Studying for a masters or professional qualification can boost your career prospects, help you gain in-depth subject knowledge or change career direction. But the opportunity for further study often comes with a hefty price tag. So how can you finance your future if you don’t have a big bank balance?
|What is a masters degree?
When you start university you study for a first degree, usually known as a bachelors degree, which takes around three years.
On finishing your studies you become a graduate. If you wish to continue at university there are a number of further (post-graduate) courses you can take – a masters degree is a popular option.
Masters degrees offer the opportunity for further study and research. They usually take around a year full-time to complete. Students need to have a first degree in order to be accepted onto a masters programme.
It’s often said that successful businesses solve someone else’s problem. Back in 2012 Juan Guerra took this idea one step further, and started a business helping others overcome the hurdle he had encountered himself of funding his further studies. The result was StudentFunder, a scheme which provides loans to people pursuing professional or postgraduate courses in the UK, which are not financed by the government or banks.
StudentFunder has now provided over 50 loans to students studying masters and other professional courses, in subjects ranging from business administration and aerospace engineering, to international development, screenwriting, and public health.
How it works
Students apply for loans via StudentFunder and, if the application is successful, StudentFunder pays tuition directly to the course provider and living expenses into the student’s account.
In turn, StudentFunder is financed by a mix of investors including private individuals, foundations, and a corporate backer, who all like the idea of supporting something worthwhile.
Watch software developer Mario’s story:
And hear from cultural studies PhD student Gitanjali:
When StudentFunder started out it helped students raise money through a crowdfunding platform which was also open to PhD students. It now only provides loans for masters and professional qualifications. StudentFunder’s activities are regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
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