I've recently graduated with a self-funded MA at Exeter University and am looking to do a PGCE in the near future. It is unclear whether the same funding opportunities are available to me as it only specifies that an undergraduate degree is needed. If I have an MA, does a PGCE count as a second masters and does this mean that my fees will be higher?
There's no reason why doing as a masters would affect your fees for a PGCE, as far as I'm aware. I'm doing an MA currently and will be starting a PGCE in September. The £9000 course fee will effectively be cancelled out due to a £9000 bursary I'll get for getting a First in my undergrad degree (the amount you get will depend on your subject). Also, unlike my MA year, I'll be eligible for student finance on the PGCE course.
I did a self-funded MSc before getting onto a PGCE and I am entitled to funding. I believe a PGCE is treated in much the same way as an undergraduate degree in terms of funding, and it doesn't matter what courses you have previously done.
As others say, it doesn't matter for student loan funding purposes.
Additionally, depending on your undergraduate degree and your chosen subject, your Masters could actually boost your status for bursary purposes. You would need to check current guidance but I believe having a Master's gives you the status of a first class degree in some subjects (shortage subjects) and a 2:1 status in others (boosting you if you got a 2:2). As some teacher training providers especially in non-shortage subjects are under pressure to prefer applications from those with 2:1's, having a Masters may also help you in this area if you did have a 2:2 (otherwise no worries!). Hope that makes sense! :s
I did an MA before my PGCE, and as others have said, it doesn't affect your entitlement to a student loan - the PGCE is a new loan which is not dependent on previous student loans.
And yes, it can boost your bursary entitlement. I think an MA means you're entitled to the bursary of someone with a 2:1 if you actually got a 2:2 in your undergrad. And a PhD would mean the bursary of someone with a First regardless of your degree classification.
You get the bursary of whatever qualification ranks most highly in their chart for funding. So I had an MA, which for Languages would have been £15,000. But I had a 1st class degree which meant £20,000. They base it on whichever is highest.
Did you use your subject bursary to pay your course fees or did student finance give a pain on top of the bursary?