It’s no secret that in our day and age, most fields and industries in the world are male-dominated. Women are inherently disadvantaged by this, and most have to work harder to be recognised and respected at the same level as men, no matter how brilliant or intelligent they are.
If you fall into this category, you’ll be pleased to know that many countries around the world are actively working to narrow this gap. The UK is one of them, primarily by offering scholarships for women to pursue further education. This way, female international students everywhere are given greater opportunities to have their dreams realised through education, all whilst studying at one of the UK’s many prestigious universities.
Here are five postgraduate scholarships for women studying in the UK that you can consider.
STEM students: British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM
The British Council acts as the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It operates in over 100 countries, working with individuals as well as governments and partners to create benefits for millions of people around the world through education.
The British Council already offers hundreds of scholarship opportunities for international students seeking to study in the UK. On top of this, they also specifically offer scholarships to women from a wide range of countries who have a place to study a STEM subject (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in a UK university. Scholarships are open to women from the Americas, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine.
To qualify, you should have a background in STEM (an undergraduate degree) that will qualify you for one of the British Council’s pre-selected postgraduate courses at one of the 26 UK universities it is partnered with. You should also have an appropriate understanding of English to study at postgraduate level, and be active in the field with work experience or a proven interest in your subject area.
For more information on this, have a look at the British Council’s website here.
Economics students: Women in Economics Scholarship
Every year, the European Central Bank offers five women who are pursuing — or about to pursue — their masters in economics a grant of €10,000 (approximately £8430). These awards are given to women studying or about to study at a university or business school in Europe (including the UK) and who have excellent grades in their undergraduate degree.
To qualify, you must be a citizen of an EU Member State. At the moment, this still includes the UK, so you’d still be eligible if you’re a British national. You also need to prove that you are facing a funding gap that’s preventing you from pursuing your studies.
Successful candidates get the chance to build connections with the European Central Bank, primarily by gaining insights into their cutting-edge research. Additionally, you’ll learn about the career opportunities the bank offers — an exciting prospect for any economics graduate.
For more information, click here.
Women pursuing a PhD can qualify for scholarships from a number of organisations / Source: Roslan RAHMAN / AFP
PhD or research students: the British Federation of Women Graduates Scholarships
The British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) is an organisation composed of women with degrees or equivalent qualifications who collectively work together to enable academic women win jobs and achieve parity in British further education establishments. Through this, members have influence and advocacy rights on relevant policy at top levels in the UK and worldwide, including with the UN, the European Women’s Lobby and the British Government.
For over 100 years, BFWG has offered scholarships to support women in pursuing their education in the UK. Today, BFWG primarily offers scholarships to women of any nationality who are working towards a research doctorate, such as a PhD, DPhil, DMus, and more. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, and are not intended to meet financial need.
To qualify, you should be in the midst of your doctoral studies and registered at a university in England, Wales or Scotland. Amounts range upwards from £1000, with women typically being awarded around £3000. In the 2020/21 year, scholarships were awarded for research into music, climate change, the disability rights movement, and more.
For more information, click here.
Non-tuition expenditure: Funds for Women Graduates
If you’ve got enough to cover your tuition but not your other expenses, Funds for Women Graduates (FfWG) is where you should look. A subsidiary of BFWG, FfWG is an educational charity with the objective to promote higher education and the wider learning of women graduates. They provide grants, bursaries and fellowships to women graduates who may need extra financial support in their studies.
Typically, FfWG offers grants to women postgraduate students in their final year of PhD study or an equivalent degree. These include the Foundation Grants (up to £6000) for living expenses and Emergency Grants for women facing an unforeseen financial crisis whilst studying or researching at a UK university (up to £2500). For women graduates researching into History or English Literature, the Theodora Bosanquet Bursary offers temporary summer accommodation in London.
To qualify, you need to already be registered as a PhD or equivalent student at a UK university and show that you have the means to pay your tuition. Outside of that, FfWG is flexible — it awards grants to students of any nationality in any field of research.
For more information, click here.
Health and Life Science Students: The Eira Francis Davies Scholarship at Swansea University
Swansea University is known for many things — being a top UK university for teaching excellence and the 12th for student satisfaction, to name a few. However, it is its reputation for research excellence that often catches the public eye.
In this, the institution’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences is paving the way. It’s ranked 2nd in the UK for research excellence in the fields of medicine, psychology and more, on top of actively engaging with the NHS, social services and private sector to improve the lives of people within and outside the country. Naturally, it attracts talented students from the world over — many of whom are women.
For female students joining the university, Swansea offers the Eira Francis Davies Scholarship. This is granted exclusively to women pursuing a full-time taught masters programme within the Faculty. To qualify, students must be from an eligible developing country listed by the World Bank Country and Lending Groups classification as being ‘low income’ or ‘lower-middle income’.
Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Don’t give up hope. Universities often offer scholarships to incoming students, so it’s always worthwhile to check your institution’s webpage. Chances are, you’ll be eligible for at least one of their many scholarships.