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Talk given by Graduate Prospects on funding postgraduate study at Sussex, 27th January 2010

Talk given by Graduate Prospects on funding postgraduate study at Sussex, 27th January 2010

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  • 1.
    • Funding Postgraduate Study
    • University of Sussex
    • Postgraduate Open Day
    • Wednesday 27 th January 2010
  • 2.
    • Improve your employment prospects
    • Employers value the skills and qualities postgraduates possess – and you can earn more with a PG degree.
    • Acquire new skills
    • You may need to do a conversion course to enter a particular job – e.g. law, teaching, IT, marketing.
    • Personal pleasure/love of subject
    • It’s not just about jobs and salaries – if you are passionate about a subject, study is valuable for its own sake.
    Why become a postgraduate?
  • 3.
    • ‘ The additional skills that you acquire during the course of a Masters are transferable . Even if it is not a vocational course, a Masters degree shows that you can take the challenge of an in-depth specialised course that is at a higher level than undergraduate study.
    • ‘ You are more likely to learn and interact in smaller groups at postgraduate level, similar to what one would find in the workplace. This improves team-working skills and encourages problem-solving techniques . It’s not just what subject you’ve studied but how you managed your studies and the experiences that you gained that employers will be interested in.’
    • Dr Rhys Williams, PG Admissions Officer,
    • University of Aberystwyth
    Why become a postgraduate?
  • 4.
    • The wrong motivations
    • You want to retain a student lifestyle.
    • Your partner/friends are in the same city.
    • You don’t know what else to do during the recession.
    • Postgraduate study is demanding and expensive and you need to be sure
    • that you are doing it for the right reasons.
    Why become a postgraduate?
  • 5.
    • The bad news
    • There is no mandatory funding for postgraduate study (except for PGCE students). Getting on a course does not automatically entitle you to funding.
    • The Student Loans Company doesn’t support postgraduates (except PGCEs).
    • Fees are higher than for undergraduate study – the average fee for a one-year Masters is approximately £3,300, and for some courses fees can be much higher than that.
    Funding issues
  • 6.
    • The good news
    • There are 530,000+ postgraduate students in the UK – more than ever before. Postgraduate education is a boom industry.
    • There is an incredible variety of programmes and modes of study. Prospects has more than 58,000 PG programmes on its database. Many of them are vocational and career-development focused.
    • The absence of wholesale funding has not deterred hundreds of thousands of people from becoming postgraduates. Most students can and do manage.
    • You can find out about the postgraduate experience from the many PG students here today.
    Funding issues
  • 7.
    • The most important formal sources of PG funding
    • Arts & Humanities Research Council www.ahrc.ac.uk
    • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council www.bbsrc.ac.uk
    • Economic & Social Research Council www.ehrc.ac.uk
    • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council www.epsrc.ac.uk
    • Medical Research Council www.mrc.ac.uk
    • Natural Environment Research Council www.nerc.ac.uk
    • Science & Technology Facilities Council www.scitech.ac.uk
    The Research Councils
  • 8.
    • Key things you need to know about the Research Councils
    • The Research Councils fund some taught courses as well as research programmes – often as preparation for research.
    • Competition is intense but varies between subjects.
    • Awards normally require a minimum 2:1.
    • You must be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for a full award.
    • Applications are usually made through the department, not the RC.
    • Lists of RC-supported programmes are available early in the new year.
    • Application deadlines vary. The earlier you find out about them, the better.
    • Refer to individual RC websites for the most up-to-date information.
    The Research Councils
  • 9.
    • www.epsrc.ac.uk
    • Programme areas
    • Cross-disciplinary Interfaces; Information and Communications Technology;
    • Materials, Mechanical and Medical Engineering; Mathematical Sciences;
    • Physical Sciences; Process, Environment and Sustainability; Public
    • Engagement; Research Infrastructure and International.
    • Postgraduate awards
    • Collaborative Training Accounts (CTA) – bulk-funding mechanism to include
    • funding for: Masters Training (includes Research Masters, Taught Masters
    • courses and individual modules), Industrial CASE Studentships, CASE,
    • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Engineering Doctorate (4-year PhD
    • Programme at specific Centres in UK Universities).
