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The Official Funding questions/moans/possible joy Thread

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    (Original post by Hylean)
    Is it common for MA funding forms to be the same as PhD funding forms?
    In my experience yes - just tick the relevant box
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    In my experience yes - just tick the relevant box
    Ah, cool.


    Hmmm, residency issues might **** me over for funding. :sad:
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    Hi,

    I've had a read through of some of the thread, but am sorry if what I'm about to ask has been asked already!!

    I think I have exhausted every means of funding my History Masters in September.

    I've applied for every funding opportunity within the Uni, and have now trawled through all external charity funding sources as well (seems I have missed a lot of the deadlines as only recently was told of some useful websites to do with this!).

    I'm applying for a career development loan, and with that and savings I'm still going to be around five grand short of preventing myself constantly worrying about money for the year!

    Is there anything funding wise that I have missed? If all else fails then I'll be looking to do my course part time over two years instead of one, and I'll be looking for work when I get to uni, but can't really do that until I get there!

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
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    (Original post by AlexMiddle)
    Hi,

    I've had a read through of some of the thread, but am sorry if what I'm about to ask has been asked already!!

    I think I have exhausted every means of funding my History Masters in September.

    I've applied for every funding opportunity within the Uni, and have now trawled through all external charity funding sources as well (seems I have missed a lot of the deadlines as only recently was told of some useful websites to do with this!).

    I'm applying for a career development loan, and with that and savings I'm still going to be around five grand short of preventing myself constantly worrying about money for the year!

    Is there anything funding wise that I have missed? If all else fails then I'll be looking to do my course part time over two years instead of one, and I'll be looking for work when I get to uni, but can't really do that until I get there!

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
    History MA funding is pretty much non-existant so you've probably found what there is available.

    Jobs wise - you can probably start looking around the end of July as it takes a good 6 weeks to get a job app sorted etc etc. Check the uni your going to's jobsite too, and the SU might have their own too.

    Seriously consider the negatives of getting a CDL - dangerous and expensive way of getting money for something you may not necessarily need to do depending on what you want to do afterwards. I just remember a poster on here who had a CDL and it totally crippled him afterwards.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    History MA funding is pretty much non-existant so you've probably found what there is available.

    Jobs wise - you can probably start looking around the end of July as it takes a good 6 weeks to get a job app sorted etc etc. Check the uni your going to's jobsite too, and the SU might have their own too.

    Seriously consider the negatives of getting a CDL - dangerous and expensive way of getting money for something you may not necessarily need to do depending on what you want to do afterwards. I just remember a poster on here who had a CDL and it totally crippled him afterwards.
    Thanks for the advice, I thought I would struggle looking at jobs before I went as I won't know my timetable.

    Unfortunately, I can't afford the masters without the CDL as I haven't managed to get any substantial funding. More people have actually pointed me in the direction of getting one than warned me against them it seems!

    Thanks again.
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    (Original post by AlexMiddle)
    Thanks for the advice, I thought I would struggle looking at jobs before I went as I won't know my timetable.

    Unfortunately, I can't afford the masters without the CDL as I haven't managed to get any substantial funding. More people have actually pointed me in the direction of getting one than warned me against them it seems!

    Thanks again.
    I think you're probably a little late for MA funding for this year coming too, but hope is not lost for next year. Could you give me a rundown of the course you did/what you want to do? MA funding for history is shoddy for a number of reasons. There are lots of history grads- about 100 universities will offer at least a joint degree in it, so there are something like 7,000 annually. There are about 150-200 PhD funded places annually, max, and about 100 masters places. Given that lots of history grads tend to be doing it for the love of the discipline, lots tend to want to do further study compared with, say, accountancy grads. So, the numbers are against you straight away- in my year we had 20 per place chasing the masters funding and 12 per place for the PhD. We're also in the situation of being seen as 'academic' and struggle to get grants when compared with economics who say they want to investigate financial crises and end up with £1.2m government grants that pay for a raft of PhDs and some post-docs.

    Once you accept the odds and don't get too down about rejections, you can get somewhere. Fact of the matter is, some places are richer and have more funds than others. There are also some related disciplines that might let you in to do something similar with more cash per head, even if it isn't one of your top choices. If you really can't move from where you are and are constrained to one or two MAs that are being offered, it makes life harder, but if not, I'd encourage you to look far and wide. One example is at Glasgow: The MLitt in War Studies or MSc in Global Security share one funded place, but have probably 40 applications for it. The much less popular MLitt in American Studies allows students to basically do very similar/the same modules (and still write on the war on terror if they wanted) but have four places for Gordon Scholarships through a large donation some years ago that covers the fees, and often only about half a dozen people that know about it and apply.

