(Original post by 0404343m)
I think you're probably a little late for MA funding for this year coming too, but hope is not lost for next year. Could you give me a rundown of the course you did/what you want to do? MA funding for history is shoddy for a number of reasons. There are lots of history grads- about 100 universities will offer at least a joint degree in it, so there are something like 7,000 annually. There are about 150-200 PhD funded places annually, max, and about 100 masters places. Given that lots of history grads tend to be doing it for the love of the discipline, lots tend to want to do further study compared with, say, accountancy grads. So, the numbers are against you straight away- in my year we had 20 per place chasing the masters funding and 12 per place for the PhD. We're also in the situation of being seen as 'academic' and struggle to get grants when compared with economics who say they want to investigate financial crises and end up with £1.2m government grants that pay for a raft of PhDs and some post-docs.
Once you accept the odds and don't get too down about rejections, you can get somewhere. Fact of the matter is, some places are richer and have more funds than others. There are also some related disciplines that might let you in to do something similar with more cash per head, even if it isn't one of your top choices. If you really can't move from where you are and are constrained to one or two MAs that are being offered, it makes life harder, but if not, I'd encourage you to look far and wide. One example is at Glasgow: The MLitt in War Studies or MSc in Global Security share one funded place, but have probably 40 applications for it. The much less popular MLitt in American Studies allows students to basically do very similar/the same modules (and still write on the war on terror if they wanted) but have four places for Gordon Scholarships through a large donation some years ago that covers the fees, and often only about half a dozen people that know about it and apply.
There are lots of little and large bodies like the British Commission for Maritime History and the Economic History Society that, depending on what you want to do, can sometimes come up with a bursary of £250-£1000 here and there. They might make the difference between unaffordable and affordable. If you know the lecturer well and they run the course- talk to them. I know of some people swinging a fee-waiver in return for being a research assistant to someone for a few hours a week. Since you're really just getting a library card and access to tutorials that already run, depending on how rigidly the university runs the department's budget can depend on how much sway a senior staff member has in not charging fees. This is by no means common though.
Failing that, as you know you'd be left with university scholarships or AHRC/ESRC schemes or the occasional charitable fund that pays for fees. I suspect you know these, but it'd be worth checking them at other universities too. It's worth noting some places are very protective of their own students, while others want their own students to go and experience somewhere else, which heavily affects how they approach applicants. Some also just pick those with the best First Class degrees and most prizes, while others are looking for a research proposal that closely matches the department, or somewhere in between- I know of a mature student with a low 2:1 from a not well known department who took time out, wrote a book, and then came back and got full funding on the back of it from a big department. Oxford has some hidden away in colleges and some exist for people from certain countries/counties, which, if you meet the criteria, can mean you're the only applicant eligible.
Anyway, even if your boat has sailed for this coming Autumn, if you spend the next year wisely, you should have a better, if still far from certain, chance next year.