How Much Money Will Your Master’s Degree Cost?
When we talk about funding the Master’s, we typically mean specifically the cost of the course. For this blog, we’re going to work out how much you will need to roughly pay over the course of a year-long course as a British student.
For this, we will be looking at a full-time MSc in Business with Marketing at the University of Warwick.
Step 1 – Postgraduate Course Fee
The first thing you’ll see is the fee is different compared to undergraduate courses. The second thing you’ll notice is the fee differs from course to course and from university to university. Unlike undergraduate courses, there is no cap on postgraduate tuition fees in the UK, which means universities can choose to charge as much as they want. The cost will depend on the subject area (how much it will cost to teach) as well as rates for similar universities.
The University of Warwick states there is an increase in annual price between 4-6% due to inflation. As a British Citizen, an MSc in Business in Marketing will cost £25,570 for the 2022/23 academic year, an increase of 3% compared to 2021/22.
Step 2 – Living Cost
As a postgraduate student, the living arrangements can be strange. On one hand, your course will be shorter than those in undergraduate or PhD courses. This means you will have an overall lower living cost and most likely only need to sort out accommodation once.
On the other hand, you may not be able to rely on university halls. Some universities do offer limited halls to postgrad, but you may need to think about a broader range of options.
For living costs, we’ll look at the general rent of your accommodation rather than the full expenses as this differs from people, location and other reasons.
The University of Warwick is located on the outskirts of Coventry, east of Birmingham. The cheapest accommodation offered by the university is the Claycroft Residence, located on the outskirts of the campus. As of writing this blog, they charge £144 per week for 50 weeks with all bills included for a grand total of £7200.
It’s also worth noting off-campus accommodation is typically more expensive as you’ll be renting from private landlords or companies partnered with the university.
Step 3 – Overall Cost
Once you have the course fee and a rough accommodation fee, you can now work out how much funding you will need.
In step 1, the MSc costs £25,570. On-campus accommodation is £7200. Together with the trusty help of a calculator, the total price is £32,950. This price excludes any entertainment, social events, food, transport and any other expenses.
Part 2 – Funding
This is the tricker part of the process – this is where you start looking for funding.
The next section applies to students who cannot afford to pay for the course from their pockets or other pre-funding arrangements.
Step 1 – Postgraduate Loan
The first point of call you should be looking to is to apply for a postgraduate loan from Student Finance. The amount depends on the country you live in. In England, you can borrow up to £11,570 – just over a third of the total, you require to pay for the course.
You can only apply to Student Finance once and cannot re-apply if you already obtained a Master’s degree or similar level qualification.
Step 1.5 – Alumni Perks
One way to help reduce the fee is alumni perks. This is only possible if you continue your education at the same university (or university group) as your undergraduate degree, even if there are a few years in between. It’s pretty common for universities to offer a discount of up to 10% as long as you complete a requirement (such as attaining a certain grade).
Let’s assume we did an undergraduate degree at the University of Warwick and we were offered a 10% discount. This would reduce the total amount required from £32,950 to £30,375.
Step 2 – Grants & Scholarships
From here, things will get more specific and harder. To receive extra funding, you may come across grants and scholarships. These are not guaranteed but are worth checking to see if you meet any of the requirements.
Warwick does offer scholarships to those from under-represented groups. The scholarship is given to 50 students for up to £10,000. Granted, this may not be offered, but for the sake of context let’s say you were awarded £2000 in external grants. This pulls the price down to £28,375.
You should remember grants, scholarships and alumni perks are free funding and are not part of any loan.
Step 3 – The Last Bits
We have now exhausted every bit of discount, perks and student finance that were available. You will now have to try other options such as:
- Employer sponsorship
- Funding from your family and friends
- Private loans
Let’s say you have been working a few years and managed to save up and are willing to part ways with £5,000. The price has now been pulled down to £23,375.
Employer sponsorships can be quite difficult and you will need to make extensive research on how this degree will help you and help the company to improve further. Read our blog on How To Ask Your Employer To Partially Sponsor Your Master’s Degree.
Let’s assume you will also want to work during your course for extra spending money for entertainment or expenses. Although studying for a Master’s is extremely demanding, you can offer about 20 hours a week. Assuming you work at a minimum wage role (£9.50 in April 2022) for 50 weeks, this equals an extra £9500 in your pocket (subject to national insurance tax).
Step 4 – Total Cost & Loan Amount
Now let’s calculate everything.
Tuition and Accommodation cost £32,950. With an alumni perk discount, this is pulled down to £30,375. £2000 in external free grants pulls the total cost to £28,375. You will also place £5000 of your own savings, pushing the price down to a total amount of £23,375.
Applying for Student Finance can grant up to £11,570 but this is not guaranteed. Let’s say you were granted the full amount, you will need to find £11,805 in extra funding. By applying for Lendwise, you can cover the rest of the money with a 9.2% Representative APR (fixed). Credit is subject to status. Those over 18 can apply. T&C applies. The interest rates are fixed and with terms up to 10 years.
Are you thinking about pursuing a master’s at a top UK university? Make your dream come true by seizing this opportunity to either take your career to the next level or tick off a personal interest. *Apply online and we’ll support you on your path to success.
*Credit is subject to status and loan approval is not guaranteed. Over 18’s only. Terms and conditions apply.
The aim of the post is to go through a sensible order for postgraduate funding. It doesn’t mean that you may or may not receive extra funding; you may be studying a more expensive or cheaper course which will alter the amount you need to loan out.
The most important thing you need to do is approach postgraduate funding in the steps outlined in this blog, as opposed to loaning out what you think you need. That way you know how much you need and not over-in-debiting yourself.