What the Changes to Funding for a Masters Degree Means For YOU

Written by Catherine Roberts.

We all know how our degrees are paid for- student loans and grants provided by the government- and this information is bombarded upon you from the moment you decide to go to university. What is less apparent though is how masters degrees are funded. Despite all the online information, one off lectures and those around the university to help you apply and understanding funding, it seems that there is a need for concise information regarding how going on to do a masters degree will be done. And more importantly, changes have now been made by the government which means that you can get a masters degree funded like your SELLL degree is now. But what does this mean for you? Normally, masters degrees are self-funded or funded by bursaries and scholarships from either the university itself or outside companies who want to further the education of a potential employee. However, this new scheme changes things.

If like me, when you leave university you wish to study a masters degree, getting to grips with this new information is important. For example, instead of graduating and going straight on to study my masters, I’m going to wait a year, until this government funding is implemented (potentially). Here’s how things will work:

– Post grad loans will go up to £10000. To study English Literature at masters level for 1 year, for example, it costs £5,500 for UK and EU students as of February 2015.

-The loans will be available from 2016-2017, hence why you may want to wait if funding your degree by other means isn’t a possibility for you.

– The money will be available for any masters degree BUT only students under 30 will qualify for the loan (so you have plenty time then!).

-The loan will be paid back similarly to undergraduate loans, however the postgrad loans will be paid back in higher amounts.

By just looking at the basics it is easy to see the disadvantages of the new postgrad loans. Having an age limit is unfair and higher payback rates is enough to make your knees tremble at the thought- but remember, its a step in the right direction. It is estimated that 10000 more students across the UK will apply for masters degrees with this funding. Something which is so important considering that education should be universal to all. This loan development opens out the possibility for extended education to those of us who just simply cannot afford it.

In terms of Newcastle University and SELLL degrees, our website has a lot of info to give us. It is , perhaps, too early to see the way that the university will incorporate this new form of funding in to the way they run their post grad degrees. This is the info we have at hand now:

– Our guide to funding is a super-useful website to look at http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/guide/#findingfunding

– Right now, info about the new government funding for post grad degrees isn’t detailed on the website, because it hasn’t been developed yet. However, you can keep in mind the possibility of funding whilst looking at other funding sources available now such as bursaries, scholarships/studentships and awards.

– They also provide details of some courses which are available for free funding, which may cover all of the degree and the cost of living or just some of the degree.

– They also give you links to the Student Wellbeing Service’s who have Financial Advisors to help with any money worries you may have during your post grad degree, or even before- there is nothing stopping you going to chat to those guys about how to manage the funding of your masters now, if you’re thinking of applying.

All in all, its best to have a think about the changes in funding that could influence you , as well as really consider your options available to you now. Visit King’s Gate, talk to your course leader about it and visit all of the website pages possible- basically, just do your research. Its YOUR degree and YOUR future.

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