how to fund your postgraduate degree

Graduates guide: how to fund your postgraduate degree

So you’ve graduated and are ready to keep studying, getting a masters is an incredible idea not only for future career prospects, but university is the best time of your life, so why stop at undergraduate? In many ways funding your masters will be very similar to funding your undergraduate degree. There are some differences, though, so here is a comprehensive guide on how to fund your postgraduate degree.

Where to begin?

fund your postgraduate degree student finance
Source: The Guardian

We start where we all did for undergraduate degrees: Student Finance England. However, there are certain eligibility criteria to be able to get a loan. If eligible, you can be offered up to £10,000 on student finance to help you fund your postgraduate degree.  The main criteria is that you must have never had funding for a master’s before. Your course must be worth at least 180 credits. You must be under 60 years of age. These are only some of the criteria. The best place to look is on the government website.

Once you’re set up with a loan, that’s a start to getting your finances for your postgraduate degree sorted. This isn’t all that Student finance England offers though, you should also check out if you are eligible for any bursaries such as the disabled student allowance. This can be done when applying for your finances initially, and these bursaries are a great option to enhance your funding and make living a little easier.

Scholarships

postgraduate scholarship
Source: The Scholarship Hub

You may still be asking: okay, but how else can I fund my postgraduate degree? Well, now you’ve got your basic loan, bursaries aren’t the only way to enhance your funds. Scholarships are also available. Whilst these are competitive, they are an excellent way to show your passion for a subject. Scholarships aren’t one size fits all either –  they are different for every person and every university. So wherever you’re looking at going, it’s worth checking out what scholarships they are promoting. The scholarships available for students vary hugely from those specific to subjects to those for sport or music. There are various databases such as The Scholarship Hub that have updated information on what scholarships are available.

Where do you want to go?

how to fund your postgraduate degree cheaply
Source: Swansea University Student Blog

When thinking about finances, it’s worth bearing in mind that different places have different fees. There is a variety of courses, but when thinking about fees, it’s important to highlight some of the most budget-friendly. There are plenty of affordable masters out there, some of the most surprising of which are from Durham university…Despite consistently ranking high, their masters start at £6400. Middlesex and smaller universities such as Newman university also boast small fees for their masters courses. Depending on what you’re looking for, these universities may hold the key to an affordable masters for you.

Living cheaply

postgraduate funding budgeting
Sourcce: Market Watch

Undergraduate degrees were a learning curve when it comes to living on a budget and perhaps even being the first time living away from home. That doesn’t mean a masters is going to be any easier. Yes, you’ve had the practice, but it’s still important to keep on top of the finances. There are plenty of amazing budgeting apps out there with Monzo, Splitwise and Wally. These are a great place to start when looking at how you’re going to budget for your masters, but it is important to remember that your university will also have financial advice services that you can go to to get advice if you are struggling.

It’s exciting to think that you’re going to start a masters, and money doesn’t have to be something that dampens that excitement. Hopefully, this has given you enough information to make applying for a masters a little bit less daunting.

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