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Posted June 24, 2024

Guide to funding your postgraduate studies

Guide to funding your postgraduate studies

As a postgraduate student you will need to take charge of funding your education, but managing your studies, tuition fee funding and living expenses on your own can seem daunting. Our latest blog is here to help alleviate the stress with details on some ways to fund your postgraduate studies. 

Understanding the costs of postgraduate studies

Starting a postgraduate program is a major step for your future career. Here, we cover how much you will have to pay for these high-level degrees, as you will find it difficult to create an effective financial plan without knowing the costs involved and the funding opportunities available.

Scholarships and grants

Scholarships and grants are important forms of funding for postgraduate students since they provide financial assistance but usually without the need to pay the money back. Scholarships are often based on academic excellence as well as where the student is from and/or studying. Grants are typically given to students who demonstrate the most financial need. 

Both forms of financial aid can substantially reduce the cost of postgraduate education. The more scholarships and grants you apply for – and receive – the less tuition, fees and sometimes even student housing expenses you will have to pay during your postgraduate studies.

Student loans

Student loans are probably the most common method of financing postgraduate studies, as scholarships and grants are not always available and do not usually do not cover the full cost. In the UK, masters loans are available from the government for UK postgraduate students. In the USA there are two types of student loans –  federal loans and private loans. Federal loans typically have lower interest rates and more repayment flexibility than private loans.

It is important that you borrow responsibly so that you do not graduate with too much debt. Students can benefit from working with financial aid advisors to determine what loans are available to them and how best they can repay them in a way that reflects their future career opportunities and expected salary.

Assistantships and fellowships

Postgraduate assistantships usually require students to work part-time within their faculty or department as a teacher or a researcher. In return, they are paid a stipend and sometimes tuition fees are waived or reduced. Fellowships are awards based on academic, artistic or other scholarly merit made without a work requirement expected of the recipient – these can provide provisions for study, research, travel, training, etc. Assistantships and fellowships can be competitive so you should initiate your search for these as early as possible to be in with a good chance of securing one.

Part-time work and internships

Part-time work can give postgraduates a source of income and maybe even relevant experience in the working world. Universities can provide part-time on-campus jobs that fit well with students’ schedules, so it is worth checking if there is anything available. Internships can be paid or unpaid and are good ways to gain experience and make contacts in a relevant field – plus they can sometimes lead to job offers. Balancing work and study can be tricky and impeccable time management is the key to it, but working alongside your studies can also bring substantial financial gain and career development. 

Budgeting and financial management

For postgraduate studies, effective budgeting and financial management are more important than ever to keep costs under control. Start by creating a full budget that calculates tuition fees, books, housing, travel, fun and your allowance. This way, you can know where you spend money and cut down on unnecessary expenses to save money. Apps and financial management tools can make your finances less daunting. You should also be prepared for unexpected situations and emergencies by saving some of your money from your earnings or scholarship. Developing sound financial habits while you are at university will not only help you get by with what you have but also help lay the foundation for your financial future as a working professional.

Once you've secured funding, nothing can hold you back from pursuing your passion. We hope the tips provided above help you find the best sources to support your postgraduate studies. Best of luck!

Amber StudentAbout Amber Student: Amber Student is one of the leading student accommodation platforms, established in 2016 and serving over 80 million students globally. Amber Student is your one-stop destination for all your housing needs, fully assisted by Amber experts. Download the Amber app from the Google Play or App Store to book an affordable home for your adventure.

Author’s bio: Bobby Sinha is a storyteller; she enjoys watching Japanese indie movies and knows various ways of using a chopstick. A graduate in business, working as a writer, and someday aspiring to become a filmmaker proves how versatile she is.

amber is one of many potential private accommodation options for international postgraduate students. Other private student accommodation options are available and advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. Postgrad Solutions accepts no responsibility for your choice of student accommodation and does not endorse or support amber.

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