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Lets talk money... financing yourself during your studies

Updated: Feb 8

It has become a well known fact that students are usually on the lower end of the financial scale and due to their studies usually cannot afford time to work full time as well.

Often financial reasons can be one of the justifications for students to choose not to study a counselling psychology doctorate for example as this is one of the self funded doctorate programmes. Whereas clinical psychology doctorates are funded which means you receive a salary during your work and study on the course, however, this does make the course even more competitive.

As a counselling psychologist in doctoral training, I am currently undertaking the self funded route, therefore I thought I would put together ways you can finance yourself whilst studying at postgraduate level.

1. Work part-time alongside your Doctorate.

A pretty self explanatory one but one that requires dedication and time management. Some individuals may choose to work part time in a unrelated field to their doctorate such as retail or waitressing, whereas others may find either a paid placement or work at their placement, which is what I currently do. Finding a paid placement is few and far between, however you can always have a chat with your placement manager to see if there are any paid roles at the organisation for you to do additional to your placement hours. Often placement managers can appreciate the financial struggle students experience during their training.

2. Postgraduate Student Loan.

You can apply for a postgraduate student loan to fund the course fees of you doctorate/ postgrad course. Obviously some people decide against taking out further student loans however, its good to know you have the option.

3. Scholarships, Bursaries & Grants.

Check to see if you are eligible for a scholarship, bursary or grant, websites such as student finance England and UCAS have lots of information about these. Each university often differs in terms of the scholarships or bursaries they offer to students, so ask these questions on the open days. UCAS stated that 80% of students who received a scholarship or bursary found out about it from their university or college.

4. Gap years.

Take some time out to work and save before embarking on further study. I took a gap year before starting my undergraduate and worked and saved money for university. Then before starting my doctorate I had also worked and secured my part time employment before starting the course, which meant I was in a position to continue my work alongside my studies. If you have savings before starting your course this can also eliminate some financial anxieties before starting.

5. Start a side-hustle.

Find something to be a money maker on the side of your employment or studies. Do some research into different side-hustle opportunities but this could be starting your own small online business, selling things on eBay, or even tutoring.

I gain some extra work through instagram and working with brands which has been helpful during my studies to give me some extra funds.

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