The Cambridge Trust is a major source of funding for students at the University of Cambridge and offers a number of scholarships for postgraduate applicants. Below are details on eligibility and how to apply.
Eligibility for postgraduate funding
The eligibility requirements for most postgraduate Cambridge scholarships are:
- significant academic achievement and potential
- financial need (although some scholarship programmes are based on academic merit alone)
Applicants must be intending to start a course at the level of:
Masters (such as MPhil, MASt, LLM but with some restrictions – see Important information section below)
Research postgraduate (such as PhD)
All students, irrespective of nationality, are eligible for postgraduate awards.
Applicants may study any subject currently available at the University of Cambridge. Please visit the postgraduate course directory for further information.
Application and admission
Postgraduate scholarships are available only for study at the University of Cambridge, and require that you apply to the University for admission by the relevant funding deadline (please visit Applying for postgraduate funding for full details), and have a conditional offer of admission.
You do not need to apply to the Cambridge Trust directly as an application for funding can be made as part of your application for admission to the University.
All students must be admitted to the University of Cambridge through the standard application procedures. The Trust plays no role in the admission of applicants to the University and is not able to influence the chances of an applicant being offered a place.
The University sets minimum standards – check the requirements for postgraduates.
Applicants are encouraged to meet the entry requirements of the University as early as possible, including (if necessary) the completion of an English language test. This will help prevent the Trust from offering valuable scholarships to students who can ultimately not take up their places at Cambridge.
- Postgraduate scholarships are available only for study at the University of Cambridge.
- The Trust does not offer full-cost scholarships for MBA or MFin programs. The Trust will consider co-funding students on MBA and MFin who are nominated to the Trust by funding partners (who may have their procedures for applying).
- The Trust is unable to offer scholarships for part-time MSt courses at any Department within the University. Please note, that MSt courses are not the same as MASt courses.
- The Trust does not have scholarships available for post-doctoral positions, or for visiting or exchange students.
- The Trust will not normally support students at a degree level that is the same as, or lower than, a degree they already hold. We will, however, consider an application from a student who is required to take a second master’s degree at Cambridge to gain admission to the Ph.D. here.
- The Trust does not accept applications from students who are part-way through a course at Cambridge unless they are applying for funding towards a higher degree course following graduation.
- Most students register for full-time study, but, in the interests of widening participation, the Trust can consider applications from students for part-time study where the University offers such courses.
How to Apply for Postgraduate Funding
If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to apply for postgraduate funding from the Cambridge Trust to support a course of study at the University of Cambridge, please follow the guidelines below.
Step 1: Find your course and College
Applicants may study any subject currently available at the University of Cambridge.
Please visit the postgraduate course directory for further information.
Before making an application to the University, research thoroughly your chosen course of study (via the University postgraduate website).
In addition to over 150 departments, faculties, and institutes, the University of Cambridge consists of 31 Colleges. Each is an independent institution with its property, income, and staff.
Every postgraduate student also becomes a member of one of the Colleges.
If you are applying for postgraduate study, you may state a choice of two Colleges on your application form, or you may leave that section blank and be considered by any College.
All students who are offered admission to the University, at any level, will be given a place at one of the Colleges; no student arrives to study at Cambridge without membership of one of the Colleges.
The Trust plays no part in the selection of Colleges for applicants.
All 31 Colleges are different in size, composition, facilities, and atmosphere. But all Colleges share the same aim of providing a safe, helpful, and stimulating environment for their members. Further information is available for postgraduate applicants.
Some scholarship schemes are available to applicants for particular Colleges – for further information, see our scholarship search and see the individual College websites.
Step 2: Find your scholarships
Use our scholarship search to find a list of Trust scholarships for which you may be eligible.
Please read the information for each scholarship carefully as some awards require a separate application, and there may be additional criteria.
Funding for international students with financial need is highly competitive. We expect students with financial need to research and apply for all suitable scholarships, and to make applications to the Trust’s funding partners if required.
Step 3: Submit your application for admission
If you wish to be considered for a scholarship from the Trust, you must complete the funding section of the online admissions application form via the Applicant Portal, expressing your wish to be considered for funding. This must be submitted by the funding deadline specific to your course.
There are two general course funding deadlines: 05 December 2023 and 04 January 2024.
If you do not know what the funding deadline is for your course, you can visit the postgraduate course directory and check your subject (the funding deadline is a drop-down section on the right-hand side of the individual course page). It is very important to note that you are looking for the funding deadline and not the application deadline.
This funding deadline is the same for any of the starting terms in an academic year – Michaelmas Term (October), Lent Term (January), and Easter Term (April).
Although you will be considered for all awards that you may be eligible for, you are welcome to provide details of any specific scholarships for which you wish to be considered (some scholarships require you to indicate that you wish to be considered).
You do not need to apply to the Trust directly as an application for funding can be made as part of your application for admission to the University.
If you do not submit your application for admission by the relevant funding deadline and indicate that you wish to be considered for funding, we are unable to consider you for funding.
Full details on how to apply for admission to the University of Cambridge can be found here.
There are additional help pages that applicants can link to directly once the online admissions application is started. You can also view those help pages by clicking on the relevant link(s) below:
Academic history; Additional information; Adjustments; College membership; Contact details; Employment history; English language; Equal opportunities; Finances; Funding; Nationality and visa; Other information; Personal details; Reference request; Research.
In the funding application section, you should include significant income from all sources, including salaries, business profit, rents, and dividends, as many of our scholarships require evidence of financial need.
Step 4: The awards process
The Trust’s awards period runs from March to the end of July and is an ongoing process throughout that period. The majority of our Trust awards are made in March, but some of our partner-funded awards can take longer to process. In addition, we may be able to promote reserve candidates if and when offers are declined.
While we appreciate that this can be an anxious time for applicants, your patience would be appreciated while waiting for a decision.
As long as you have applied by the funding deadline and have a conditional offer of admission for your course, you will be considered for any awards for which you are eligible. Your application will remain under consideration until the end of our awards period.
Please note that due to the number of applications the Trust receives, it is not possible to notify unsuccessful applicants, or to provide individual feedback. Awardees will be notified as soon as possible.