical School

Scholarship – Financial assistance to Access-route students 100% of programme fees, moderate maintenance bursary.  

Nursing & Midwifery

Scholarship – Edith and Leslie Downer Entrance Scholarship - €1,000 pa.

Scholarship – MSc Nursing Studies programme €3,000 to each student.

Psychology

Scholarship – 2x stipend and fee waiver.

EHS General (ADR)

Fee Waivers – Structured PhD.

 

For more information on taught postgraduate funding and scholarships, please contact the relevant department:

Sports Scholarships

Sports Scholarships

The UL Sports Scholarships are designed to support top athletes in pursuing and excelling in their sport while also undertaking academic study at the University of Limerick.  

The scholarships are open to all current, full time, UL students or those who are applying to come to UL for the first time either through CAO or transferring at undergraduate or postgraduate level.  Applicants must be a member of a national governing body of sport recognised by the Irish Sports Council, in the sport in which they are applying for a scholarship.

Find out more here

Funding for professional learners

Skillnet and Springboard+ Funding for Professional Learners

Skillnet funding

Skillnet Ireland, the national agency responsible for the promotion and facilitation of workforce learning, supports over 15,000 companies through 60+ enterprise-led learning networks annually.

Skillnet supports Irish businesses by helping them to identify relevant training requirements and working with them to source the best option to meet their needs. Its ambition is to develop Ireland’s talent base and enable Irish SMEs to reach their full potential through lifelong learning and professional development.

Skillnet fosters an enterprise-led approach to workforce development. It operates under a joint investment model, part-funded by participating businesses in one of our 60+ learning networks. Each network, funded by Skillnet Ireland, is a cluster of companies from the same sector or geographical location. This approach has received international recognition as a model of best practice from the OECD and ILO, amongst others.

Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

Click here to go to learn more about funding via Skillnet.

Springboard+ Funding

The springboard+ upskilling initiative in higher education offers free courses at certificate, degree and masters level leading to qualifications in areas where there are employment opportunities in the economy.

Springboard+ is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF programme for employability, inclusion and learning 2014-2020. The majority of courses are part-time for a maximum of 12 months and are open to all eligible applicants regardless of their employment status. For more information go to https://www.springboardcourses.ie

Funded Research Scholarships

The following bursaries/scholarships for students are administered by the Graduate School. The funding is provided with assistance from the UL Foundation, Campus Life Services and UL Graduate School.

Click here to find out more.

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