    There are lots of little and large bodies like the British Commission for Maritime History and the Economic History Society that, depending on what you want to do, can sometimes come up with a bursary of £250-£1000 here and there. They might make the difference between unaffordable and affordable. If you know the lecturer well and they run the course- talk to them. I know of some people swinging a fee-waiver in return for being a research assistant to someone for a few hours a week. Since you're really just getting a library card and access to tutorials that already run, depending on how rigidly the university runs the department's budget can depend on how much sway a senior staff member has in not charging fees. This is by no means common though.

    Failing that, as you know you'd be left with university scholarships or AHRC/ESRC schemes or the occasional charitable fund that pays for fees. I suspect you know these, but it'd be worth checking them at other universities too. It's worth noting some places are very protective of their own students, while others want their own students to go and experience somewhere else, which heavily affects how they approach applicants. Some also just pick those with the best First Class degrees and most prizes, while others are looking for a research proposal that closely matches the department, or somewhere in between- I know of a mature student with a low 2:1 from a not well known department who took time out, wrote a book, and then came back and got full funding on the back of it from a big department. Oxford has some hidden away in colleges and some exist for people from certain countries/counties, which, if you meet the criteria, can mean you're the only applicant eligible.

    Anyway, even if your boat has sailed for this coming Autumn, if you spend the next year wisely, you should have a better, if still far from certain, chance next year.
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    What kind of academic performance should I be looking at in order to have a chance at across-the-board funding for an MA/MPhil (in preparation for a doctorate)? I ask since I don't really see any way that I'd be able to contribute even a minimal amount to postgrad funding. (I'm a second year Cambridge undergrad, I got a borderline first last year [average 71%] and I'm waiting for this year's results -- if I were to get a 2:1 this year how badly would that affect my chances?)
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    (Original post by 0404343m)
    I think you're probably a little late for MA funding for this year coming too, but hope is not lost for next year. Could you give me a rundown of the course you did/what you want to do? MA funding for history is shoddy for a number of reasons. There are lots of history grads- about 100 universities will offer at least a joint degree in it, so there are something like 7,000 annually. There are about 150-200 PhD funded places annually, max, and about 100 masters places. Given that lots of history grads tend to be doing it for the love of the discipline, lots tend to want to do further study compared with, say, accountancy grads. So, the numbers are against you straight away- in my year we had 20 per place chasing the masters funding and 12 per place for the PhD. We're also in the situation of being seen as 'academic' and struggle to get grants when compared with economics who say they want to investigate financial crises and end up with £1.2m government grants that pay for a raft of PhDs and some post-docs.

    Once you accept the odds and don't get too down about rejections, you can get somewhere. Fact of the matter is, some places are richer and have more funds than others. There are also some related disciplines that might let you in to do something similar with more cash per head, even if it isn't one of your top choices. If you really can't move from where you are and are constrained to one or two MAs that are being offered, it makes life harder, but if not, I'd encourage you to look far and wide. One example is at Glasgow: The MLitt in War Studies or MSc in Global Security share one funded place, but have probably 40 applications for it. The much less popular MLitt in American Studies allows students to basically do very similar/the same modules (and still write on the war on terror if they wanted) but have four places for Gordon Scholarships through a large donation some years ago that covers the fees, and often only about half a dozen people that know about it and apply.

    There are lots of little and large bodies like the British Commission for Maritime History and the Economic History Society that, depending on what you want to do, can sometimes come up with a bursary of £250-£1000 here and there. They might make the difference between unaffordable and affordable. If you know the lecturer well and they run the course- talk to them. I know of some people swinging a fee-waiver in return for being a research assistant to someone for a few hours a week. Since you're really just getting a library card and access to tutorials that already run, depending on how rigidly the university runs the department's budget can depend on how much sway a senior staff member has in not charging fees. This is by no means common though.

    Failing that, as you know you'd be left with university scholarships or AHRC/ESRC schemes or the occasional charitable fund that pays for fees. I suspect you know these, but it'd be worth checking them at other universities too. It's worth noting some places are very protective of their own students, while others want their own students to go and experience somewhere else, which heavily affects how they approach applicants. Some also just pick those with the best First Class degrees and most prizes, while others are looking for a research proposal that closely matches the department, or somewhere in between- I know of a mature student with a low 2:1 from a not well known department who took time out, wrote a book, and then came back and got full funding on the back of it from a big department. Oxford has some hidden away in colleges and some exist for people from certain countries/counties, which, if you meet the criteria, can mean you're the only applicant eligible.