    • Doctoral Training Accounts (DTA) and Doctoral Training Centres – bulk
    • funding mechanism to support PhD training.
    The Research Councils
  • 10.
      • NHS Bursaries www.nhsstudentgrants.co.uk
      • General Social Care Council – for social work training www.gscc.org.uk
      • Student Awards Agency for Scotland – for Scottish-domiciled students www.saas.gov.uk
      • Department for Education and Learning – for study in Northern Ireland www.delni.gov.uk
    Other public funding providers
  • 11.
    • There are hundreds of large and small organisations with one
    • thing in common – they provide funding for postgraduate
    • study
    • Charities, foundations and trusts are usually dedicated to a specific purpose – e.g. subject of study.
    • They rarely provide full funding (e.g. tuition fees and cost of living).
    • There are no standard rules on eligibility criteria and applications.
    • Deadlines are often well in advance of the start of the course.
    • There is no central application process.
    • Key information source: The Grants Register, published by Palgrave Macmillan - available in your careers service, at public libraries and on www.prospects.ac.uk/funding
    Charities, foundations and trusts
  • 12.
    • GENERAL AWARDS British Federation of Women Graduates, Wolfson Foundation,
    • Sir Halley Stuart Trust
    • ARTS AND HUMANITIES National Gallery, Royal Historical Society, Royal Institute
    • of Philosophy
    • BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Leverhulme Trust, Social Workers Educational
    • Trust, UK eInformation Group
    • SCIENCE AND MEDICINE Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research, Epilepsy Action,
    • Heart Research UK
    • ENGINEERING Institution of Engineering and Technology, Worshipful Company of
    • Engineers, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
    • STUDY ABROAD Anglo-Brazilian Society, US-UK Fulbright Commission,
    • Anglo-Danish Society
    Charities, foundations and trusts
  • 13.
    • Postgraduate awards
    • Anglo-Danish Society Scholarships awarded irrespective of study subject. Ove
    • Arup Foundation scholarship specifically for study of subjects related to the built
    • environment. Bikubenfonden Scholarship for arts-related studies.
    • Value of awards
    • Minimum £1,500. Must be used to supplement other funding sources.
    • Eligibility criteria
    • Applications invited from students undertaking postgraduate courses and of
    • Danish nationality for scholarships tenable at universities or other approved
    • institution in the UK (first degree to be from Danish university) or British
    • nationality for scholarships tenable at Copenhagen, Aarhus or Odense universities
    • or other approved institution in Denmark.
    • How and when to apply
    • Application forms are available at www.anglo-danishsociety.org.uk
    • Deadline for completed application forms is 10 th March 2010.
    Charities, foundations and trusts
  • 14.
    • Postgraduate awards
    • Scholarships ranging in value from £1,000 to £10,000 for postgraduate research
    • students. The scholarships are available to reward excellence and support students
    • in financial need.
    • Eligibility criteria
    • For members of the Institution carrying out research or taught MSc in electrical,
    • electronic, manufacturing or information engineering in the UK or overseas.
    • How and when to apply
    • Applications must be made using the application form available from the website
    • in the Postgraduate Awards section. The closing date is 20 April 2010.
    • More information: www.theiet.org/ambition
    Charities, foundations and trusts
  • 15.
    • Universities are significant providers of direct and indirect
    • postgraduate funding
    • Studentships, scholarships, bursaries, prizes – most universities have them.
    • Graduate teaching and research assistantships – for research students only.
    • Access to Learning funds – means-assessed hardship relief.
    • Part-time campus work – you may be familiar with this already.
    • Hall tutorships – warden duties in return for accommodation.
    • Fee flexibility – alumni discount, fees paid in instalments.
    • Use the Grants Register in print and on www.prospects.ac.uk/funding for
    • the latest institutional awards.
    • Always check universities’ fees and funding pages.
    Institutional funding
  • 16.
