Paying your own way

Competition for complete funding is fierce, so it is likely that you’ll be looking at funding at least part of the course yourself, if not all of it. For people undertaking part-time study (over 50% of postgraduates) this is often the case.

Professional and Careers development loan

Money saved or loaned by friends and family can also be topped up with a professional and careers development loan (PCDL). The loans are available for anyone over 18 and living in the UK (find out more about eligibility), for two years – or three if work for a year is included as part of the course.

During that time the Skills Funding Agency pick up the tab for the interest on the loan, until a month after you finish studying, then it’s up to you. The interest charged should be about the same as a commercially available high-street loan, and of course, you’re able to shop around to see whether another replacement loan might leave you financially better off when that time comes.

Amounts £300 and £10,000.

Currently offered by the Co-op and Barclays.

Professional development loan

Some banks offer a slightly different loan for those looking at training for a professional qualification in medicine or law. These loans are for full-time diploma, MSc or PhD students studying for a professional qualification as a barrister, solicitor, dentist, osteopath, chiropodist or podiatrist, doctor, pharmacist, chiropractor, optician or physiotherapist or vet. Do shop around though, as a few of banks have withdrawn their products recently.

MBA loan scheme

Many MBA students are self-financing and the Association of MBAs Loan Scheme helped to cover hefty MBA fees.

Regrettably this rather useful source of funding is no longer available to those taking an MBA. At the moment there isn’t another AMBA recommended product to take its place. The association’s current advice is ‘to talk to your bank about what personal loans are available’.