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.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell
Mark Dampier: Woodford’s young companies could be the stars of the future
Use the new pension freedoms to boost your retirement income
Money Insider: Help to Buy must be boosted by building
Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 13-17 October
How to start your own internet business
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...
Day In a Page
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
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
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village