Self funding your postgraduate degree through savings or work

Many people have to fund their entire postgraduate degree program themselves, either through savings or from earnings – working as they study.

Those who are lucky enough to be able to pay their fees as soon as they come in are merely concerned with transferring the money across to their university and personal bank account, and then managing their living costs successfully.

The other group of ‘self-payment’ people are those who intend to work through their degree, and this can be a complex game of time and numbers management.

Working through your course

If you are going to work while on a full-time course, make sure your time management and money management skills are up to scratch. You need to make sure you are not spending too much time working (as your study will suffer) or not enough time working (as your finances will suffer). It is a good idea to make a proper plan projecting how much you are likely to earn, as unless you are paid incredibly well it is unlikely that just part-time work will pay for your entire degree and living costs. If that is the case, then you need to start looking at alternative sources of funding that can supplement your work. It is also a good idea to make sure that you are eligible to work in the UK (if you are an overseas student) and that you are paying the correct tax and national insurance contribution.

Part-time study versus full-time study

Many people decide to study part-time so they can continue to work throughout the length of the course. This is usually under the assumption that it will save them money and allow them to fund their degree as they go. However you must double check what a university’s regulations on part-time study are before agreeing to this. At some universities, part-time courses are more expensive because they happen over a longer length of time, so you are charged for multiple years (if your degree takes that long). While studying part-time might seem a cheaper option, this is not always the case so double check before you commit!

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