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LIFE HACK: 6 Ways to Study at University for ‘free’


As of January 2018, tuition fees currently stand at £9,250. This means that after 3 years of study, the average graduate could leave university with a minimum debt of £27750.

With all this potential looming debt, it’s not surprising that some pre-university students are anxious about pursuing a degree.

So, how can you study at university for free? In reality, nothing is free, but below is a list of 6 ways to drastically cut costs.

1)    Scholarships:

The most well-known method is to apply through a scholarship scheme. When applying, it’s important to know what the scholarship will cover. Some scholarships only offer a specific amount of money, others are all-inclusive.

Check out the list of  links below  to apply or find out more:

Tip: Scholarships are typically applied through University websites, it may be worth contacting the University directly to see if any are being offered.

 2)    Company/Individual sponsorships

Sponsorships are where an individual, institution, company or organisation takes on the responsibility to finance your degree and all that your study course entails.

Type 1) Full-time student 

Whilst at University, I had several classmates who were sponsored by construction companies. This type of sponsorship often entails the student applying directly through the company. Each student is required to reach a specific performance benchmark.

For example, if the student’s attendance or grades fall below a specific level. their employers will be contacted. The student is often expected to join the company for a period of time after their studies.


Tip: It might be worth getting external advice before signing any contracts.

Companies offering full time sponsored degrees:








For more information:

Type 2) An apprenticeship degree – part-time student.

A traditional apprenticeship degree is where a person joins a company under the pretence that they will at some point be enrolled into a sponsored degree programme.

Study time is often structured around their usual working tasks.

For example, an apprentice may be on campus 1 – 3 times a week and then be expected to work for the remaining time. Employers may consider sponsoring your degree after you have spent a specific amount of time at a company.

Sometimes an employee may join a company as a technician/ trainee, after promotion to a higher role or change of position, the company may see it beneficial to sponsor any of the individuals further learning. 

During employment, further education can also be negotiated and requested.

For information see our previous article:

3)    Study abroad

Many countries offer free/ affordable tuition for students (although Brexit may affect this). For EU students there are tuition-free (or cheaper) options in the following countries. Some also offer courses in English.

GERMANY – Many bachelor degrees programmes only require a small student fee (usually a few hundred euros) – most bachelors are in German. Masters courses are sometimes offered in English.

 NORDIC COUNTRIES (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland) many courses are taught in English at bachelors and masters level.

note: tuition is typically free however these countries are expensive to live in.

 AUSTRIA – Like Germany, most Austrian universities only require a small student fee. Some bachelors and masters are taught in English.

NETHERLANDS – Average tuition is around €2000 per year with many courses taught in English.

ARGENTINA – If you’re feeling adventurous (I kid you not, it was actually one of my options) try Argentina. All their universities are free to everyone who wants to study there.

Note: courses are typically taught in Spanish and it’s obviously very far.

More information can be found here:

4)    Online courses

Online courses can be highly affordable and more practical for many. However, they usually aren’t totally “free”.

Check out:

The website a comprehensive number of free courses, after successful completion of some courses, there is the option of enrolling in their masters’ programme.

5)    Crowdfunding

If you have the gift of communication/a large audience and can somehow convince a few thousand people to help you pay for your degree. Try to set up a GoFundMe account. There are hundreds of people who do it successfully.

6)    Work part-time (evening classes)

This isn’t really free however with a proper schedule and work flexibility, you might be able to structure your life around gaining your degree whilst you work, this will help minimise the amount of debt you take on.


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