Postgrad Diploma but no first undergrad degree - any chance of loan?

(27 Posts)
SFisnotsimple Wed 17-Nov-21 14:42:43

I'm in my 50s and pondering my future as I'll likely have an empty nest in a couple of years time.

I've always wanted to get an undergraduate degree - I went straight from O levels into a YTS (soooo old!!!) and then career. In my early 30s my organisation paid for me to a Postgraduate Diploma related to my job.

This seems to be something of an issue now if I want a loan from student finance to study an undergraduate degree, as I hold a Pg qualification.

I tried calling student finance but don't think they understood. The undergraduate degree I likely do is completely unconnected to the Pg Diploma I hold. As it's a Diploma only does it even "count" as a Pg thing?

Anyone any experience of this? I'd likely want to study part time so I can keep working part time and wouldn't qualify for any maintenance loans or similar - it's just for tuition fees. Not sure if I want OU or a local uni.

OP’s posts: |
LiterallyKnowsBest Wed 17-Nov-21 16:13:34

I don’t have an answer, but if you ask MNHQ to move your thread to the new ‘Mature Study and Retraining’ board, someone there is sure to know.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mature_students

TheFaLaLaLlama Wed 17-Nov-21 16:21:39

Part time stem degrees will get funding. Others won't.

SFisnotsimple Wed 17-Nov-21 17:04:20

LiterallyKnowsBest

I don’t have an answer, but if you ask MNHQ to move your thread to the new ‘Mature Study and Retraining’ board, someone there is sure to know.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/mature_students

Ooh thank you didn't know about that.

OP’s posts: |
Capricornandproud Sat 20-Nov-21 13:06:09

Not sure but I left school at 16 just with GCSEs. Currently going straight into a Masters (got on the course based on work experience) and qualified for a student loan?

SFisnotsimple Sat 20-Nov-21 19:19:34

Wow that's brilliant! I'm guessing your Masters is linked to your work?

Im thinking of studying something that isn't linked to mine.

OP’s posts: |
titchy Thu 25-Nov-21 18:01:46

Unfortunately your PG Dip (which is a thing - it's two thirds of a Masters!) means you're not eligible for UG loans. The only exceptions are if you can claim Disabled Students Allowance, or if you do a part time STEM degree.

Would you think about doing a Masters? You should be ok for a loan for that.

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LiterallyKnowsBest Thu 25-Nov-21 18:07:20

But would the OP not fall foul of the eligibility rules of a Master’s loan - ie not already having a postgraduate qualification. … Or is it postgraduate degree?

titchy Thu 25-Nov-21 18:18:12

No a Masters is higher than a PGDip and therefore eligible:
https://www.gov.uk/masters-loan/eligibility

titchy Thu 25-Nov-21 18:21:06

From link.

LiterallyKnowsBest Thu 25-Nov-21 18:24:14

Oh, that’s excellent!

LiterallyKnowsBest Thu 25-Nov-21 18:29:38

OP, if you follow titchy’s brilliant advice you may like to know that my MA had no connection whatsoever to either the undergraduate degree I took in the 80s or the professional qualification I gained in the 90s. I had merely shown an active (if somewhat leisurely) interest and ability in the new subject.

SFisnotsimple Thu 25-Nov-21 19:00:39

Getting excited now! So i contacted my local uni and they will consider an application with my PgDip so I don't have to do a 2 year HE Access course, and now it looks like I can also get a student loan smile

Happy days!

Thank you all.

There's a bit of FOMO as the DC are living their best lives and I missed my chance...but also it's a subject I've always loved and had an interest in so fingers crossed it all pans out.

OP’s posts: |
SFisnotsimple Thu 25-Nov-21 19:03:06

Ah but if I'm reading right it has to be a Masters not an undergraduate degree? sad

I am not going to be able to do a Masters as I've never studied it before confused

OP’s posts: |
LiterallyKnowsBest Thu 25-Nov-21 19:09:46

Can you tell us what the new subject is?

I don’t know about physical or social sciences but in a creative subject you may only need to show you’ve been pursuing the subject in your own time at a reasonably ambitious level …

titchy Thu 25-Nov-21 19:10:08

SFisnotsimple

Ah but if I'm reading right it has to be a Masters not an undergraduate degree? sad

I am not going to be able to do a Masters as I've never studied it before confused


Yes has to be Masters. Try an application - you never know. OU are pretty flexible, I'd bet they'd admit you to an MA with a PGDip in a different subject area.

SFisnotsimple Thu 25-Nov-21 19:22:36

It's Sociology. I've been working in L & D though so not connected and that is what my PgDip is in.

Poop. 💩

OP’s posts: |
SFisnotsimple Thu 25-Nov-21 19:23:37

I really liked the idea of face to face as I never went to uni. Discussing the subject with others etc. Do you get that with the OU?

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titchy Thu 25-Nov-21 19:47:00

How about this as a plan? You could do this module as a stand alone online:
https://london.ac.uk/courses?search=Sociology (links to Psychological and sociological causes of crime module which can be studied on its own and is at PG level.)

You could pay yourself (don't know how much but they're quite cheap), and use the module as entry to a Sociology based Masters next year (most unis would accept stand alone credit as demonstrating you're up to it) which you could then finance through the Masters loan.

BungleandGeorge Thu 25-Nov-21 19:57:26

I think you need to contact whatever university you’re interested in and see what their entry requirements are. I’d be surprised if you can go straight into a masters without science a levels or an access course. Perhaps there are some sociologists who could advise?

titchy Thu 25-Nov-21 20:02:42

BungleandGeorge

I think you need to contact whatever university you’re interested in and see what their entry requirements are. I’d be surprised if you can go straight into a masters without science a levels or an access course. Perhaps there are some sociologists who could advise?


Why would you need science A levels for Sociology?

SFisnotsimple Thu 25-Nov-21 20:10:33

titchy

How about this as a plan? You could do this module as a stand alone online:
ink{https://london.ac.uk/courses?search=Sociology\london.ac.uk/courses?search=Sociolog]]y} (links to Psychological and sociological causes of crime module which can be studied on its own and is at PG level.)

You could pay yourself (don't know how much but they're quite cheap), and use the module as entry to a Sociology based Masters next year (most unis would accept stand alone credit as demonstrating you're up to it) which you could then finance through the Masters loan.

That is so helpful thank you @titchy I will look into that route.

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SuperLoudPoppingAction Sat 27-Nov-21 16:14:31

Just saying hi because I did a sociology masters without prior study.
I found it totally fine honestly.
My certificate came in the post yesterday.

I'm 6 months into a phd now and marking essays for undergraduate sociology students.
Nobody asks whether I have a BSc! (Obviously it's on my cv).
Students are more interested in what I worked on for my dissertation

daisypond Sat 27-Nov-21 16:25:09

I have a masters degree in an unrelated subject to my undergraduate degree - I do have a degree, though. I didn’t even study the subject at O-level, let alone A-level.

BungleandGeorge Sat 27-Nov-21 16:55:47

@titchy some of the courses are an MSc so presumably they are scientific?
I googled a few which were a mixture of MA and MSc and they all asked for a 2:1 or above in first degree in sociology or a few could be any subject plus evidence of interest in sociology. Didn’t mention another route in. OP Don’t spend any time or money until you’ve contacted the unis that you’re interested in and checked entry requirements

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