Is anyone actually self funding? Is it worth it?

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Airfairy
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There's an MA I badly want to do but I don't havea chance at getting funding. I just wondered how mant people usually self fund for masters or PhD? My boyfriend is a fully funded PhD student and he said he knows hardly anyone who has self funded their PhD without at least a fee waiver. He said he knewa few at MA level though.

Anyone here doing it? Do you thinm it will be worth it?

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Kalivha
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(Original post by Airfairy)
There's an MA I badly want to do but I don't havea chance at getting funding. I just wondered how mant people usually self fund for masters or PhD? My boyfriend is a fully funded PhD student and he said he knows hardly anyone who has self funded their PhD without at least a fee waiver. He said he knewa few at MA level though.

Anyone here doing it? Do you thinm it will be worth it?

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I'd never self-fund a PhD; that said, I've saved up enough to self-fund a Master's during undergrad just in case (internships!)

Still waiting to hear back from PhD applications, I should get two replies either way by Tuesday or so, but I've got a half-funded MSc that I can cover the rest of with savings. Initially, that was my whole plan but then I started getting invites for PhD interviews?
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sj27
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(Original post by Airfairy)
There's an MA I badly want to do but I don't havea chance at getting funding. I just wondered how mant people usually self fund for masters or PhD? My boyfriend is a fully funded PhD student and he said he knows hardly anyone who has self funded their PhD without at least a fee waiver. He said he knewa few at MA level though.

Anyone here doing it? Do you thinm it will be worth it?

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Plenty of people self-fund their masters degrees. No-one can answer for you if it's worth it or not though - you say you badly want to do it, you presumably have the funds available so it has to be your decision as to whether you think the funds would be better spent elsewhere or not... And whether or not you will look back at doing it/ not doing it in 5 or 10 years and think of which decision you might regret more.

(I'm assuming from the way you phrased the question that this is not a "is it worth it to help me get a job" question btw, but more something you are genuinely interested in doing, which makes the answer a particularly subjective one. If that's a mistaken assumption then it will probably help if you mention the type of degree and what you want to do afterwards.)
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I love shopping
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I'm self-funding my masters, and so are most other students on my course. I think it's worth it because I love my course and it's helped me get the experience I needed to get onto a fully funded PhD.

I don't think it's worth funding your own PhD, because that's 3-4 years of not getting paid while working for someone!

Do you know what you want to do after the masters course, and if the masters will help you do it? Masters courses can be very expensive and being a self-funding student can be very stressful if you're living on very limited money. Think carefully before you spend all that money on a one-year course.
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Klix88
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(Original post by Airfairy)
There's an MA I badly want to do but I don't havea chance at getting funding. I just wondered how mant people usually self fund for masters or PhD? My boyfriend is a fully funded PhD student and he said he knows hardly anyone who has self funded their PhD without at least a fee waiver. He said he knewa few at MA level though.

Anyone here doing it? Do you thinm it will be worth it?
Most people self-fund their Masters as UK funding is now concentrated on PhD level research.

As for PhDs, I'm self-funding. There's next to no funding available for my field and what there is, is incredibly competitive. It's less so for STEM subjects but you'll still have to put up a stiff fight to get it.

I'm researching for the enjoyment (not that you'd know it at the moment!) and the chance to stay involved in my field for a while longer - entry level jobs have pretty much dried up. I run out of savings before I complete but it's more about the journey than the result for me anyway. So yes, self-funding is certainly worth it for me.

In summary:
- Self-funding a Masters is pretty much inevitable if you want one.
- Whether self-funding a PhD is "worth it" will vary between individuals. If you want a job which specifies a PhD as an entry requirement, or have a burning urge to learn about your subject in more depth through independent research, then yes it's worth it. If you just want to kill another 3-4 years because you can't work out which direction to take your career, then probably not worth it. But everybody's circumstances and aspirations will be different.
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Airfairy
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Sorry for typos in my posts. I'm on mobile and my phone keyboard is terrible.
(Original post by Kalivha)
I'd never self-fund a PhD; that said, I've saved up enough to self-fund a Master's during undergrad just in case (internships!)

Still waiting to hear back from PhD applications, I should get two replies either way by Tuesday or so, but I've got a half-funded MSc that I can cover the rest of with savings. Initially, that was my whole plan but then I started getting invites for PhD interviews?
That's great news. I guess that would be a similar plan as myself. I have enough saved to do the MA I want but would be unsure about continuing to PhD level.
(Original post by sj27)
Plenty of people self-fund their masters degrees. No-one can answer for you if it's worth it or not though - you say you badly want to do it, you presumably have the funds available so it has to be your decision as to whether you think the funds would be better spent elsewhere or not... And whether or not you will look back at doing it/ not doing it in 5 or 10 years and think of which decision you might regret more.

(I'm assuming from the way you phrased the question that this is not a "is it worth it to help me get a job" question btw, but more something you are genuinely interested in doing, which makes the answer a particularly subjective one. If that's a mistaken assumption then it will probably help if you mention the type of degree and what you want to do afterwards.)
Yeah I have enough saved but I'd have nothing left by the end :/

I guess the question was more along the lines of what you said. I know it's subjective. I don't think the MA would help me unless I used it to progress to PhD level. The reason I want to do it is more for my genuine interest I guess.
(Original post by I love shopping)
I'm self-funding my masters, and so are most other students on my course. I think it's worth it because I love my course and it's helped me get the experience I needed to get onto a fully funded PhD.

I don't think it's worth funding your own PhD, because that's 3-4 years of not getting paid while working for someone!

Do you know what you want to do after the masters course, and if the masters will help you do it? Masters courses can be very expensive and being a self-funding student can be very stressful if you're living on very limited money. Think carefully before you spend all that money on a one-year course.
If, like you, I knew the masters would lead me to get a fully funded PhD then I wouldn't hesitate. However I don't know if I'd be cut out for going above MA level. I'm a low 2:1 student. A high 2:1 in my area of interest but still not a first, so I don't feel suitably academic.

The masters won't really help me in any career aspect (apart from if I wanted to enter academia) so I think I may have answered my own question!

Thanks for all the replies.


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ay42
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I'm self-funding my masters. Whether it will be worth it differs from individual to individual. You have to weigh up the cost of the programme with the future benefits. If future benefits > cost then self-fund, otherwise don't
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Kalivha
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(Original post by Airfairy)
That's great news. I guess that would be a similar plan as myself. I have enough saved to do the MA I want but would be unsure about continuing to PhD level.
Oh, I am actually sure about wanting a PhD, I just did the wrong undergrad and assumed I'd need the MSc to switch fields. I decided to randomly apply for a PhD at Cambridge and it kind of escalated from there...

We shall see.
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katiegud
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I self-funded my masters. Trying really hard not to self-fund a PhD (I'll find out in the next couple months if I get funding). The masters was worth it though. My job requires it, and I know I would have struggled to get a job in this field with just a bachelors, so being able to work is definitely worth it!
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