If you are normally resident in Northern Ireland, your financing will come from Student Finance NI. You can apply for a loan to cover up to the full tuition fee cost per year.


You can make an application for funding online through Student Finance NI. You don’t need to have applied for a course or received an offer in order to begin applying for funding – it’s best to apply as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment!


You will begin repaying your loan once you have graduated and are earning a minimum of £18,330 a year before taxes. The repayment threshold will change each year in line with the Retail Price Index, and will be deducted from your salary. If your loan is not repaid by the end of 25 years, the remaining debt will be written off. To find out what your likely repayments would be, please see Student Finance NI’s Repayment Calculator.

Means-tested support

Support is also available through a Student Finance NI combined package of means-tested grants and loans for living costs. The amount available to you (up to £3,475) will depend on your own personal circumstances, so for more advice and information, please contact them directly.

Support from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

In addition to any support you may receive from Student Finance NI, the Royal Conservatoire has introduced additional scholarships for new Northern Irish students to partly offset the introduction of a higher level of tuition fee. We will use the residual household income figure as calculated by the Student Loans Company (SLC) when assessing scholarship entitlement. Depending on your residual household income you will be guaranteed to receive the following level of scholarship for each year of your degree programme if you are successful in taking up your offer of admissions to the Royal Conservatoire. You will be able to use your scholarship to either contribute towards your tuition fee or towards your general living costs. Further details will be made available in due course.

Residual Household Income Royal Conservatoire Northern Irish Scholarship
Up to £25,000 £3,000
£25,001 to £30,000 £2,500
£30,001 to £35,000 £2,000


Other sources of funding

The organisations featured below are just a small selection of those that might be able to provide you with some financial assistance.

South Square Trust

Applicants for music and drama courses can apply between 1st January and 30th April each year via www.southsquaretrust.org.uk/Default.aspx

The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust

The trust supports postgraduate students in all fields of study. In order to be eligible to apply for a grant, you must be over the age of 24 on 1 October of the proposed year of study and already resident in the UK at the time of application, and resident in the UK during the course of study. If you are applying for a place on a postgraduate degree course, you must hold a first- or second-class honours degree from a UK institution (or its equivalent from a non-UK institution) or hold a Masters degree from a UK institution. Further information can be found via http://www.stapleytrust.org/wp/applications/

The Sue and Freddy Walding Bursary

The British Horn Society administers this fund, which was set up to help promising young UK horn players under the age of 18, who are unable fully to develop their horn playing because of acute financial constraints. The closing date each year is 30 April. Full details can be obtained via the BHS website. http://www.british-horn.org/grants/


British Federation of Women Graduates

This foundation aims to help women graduates (UK and overseas) who are studying in the UK by offering grants to help with living costs. They offer a small number of awards including emergency grants. These are one off payments intended to help cover an unexpected financial crisis affecting the completion of an academic year’s work. Applicants must show that they had made realistic provision for their year’s study but now face an unforeseeable financial crisis. No grant is likely to exceed £1000. Further information is available at www.ffwg.org.uk

Helena Kennedy Foundation

The Helena Kennedy Foundation offers a bursary scheme available to students currently studying at a FE college or sixth form college and applying to enter university. If you are already on or have undertaken a higher education course you are not eligible to apply. If you are not at a FE college or sixth form college you will not be eligible to apply. The maximum bursary available is £2250.  www.hkf.org.uk

Royal Artillery Charitable Fund

Assistance for dependants of members of the Royal Regiment of Artillery who are unable to work due to illness or death. Grants are made that support the children of its members who have started private education before the family’s breadwinner became unable to earn and therefore unable to help them continue their education. The Charity also supports specialist clothing and fees for mature students. Applications in writing to SSAFA Forces. Artillery House, Royal Artillery Barracks, Larkhill, Salisbury, SP4 8QT

The Chizel Educational Trust

People under the age of 25 who are living in the UK are eligible. Grants are given towards equipment / instruments, books, travel, bursaries and maintenance costs. Application in writing to the Trustees. Haydn House, 309 – 329 Haydn Road, Nottingham, NG5 1HG