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    I am merely an A-Level student and it's much too soon for me to worry about or consider postgraduate education but I decided to look around at some stuff and I have a couple of questions/

    Firstly, how the heck do you pay for this? Cambridge for example, said it needed 20,000 per year for a PhD is this normal? How does someone manage to pay that off whilst at university?

    Also do graduates still come home during holiday time (do you get holidays?) or do you live at the university?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Dinasaurus)
    I am merely an A-Level student and it's much too soon for me to worry about or consider postgraduate education but I decided to look around at some stuff and I have a couple of questions/

    Firstly, how the heck do you pay for this? Cambridge for example, said it needed 20,000 per year for a PhD is this normal? How does someone manage to pay that off whilst at university?

    Also do graduates still come home during holiday time (do you get holidays?) or do you live at the university?

    Thanks
    You can apply for funding so you might get your course fees paid and some money to live off as well.

    Not sure about the second point though.
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    (Original post by Dinasaurus)
    Firstly, how the heck do you pay for this? Cambridge for example, said it needed 20,000 per year for a PhD is this normal? How does someone manage to pay that off whilst at university?
    The figure quoted probably includes your fees and I think is about right for a comfortable basic life in Cambridge. You can live on less but you need to be used to managing a budget.

    Most people will hope to get a fully-funded PhD. These are highly competitive, but will pay your research fees and give you a set amount of money to live on. Again, most aren't generous but you can live on it - plus you don't have to repay it,

    Also do graduates still come home during holiday time (do you get holidays?) or do you live at the university?
    Depends what level of postgrad you're talking about. A taught Masters (an intermediate step between undergrad and PhD, typically more for the humanities) is arranged around the undergrad teaching terms/semesters, with the same holidays. However in reality, I did a lot of Masters work during these periods and they weren't time off of anything other than lectures. The Masters year runs September to September and July/August were my most intense periods of dissertation work. I didn't take a full week off at any point during my Masters, although I did take odd days/weekends.

    Colleagues with a family base away from the uni tended to have odd weekends or a week back home occasionally, but there wasn't really an opportunity to go home tor the same periods covered by non-teaching holidays.

    A PhD is much more formally like a full-time job. My PhD contract mandated four weeks' holiday a year with an optional extra fifth week. These could be taken at whatever time was agreed between yourself and your supervisors. In reality, I only took time off when I was waiting for something to happen which was beyond my control. And when I say "time off" these were more like intensive reading weeks.
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    To get an idea of what funding is available (and this varies every year) have a look at the big sticky thread 'Funding Opportunities' at the top of this board. Even if you do get funding (many don't, especially for Humanities or Social Science subject) its not exactly 'generous'. Living off a grand total of £14k a year isn't what most graduates envisage as a graduate level salary.

    And - apart from within certain STEM subjects - no jobs outside academia say 'must have a PhD in a highly esoteric subject', so it actually doesn't advance your career or eventual earnings much.
 
 
 
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