Applications and Funding

How to apply

Applicants should apply online from the webpage corresponding to their chosen course.

If you require any further information on the application process please contact the Postgraduate Office:

Postgraduate Office
Keele University

Telephone: +44 (0)1782 734472
Fax: +44 (0)1782 632343


Details of postgraduate course tuition fees can be found here.

Keele Bursaries

i) SPIRE Masters Bursaries

Each year we aim to award a number of bursaries to students on our Masters courses in Politics and International Relations (that is, on the pathways in Diplomatic Studies, Environmental Politics, European Politics and Culture, Global Security, and International Relations). In past years we have awarded six or more bursaries, each of the value of £1,000–£2,000 to cover part of the cost of the tuition fees. These bursaries have been awarded to both home/EU students and international students.

The number and size of individual bursaries awarded each year depend on the quality of the applications and on the funds we have available. Bursaries will always take the form of covering part of the cost of tuition fees. We are not able to provide funds to cover living expenses. 

All applications for our Masters courses in Politics and International Relations (whether they be from home/EU students or from international students, and whether they be for full-time or part-time study) are automatically put forward for a bursary, as long as they are received by the end of June. Students should therefore submit a strong application with a strong personal statement. In the personal statement students should pay particular attention to explaining how their research interests fit in with SPIRE and why they wish to study their chosen Masters at Keele.

ii) Keele Graduate Bursaries

All students (UK/EU and international) who obtained their undergraduate degree from Keele (including those who will graduate in the summer) are eligible for a Keele Graduate Bursary. This takes the form of a £1,000 discount on the fees for full-time taught postgraduate courses, and discounts calculated on a pro-rata basis for part-time or modular study.

Please see here for more details of these bursaries.

iii) Keele International Student Scholarships (KISS)

These scholarships are open to students from Brunei, China, the Gulf States, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, The Maldives, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam who wish to undertake a taught, full-time postgraduate Masters at Keele.

The value of these scholarships is £3,000 which goes towards the cost of annual tuition fees for postgraduate taught courses. These scholarships do not cover living expenses.

These scholarships are awarded to students who can demonstrate excellence in at least two of the following: i) academic qualifications, ii) English language ability, iii) understanding of the course and motivation to study at Keele, and iv) extra-curricular or work experience.

Please see here for more information and details on how to apply, .

vi) Research Institute for Social Sciences PhD Studentships

These studentships are available to support PhDs in Politics, International Relations, or Philosophy; please see here

v) Funding for North American Students

Tuition Fee Bursary

All American and Canadian students are eligible for a 10% bursary towards the international rate of tuition for the course for which they are applying. In addition, all students graduating from one of our 30 North American partners (see link below) will be eligible for a further 15% bursary. Finally, if a previous exchange student from one of the partner universities decides to come back to Keele for postgraduate study, they will be eligible for a 50% bursary.

NAFKU Scholarship

In addition, American and Canadian students can compete for the NAFKU scholarship (North American Foundation Keele University). This provides US$4,000 towards living costs at Keele.

Fulbright and Marshall Scholarships

Keele also has one Fulbright scholarship and one Marshall scholarship, whereby Keele pays the tuition fees and the US-UK Fulbright Commission or Marshall Commission pays the student’s stipend or maintenance costs.

Further details of all funding opportunities for North American students and a list of partner universities can be found here.

External Scholarships for Overseas Students

Commonwealth Scholarships

In 2016, up to four scholarships are available for students applying for the Diplomatic Studies, Environmental Politics and Global Security pathways. These scholarships offer opportunities to Commonwealth citizens to study in the UK. These offer support for full-time study at both Masters and doctoral level. Awards cover airfare, tuition fees, maintenance allowance and other miscellaneous costs. For more information see here.

Education Ministry in student’s home country

Prospective students are also encouraged to contact the Education Ministry or the Department of Education in their home country to enquire about other possible scholarships and funding sources.

Other ways to fund your studies


Many postgraduate students choose to study part-time so that they can continue in paid employment. Some full-time students also have to find paid work in order to help fund their studies.

Most international students are now permitted to work up to 20 hours a week without individual approval, and spouses are also normally allowed to work provided their student spouse has been granted leave to stay in the UK for 12 months or more.

We are sometimes able to provide opportunities for paid employment (usually administrative work) within SPIRE. The Students Union also runs a job shop for students seeking casual and part-time work.

Professional and Career Development Loans

Professional and Career Development Loans are available to students who have been resident in the UK for at least three years and who intend to work in the UK, EU or EEA at the end of their studies.

Further information is available here.