    • Business, Management and Economics Scholarships – provides £1,500 reduction in tuition fees
    • Journalism Scholarships – three awards of £2,000 available
    • Climate Change Scholarships – 10 awards of £4,500 and three of £3,500 available
    • Keep an eye on the Sussex postgraduate funding pages
    • www.sussex.ac.uk/study/funding/pgukeu.php
    Funding opportunities at Sussex
  • 17. Loans
    • Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs)
    • www.direct.gov.uk/pcdl
    • 0800 585505
    • PCDLs are run by Barclays and Co-operative Bank in association with the Learning and Skills Council.
    • You can borrow between £300 - £10,000.
    • They are provided for vocational courses only .
    • Because of the recession, there are more available this year.
    • Repayment begins one month after you graduate.
    • APRs are very high.
  • 18. Loans
    • Other professional loans
    • NatWest/College of Law Professional Trainee Loan Scheme
    • Association of MBAs Loan Scheme
    • Personal loan/overdraft
    • Negotiate with your bank
    • Always think carefully about taking on (more) debt. Get advice
    • from a student finance/welfare expert.
  • 19. Working and studying
      • This is the reality for the majority of postgraduate
      • students. It’s hard work but it can be done
      • Most PG students study part time so it is possible to work part time (or even full time) and study.
      • Flexible study modes such as credit transfer, modular study and distance learning also make working and studying a realistic possibility.
      • Many PG students have their fees paid for by their employer. This may be part of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or connected to a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).
  • 20. Working and studying ‘ I am lucky that my employers have agreed to fund the course, which is an obvious advantage to me, but in return they will reap the rewards of my acquired skills and knowledge, resulting ultimately in a more qualified and experienced employee.’ ‘ My employment with the Royal Air Force allowed me to qualify for a particular job in the Defence Logistics Organisation, who are meeting the costs of my course and continuing to pay my salary.’
  • 21. Some of the jobs postgraduate students do
      • TV/film extra
      • Market researcher
      • Lab technician
      • Teaching assistant
      • Freelance journalist
      • Karate instructor
    Working and studying
      • Event security
      • Childminder
      • Lifeguard
      • Belly dancer
      • Fruit-picker
      • Model
    Not to mention waiter, receptionist, sales executive, planning officer, programmer, shop worker, fundraiser, cleaner…
  • 22. Working and studying
      • ‘ The night shifts are paid at time and a half, are twelve hours
      • long and there’s often not much to do except read – great for
      • catching up on study.’ Nursing assistant
      • ‘ I got on an agency’s books. If I had a lot of work on, I said
      • No, if I needed the money I said Yes.’ TV extra
      • ‘ I’m doing a Masters via distance learning, whilst looking
      • after my two children and other people’s as a childminder to
      • fund my course fees.’ Childminder
      • ‘ I’ve worked in concert security, worked evenings in my local
      • video store, worked as relief staff at my local sports centre,
      • and as a lab technician for the university.’ All-rounder
  • 23. Portfolio funding
      • You are the most important source of
      • postgraduate funding
      • Most PG students put together a funding package drawn from a variety of sources.
      • This requires strong personal qualities: tenacity, imagination, perseverance, ingenuity, creativity.
      • Sorting your finances out may be the most demanding part of your PG experience.
      • According to research, most students say that postgraduate study was worth the sacrifices they may have had to make to undertake and complete it.
  • 24. Your next steps
      • Start your information search as soon as possible. If you put in the spade-work now, you will reap the harvest in the long run.
      • Read Prospects Postgraduate Funding Guide – available here today, at your careers service and at www.prospects.ac.uk/funding
      • Watch the funding vidcast at www.prospects.ac.uk/funding
      • Register with My Prospects for the latest PG study and funding information www.prospects.ac.uk/myprospects
  • 25. Your next steps
      • Talk to current and former postgraduate students.
      • Ask the department you are applying to how their students fund themselves.
      • Get control of your personal finances – run yourself like a small business. Budget calculators can help you do this, e.g.
      • www.guildofstudents.com/balanceyourbooks
      • Remember – every year, thousands of postgraduates
      • successfully undertake postgraduate study even in the
      • absence of formal funding.