How I funded my postgraduate degree

I stayed at the University of Derby to start my postgraduate degree in MSc International Business and Marketing. My undergraduate degree was in Marketing (PR and Advertising).

I knew that I wanted to progress onto a masters during my final year as it would benefit my career prospects. After speaking to lecturers at the University of Derby, it got me excited to learn more about the different courses and career paths I could take. To help me choose the right course, I booked on to the Postgraduate Open Evening which helped massively. It allowed me to speak to a variety of lecturers throughout the University and learn about new and interesting degrees, some of which I’d never heard of! It really opened my eyes into what I could do next and gave me a feel for the different courses and postgrad life. Another reason I chose to study at postgraduate level is that one more year of studying is nothing compared to the three previous years!

It can be frustrating knowing that you could be earning instead of studying but another year or two of further study is nothing in comparison to the prospects it may bring. There is support to help you progress onto further study as this did worry me when I researched student finance and realised funding isn’t the same at postgraduate level.

Tidal power

I didn’t let this get to me, as I knew there was help available and ways around it. To understand how student finance worked, I visited www.gov.uk/masters-loan. This gave me an overview and most importantly the eligibility criteria – and I was eligible. My next step was to do some more research, as although I was able to get a loan, this wouldn’t cover my tuition and my living costs. In my situation, I am lucky as I did my undergrad at Derby, therefore classed as recent Derby Alumni and received 25% off my postgraduate course fees. I am also sharing a property, so I can split the living costs.

I found more information on other options available at www.derby.ac.uk/study/fees-finance/. This includes scholarships for international students and sponsorship from your employer, so there are other routes to get help. However, if this still seems unfeasible, there are options for online study (University of Derby Online Learning) which can reduce the tuition and allow you to stay at home, as well as studying part-time or commuting into the University.

My advice is not to let finances put you off – there are always solutions. Do your research, get a pen and paper out with a calculator and do some rough costing of the expenses and your budget. This will you give you an idea of the feasibility and help you plan. There are plenty of part time jobs in Derby and internships to do while you study. If you are moving to Derby to study, look on social media at Derby fresher’s page for spare rooms or on www.derbystudentpad.co.uk/Accommodation. And if you are currently working, be sure to speak to your employer about sponsoring you!

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