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Second degree worries watch

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    I shall start with a story.

    When I was looking for a course many moons ago I knew I wanted something in the sciences and also something useful. I eventually picked Geology with Planetary Science at Manchester for lack of a better option or a more thorough search, and it was my only choice on my UCAS application. I was half hoping I wouldn't get in, but I did and enjoyed it for a while. I knew I didn't really want to do this subject forever but thought I better stick it out for the 3 years instead of dropping out.

    I've decided I want to do a software/electronic engineering degree afterwards, but I've got a few worries:


    • will a degree count towards any entry requirements, or at least make me look better than if I dropped out?
    • I've heard that I won't get any student loan for a second degree, but would this still apply if I didn't finish the 'first' and started another?
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    (Original post by Koozer)
    I shall start with a story.

    When I was looking for a course many moons ago I knew I wanted something in the sciences and also something useful. I eventually picked Geology with Planetary Science at Manchester for lack of a better option or a more thorough search, and it was my only choice on my UCAS application. I was half hoping I wouldn't get in, but I did and enjoyed it for a while. I knew I didn't really want to do this subject forever but thought I better stick it out for the 3 years instead of dropping out.

    I've decided I want to do a software/electronic engineering degree afterwards, but I've got a few worries:

    • will a degree count towards any entry requirements, or at least make me look better than if I dropped out?
    • I've heard that I won't get any student loan for a second degree, but would this still apply if I didn't finish the 'first' and started another?
    Whether you would get a student loan for any of a second degree (which you wouldn't) is rather less of a problem than being classified as an ELQ student (ie one studying for an equivalent or lesser qualification than one you already hold) - you might find yourself having to pay higher fees than the UK rate, unless the second degree is in a 'protected' subject. You need to look into the pros and cons of completing your current degree very carefully.
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    In these circumstances, it is best if you contact the universities who offer the course in which you are now interested. It is sometimes possible to enter a course as a 'senior student'. This is for those people who already have an undergraduate degree, but are now looking to change direction. At my university, it is offered in Law. However, I think it only normally applies if the first degree is in a related field.

    You are normally entitled to government funding for the full duration of your degree plus one year. This effectively allows you to have one false start. The government will no longer fund second degrees generally, but there are some exceptions. One way to get round this is to try to find a job where the company will pay your fees for you. I don't know how easy this will be though, in view of your circumstances.

    Good luck
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    Open University, anyone?
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    Open University, anyone?
    They're affected by the ELQ rules as well, but I don't know how they've chosen to handle the implications. As I said, it varies.
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I've done some more research into this, and according to directgov.co.uk an application for funding for a second degree, regardless if the first is completed, is eligible to receive a maintenance loan, but no tuition fees loan.

    This only applies if the second degree results in a qualification higher than the first, or results in a ''professional qualification.'' So, my next question is: am I right in assuming that they would view a MEng as being a higher qualification than a BSc?


    If no one knows for sure I'll be forced to phone their 0845 number :p:
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    (Original post by Koozer)
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I've done some more research into this, and according to directgov.co.uk an application for funding for a second degree, regardless if the first is completed, is eligible to receive a maintenance loan, but no tuition fees loan.

    This only applies if the second degree results in a qualification higher than the first, or results in a ''professional qualification.'' So, my next question is: am I right in assuming that they would view a MEng as being a higher qualification than a BSc?


    If no one knows for sure I'll be forced to phone their 0845 number
    Not necessarily, since the MEng is an undergraduate degree. I'm afraid you will have to bite the bullet and ring that expensive number... but do it from a land line?
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    http://www.saynoto0870.com/

    Tye in the number and see if you can find their national rate number
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    (Original post by Koozer)
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I've done some more research into this, and according to directgov.co.uk an application for funding for a second degree, regardless if the first is completed, is eligible to receive a maintenance loan, but no tuition fees loan.

    This only applies if the second degree results in a qualification higher than the first, or results in a ''professional qualification.'' So, my next question is: am I right in assuming that they would view a MEng as being a higher qualification than a BSc?


    If no one knows for sure I'll be forced to phone their 0845 number :p:
    MEng is higher than a BSc for purposes of ELQ (i.e. the subsidies on the tuition fees), from the HEFCE (who subsidise the tuition fees rather than student finance england) website:

    "
    1.Integrated masters programmes (such as a four-year MEng, MPhys, MChem, MPharm, which for HESES purposes will be recorded as at undergraduate level, because they do not meet the definition of postgraduate in Annex J) should be treated as a masters level qualification for the purposes of the ELQ policy. This means that:

    a.A student whose highest qualification on entry is a bachelors degree and who decides to study for an integrated masters programme should not be treated as aiming for an ELQ.

    b.A student who holds an integrated masters qualification and who wishes to enrol on a one or two year taught postgraduate masters qualification (such as an MA or MBA), should be treated as aiming for an ELQ."


    I didn't think you could get any loans for a second degree, could you link me to the info you found saying you get the maintenance please - I'm doing a MSci as a second in September and still waiting to get my application back from student finance but wasn't expecting to get anything.


    Edit - just to make it clear, ELQ is a HEFCE not a student finance england term, it relates to the withdrawal of tuition fee subsidies (that maximise the fees to the standard home rate) for equivalent or lower qualifications, so that the uni's can charge what they like to claw back some of the lost subsidy. I don't think student finance ever really use the term ELQ, but maybe I'm wrong, found it much more difficult to find concrete info on the student finance side than on the hefce!
 
 
 
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