    Anyway, even if your boat has sailed for this coming Autumn, if you spend the next year wisely, you should have a better, if still far from certain, chance next year.
    I have done a History degree at Cardiff uni gaining a First class honours. I have spent this year out working and saving towards doing a masters and was accepted at Edinburgh, York and Exeter. Exeter had nothing in the way of funding for History that I would be eligible for. Edinburgh had a fair amount of funding and I decided that's where I wanted to do my Masters (Medieval History). So I applied for every bit of funding available to me at Edinburgh (as I didn't see the point in applying for funding at a uni I didn't want to go to as much - York.)

    So far two out of three of these funding applications have been unsuccessful as they are all based on academic merit, making competition extremely high. I have also applied for a local charity grant but this is not substantial by any means. I believe the only mistake I have made is not looking at the CDL earlier, as by querying this I was also directed to some websites with lots of independent charity grants etc that I could possibly apply for. Unfortunately, I was not eligible for a lot of these and most of the ones I am, the deadlines for applying have already passed.

    I think I can safely say I have explored every avenue to help me fund the masters, and a friend actually made the same useful suggestion you have about speaking to the head of the course as she was offered £2500 from Cambridge when she said she couldn't afford to accept her place there. I'm trying not to hold out hope on this front, but am going to try it!
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    (Original post by AlexMiddle)
    I have done a History degree at Cardiff uni gaining a First class honours. I have spent this year out working and saving towards doing a masters and was accepted at Edinburgh, York and Exeter. Exeter had nothing in the way of funding for History that I would be eligible for. Edinburgh had a fair amount of funding and I decided that's where I wanted to do my Masters (Medieval History). So I applied for every bit of funding available to me at Edinburgh (as I didn't see the point in applying for funding at a uni I didn't want to go to as much - York.)

    So far two out of three of these funding applications have been unsuccessful as they are all based on academic merit, making competition extremely high. I have also applied for a local charity grant but this is not substantial by any means. I believe the only mistake I have made is not looking at the CDL earlier, as by querying this I was also directed to some websites with lots of independent charity grants etc that I could possibly apply for. Unfortunately, I was not eligible for a lot of these and most of the ones I am, the deadlines for applying have already passed.

    I think I can safely say I have explored every avenue to help me fund the masters, and a friend actually made the same useful suggestion you have about speaking to the head of the course as she was offered £2500 from Cambridge when she said she couldn't afford to accept her place there. I'm trying not to hold out hope on this front, but am going to try it!
    Had a feeling you were a History bod. With regards to finding a job/working, my History MA was only 6hrs a week contact time and I worked one 8 hr day a week until the Easter without any issue.

    Really hope you find some way of doing it
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    I am coming to the end of my 2nd year of undergrad, and seriously considering further study, probably in Medieval French. This year, once I was able to specialise in medieval, my marks have risen to fairly consistent firsts, and I have won a couple of prizes and travel grants. However, in my first year I didn't do amazingly, averaging high 2.1 in French with a first in essay paper, but high 2.2 in spanish due to an abysmal spanish grammar mark. I can't tell whether or not this will hold me back in standing a chance for getting funding at all, or if I had good enough references and whatnot with solid predictions it wouldn't matter?

    I have vaguely mentioned doing post-grad to my tutors and they seem enthusiastic, but I can't tell whether they are just like that with anyone...
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    (Original post by pinstriped.flower)
    I am coming to the end of my 2nd year of undergrad, and seriously considering further study, probably in Medieval French. This year, once I was able to specialise in medieval, my marks have risen to fairly consistent firsts, and I have won a couple of prizes and travel grants. However, in my first year I didn't do amazingly, averaging high 2.1 in French with a first in essay paper, but high 2.2 in spanish due to an abysmal spanish grammar mark. I can't tell whether or not this will hold me back in standing a chance for getting funding at all, or if I had good enough references and whatnot with solid predictions it wouldn't matter?

    I have vaguely mentioned doing post-grad to my tutors and they seem enthusiastic, but I can't tell whether they are just like that with anyone...
    Getting funding at masters level is almost impossible. Oxford has three AHRC awards for research preparation masters in French this year. Some universities might not have any awards at masters level (Bristol do not I think). And that is for all French students irrespective of their specialism. It is not good enough simply to be the best medievalist.

    If you graduate with a first and have a strong research proposal then your relatively poor first year mark will be ignored by most. But a lot depends on where you plan on applying to and what your research will be on. I would discuss this with your tutors. They will know of other academics and departments that would be a good fit for you, and you can check to see if they have any funding available.

