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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:

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.

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

€24,500

Reckonable income must be under

€24,500

Reckonable income must be under

€24,500

 
 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.

Research 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 and Professional Studies.

Funding opportunites will be advertised when available.

 

 

Faculty Scholarships

School of English, Irish and Communication:

Duration: One year, Value: €1000 (3 awards)

Open to all applicants for the following MA programmes in the School: The MA in English and the MA in Journalism (including Sports Journalism)

School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics:

Duration: One year, Value: €1000 (4 awards)

Open to all applicants for the following MA programmes in the School: MA Applied Linguistics (International) and MA in Teaching English to speakers of other Languages (TESOL)

School of Law

LM/MA (Human Rights in Criminal Justice)
Judge Michael Reilly Scholarship – 33% fee waiver (open to an Garda Síochána) - 2 x 33% Fee Waiver (open to an Garda Síochána).

LLM (International Commercial Law)
50% fee waiver.

Eversheds, Solicitors – This international corporate law firm offers a very generous scholarship to the student registering for the LLM in September 2020 with the highest undergraduate degree award.

LLM (General)
50% fee Waiver.

Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Scholarships contact point:
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

PCC Scholarship
1 x residential scholarships to support undergraduate students. 
Fee waiver
A limited number of full and/or partial fee waivers for research students at MA and PhD level. Distributed on an annual basis, the decision will be made by the Academy Director. 

RTÉ Lyric FM Scholarships
A scholarship for talented string players who wish to study at UL. Recipients may be required to engage in work at the Academy.  Aimed towards professional development. 

Universal Music UK Sound Foundation

A Bursary is available to an IWAMD student from Universal Music UK Sound Foundation, the independent charity in any of the following programme:

• MA Community Music

• MA Irish Traditional Music Performance

• Professional Master of Education Music

 

Stepping Stones Scholarships
Non-EU Student scholarship for MA taught programmes.  Students must have a demonstrable record in a performance and/or academic specialisation relevant to a programme of study at the Academy. 
3 x €1,000 general scholarships for IWAMD students on taught MA programmes. Students must have a demonstrable record in a performance and/or academic specialisation relevant to a programme of study at the Academy.

Irish World Academy Scholarships contact point:

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

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. 

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).

To apply please click HERE

For more information contact: Deirdre O’ Dwyer, Taught Postgraduate Studies, Kemmy Business School on +353  (0) 61 202230 or Email to: Deirdre.ODwyer@ul.ie

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.

Scholarship –BSc Nursing Studies programme €1,500 to each student.

Pscychology

Depending on funding availability a number of Student Scholarships may be obtainable Please use this for contact adminpsych@ul.ie

EHS General (ADR)

Fee Waivers – Structured PhD – depending on funding availability.

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

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

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 & Professional Studies.

Click here to find out more.

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

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