Any single parents doing a post grad - how do you fund it?

(24 Posts)
RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 11:57:08

I am just finishing up yr 2, planning on following degree with a post grad but not sure how I would afford it.

I will have a three year old when I start hopefully, so childcare shouldn't be too difficult to sort out with the free 15 (?) hours in nursery and her dad/grandparents.

but obviously there will be course fees/books etc/rent/food/travel costs/clothes/days out

I think I'll be entitled to housing benefit and child benefit but how is the rest funded?

MissPricklePants Sun 12-May-13 11:58:23

Self fund I am afraid, I took out a personal loan to pay for my MA. I am a single parent too so know how difficult it is!

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 12:03:36

Oh 'eck

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 12:04:59

Do you know anything about scholarships?

How do they work, is it on grades? I am on track for a 1st

MissPricklePants Sun 12-May-13 12:05:30

Yep was a nightmare to get any sort of funding!! Applied for PhD funding to AHRC and got told my research ideas were fundable but not enough money to fund as at the time they were only giving funding to those who got a First class BA and I got a 2:1 (average 68 ffs!!)

MissPricklePants Sun 12-May-13 12:06:28

Fepends what course you are doing. IME post grad is difficult to get funding unless you have a guaranteed 1+3 scheme place. So MA+Phd or similar.

MissPricklePants Sun 12-May-13 12:06:39

Depends not Fepends!

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 12:09:09

What does 1+3 mean? <clearly knows nothing about anything>

exexpat Sun 12-May-13 12:10:35

Doing a one-year masters and self-funded here too. Are you looking at MA/MSc or PhD? And what subject area? There does not seem to be any funding at all for masters-level courses in arts/humanities (not sure about sciences, and I have heard of NHS bursaries for health-related post-grad courses) unless it is part of a 4-year programme with a masters leading to a PhD - there are 2 or 3 funded places for that in my faculty, highly competitive, and I think the bursary is about £14k plus fees. The university also has a handful of plain 3-year PhD bursaries. But the majority of people on my masters programme are overseas students, and the minority of British ones are self-funding or employer subsidised.

changechangechange Sun 12-May-13 12:13:38

Yes, HB for your rent and CB. You should also be able to claim IS.
Not that I'm suggesting that'll cover your fees or anything!

MissPricklePants Sun 12-May-13 12:15:20

1+3 means you have a place on a 4 year course, the first year is MA/MSc and the remaining 3 years are PhD. I have a MA in Socio-Cultural History and the funding for further study has dried up and as it is 4 years since I completed my MA I am a bit out of the loop!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 12-May-13 12:15:40

Self-funding here too.

Shitting myself about it though.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 12:26:46

I'm hoping to do a research masters in the social sciences, hopefully in gender studies, and follow on with a PHD.

I know very little about how post grads work though which is probably obvious after this thread and I'm shitting myself over how I'm going to support myself and a child through it.

exexpat Sun 12-May-13 13:29:09

Sounds like you might be eligible for something like one of the ESRC doctoral programmes - they are the 1+3/Masters>PhD programmes, but it will depend on which university etc - not all of them are in the scheme, and you apply through the university, not direct to ESRC.

Would you be looking to stay on at the same university, or do you have a different one in mind? Probably the best first step would be to search on the uni website for details of post-grad funding, and if you can't find much information, ask your tutor, or the mature student adviser (assuming you're a mature student?), or call the post-grad office.

My university ran a briefing session last autumn for masters students, to explain the PhD application process and funding possibilities. Could you ask if your university runs something like that? If you want to go straight into the MSc/PhD from your first degree, you'll need to start thinking about what your PhD topic would be pretty quickly - for example, I think the ESRC programme requires you to submit a full PhD proposal with your application, and the deadline is late Jan/early Feb (or at least it was here).

RiotsNotDiets Sun 12-May-13 13:41:44

Thanks exexpat I want to go to the university of York and happily they seem to be part of that ESRC thingy.

My uni aren't much use for things like that unfortunately, but I'm going to see if York offer any open days like you mentioned.

You would likely not be entitled to Income Support as you'll be classified as a full-time student.

Try your best to get it fully funded by somebody else, and failing that you could look at taking out a Personal Career Development Loan, and working whilst you study.

I'm 8mths into a self-funded research MPhil as a lone parent, and this month is the first in eleven years that I haven't been able to make a full rent payment. I really wouldn't recommend it.

RiotsNotDiets Thu 16-May-13 23:42:09

Oh dear Sue, sorry to hear that sad

I have spoken to my lecturer and she seemed to think it was quite likely I'd qualify for a scholarship, so I am going to look into it in more depth once exams/assignments are all done and dusted.

canweseethebunnies Fri 17-May-13 20:07:33

As far as I understand you do qualify for income support if you a full time student single parent. Definitely if yor child is under 5.

My problem is that my child will turn five next year and I'll be on a part-time course, so will be expected to go on jobseekers, and accept a job even if it interferes with my MA commitments!

I have applied for AHRC funding for a professional development masters and have my fingers firmly crossed!

RiotsNotDiets Sat 18-May-13 23:38:34

Ooh that's good bunnies

And I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

TheYoniWayisGerard Sun 19-May-13 10:07:53

I'm a full time student with a child under 5, and I don't qualify for income support, only during the summer.

RiotsNotDiets Sun 19-May-13 10:34:21

sad

PearlyWhites Sun 19-May-13 10:47:13

Yes income support is only payable in the summer break

RiotsNotDiets Sun 19-May-13 11:45:39

Will i qualify for it this summer then? I have a 2 yr old and am full time in second yr. How do you apply?

As above, it is also my experience that as a full-time student you cannot claim Income Support during term time (no matter what the age of your child).

You used to be able to call the JobCentre and make a claim over the phone Riots, so it'd be worth giving them a call.

They will probably need you to go in to sign the claim and show them your student loan docs, but they'll give you an appointment for that.

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