    In order to increase your chances of securing funding you should consider using your undergraduate dissertation as a trial run of a larger research project you could do at masters level; and perhaps link this to taught units you can select as well; and make reference to specific members of staff and their research specialisms and local resources at any university you apply to etc., etc..
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    any help appreciated! i've just completed the second year of my LLB at KCL and if it's at all possible, i absolutely want to do postgrad with a view to either a general LLM or specialism in human rights (and related areas - public international is a possibility but i'm hesitant to say that before i've done my undergrad module in it). it's likely i'll graduate with a 2.1 due to mitigating circumstances but a first is still potentially within reach, just improbable.

    self-funding the LLM is not an option (at least not immediately) - i come from an extremely low income bracket and received maximum bursaries and grants for undergrad. i have approx £9k savings which could go towards postgraduate study although i'd rather keep it earmarked for the BPTC as that's slightly more essential.

    in an ideal world i'd be looking at applying to UCL, LSE, possibly ox/cam; but if i were accepted to any of those institutions i'd need to factor in living costs. there's only one university within reasonable commuting distance (i say reasonable - i did actually commute to KCL for a while, so i'm fine with doing that physically/timewise, but the cost of commuting became greater than the cost of living in london because of timetable constraints) and that's southampton. i did consider the possibility of living at home and commuting to southampton for the LLM but the course modules and specialisms don't particularly interest me and it would be doing it for the sake of it, rather than through love of study. there'd also be the additional concern of having taken an academic step down or side step from KCL as the only reason i'd be applying would be for a 'cheaper' postgraduate degree - not out of particular interest for the course or the academics there.

    i'm at the very early stages at the moment; i'm aware of some university scholarship awards (but having looked into it i suspect i'd definitely need additional funding) but that's about it. does anyone have any advice for someone starting to seriously think about postgrad and the financial side?

    i did toy with the idea of applying to US colleges so if anyone has any additional information on relevant funding for UK students considering study abroad that would be fantastic. the colleges i've looked at so far have financial aid programs but deduct expected parental contribution (not possible) so i'd still come up short even if i got incredibly lucky.

    a last consideration - i'm considered to have multiple disabilities by my university and receive disabled students' allowance, so if anyone knows of any funding sources for disabled students that could also be an avenue.

    i suspect that my most likely option is to move back home for a year, possibly two after graduation and try to paralegal and save as much income from that time as possible to go towards postgraduate study and most likely do postgraduate study part-time whilst working... but i'd prefer to avoid that if possible by getting funding as i'm already 23 and pretty eager to start postgrad asap.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    Getting funding at masters level is almost impossible. Oxford has three AHRC awards for research preparation masters in French this year. Some universities might not have any awards at masters level (Bristol do not I think). And that is for all French students irrespective of their specialism. It is not good enough simply to be the best medievalist.

    If you graduate with a first and have a strong research proposal then your relatively poor first year mark will be ignored by most. But a lot depends on where you plan on applying to and what your research will be on. I would discuss this with your tutors. They will know of other academics and departments that would be a good fit for you, and you can check to see if they have any funding available.

    In order to increase your chances of securing funding you should consider using your undergraduate dissertation as a trial run of a larger research project you could do at masters level; and perhaps link this to taught units you can select as well; and make reference to specific members of staff and their research specialisms and local resources at any university you apply to etc., etc..
    Thank you for your reply. Forgive me for being dense, but would it be therefore better for someone in my position to apply for courses post-graduation with degree in hand, having completed the optional extended essay? I am trying to envisage how my life might pan out..
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    (Original post by pinstriped.flower)
    Thank you for your reply. Forgive me for being dense, but would it be therefore better for someone in my position to apply for courses post-graduation with degree in hand, having completed the optional extended essay? I am trying to envisage how my life might pan out..
    In theory, yes. But in reality it would mean taking a year out of the university system. Not everyone is comfortable doing that; it might make gathering references harder, for example. (It seems to happen a lot more between masters and doctoral degrees because so many people are dependent upon funding).

    I felt self conscious about stepping up an academic level at masters level and compensated for this by making far too many applications (in retrospect), which wasted a lot of time during potentially the most important time of the my undergraduate degree (minus finals). If you leave your application until you graduate then it will give you time to write a very good research proposal and do some more reading for your course, and will also make the entire application process much easier. But once you get past the initial busy stage (you will graduate in June and basically have from then until the following January to prepare and submit your application) you have the rest of the year to wait (i.e. January until September at least). What are you doing to do with your time? Will you feel like the whole thing has been a waste of time if you do not secure funding?

    Again, there are positives and negatives to both choices. But only you can decide which is best for you.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    Had a feeling you were a History bod. With regards to finding a job/working, my History MA was only 6hrs a week contact time and I worked one 8 hr day a week until the Easter without any issue.

