Don’t let money worries put you off applying for postgraduate study. Here are some options that can help you save the pennies.
When thinking about funding postgraduate study, the first method that comes to mind for most is a government-provided postgraduate loan. This relatively new concept is a great way to take the pressure off of paying straight away for tuition through savings or other means. For postgraduate study starting from August 2018, loans of up to £10,609 are available to put towards costs. This amount has increased slightly each year since the loan's conception in 2016, so may be even higher in time for courses starting in September 2019.
Unlike those provided for funding undergraduate study, this loan is not means-tested. This means that your household income is not taken into account to determine how much of the loan amount you are entitled to. Even if your course fees are lower than £10,609, you can still borrow the full amount and put the rest towards other living costs. Repayments on this loan start from the April following graduation (provided you are earning at least £21,000 a year), and the deadline for applications is rather relaxed, usually up to nine months after your course start date. Find out more about this loan on the UK government website.
For many, postgraduate study is seen a direct channel for improved career opportunities - especially to those who are already in work and thinking about their future career progression. A postgraduate degree can be mutually beneficial to degree-holders and their employers. Provided that this degree is relevant to your current job, and you will be learning skills that can be useful to your employer (e.g. leadership, management, contemporary strategy), some employers agree to fund their employee’s postgraduate study. This can be a great alternative to borrowing and the prospect of student debt.
If you’re unsure about your own situation with your employer there is never any harm in asking. The potential payoff is huge. Check out this article for advice on preparing a proposal for your employer.
Around half of all postgraduate students in the UK help fund their studies and living costs with part-time work, so be reassured that it is not an impossible feat! Many colleges and universities bear this in mind while scheduling courses, and the postgraduate courses at Pearson Business School are even structured to allow you to keep a full-time job going, as teaching is in several day blocks for each module.
Take note however, that it can be challenging to maintain this key balance between study and work. Good organisation will be crucial. If you enrol on a course with a reasonably flexible timetable it is generally recommended that you do not take on a job that demands more than around 10-15 hours a week to allow you enough time to study, but even a small part-time salary can really make a positive difference to your weekly budget.
Be sure to check with your institution to see how much time a week you are recommended to dedicate to independent study, so you can make an informed decision about what would work best for you.
Scholarships and bursaries
Here at Pearson Business School, we are in the process of confirming our postgraduate scholarships for September 2019, so watch this space or contact us for up to date information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outside of your chosen institution there are many other organisations that offer the chance to get hold of scholarships and bursaries. Here are a few of them:
- Postgraduate Search
- The Scholarship Hub
- Find A Masters
- The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust
While applications for postgraduate programmes and loans have relatively relaxed timescales, scholarships and bursaries usually come with strict application deadlines - so check in advance and be careful you're not caught out.
When it comes to postgraduate study, loyalty often pays. A huge amount of colleges and universities in the UK offer a discount or part-scholarship to their alumni (including Pearson Business School who offer a 10% discount on postgradute tuition), but even if you're not considering your own Alma Mater it’s worth checking the small print.
Depending on the institution, alumni are typically classed as those who studied for an undergraduate degree but this benefit can also extend to those who studied a short course, an evening class, or even a semester abroad at the institution in question. There are even universities in the UK known to offer discounts to those whose immediate family members are alumni or members of staff at the institution, so have a think and do your research about whether you might have any connections to the institutions you’re thinking of for your postgraduate degree.