A university degree is still considered a golden ticket to a successful career. But with the average annual tuition fees in the UK costing a whopping £9,250 a year, many hopeful students are left scratching their heads, wondering how on earth they can afford it, especially during the current cost of living crisis.
Fret not, future academics! We’ve got your back with six ingenious ways to help you bag a bargain degree. Ready, set, save!
. World Wide Web to the Rescue
Ah, the internet – what would we do without it? As it turns out, you can get more than just hilarious cat videos and conspiracy theories from the digital realm. Online learning platforms are here to save the day, offering a variety of degree programmes that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Take The Open University, for instance, with its more affordable distance learning courses that won’t force you to remortgage your house. Plus, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a top-notch way to pick up extra skills and knowledge without spending a penny.
. Degree Apprenticeships: The Best of Both Worlds
Degree apprenticeships are like the superhero of higher education – swooping in to combine paid work with academic study. That’s right; you can earn a full bachelor’s or even a master’s degree whilst working in your chosen industry and raking in some serious work experience.
Even better, your employer covers the tuition fees, so you can walk away with your degree and zero debt. From engineering and IT to healthcare and finance, degree apprenticeships have got you covered.
. Scholarships and Bursaries: Show Me the Money!
If you’re a bit of a brainbox, have a particular talent or are from an underrepresented group or find yourself in a pickle financially, scholarships and bursaries could be your knight in shining armour.
Universities and organisations across the UK are just waiting to throw money at deserving students, so it’s definitely worth doing your homework and applying for as many as you can.
Websites like Scholarship Search and The Scholarship Hub are your one-stop shops for all things scholarships and bursaries.
. Wanderlust and Wallet-friendly: Studying Abroad
Why not venture beyond our sceptred isle and explore greener, more affordable pastures? Countries like Germany, Norway, and Finland can offer free or low-cost tuition for international students, and their cost of living might be lower than back home in Blighty.
Studying abroad can be easier on the wallet and a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures, languages, and experiences. It’s a win-win!
. Do your Degree at your Local Further Education (FE) College
Most local colleges offer the opportunity to get a full Batchelor’s degree for considerably less than the £9,250 per year price tag. South Devon College even has its own university centre building offering a diverse range of degree-level subjects from Applied Animal Science to Childhood and Youth Studies.
Investigate what’s on your own town – and you won’t need to leave home to study!
. Part-time study: A Slow and Steady Race
If you’re not in a rush to don your cap and gown, part-time study is a savvy choice that lets you spread the cost of your degree over a longer period. Plus, you can work alongside your studies, so you can start raking in the cash whilst hitting the books.
It might take a bit longer to complete your degree but combining work experience with your education can make you irresistible to employers when you eventually graduate.
And, if you don’t quite have the required qualifications to start a degree – check out ‘Access to HE’ courses at your local adult learning centre or FE college. Make sure you’re studying to achieve a nationally recognised qualification, like those from Gateway Qualifications.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat (or earn a degree, in this case). By exploring alternatives like these, you might outsmart the traditional £9,250 per year price tag.
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