    Really hope you find some way of doing it
    Thanks . I was bitterly disappointed when I realised I couldn't afford it. Here's hoping!
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    (Original post by pinstriped.flower)
    Thank you for your reply. Forgive me for being dense, but would it be therefore better for someone in my position to apply for courses post-graduation with degree in hand, having completed the optional extended essay? I am trying to envisage how my life might pan out..
    Not who you asked, but thought I'd jump in anyway. Personally, I would advise a year out unless you feel inclined against it or there's some pressing reason why it's a bad idea. Doing applications in the same year as finals is horrendous (I've seen many friends do it; I myself took time out), and you have all the stress of hearing the replies during Hilary or even early in Trinity. You'll be able to focus much better if you've already finished - also, I do think a solid, completed first-class degree makes a difference. The other thing is that you can do some application-building things in the interim to boost your profile (although if you're getting prizes already, that's great!). I'm recommending this not because I think it's automatically right for everyone, but because it worked well for me - obviously don't feel you should do what I suggest if it feels wrong for you! I did my BA at Oxford (English), took time out - meant to be one year, stretched to two for personal reasons - and thus applied with a finished degree. In between finishing and applying, I took some of my undergrad work to conferences, and also published a few things - I do think it helped. (I applied to five places and was offered funding at four of them.) Best of luck with your plans! Medieval French must be so much fun.

    (Original post by evantej)
    it might make gathering references harder, for example.
    I'm sure you're right and this is the case for some people, but I think it's unlikely to be true at Oxford. The tutorial relationships are close enough that no one would be forgotten after just one year, and probably not for much longer - OP is lucky in that respect!
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    (Original post by thatfineframe)
    [...] I'm sure you're right and this is the case for some people, but I think it's unlikely to be true at Oxford. The tutorial relationships are close enough that no one would be forgotten after just one year, and probably not for much longer - OP is lucky in that respect!
    That might be the case for you, but some people might also feel uncomfortable asking for a reference given that they are no longer studying at the university.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    That might be the case for you, but some people might also feel uncomfortable asking for a reference given that they are no longer studying at the university.
    I don't think my tutors would mind - I get on well with all of them who'd be potentially giving references, and I can't imagine them kicking up a fuss. But I appreciate that others/at other universities might find it more difficult.

    (Original post by thatfineframe)
    Not who you asked, but thought I'd jump in anyway. Personally, I would advise a year out unless you feel inclined against it or there's some pressing reason why it's a bad idea. Doing applications in the same year as finals is horrendous (I've seen many friends do it; I myself took time out), and you have all the stress of hearing the replies during Hilary or even early in Trinity. You'll be able to focus much better if you've already finished - also, I do think a solid, completed first-class degree makes a difference. The other thing is that you can do some application-building things in the interim to boost your profile (although if you're getting prizes already, that's great!). I'm recommending this not because I think it's automatically right for everyone, but because it worked well for me - obviously don't feel you should do what I suggest if it feels wrong for you! I did my BA at Oxford (English), took time out - meant to be one year, stretched to two for personal reasons - and thus applied with a finished degree. In between finishing and applying, I took some of my undergrad work to conferences, and also published a few things - I do think it helped. (I applied to five places and was offered funding at four of them.) Best of luck with your plans! Medieval French must be so much fun.
    It does seem to make much more sense to apply afterwards, and it would be lovely not to have to stress about everything during finals. I know chances are slim to get funding for masters, but I'd like to try and put myself in the best position possible. I wouldn't mind taking a gap and having proper amounts of time to apply, and I suppose I can try and earn some money of my own (although moving back home would be stressful for everyone involved!)

    And yes, Medieval French is fun! I really like the look of Oxford's MSt in Medieval Studies with the interdisciplinary aspect of it...

    Thanks both of you for your advice!
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    Anyone recieved an official commonwealth awards letter yet??????
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    Just curious as i shall be going into second year but what would be my chances of getting funding for a Masters (taught) in Economics/Public Policy/Political Economy/Politics from any of the universities below assuming i got a First in Economics from Leeds Met.

    queen mary
    newcastle
    essex
    lancaster
    exeter
    glasgow
    kent
    dundee
    birmingham
    soas
    bath
    surrey
    ucl
    nottingham
    york
    edinburgh
    bristol
    durham
    warwick
    lse
    oxford
    cambridge
    st andrews

    Basically i know that i want to do a masters and i know that i want to do one of those 4 (currently narrowing down) but i want to know what kind of funding would be available for the subjects as coming from a benefits background there is minimal chance that i will be able to make much of a contribution.

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