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Working while studying for a masters course
Thinking about doing a postgraduate course while you work? TalkPostgrad have given us some points to consider when planning full-time or part-time study.
In 2015 a new scholarship scheme will be introduced for some UK and EU students, and in 2016 there will be a new postgraduate masters loan scheme. However, these new schemes will only offer a maximum of £10,000 to cover both fees and living expenses for a year.
How much money will you need?
Masters courses typcially span one year full-time or two years part-time, but not all courses offer the full-time option. Many universities and graduate schools will have an estimate of how much you will need for a living expenses for a year in their area on their website to help you. You might even be asked to provide proof of how you will finance yourself whilst studying.
If you are planning to study full-time, make sure you research how intensive the study will be, and how many hours you should expect to study both at the university and in your own time. You can then decide whether you will have enough time to work and study effectively, and the amount of pay you would need to receive. Get advice from current students doing the course as it will give you an idea of how they balance work and study and what kinds of jobs are available.
If you already have a job and would like to study around that part-time courses could work for you, especially if your work hours are flexible. Finding out about hours and timetabling, in advance if you can, will help you plan how to study and work successfully. Some courses have fixed hours and times you are expected to be at the university, whilst others only fix their timetables shortly before they start as the timetable may also depend on your modules and course choices. If you think your course relates to your current job, talk to your employer who may be able to offer support in varying your hours.
Moving to a new area
If you want to work and study in a new area, make sure you look at work opportunities both at the university and in the surrounding area in advance. Many universities have job centre specifically for work opportunities on campus for students, so find out the type of work that could be available to you. Get an idea of how to balance your work and study needs from current students - they are a good way of judging if working and studying will be suitable for you.
Whatever your circumstances, planning in advance how much money you need, how much you need to work and how you will manage your work and study balance to suit your own life, will help you complete your masters course successfully.
Further information on masters and PhD courses
Visit the TalkPostgrad website to find out other articles on masters funding and study and thinking about distance learning.
For PhD courses, have a look at what things you need to think about here.