Trusts and charities

Thousands of trusts and charities in the UK offer small grants or bursaries towards further study or to assist students in financial need.

Charities are an underrated funding resource, and often make awards to students of any subject and any nationality provided they meet the criteria for an award. Most tend to apply to a small, specific group of people so you will need to undertake a lot of research to find a charity or trust that is relevant to you.


There are a wide range of options available to students from many different backgrounds and circumstances. Several charities and trusts have been founded to support those with particular issues or needs however these are not always financial hardship. Some grants have been established to fund a specific purpose e.g. grants for students from a specific area, with a specific illness, certain career aspirations, hobbies (drama, sport, music etc.).

Application process

The University of Bristol subscribes to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding which all current Bristol students and registered recent Bristol graduates can access.

The guide, published by GradFunding, is a database of thousands of charities and trusts and tells you how to find and apply for alternative sources of funding.

If you're a prospective student, we can give you a PIN to access the guide so you can get started with your search. To request the PIN, please email the Careers Service:

Applications vary depending on the trust or charity, these usually involve either an application form or a letter of application.

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