Postgraduate debt in HSS

The British Academy has commissioned the National Union of Students (NUS) to conduct research into attitudes towards postgraduate debt.

Research focuses on undergraduate students, postgraduate students and recent graduates from across the UK – with an emphasis on humanities and social sciences (HSS).

The study which runs until May 2013 is being broken into three parts;

  • Desk research into current attitudes on debt, the impact of debt, and whether attitudes differ across subject areas
  • Undergraduate opinion on postgraduate study and how much considerations about debt influences opinion (and whether subject choice makes a difference)
  • Focus groups with postgrads and quantitative work with recent graduates.

The final report aims will to give senior figures in education and policy makers an insight into how HSS students feel about postgraduate debt.

Focussing on HSS

Motivations for studying at postgraduate level in humanities and social sciences are often quite different to those taking more vocationally prescribed courses. The global economic circumstances play a part in funding available for postgraduate study but arts and humanities have taken many casualties in the spending cuts.

It is hoped that the report will add weight to the argument that postgraduate funding support in HSS is an investment in future social, cultural and economic opportunities both nationally and internationally.

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