Will My Postgraduate Loan Be Enough?
Government loans for postgraduate study differ across the four countries of the UK, but one thing true of all of them is that they aren’t usually enough to fund your studies on their own.
To help you calculate the amount of money you might need to find from elsewhere, we’ll detail some of the costs involved in doing a master’s degree, and the funding options available to you:
Postgraduate study costs
Whether or not a government postgraduate loan will cover your tuition fees will depend on what degree you do, and what university you attend.
In England, for example, you can get up to £11,222 from the government Master’s Loan, while the average price1 of the postgraduate taught course tends to come between £10,000 and £12,000.
The cost of an MBA can be even higher2, with fees being anywhere upwards of £16,000 to an eye-watering £88,000 at the most prestigious institutions.
This will vary a lot according to where you decide to study.
The cheapest university city for renting in England is Hull, according to the NatWest Student Living Index 2019, with students there sending their landlord an average of £403.04 a month.
The most expensive properties meanwhile can be found in Greater London, where the median monthly payment is a much higher £700.
If you’re yet to sort accommodation, you should look at the range of rent prices that you can find through university accommodation or student lettings websites.
Your living costs
‘Living costs’ include your spending on utilities bills, council tax (if you’re a part-time student), broadband, food, entertainment and transport.
Often university websites have a page where they list figures relevant to their area, like this one provided by this one provided by Goldsmiths University4 in London.
Tailor these numbers to your own spending habits, and from this you should have a pretty good estimate of your living costs.
Any additional study costs
If you’re doing a course that requires lots of travel, or specialist hardware or software, don’t forget to note how much this could be, too.
Postgraduate study funding options
Scholarships are funding packages that help pay your fees and living costs. These are commonly structured either as performance-based scholarships, awarded according to past academic or personal achievement, or need-based scholarships, which will typically be means tested according to your financial situation.
The best place to begin looking for these is through your university. Try to start applying at least half a year before you start, as there can be a lot of competition for spaces.5
Some charities offer funding to postgrads of particular socio-economic backgrounds, or to those studying a subject relevant to their cause.
The Grants Register (available at local and academic libraries) and the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding are two annual publications that list details of these.
If you’re in a full-time job before or during your studies, it’s worth asking your employer whether they’d be willing to contribute towards your fees.
Considering all the skills and knowledge you will bring back from the course, it has the potential to be a very shrewd investment for a boss that values their employees!
A student job
Whether in a part-time or full-time capacity, employment doesn’t have to be the distraction from your studies that you may fear it to be.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to earn and learn, check out our list of the top five best part-time jobs for students.
Private student loans
There’s also the option of taking out a private student loan before or during your course. We have put together a short guide to understanding private student loans.
Some of the private student loans that Lendwise offers include:
- Postgraduate student loan
- Student loan for a professional qualification
- Student loan for a bootcamp training course
- Final year maintenance loan
- Refinance student loan
- Graduate life start loan
1. The Scholarship Hub. 2020. How Much Does A Masters Degree Cost In The UK? – The Scholarship Hub.
2. Thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. 2020. How Will Studying For An MBA Benefit You?.
3. UCAS. 2020. Postgraduate Loans.
4. Goldsmiths, University of London. 2020. Study Costs.
5. Complete University Guide. 2020. University Bursaries And Scholarships.