Master the art of financing postgraduate studies
Saturday 18 June 2011
Almost two million students in the UK are entering the final stages of their undergraduate degrees. But with next year's postgraduate courses kicking off in September students need to decide soon whether to enrol on another degree. One of the biggest barriers is securing the necessary funding, but there are options for students keen to continue their studies.
For starters, banks are keen to help. "Professional and career development loans are extremely important in helping people to increase their professional knowledge and build on their skills and experience," says James Hillion, head of lending at the Co-operative Bank. He says the main attraction of the loans is that you can "relax while the Government pays the interest during your studies and up to one month afterwards". From the banks' point of view, assisting students now can ensure a long-term relationship, leading to much more profitable business for the banks.
To qualify for this type of loan, your course does not have to necessarily lead to a qualification, but it must help with your career prospects. The loans are particularly popular with people starting Masters courses as they are a good way to fund course fees.
But banks' development loans are not the only option. There are other solutions for would-be postgraduate students wary about interest rates charged on the loans, especially if their finances are already groaning under the weight of a crippling amount of debt.
It's worth bearing in mind that the development loans are not the student-friendly loans given out by the Student Loan Company, with their flexible repayment times and amounts. Repayments have to start almost as soon as you finish your studies, which can make them very daunting.
Suzie Crossland, a current Masters student, went to the bank at the beginning of her course to get funding for her degree, but says that the limited repayment holiday at the end of the course put her off. "The loans are great if you can guarantee that you will be in employment within a month of finishing the course, but with the job market as it is, I just couldn't take that risk," she says.
Some universities provide funded places for students. So it is worth finding out what is available and where. Universities offer a range of scholarships and funded places with dedicated pages on their websites outlining how to apply for the awards and schemes on offer. They vary from full course funding to smaller cash prizes.
In his Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance published last autumn, Lord Browne advised that postgraduate study should not have its funding changed. However, he stressed that close attention to the enrolment numbers will be needed after the planned hike in tuition fees starts in 2012 to prevent a drop-off in the number of students entering on to postgraduate courses. That could be of benefit to Masters students – there could be a dramatic increase in the number of awards offered by universities trying to keep their enrolment numbers up.
Scholarships, sponsorship and loans
another way of funding postgraduate study is Employment Sponsorships. In some cases employers are willing to sponsor a student and help towards or pay for the entire course fees, but only as long as that course is relevant to advancing skills applicable for your job.
Charities, foundations and trusts are able to provide students with some of the funding they need for their studies, but these are awarded from smaller pools of money than funded studentships and so do not typically offer to fund the entire costs of study. Typically they provide options in which students can get partial funding for their studies. These can be in the form of scholarships, studentships, bursaries, competitions and prizes. You can search a database of grants at the charity website turn2us.org.uk. If none of these seem like suitable options then you could do what thousands of students do each year, and work part-time to support living and course expenses.
Q&A: What’s the best way to invest for our baby?
Crowd-to-let: How crowdfunding sites can give investors a slice of the property market for £500
After the election: What will Britain's financial future look like on 8 May?
Simon Read: 'Seven Families campaign offers an escape from financial and emotional distress'
General Election 2015: How you vote next week could affect your finances
- 5 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...
Day In a Page
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
Surrounded by the Western fells, this five-bedroom Georgian home retains many original features including panel-plastered ceilings, sash windows and fireplaces.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park