Taking your studies further by choosing to do a postgraduate qualification can be a valuable experience, but unfortunately it won’t come cheap in most institutions. What are your funding options when it comes to postgrad? Let’s have a look.


Bursaries, scholarships and various other programmes are a great way to fund your studies. There are many bursaries which fund postgraduates specifically, and you can find these on various bursary directories as well as on CellCgirl’s Opportunities section.

National Research Foundation

The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a number of different grants, programmes, scholarships and fellowships to assist postgraduate students in their research, both in South Africa as well as those who wish to study abroad, in countries such as Canada. Applications for these different options will vary, but many will require a research proposal. You can learn more about the various NRF funding options by visiting this link.

Speak to your university

Many universities, especially larger ones such as University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and University of Johannesburg (UJ) offer postgraduate financing assistance and scholarships, which are usually rewarded based on either merit, or your proposed field of research.

Student Loans

Just as many banks offer student loans for undergraduate study, they also offer funding for postgraduate students. Inquire about your options either online, or by visiting the banks in your area. But remember that student loans do come with interest, and it’s very important for you to consult with trusted people in your life who are knowledgable about finances, as well as do your research thoroughly before taking out a student loan. Here’s some more information on student loans.

Part-Time Studying

If you can complete your postgraduate on a part-time basis, then this gives you an option to work and study at the same time, thus paying for your studies. Alternatively, you could take a year or two to work and save up, after which you can go back to complete your postgraduate degree.

If you feel that a postgraduate degree is the best route for you and you’ll get value out of it, then don’t let a lack of finances get in your way. Explore the different options available to you, and find the one which makes the most sense to you.

Remember that you can always reach out to us via AskCellCgirl for free, confidential advice if you’re ever feeling stuck. Good luck!

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