cheap masters degree for international students

Obtaining a master’s degree is often considered a significant investment in one’s education and future career. However, the cost of education varies significantly from one country to another, and international students are often left wondering how to make higher education more affordable. In this article, we will explore the possibilities of pursuing affordable master’s degrees for international students in Canada, Europe, the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Postgraduate education in the UK is already generally expensive if you’re a domestic student, and it’s even more so for internationals. It doesn’t have to be though. If you’re an overseas student looking for an affordable postgraduate course, see our top ten below. Fees are per academic year for overseas students starting a full-time postgraduate taught master’s degree in 2023/24. 

10. University of Bolton

Current cost: £12,450

University of Bolton

In 2023/24, international students at the University of Bolton pay the same annual fee for postgraduate courses as they do for undergraduate courses, with tuition starting from £12,450. Supportive and personalised teaching plus a multicultural location helps international students to settle in and make the most of their studies.

Search through postgraduate courses at the University of Bolton.

9. University of the Highlands and Islands

Current cost: from £12,420

University of the Highlands and Islands

On top of affordable and diverse postgraduate study options, international students at the University of the Highlands and Islands also gain easy access to the spectacular Scottish Highlands if studying on campus. Courses range from those rooted in the landscape (Coastal and Maritime Societies and Cultures, History of the Highlands and Islands) to those seeking a sustainable future (Net Zero Communities).

Search through postgraduate courses at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

8. University of Suffolk

Current cost: from £12,150

University of Suffolk

Set on the stunning Ipswich waterfront, the University of Suffolk is one of the UK’s newest universities, established in 2007 and awarding its own degrees since 2016. With a modern and entrepreneurial focus, it seeks to equip students with the skills and attributes to succeed in a changing world. International postgraduates are charged the same fee as undergraduates in 2023/24, depending on course type.

Search through postgraduate courses at the University of Suffolk.

7. Plymouth Marjon University

Current cost: £12,000

Plymouth Marjon University

Master’s specialisms at Plymouth Marjon University include Education and Teaching, plus Sport and healthcare related courses. A small uni, it provides good access to supervisors, and the campus provides all that students require.

Search through postgraduate courses at Plymouth Marjon University.

6. Leeds Trinity University

Current cost: from £11,500

Students chatting in Leeds Trinity University

Leeds Trinity University has a strong focus on employability, running a year-round programme of workshops and employer events for students. The uni’s networks include over 3,000 employers across the UK and overseas, which could boost employment opportunities for international students on graduation.

Search through postgraduate courses at Leeds Trinity University.

5. Liverpool Hope University

Current cost: from £11,400

Liverpool Hope University

Alongside affordable tuition fees for international students, Liverpool Hope University offers a range of enticing postgraduate courses to help boost your career prospects. As a student of the university, you’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful campus life while living near to the thriving city of Liverpool.

Search through postgraduate courses at Liverpool Hope University.

4. Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Current cost: from £10,600

Performing arts teacher and students

The MA in Professional Practice: Theatre and Drama Facilitation is a work-based learning course seeking to refresh your facilitation techniques with management tools and techniques. As well as online and interactive learning, intensive weekend workshops are held on campus in the UK.

Search through postgraduate courses at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

3. Royal Veterinary College

Current cost: from £10,240

Royal Veterinary College

The fees for the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are just £10,240 for the year. RVC has both a central London campus and a more rural setting in Hertfordshire, meaning you can get the best of both worlds. You’ll also have the chance to work with a fascinating selection of animals during your time there.

Search through postgraduate degrees at Royal Veterinary College.

2. Middlesex University

Current cost: from £8,000

Middlesex University

With one of the lowest fees in the UK for international postgraduate students, Middlesex University aims to equip you with the skills you need to fast-track your career after studying. Fees can be as low as £8,000, so as an international student, you can focus on your studies without worrying too much about breaking the bank.

Search through postgraduate degrees at Middlesex University.

1. University of Hull

Current cost: from £7,850

University of Hull

In 2023/24 international students at the University of Hull will pay the same fees as UK/Home students for most full-time taught master’s degrees. This includes courses offered by the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education, and the Law School and Department of Politics. International students from over 100 countries attend the uni, and as a former UK city of culture, Hull has plenty to offer for those who come to the city to live and study.

Cheap Master’s Degrees in Canada for International Students:

Canada is renowned for its high-quality education system and welcoming environment for international students. Moreover, many Canadian institutions offer affordable master’s degree programs. Some factors contributing to this affordability include government subsidies and exchange rates.

  1. Government Subsidies: Canadian universities often receive funding from provincial and federal governments, allowing them to offer affordable tuition rates to both domestic and international students.
  2. Exchange Rates: Favorable exchange rates for many international students can make Canadian education even more cost-effective.
  3. Scholarships and Grants: Various Canadian universities offer scholarships and grants specifically designed for international students to help reduce the financial burden of tuition fees.

Cheap Master’s Degrees in Europe for International Students:

Europe is home to many countries offering affordable master’s degree programs. Countries like Germany, Sweden, and Norway are known for their low or non-existent tuition fees for international students.

  1. Germany: Public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees for international students in many regions, making it a cost-effective destination for higher education.
  2. Sweden: Sweden offers a range of master’s programs with tuition fees that are quite reasonable, and many universities also provide scholarships.
  3. Norway: Norwegian universities offer tuition-free education to international students, making it an attractive option for those seeking affordable master’s degrees.

Cheap Master’s Degrees in the USA for International Students:

While the United States is often perceived as an expensive study destination, it is still possible for international students to find affordable master’s programs.

  1. Graduate Assistantships: Many U.S. universities offer graduate assistantships that provide tuition waivers and stipends in exchange for research or teaching work.
  2. Public Universities: Public universities in the U.S. tend to have lower tuition rates compared to private institutions, making them a cost-effective choice.
  3. Scholarships and Fellowships: Various scholarships and fellowships are available for international students, which can significantly reduce the cost of education.

Cheap Master’s Degrees in the Netherlands for International Students:

The Netherlands is another European country that offers a wide range of affordable master’s programs for international students.

  1. Tuition Fees: While tuition fees are not as low as in some European countries, they are still reasonable, and many universities offer scholarships and grants.
  2. Part-Time Work: International students in the Netherlands are allowed to work part-time, which can help offset living expenses.
  3. Scholarships: Various Dutch universities offer scholarships designed to attract and support international students.

Cheap Master’s Degrees in the UK for International Students:

The United Kingdom is home to many prestigious institutions, and while it may not be the cheapest option, there are still opportunities to reduce costs.

  1. Scholarships and Bursaries: Many UK universities provide scholarships and bursaries specifically for international students to help with tuition fees and living expenses.
  2. Part-Time Work: International students in the UK are allowed to work part-time during their studies, providing an additional source of income.
  3. Regional Variation: Tuition fees can vary depending on the region of the UK and the university, so it’s essential to research and compare costs.


International students looking for affordable master’s degree programs have several options to choose from. Each of the mentioned countries offers unique advantages and opportunities to reduce the financial burden of higher education. It’s important for prospective students to conduct thorough research, consider their academic and career goals, and explore the various scholarships, grants, and part-time work options available in each country. With careful planning, it is possible to obtain a valuable master’s degree without incurring a substantial financial burden.

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