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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:34 am 
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Location: Birmingham
Anyone else come across this anomaly regarding University course fees

My DS is currently doing a 4 year M.Sci degree in Natural Sciences (mainly specialising in Biologiocal Science Modules) - the costs of the course fees are 4 x £9,000 funded by a Student Loan.

One option he is considering is to curtail the course after 3-years getting a B.Sc Hons in Natural Sciences and switch to a 1 year specialised post graduate M.Sc or M.Res. The course fees for a 1-year M.Sc in say Microbiology are £6,480. So the total course fees would be 3 x £9,000 + £6,480

Interestingly the post graduate M.Sc course is a 12 month Sept to Sept at £6,480 whereas the final year undergraduate element is 9 months Sept to June at £9,000

The only down side appears to be that the M.Sc or M.Res is a post graduate degree and so the course fees are not eligible for undergraduate student loans. So bank of mum and dad would need to provide a "interest free loan" but he would come out with a much lower student loan debt.

Has anyone else come across this anomaly?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:52 am 
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Ken I haven't come across the anomaly but there are funding proposals being developed for postgraduate loans which have not yet been finalised of which you are probably already aware.

http://www.findamasters.com/funding/gui ... cheme.aspx.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:02 am 
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I think the 4 year is popular as they don't have to apply separately for the Masters bit and the funding is included in the loan (which they may never pay off anyway) - having said that Masters are often a lot cheaper than first degrees and sometimes free if you go abroad.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:28 pm 
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I've tried (and failed!) to work this one out but...

I think if it is done as a full 4 year course the initial undergraduate loan covers it and is then paid back at the 9% of salary over £21000 for the max of 30 years.
If done separately it would need other funding from either mum and dad, industry or post graduate loan- I gathered from what little info there is, that if it is a separate post grad loan then the student would be paying back 2 x 9% loans alongside each other at the same time??

In terms of loans it looks like it would make more sense to do the 4 year version and you may then never have to pay back full loan anyway ( depending on earnings potential), even if mum and dad loan was available, it may also make more sense to take the 4 year undergrad loan if it would never all be paid , and use parental loan rather than other forms of lending for eg mortgage. ( martin Lewis website has calculators/advice re viability of this)

Can anyone else enlighten me as to whether I'm correct re the single or 2 separate loan options and pay back system as the government info is (deliberately I guess) as clear as mud despite trawling the internet for a definitive answer! :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:40 pm 
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Location: Reading
Not sure whether it's due to fees as I've not looked at it, but most engineers these days will do a 4 or 5 year MEng course, rather than a BEng than a masters afterwards. (You need a Masters or some form of equivalent work to get chartered these days, and it's easier to do the degree I think).

MEng degrees have been around since before student loans even existed. Seeing as most students go for one route rather than the other, either that's the best way to go or none of them have thought about the impact on fees.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:53 pm 
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The thing that interested me was the fact that the final year of a 4-year M.Sci costs £9,000 for a 9 month course, whereas for a 1 year post grad M.Sc the cost is £6,480 for a 12 month course - monthly cost for the latter is about 1/2 price

Looks much better value for money


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:32 am 
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Interesting calculations and thanks for the link.

DS1 has been invited to express interest in converting from three year BSc to four year MSc so I'm interested in the costs and benefits. Don't have any details yet as he's been too busy to forward them, I've sent him a link to this thread so he now knows I'm on the case. :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:26 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
The Oxford maths course comes in two forms, Batchelors or Masters. During last year's application process students were encouraged to apply for the Masters, regardless whether they were keen to do the extra year because they would be entitled to four-year funding/loan entitlement and they could always choose not to take the final year at a later stage. The warning was that if you applied for the Batchelors then decided to do the fourth year later then you wouldn't get the final year entitlement.

However, the Chancellor announced something about post-doc (including Masters) funding in the November budget last year and there's been a consultation about it:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... -study.pdf

I guess this means things are still up in the air at the moment!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:36 pm 
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DS1 has just started a 4 year MSci course in biochemistry at Birmingham. One of the years is a professional placement, for which they pay (or rather, have paid on their behalf by SFE or whichever organisation depending on their origin)15% of the full fee.

Many universities offer the option to apply for conversion from the BSc to the MSci - if the Oxford course is an undergraduate Masters, I thought they should be able to access a fourth year's funding if they convert?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:05 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
Apparently not, according to last year's documentation, though the recommendation was made before the Chancellor's announcement so it may all have changed in the interim.


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