December saw George Osborne unveil new measures concerning postgraduate funding for 2016. However, Northumbria University’s postgraduate students needn’t wait another year to access funding for their course as the University has launched its own loan scheme – available with immediate effect.
In the current economic climate, investing more money into your education can feel like a big risk. Undergraduate students have already invested time and money into their degree, so why go on to further study?
Here’s why. Research shows that a postgraduate qualification increases your earning potential, so students can expect a return on their investment. Indeed, studies conducted by the Sutton Trust in 2013 found that students with a post-graduate degree could earn over £200,000 more than those with undergraduate degrees over a 40 year working life (www.suttontrust.com).
Currently, universities offer support to some individuals in the form of bursaries and scholarships, but there has been no loan scheme for postgraduate study – an issue Osborne addressed in December. Additionally, in response to students’ concerns, Northumbria University has also launched a brand new scheme to provide additional support for students residing in the North East. Northumbria’s loan package will allow full-time postgraduate students to access funding of up to £10,000 to cover the cost of tuition fees, as well as supporting living and accommodation expenses (terms and conditions apply).
So, with the availability of financial support, and an increasingly attractive CV on the horizon, the next question is what to study?
“The motivations for studying at postgraduate level vary depending on the individual” says Northumbria’s Marketing Director, Adam Dunlop. “While many students sign up to a Masters straight after graduating from their degree, others may have already gained extensive work experience. It may be that they are looking for a career change, or simply want to study a subject they are passionate about.”
Somebody who credits postgraduate study for furthering her career development is Sophie Haagensen, Northumbria MBA (Master of Business Administration) graduate, Head of Strategy and Planning for Atom Bank and former Deputy Director of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Sophie said: “After studying Biology at undergraduate level, I gained a couple of years’ management experience which prompted my decision to return to University to study a Masters in business and a few years later I completed an MBA through distance learning. My postgraduate studies developed a range of practical and theoretical competencies which have supported me in roles spanning all areas of business, from operations through to strategy.”
“When employers hire postgraduates, they are not just investing in the individual,” added Sophie, “They are investing in the breadth of knowledge and skills that this person can share with the whole organisation.”
Postgraduate courses at Northumbria are available on both a full and part time basis on campus, while some courses are offered on a distance learning basis to create flexible study options.
A postgraduate open day will be held on 11 February. For further information, visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/masters