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Fees for postgraduate business courses and MBA programsFind your PERFECT BUSINESS PROGRAM
Studying for a MBA or postgraduate business degree is a great way of boosting your career prospects and propelling yourself up the company hierarchy, but it's an endeavour that requires a lot of consideration. Higher education is costly and business courses, particularly MBAs, are especially expensive. In the long run they tend to pay for themselves when it comes to earning capacity and career options once you have finished the course, but the upfront costs can come as a shock to anyone not prepared for the true costs involved. A typical postgraduate business course costs around £6,000 a year, although they can be higher particularly for international students. While MBA fees are much more varied and can cost from £16,000-£70,000. These fees are however highly dependent on a range of factors which will be outlined below.
How you want to study
The fees of a postgraduate business program will depend on your specific scenario so it's important to know exactly how you would like to study. The same course can cost different amounts even from the same university depending on how you study, so it makes a real difference. First you'll want to decide whether to study full time, part time or online. Studying full time is usually the faster option, but it means you're more likely to be unable to work while studying; thus money from your expenses must come from somewhere else. This might be in the form of loans if you don't have any money saved up, so be sure you factor this in.
Studying part time allows you to work while you study but your course will take longer. Being able to work means you might not accumulate as much debt during the time you are studying, but you will be studying for longer so costs will accrue over time. Be sure you're still able to focus while juggling studying and work; there's no point tiring yourself out too much at work so you don't have enough time to study or you risk failing and having to pay to try to do the course again!
Many universities also offer online courses now, which allow you to study at home and only require travelling to the university on specific occasions. This is a good choice if you're already working but want to study to improve your career prospects.
Where you want to study
You will also need to decide at which university you wish to study. This is important for a number of reasons. First of all consider whether you wish to study in your home country or abroad - if you're studying at a university within the EU and are coming from outside the EU, the cost of your course will typically be higher than it is for home students. If you are coming from within the EU, courses will cost less and normally cost even less if studying within your country. Bursaries and grants are also often conducted at the county level, so you should speak to your home county about any options available to you.
You will need to consider the relative worth of the degree being offered. Top tier universities might offer courses that are significantly more expensive than others, but the degree they offer is sometimes considered more valuable by employers. The top tier universities are understandably the most competitive so your range of options is somewhat limited by which universities will accept you, but don't accept an offer just because one is given to you. Studying a postgraduate business course is an expensive endeavour so you must be reasonably sure it will be worthwhile.
If you've got an idea of which companies you'd like to work for once you graduate, try to find out where their executives studied. It's not as common nowadays, but you still might, for example, still find companies whose board of executives is made up of Oxbridge graduates. If that's the case, it's a good indication they have expectations about the calibre of degree they would expect from you.
Where you are planning to live
You must also decide if you wish to live at home or in rented postgraduate student accommodation while you study at university. Rented accommodation is usually the more expensive option, but unless you're studying online or at a university close to home it might be the only option. Thus you need to take into account the area surrounding the university. What are typical rent prices? How expensive are food and everyday essentials? Your living costs are often overlooked but can account for a significant portion of student debt and can vary dramatically depending on where you study.
Can you get help with your funding?
There is less financial support offered to postgraduate students as compared to undergraduates, but that is because a postgraduate course is much more specific and therefore expensive. However there is some business-course-specific funding available if you do your research. For most people, the preferable option is to secure funding from studentships, bursaries or grants. Loans are often a last resort, because you don't usually have to repay the money from the other options. Studentships, bursaries and grants are highly specific to the course, the university and the student applying for them so it pays to search and cast your net as wide as possible. If you can't secure any funding, consider delaying your studies for a year if you can and trying again next year. Unless you know you will walk into a job as soon as you have your postgraduate degree, it's a gamble. It's worthwhile for most, but it pays not to leave it up to chance.