The benefits enjoyed by those with postgraduate qualifications are becoming increasingly evident. Research published by the Sutton Trust education charity suggests that, in Britain, they will earn on average 14% more than those with an undergraduate degree alone. They are also 15% more likely to be employed full-time after six months, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, and more likely to use skills acquired during their education in their work.
But with undergraduate tuition fees of up to £9,250 a year, mounting debt could deter potential students into postgraduate study, which raises questions about the economic barriers some face. Around three-quarters of those on taught postgraduate programmes in the UK – which cost on average £6,848 – are self-funded, with many relying on financial support from their families to pay their fees.
Many universities are now in a multi-million-pound drive to equalise opportunity. In 2017/18, Russell Group universities will spend more than £250m on scholarships, bursaries, fee waivers and outreach to widen participation in education.
Postgraduate funding: loans, fees, scholarships
- From 2016/17, non-means-tested loans of up to £10,000 have been available to postgraduate students living in England and some EU students taking master’s courses at UK universities. These are subject to an interest rate of the RPI (retail price index) plus 3%. Repayments are set at 6% of any income over £21,000.
- The government will be introducing loans of up to £25,000 for doctoral students from 2018/19.
- Around 35% [pdf] of postgraduate students have used their own savings to pay towards their fees. About 22% used formal loans, 19% had loans from family or friends, and around 10% used fee waivers such as scholarships.
- Young people from working-class backgrounds are only 28% as likely to obtain a postgraduate degree as their peers from privileged upbringings, with high fees deterring many.
Ray Brogden COO of Qualifi Awarding Organisation invites you to visit the Qualifi website to access information regarding our Ofqual regulated Vocationally Related Qualifications at levels 7 and the masters degree progression opportunities available.
- Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership (601/5335/0)
- Level 7 Diploma in Executive Management (601/7656/8)
- Level 7 Diploma in Human Resource Management (603/0722/5)
- Level 7 Diploma in Accounting and Finance (603/0723/7)
Qualifi also has available Level 8 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership (601/5362/3), Research proposal to potentially continue to DBA or equivalent at UK University