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Funding postgraduate study in Ireland

  • 09-04-2019 11:04am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6 ✭✭✭ Blackplug


    Have a couple of questions for any current or past postgraduates out there about how they paid for their Masters degree in Ireland. For example, in terms of paying the course fees -was it a bank loan, a personal loan, using savings, work? Was part-time study a better option? Also, affording rent, particularly in/around Dublin, was it an added strain? Did anyone commute to college and how did you find doing that? TIA!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,128 ✭✭✭ Hoboo


    Blackplug wrote: »
    Have a couple of questions for any current or past postgraduates out there about how they paid for their Masters degree in Ireland. For example, in terms of paying the course fees -was it a bank loan, a personal loan, using savings, work? Was part-time study a better option? Also, affording rent, particularly in/around Dublin, was it an added strain? Did anyone commute to college and how did you find doing that? TIA!

    Savings, had a mortgage too, usual bills, commuted to DCU by car (20 minutes). Was very stressful at times trying to balance everything. In hindsight I probably should have done it part time. Reason I didn't is because I tried a PT degree in the evenings 10 years earlier, couldn't manage the bus commute and work in town, up at 6am, home at 1130pm. Reason I should have done the Masters PT is because the majority of the class was just finished their full time degree, were still going to Coppers, and had never paid a bill let alone held down a PT job. Had to carry too many. Using Wikipedia as a source for projects!!! And only interested in getting home to Leitrim to see the fella on a Friday, while I was in the library till 10. Had to pull a few 30 hour shifts to essentially do others work. So overall if you're used to professionalism and maturity, Id do part time (there were a few grafters, but project groups were assigned)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6 ✭✭✭ Blackplug


    Hoboo wrote: »
    Savings, had a mortgage too, usual bills, commuted to DCU by car (20 minutes). Was very stressful at times trying to balance everything. In hindsight I probably should have done it part time. Reason I didn't is because I tried a PT degree in the evenings 10 years earlier, couldn't manage the bus commute and work in town, up at 6am, home at 1130pm. Reason I should have done the Masters PT is because the majority of the class was just finished their full time degree, were still going to Coppers, and had never paid a bill let alone held down a PT job. Had to carry too many. Using Wikipedia as a source for projects!!! And only interested in getting home to Leitrim to see the fella on a Friday, while I was in the library till 10. Had to pull a few 30 hour shifts to essentially do others work. So overall if you're used to professionalism and maturity, Id do part time (there were a few grafters, but project groups were assigned)

    Thanks for the detailed reply. It is course fees that have delayed my decision to do another masters. Fees coupled with either renting around Dublin or doing a long commute. I know people would say no pain no gain but the cost can be daunting!


  • Registered Users Posts: 508 ✭✭✭ dobbs2210


    Absolutely, I'm in the exact same process as a mature student.

    Just concluding my undergraduate degree and would absolutely love to do a taught masters in UCD.

    The associated costs are astronomical.

    How are your costs looking including accommodation?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ dco_1987


    Person with a few different experiences/perspectives:

    I have self-funded two masters degrees (2012/2014), so had to really think about whether or not the second was really worth my while in terms of future employment/career development as I was taking out another loan. I was thinking about going the academia route and as I have gone on to pursue the PhD, it did work out for me. I did the second masters as I was moving 'laterally' to another field of study that was related to my first masters (law to policy), so I really needed the second masters to broaden my skill set.

    Cheap rent experience/ Masters 1 and 2:

    It was extremely hard financially but I managed because of the cheap rent. I was living in Kildare at the the time (2012/2013 & 2014/15) and my rent was so cheap that I still cry when reminiscing (let's just say my landlord skipped and jumped when I told him I was moving to Dublin- he promptly renovated and increased rent A LOT!). The masters fees were paid for using the loans. My monthly repayments were €200 ish p/m. I always worked throughout, so I certainly wasn't in coppers every week. The loans I took only covered my fees and did not cover living expenses/commuting costs/rent/food/breathing. I also did professional exams during second masters, just in case it went tits up and these were costly. So consider if you'll have anything random like that.

    During this time, I also worked and commuted by bus- into Dublin from Kildare and it is exhausting- traffic is a nightmare but train was too expensive (also factor this into budget). I left at 6.30am and wasn't home until at least 7.30pm. My evenings were spent doing course work/passing out. Eat, sleep, repeat. If you are not planning on working during your studies, carefully consider your savings and do a detailed budged (over-estimate rent to be safe).

    Self-funding year 1 of PhD in Dublin/essentially fees of a taught masters
    I self funded the first year of (a full-time) PhD when I moved into Dublin (again through a loan/working). To say it was hard is an understatement of epic proportions. I had to work (WAY more than I should have, i.e full time) to keep myself afloat. I moved to Dublin because the thoughts of commuting any longer was making me feel sick. In hindsight, financially I should have stayed where I was and toughed it out. In your case- for a 1 year masters, the commute is worth it if you can get somewhere that is manageable (like 1.5 hours each way). You never know though, you can get lucky in Dublin. (I did this academic year).

    Balancing act really- if the course will help you advance your career prospects, then it is worth considering. But if you are really not in a position to do it financially, it can be worth holding out a year until you have more savings. Rent pressure zones are now extended to student accommodation but it is still expensive and you need to eat/print/live.

    Budget
    Tuition
    Rent- minimum €650 p/m to be safe in Dublin
    Food- €160 p/m (can be cheaper if you get sound communal housemates)
    Commuting- €80 p/m when I was doing Kildare-Dublin (train is now cheaper and commuter zone extended since I moved)
    Utilities (heating/electricity/bins/broadband/telly maybe)- €120 ish
    Loan- €200
    Misc- €50 (phone credit/bill etc)
    A life- person specific!


  • Registered Users Posts: 265 ✭✭ sparklinglens


    I have accepted a masters in Scotland, due to start in January. I'm finding it difficult to get a student loan as each provider of funding tells me I'm ineligible and bounces me back to the other.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of a bank loan for a student in Ireland, where you can begin your loan repayments once you've graduated and are working?

    Thank you.


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