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A Worthwhile Investment!

Further education after undergrad school has become a key prerequisite for those with career ambitions and professional development plans. The Master’s degree has become a must-have for those striving for a good, well-paid and highly-qualified job ...

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Completing a masters programme in business may require a serious financial commitment.  Tuition fees, student fees, educational resources, books, field trips, accommodation and basic living expenses needed to be accounted for. What are the factors you should take into account and how you will fund your studies?

There are three main options to choose from when it comes to financing graduate study are: funding yourself, applying for funding ot taking out a loan.

Funding yourself

Tuition fees for graduate study vary depending on the type of course and the institution.

Programme prospectuses and university and college websites should offer up-to-date information on tuition fees. However, you need to remember that there will be additional accommodation and living costs.

If your graduate course is full-time, you may consider working for a year between your undergraduate degree and your graduate course, which could free some finances for you.

If your graduate programme is available to study part-time, then you may be able to work whilst studying but you will need to think carefully about whether you can manage the demands of your course with a full-time job. If your graduate course is related to your employment and will enhance your progression and performance in the company, you could ask your employer to sponsor you.

Applying for funding

If you are unable to fund yourself, you can apply for funding from various sources to help finance your graduate study.

Some universities offer financial support to students studying their graduate courses. If funding is not available directly from your university or college, you may need to apply to an external organisation.

The awards, scholarships and grants on offer for graduate programmes vary greatly; before you apply, check whether the award covers fees, if it is for part-time or full-time study and whether it is for a masters or doctorate course.

Competition for funding is fierce which means you need to do your research and apply before the deadline. Many awards have strict eligibility rules so you need to ensure you comply with them.

Taking out a loan

You may be able to take out a loan from a bank to help finance your graduate studies. In the UK, this is called a Career Development Loan (CDL), and is specifically designed to provide financial help to those in vocational education or training. Alternatively, you could apply for a study loan at your local high street bank. Many schools also have special tie ups with leading banks that offer loans for international students.

However, as an international student, your fees will probably be higher than those of your native student counterparts. Taking out a loan is a serious commitment and you will need to think carefully about your ability to make repayments once your graduate course has finished.

Who offers funding?

Funding is available from a variety of sources in your country of origin, and, in some cases, from your host country.

Some sources may include the following:

- Research Councils (for example, a Medical Research Council) 
- Official institutions for certain disciplines such as societies or academies 
- Each country's government offers certain scholarships to international students 
- Charities and charitable trusts

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