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Issues with Postgrad loan and Course Length

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    So, I've run into a problem and would like to know if it is one specific to the university I've been accepted to do a Master's degree at. (which is Sheffield Hallam).

    The course I applied to, listed as a one year course on the university website, is apparently 13 months long.
    This has meant that SFE count it as a two year course and have split my loan payments over the two years accordingly. (So I will get £5k over the course of this year, and £5k next year.)

    I called the university to ask about this when initially applying because the course would not show up unless the 2 year option was selected, and was told the course being listed as two years long was just a bug and they would try and get it rectified.

    It has transpired, after many, many emails, phone calls, and physical visits to the university that it isn't a bug and they don't plan on changing anything.

    This has very quickly thrown up some issues, because the university still wants the full tuition fees paid (£6k+) over the one year, when people who have applied for the loan will only have £5k available.
    Considering I also needed the loan for living costs, it's currently looking a little unmanageable. I'm currently trying to find the money to cover these additional costs, but this would have been much easier with more than two months notice.

    So just basically enquiring as to whether anyone else has similar issues at a different university?

    Hi socketz,

    We understand that the way the courses are currently listed isn't ideal. Unfortunately Student Finance England class all courses that are 13 months or longer as a 2 year course at any institution. We're updating our website to clearly state which of our courses this applies to.

    As always, we aim to make all our courses accessible, and we're reviewing our course provision to fit with the postgraduate loan offer. Unfortunately this won't be available for this academic year. If you want any more advice, please contact our Student Support Services team on 0114 225 3813.



    If the loan is crucial, it looks like you need to consider deferring.

    What sort of proportion of PG students will be reliant on the loan - surely the majority of UK ones, 30-40% of the cohort?

    That sort of response from Sheffield Hallam will almost certainly be unacceptable by next year. They'll have to buck up and sort out the syllabus so that the course order is such that Christmas and Easter can be used for work/teaching. Or else, they will have to accept split payments, one at the start of the course and one at the end. Though for complicated technical reasons about charities offering credit, that might be tricky.

    All-in-all it seems like a pretty shoddy piece of planning and communication between universities and government.

    I would look to go to a different uni. No way would I put myself under an insane amount of pressure for the sake of the one month difference.

    Part time students may be entitled to some benefits but even then it seems like more hassle than its worth when going to a uni with a better use of the calendar will be more manageable financially.

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