Postgraduate funding – nightmare, or no sweat?

If you are one of those undergraduate or master’s students who have thoroughly enjoyed your time researching at the Library, then you might be thinking about furthering your studies. This post will give you useful information about funding opportunities that you might want to consider… By Daisy Richards

 

If you’re flirting with the idea of further study at Postgraduate level, there’s probably one large and looming question permanently on your mind: How can you possibly afford it? It’s a daunting and often exhausting task to traverse the labyrinthine pages of Google when it comes to student finance – so read on right here to find out more about how you can secure that coveted and critical funding.

University offerings – what can your institution do for you?

So, you’ve chosen a University. You’ve selected a course. You may even have signed up to The Student Room just to find some friendly faces. But – you’re still not quite sure just how you go about paying for all of these privileges, so you decide to don your detective deer-stalker and dive into the deep, dark web for more information – but where should you turn first?

At Warwick, the Graduate School’s informative and super helpful website collates many of the available scholarships, fee-waivers and funding help for prospective Postgraduate students – it’s all in one, single, easy-to-access place – no stressing about bookmarking deadlines, or eligibility, as the Graduate School not only list all of this information on their page, but also has a filtering and searching function that allows you to narrow all of the results down, showing you exactly what is open to you, what you could receive, and when you need to get your application in for. This is particularly handy for any International students out there, because several scholarships and fee-waivers are designed especially for students who are not ordinarily resident in the UK – you may even find scholarships that are so specific, they are only open to applicants from your precise home country! It is always worth contacting the Graduate School to find out more, because it might even be that your perfect scholarship opportunity is being advertised directly through the Department, or perhaps even on an external careers website – the message here is that the more you ask, the more you just might get!

Lovely loans…

If you find you can’t apply for any scholarships directly through the University, or you don’t feel like it’s the right route for you, you can always apply for a Postgraduate loan through the Government’s Student Finance scheme. If you received Student Finance for your Undergraduate degree in any way, then you know the basics of this system – you filled out an online form, and after some eligibility checks (and possibly four days of your life on hold to them when you tried to call), you received money in instalments, or perhaps your University received your tuition fees directly from the Student Finance team, who you can contact directly by emailing them.

Postgraduate loans currently work in much the same way, with one very important and drastically exciting change – unlike Undergraduate Student Finance, the Government’s Postgraduate Loan scheme is not means-tested. Yep, you read it right – you don’t need to provide any details of what you or your family earn, because no matter what your course is, or how much money you or your family earn, every individual ordinarily resident in the UK can apply for up to £10,280 for the duration of their course. In addition, you don’t need to compete for these loans, or write any award-winning proposal or supporting statement, unlike scholarship applications. These are loans that do need to be paid back, but at the moment, they don’t need to be paid off until you’re earning more than £21,000, and at a rate of 6% per year, and International students can also, in some cases, apply as well!

Internationally inclined?

If you are an International student, Postgraduate funding can seem even trickier to negotiate. But, never fear – Fighting for funding is not something that should stand in your way! Postgraduate loans for courses in the UK are also available through the Erasmus+ programme, which can offer up to €9,000 for a one-year course, or €18,000 for a two-year course. As of 2017, Erasmus loans are offered by banks in Spain, France, Turkey and the UK, so it is a slightly more traditional loan in the sense that it is not a Governmental agency that offers the money to prospective students, but a participating bank. However, it’s an ideal way to secure funding for your course if you’re interested in studying at a UK institution! For more advice on this, contact the Graduate School or the Student Funding Office, as the staff can signpost you to the right places and give you professional advice on all of the options available.

How ‘bout Australia, mate?

Warwick has just launched a new scholarship fund for the Alliance Joint PhD with Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. The scholarships are new to Warwick and there will be one application round per academic year. For the 2018/19 entry, there will be three scholarships available to be awarded to the most outstanding PhD applications. The Alliance Joint PhD Scholarships are open to new students in any discipline who are in the process of applying to Warwick for an Alliance Joint PhD. The closing date for applications is 19th Jan so mark that date on your calendars!

Financial frolics…

Okay, so it might not be quite as pleasant as a walk in the park – but, Postgraduate funding is definitely more than doable! I grew up on a Council Estate in the Midlands where it was about as common to go to University as it was to see a wild panther loose near the McDonald’s in the city centre. But I went ahead anyway, and I worked on my Undergraduate degree, and then decided to just keep going – I’m now studying for my MA in Film and Television at Warwick after being offered a scholarship, and even though it was stressful, and sometimes worrying, I knew that I could make it happen. Don’t give up at the first hurdle – finding funding can sometimes be a long, winding and dark road, but you just have to know where to start looking:

 

Don’t forget to share this post! #studyblog

 

Image: numbers-money-calculating-calculation-3305Breakingpic / CC

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