PhD loans to become available in 2018.

posted
07-Jun-17, 12:55
edited about 5 seconds later
by helebon
Avatar for helebon
posted about 2 years ago
I noticed the following information on the web and wondered what peoples thoughts are on it? I haven't previously considered a loan for a PhD. But maybe it could be an option.

Loans worth up to £25,000 will be introduced from the 2018/19 academic year to help Doctoral students cover their tuition fees and living expenses, the government confirmed in its 2017 Spring Budget.

These Doctoral loans will be non-means-tested, and you'll be able to use them for tuition fees, maintenance or any other study-related costs. They're aimed at students who have lived in England for the last three years for a reason other than study.
posted
07-Jun-17, 13:44
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 years ago
Here's some thoughts from last year: http://www.postgraduateforum.com/thread-44019/

I still think it's a bad idea and shows the direction postgraduate funding is heading i.e. goodbye to grants.
posted
07-Jun-17, 15:13
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 2 years ago
I think it is awful and it is terrible news.

These loans have been introduced to replace grants. There is no way a PhD is even worth £75K of loan! Only the wealthy and middle class will be able to afford to do a PhD in the future, and the Conservatives have long had this agenda, even in relation to undergraduate degrees. The only I hope I have is that tomorrow we as a nation vote the conservatives out of government! So everyone, please go out and vote, and vote the Tories out!
posted
07-Jun-17, 15:26
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 years ago
It's a £25K max I think, not per year. But still, not a good idea.
posted
07-Jun-17, 19:22
edited about 4 minutes later
by helebon
Avatar for helebon
posted about 2 years ago
Yes, a total of £25K I think. I see some universities charge around £2k per year for a part-time PhD. Some charities will fund a final year PhD student. So I think it be is doable.

I know it''s not the ideal but I am looking to research my own idea rather than apply for a PhD which has already been partly designed. I know some universities will fund students own research ideas. I've missed the deadline for funded PhD's starting in Oct 2017, I was too caught up in writing essays for my self-funded MRes.

So it's a case of either doing a self-funded PhD, Oct 2017 entry and applying to charities for funds. Or waiting for new funding rounds in 2018 and applying then. Or a getting a PhD loan.
posted
08-Jun-17, 10:53
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 years ago
Ah I see. What's your subject area helebon? For sciences I would say definitely don't do it. Funded PhDs are relatively easy to get if you have decent BSc grades or an MSc and there really aren't that many applicants to some of them.

Do you really want to spend 6-8 years of your life scrabbling for money on a part-time PhD? What if there is no decent job at the end of it?

You can research your own ideas after a PhD by applying for research grants yourself.
posted
08-Jun-17, 11:58
edited about 19 seconds later
by Ephiny
Avatar for Ephiny
posted about 2 years ago
My concern would be that the types of PhDs that are more likely to lead to jobs afterwards are usually already funded (lab sciences, clinical doctorates, etc) by the research councils, medical charities or industrial employers, so the people using these loans might often be taking on a large amount of debt (on top of their undergraduate student loans and any amount they had to borrow for a Master's) only to be no better off in terms of employment afterwards.

Having said that, I guess it's a good thing for people to have more choices and opportunities to do the research they want, as long as they go into it with a realistic view of the finances. I wouldn't like to see this replace grants/studentships though.
posted
08-Jun-17, 13:08
edited about 2 seconds later
by helebon
Avatar for helebon
posted about 2 years ago
My subject area is disability (social science). I am hoping that my MRes could be considered similar to an MPhil, like a trial run. That I can go straight to PhD and not need to do an MPhil. I've done quite a bit of research skills training. I need to get a good grade. Then I could possibly do the PhD in 4 or 5 years part time may be.
posted
08-Jun-17, 13:28
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 years ago
MRes/MPhil are pretty much equivalent degrees.

You may struggle to be able to do a part time PhD in 4-5 years, since there are guidelines for amount of time on a PhD that has to be spent prior to submission. For example, at my uni it's 2.75 years. So, part time equivalent would be at least 5.5 years. And remember this is submission, so then you have to wait for a viva and corrections etc.

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