If you are studying for a Masters or PhD, how are you funding it?

(61 Posts)
Machine1234 Wed 05-Jul-17 11:55:39

£30k for a Masters at Warwick. And that's with an alumni discount 😭.

Student loans don't cover higher degrees and personal loans for that amount is not possible, not to mention repayment would start straight away.

How do people afford it? Is there are specific bank loan/ personal development loan that I've missed?

OP’s posts: |
Rubyslippers7780 Wed 05-Jul-17 12:01:46

Can you do it work based or is it full time?

Machine1234 Wed 05-Jul-17 12:25:34

Hi Rubyslippers, Is actually my nephew, he's just graduated. He had his heart set on doing the MSc but has only managed to scrape together a third of what is required to pay for it.

He's the first in our family to go to uni and has always been very academic. Unfortunately for him, we as a family just don't have that kind of money.

And his options for entering paid employment are also looking pretty bleak. We live in a rural county in the south west. The graduate schemes and jobs he is being offered are always in London. It's unaffordable for him to move there.

Feeling really sad for him and trying to advise him on what he can do.

OP’s posts: |
Kez100 Wed 05-Jul-17 12:29:48

Is it truly unaffordable? Has he looked on spareroom? Even if he spends all his earnings on living to get that first expensive step under his belt will help for the future.

I understand the issues - we are down here too!

CappuccinoSprinkles Wed 05-Jul-17 12:30:38

That is a lot for a Masters. Is it lab based or something? Can he look for cheaper alternatives elsewhere?

BumbleBot89 Wed 05-Jul-17 12:34:14

I am studying for an MSc with a student loan from SFE.

If you are English you can get a student loan for up to £10,000 payable once earning over £21,000 pa.

Rubyslippers7780 Wed 05-Jul-17 12:41:50

What about distance learning? So study part time but go to the uni for a set study block? Usually 3 days every term? Then can work at same time. Does it have to be warrick?


Autumnsky Wed 05-Jul-17 13:24:59

Is this cost including living expense? Maybe apply the student loan for the fee, then work partime to get the living expense? Take the course in 2 years time, so he can have some time to work part-time?

Or he can find a job first, then he might be able to get the fund from the employer. Some people I know are doing their qualification this way.

PHD normally has funding, you don't normally pay it youself. The funding will cove the fee, and also gives you £16000 per year to cover the living cost.

Autumnsky Wed 05-Jul-17 13:32:18

Regarding the jobs, I think he can't expect to just find a job at the local area. At this stage, a good starting point is very important. If he can find a job in London, then go for it, the salary should be able to cover his living expense. If he can get good working experience, then after a couple of years, he will have better chance to get other good jobs.

It is a bit hard to find the good jobs, a friend's DD has got a MSC, but has been working in a restraunt for nearly a year after graduating, she only find the right job recently, but has to drive an hour on the way to work.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 05-Jul-17 19:50:07

Is he absolutely set on a Masters without the PhD? The research councils might be more willing to fund a master's preliminary to a PhD.

PlymouthMaid1 Wed 05-Jul-17 19:53:43

He will have to move to actually get the kind of job he will want. My daughter is currently doing a Sciencey Phd funded by a stipend - she had to attend a lot of interviews to get it She realises that she will not get a job anywhere near home in her field. I think she took further loans for the Masters but it wasn't £30 more like 10 I think.

PlymouthMaid1 Wed 05-Jul-17 19:54:19

30K not 30 £ that woudk be a bargain.

HeadDreamer Wed 05-Jul-17 20:02:45

PhDs in sciences are usually funded. You get paid doing them! Have a look at jobs.ac.uk if he is interested. Look for studentshios.

HeadDreamer Wed 05-Jul-17 20:07:22

And he definitely needs to move for jobs. Barely any graduates I have met work in the local areas. If the jobs are in London, then he needs to go to London. Find a house share. There might also be jobs outside London but in the south east. It's cheaper outside. I work in Berkshire and I have a couple of team members originally from London. They picked here because you actually have a chance to buy a house in your 20s. And rent is a lot lower. Really don't limit himself to the south west.

tilleuls Wed 05-Jul-17 20:09:06

You can now get a loan from student finance for a masters...or if not, when I did mine I went to the Co-Op for a 'career development loan'

Anatidae Wed 05-Jul-17 20:11:36

Unless it was something that almost guaranteed an extremely high paying job I wouldnt pay 30k for a masters.
What's it in, if you don't mind me asking?
I was funded for mine (technically I have two masters and a PhD. ) I also taught undergraduate students as well to make ends meet. most science based ones are funded and some employers will fund one as well.

What's he studying?

WeyHay Wed 05-Jul-17 21:05:44

Sounds like a "market-priced" Masters typical of Warwick There are ones out there where the fee is only around £5,000 or so. Your nephew needs to do a LOT more research.

WeyHay Wed 05-Jul-17 21:07:39

Or universities in the south west? Exeter or Bristol are both excellent. University of Bath a renowned science university.

OutsSelf Wed 05-Jul-17 21:08:42

Mine is funded, fees paid and a stipend.

I applied three years in a row and got it the third year.

Sofabitch Wed 05-Jul-17 21:12:01

30k is a total rip off !

Sounds like he needs to look into it way more.

Mine is 8k.. plus I got a bursary of 3k towards and the 10k loan its still not quite enough

Also if he wants to to a phd then an Mres is a more suitable option and they are often cheaper as you are contributing to research and have less taught time

Anatidae Wed 05-Jul-17 21:16:57

Ok so MSc courses are usually funded somehow- he needs to look at:

What are his career goals? There are huge differences in the usefulness of different masters courses. Some are cash cows for uni and some are very useful. The truly useful ones tend to attract industry funding and have strong links with industry. I know many petroleum geologists for example who worked and did an MSc concurrently.

So he needs to look at major employers in the field he wants to go into. And he needs to be looking at their websites or calling their staffing people - do they have academic links? Look at the funding councils - who has funding in his field? Get on LinkedIn and talk to people who do the job he wants to do - how did they get there ? I've had a few recent graduates ask me this ms I am always happy to give them twenty minutes to chat if they are polite and keen.

Jobs. Ac.uk is a good start, plus the websites of the companies he's interested in, industry bodies, funding councils etc etc. University he's at at the mo is a Good bet too. Go talk to masters students and staff.

Unless he's in line for a six figure salary, 30k on a masters is not a good investment. There is funding out there, he just needs to find it.

STEM is still a reasonably meritocratic area. Not perfect by any means but there is funding for bright students. We were poor as church mice and I was funded through masters (s) and PhD.

Good luck to him. If you can give more details on his field people will be able to give more targeted advice.

goslow Wed 05-Jul-17 21:19:34

DH and I are funding mine through savings. It costs £10k for a Russell Group university in London - we have always lived here so didn't have any extra living costs. We could have got a student loan but decided the interest rate was too high - it starts building up as soon as they make the first payment.

Stopthisshemozzle Wed 05-Jul-17 21:22:42

30k?! That's ludicrous.
I'm about to start a Masters which is 7.5K, at a well rated University. The 10k loan will cover the course fee and like many, many people I will have to work to pay living expenses.

Stopthisshemozzle Wed 05-Jul-17 21:23:52

That's a 10k student loan I mean.

Mymumsanighthorse Wed 05-Jul-17 21:26:14

My db commuted from Devon to Cardiff to do his PhD. It was funded though - most science based ones are I thought? Is he set on going to Warwick? I don't understand why he can afford to live in Warwick now but can't look for employment away from SW?

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