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what is the situation for NHS funding for postgrad course?

(5 Posts)
gemmiegoatlegs Tue 13-Oct-09 20:59:00

I am finishing my final year of a biological sciences degree this year and am considering applying to do a PG Dip in dietetics. the uni web site says the course is funded by the NHS but gives no further details. I have wandered round the NHS students site trying to find answers and have come up empty handed.

Are these NHS fee grants or bursaries which include living costs?

I can (just about) afford to live without a bursary but will have to commute (or move nearer) to the uni so will have heavy travel costs. Also am I mad to consider a course that entails a 1h 30 minute commute when I hate driving?

choosyfloosy Tue 13-Oct-09 21:43:36

Well, if it's like my course, the tuition fees are paid by the NHS, and you apply for an NHS bursary which may or may not cover part/all of your living costs, plus the maintenance loan from Student Finance England.

I don't know how heavy the teaching load is in dietetics - you need to go to an open day and ask lots of qus. I have a roughly 90-minute commute by train and bike if I'm relaxed - I can just about do it in under an hour if I go like the clappers. It's bearable but tbh only because we have 1`now school-age child, and because dh works at home so covers the pickups and dropoffs I can't do. Also because the train allows me to do little chunks of work, which is quite nice. Is public transport an option for you?

In the first year we nearly bankrupted ourselves paying for afternoon childcare as we thought dh would be working full-time (that's another story).

gemmiegoatlegs Tue 13-Oct-09 21:51:59

My course would be postgrad so not sure if I could get any further student loan (I already owe them 20 grand as it is!)

like you, my situation became far more bearable when the dcs started school. My first year I had 2 in childcare and was (wrongly) assessed as ineligible for help with childcare. Now both are in full time school I have more money and so much more time.

What course are you doing choosy?

I think its the idea of the commute which scares me most as I hate driving. There is a train that runs from here to Leeds and takes around an hour and a half. I think this would be feasible study time but the season tickets are so damned expensive. i would have to do a placement, I think, but my dsis lives nearby so i could stop with her if i had to do early starts/late nights. DH is supportive to a point but the practicalities of him juggling his job with the dcs school times might be too much to ask since he has supported my education for the last 4 years.

On the upside, i could get the chance to build a real definite career in an area i am passionate about with a good salary and an element of job security.

choosyfloosy Tue 13-Oct-09 23:30:47

oof. 90 mins on the train? That's a tough one. How far is the campus from the station? I'm doing BSc speech and language therapy - we'll be colleagues smile

Is moving realistic - how would your dh/children feel about that?

What about a part-time option? There seem to be a few part-time courses? it's another 4 years of course... but I do know that the MSc SLT course (2 years) is very, very busy and I couldn't see myself going down that route with children. It's been tough enough doing the BSc tbh.

gemmiegoatlegs Thu 15-Oct-09 19:53:19

There iss no part time option unfortunately. We have discussed moving out of our home town and would be prepared to do it for a worthwhile job, but i would hate for everyone else to have to change their whole lives as well. We have no plans to end up in the w yorkshire area as it is, I have been informed there is a shortage of dietitians in several local PCTs so hopefully there would be a job locally at the end of the course.

I have decided to apply, and if a cracking job offer wings its way towards me before next September, i will reconsider. My dh and i have been talkingthis evening about the whole situation and we have concluded that any job or further study is going to entail some form of discomfort, time-wise, relocating or financial hardship. The course is only 19 months (This is my fourth year of FT uni anyway) and at the end my career prospects will be more certain than doing a different postgrad course or taking a not-quite-right job, IYSWIM.

I understand it will be stressful and we will have to make some changes but I have a good hubby, and my mum is around to help out when necessary too.

How far are you along with your SLT course?

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