Studying at Oxford is expensive, but there are many scholarships available for MSc students. With advanced planning, there is a good probability that you will be able to secure at least some funding for your MSc. In fact, after debating whether to apply to Cambridge or Oxford, this was a main reason that I eventually opted for the latter; Cambridge seems to offer significantly less scholarships for MSc students.
Obvious Links, Hidden Links
If you’ve read my page about Oxford colleges, then you already have some understanding of the separation between Oxford University and the Oxford colleges. As a result of this, you should apply for scholarships through both the general university system and through the colleges themselves! This is something that I, and many of my foreign colleagues, did not fully comprehend before arriving at Oxford.
For a list of university scholarships, see here. Although the university search engine is supposed to list all the college specific scholarships as well, I’ve found that in practice this isn’t the case. For instance, this page listing the numerous scholarships specific to New College offers options that do not come up in the university search engine results. (On a slight tangent, and as a quick anecdote: “New College” is so called because it was new when it was founded in 1386!)
My general recommendation is to first exhaust the options in the university link above, and then to start googling each of the colleges individually, the good old-fashioned way, starting with the wealthiest colleges:
Weidenfeld-Hoffman Trust Scholarship
During my time at Oxford, I was extremely fortunate to be fully funded by the Weidenfeld-Hoffman Trust (WHT) Scholarship. The Scholarship is aimed at 1 year MSc students from around the world, and includes around 30 students each year.
The WHT scholarship staff are exceptionally kind, generous, and helpful, and they made my year at Oxford so much more warm and comforting. Amongst other things, the scholarship arranged a several-day, pre-term seminar for the scholars about leadership and morals, which was both interesting and allowed the scholars to get to know each other well before the term started. Throughout the year, WHT hosted further leadership sessions, as well as lighter events such as tours of Parliament and ice-skating in London during Christmas.
Part of what I believe sets this scholarship apart from, say, the Rhodes Scholarship, is its intimacy and multiculturalism. Since there are no more than 3 scholars from a specific country per year, this means that there are no country-specific cliques and that there is space for non-American perspectives to be thoroughly heard and focused on. The trust keeps in touch with its graduates, and we alumnis have always felt that we have gotten a gift of supporters for life, who will always be happy to help us with our endeavors.
If you want to learn more, have a look at the WHT website, and feel free to email me if you have any questions.
Advice for Applicants
The trust was created by George Weidenfeld (1919-2016), who led an inspiring life and built himself up from scratch in the UK after his move there in 1938, he and his family having managed to leave Nazi Germany. The trust is further supported by Michael Lewis and André Hoffmann.
Before you apply for the scholarship, take the time to read about about George Weidenfeld and understand the vision he had. Learning about his life will leave you wiser and more humble, and will also help you better prepare for the application interviews, since you will have a better grasp of what the scholarship is looking for.