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Funding/living costs while doing postgrad course

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm in the process of applying to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism at the moment - it would be starting in September and would be a 9 month course (1 academic year). The thing is, I'm starting to wonder whether there is any point in me even going for it if I get offered a place. How am I supposed to afford my rent? I'm going to try and get a career development loan which will hopefully sort out the fees for the course, but if I'm not working (which I probably won't be as it's a full-time course) then I don't see how I can afford to live. My boyfriend's being very supportive, even saying we can move somewhere cheaper - which I really don't want to do because it seems unfair on him when he loves our flat and has worked really hard doing it up - but he won't be able to support us both financially no matter how cheap our rent is :( What should I do? Has anyone else had to deal with this and how did you manage?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hello! I am doing a postgrad after the summer, but I had to option to do mine part time. I had to do it this way so that I could afford to pay for it all! I know how you feel - fees and living costs are ridiculous!

    So that's how I'm gonna cope - with a full time job and part time education. I'm an undergrad at the moment and working two jobs to save up for tuition fees. It's a tight budget, but managable!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The CDL only pays 80% of your course costs and you can then use the rest of it (up to the total 8k) for living expenses etc. It's not much, but it's something.

    Also, remember you'll be a full-time student again, so eligible for the various discounts etc that brings with it (including 25% off Council Tax) and student bank accounts and overdrafts.

    And yes, try and look for a part time job (I know...easier said than done in the current climate).

    I did my MSc a few years back with a CDL, I think I managed through a combination of the CDL, support from my boyfriend when I needed it, my overdraft and the fact that we were living cheaply with his mum. Yes, it was tough and I did get into debt, but was able to pay most of it off not too long after, when I was doing my PhD and had a rather more generous studentship and a part time job. You'll muddle through somehow, I'm sure and will regret if forever if you don't go for it. Good luck :)
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    StupidGirl wrote: »
    I'm in the process of applying to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism at the moment

    Can I just ask which course it is, where etc? It may be that you can do a much shorter course that will get you the same qualification and be recognised just as well in the sector. It's good to think ahead and perhaps contact prospective employers to find out which courses they would recommend.

    However, if you've already done thorough research on this kind of thing then just ignore me. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also bear in mind that full time does not neccessarily mean full time i had a part time office job throughout my MSc and then once i was doing my disseration i had two part time jobs, so i worked during the week and then did the disseration in the evenings and at weekends - i really think that it focused me to do a good job and made me organised - i managed to get it to an almost finish state about a week before the deadline when all my friends were still having panic stations about getting thiers finished.

    You need to factor in that your usually only required to be in university as it were for 20 - 24 weeks of the year for actual teaching so if you can find a job which has flexiable hours or takes allows people to take on extra shifts over holiday periods then it can really help as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wow, thank you guys, I wasn't expecting so many (very helpful!) responses in such a short space of time. You've made me feel much better about it all. Helen, the course is Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University - I have had a look around for other courses but there's nothing else that really appeals to me as much. It's quite specific (in that it's magazine journalism rather than journalism in general) but that's what I really want to do and I'm kind of hoping that having a specific qualification will make it easier to get into that area. I'm starting to wonder a bit if I'm crazy to jump ship from my well paid, permanent job now though with the credit crunch and all - after all there's absolutely nothing to say I'll find work straight away after finishing the course. It's just I feel if I don't do this now, I never will. I'm holding out a tiny bit of hope though as well that my employer MIGHT keep my job open for me...that's very unlikely though as I know they're tightening their belts, just like everyone else in the country!
  • Olly_BOlly_B Mod-u-like Posts: 222 Settling in

    My twopence is to do some research if you haven't to make sure that a post-grad qualification will definitely open doors for you that otherwise wouldn't have opened.

    Personally, I'm not convinced about post-grad journalism courses. Several of my friends have done them, and yes they are in journalism jobs but then so am I, and I didn't. So it's difficult to work out whether they got their job because of their course or they would have got them anyway.

    I'm very much of the opinion that journalism is a trade not a profession - it's a skill you develop not something you study. But, that's just my opinion and I know there are employers and organisations that won't even look at a CV if the person doesn't have a formal qualification.

    Editorial Manager
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