Nottingham Trent University

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Online student experience

Funding your postgraduate study

Funding your postgraduate study

If you’re thinking of enrolling on one of our online postgraduate degrees, you’ll also be thinking about funding. It’s one of the biggest factors for postgraduate students, and while online courses are more financially manageable due to the fact that you’re learning while you’re earning, the tuition fees can still be a lot of money to find.

Fortunately, there are numerous options available to both UK-based and international online students. Here, we look at some of the best ways of funding your postgraduate studies.

Postgraduate loan

If you’re under 60, live in the UK and don’t already have a Masters degree or equivalent qualification, you can borrow up to £10,000 to help fund your studies. This award isn’t earnings-based, and it’s the perfect solution for those who want to carry on with paid work during their postgraduate course – this loan is designed to supplement the contributions you’re making from your own salary. Remember that this is a loan and not a grant, so it’ll need to be paid back.

If you live in the UK and do have a Masters degree already then with Future Finance you can borrow up to £40,000. They offer competitive average interest rates and are open to UK or EU citizens and residents in the UK. In addition to help you cover the full cost of your course, you can apply if you have a government loan.

If you’re an international student, you may find that your government is offering a similar scheme, though the conditions of the loan – and the loan amount – may vary. It’s well-worth enquiring, just to see what’s available and on offer.

Employer support

Discuss your plans for postgraduate study with your employer, as they might be willing to contribute towards the tuition costs. After all, the skills you learn during your studies will benefit them, as well as you. Some companies make it clear there’s a funding or training programme in place – and if they don’t, ask anyway!

Ask your line manager or HR team to see if there’s any funding available and, if there is, what process you’ll need to go through to apply for it. Some organisations will ask you to write a proposal outlining the business benefits of your studies to the company, as well as other details such as the cost and course length. When talking about the benefits to your organisation, try to emphasise the hard and soft skills your company favours, such as communication, decision-making and experience with specialised software.

Don’t forget to mention that because it’s an online course, everything you learn can be applied immediately and in the real world. By supporting you financially, your employer will be retaining you and gaining those valuable new skills – it’s an appealing offer. They might not be able to offer you the whole amount, so you may need to provide your own funds too, but any contribution helps!

Grants from charities and trusts

Whatever country you’re studying in, you may find that there are several educational trusts and charities that offer grants to postgraduate students. Eligibility can be quite specific however, as lots of students apply for these grants. You’re likely to be asked about everything from your occupation (past and present), to your personal details (such as your gender or ethnicity).

In your supporting statement, consider outlining how you fit the criteria, providing evidence where necessary. Some grants are only for a small amount, so you may still need another funding option to cover the full cost of your online course. The application process is often long and time-consuming, so be prepared to put the work into your proposal.

Find a solution that works for you

When choosing the funding option that’s right for you – whether that’s self-funding, or one of the options covered above – it’s key to remember that with an online postgraduate course, you don’t need to pay for the whole cost up front. Instead, you’ll pay per module, which gives you time to save for your studies. You may find that you don’t require any additional funding at all!

It’s a sound investment too: statistics show that on average, graduates earn £9,500 per year more than non-graduates, with postgraduates earning an additional £7,500.

If you’d like to find out more about our online postgraduate courses, contact us to find out more.