$$$ Considerations before taking the plunge as a mature student

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$$$ Considerations before taking the plunge as a mature student

Postby Davidian » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:33 pm

Hello everybody,

I am a new member and this is my first posting in this forum. I was wondering if anybody might be able to help me with what seems like the end of the road for me with regards to this dream.

I'm 27 and I have a BA degree. It's time for a change... (enough said) :mad:

I now know that I want to study architecture. If only I had known when I was 18...! But now I am afraid that it's too late for me for the following, dirty, heartless reason: MONEY.

I have been researching architecure in Ireland over the past month, and had become all dreamy and romantic about the idea of a total change to a dicipline that I know would come naturally to me - and had actually made a decision to take the bull by the horns - when the harsh reality of the financial commitment of 5+ years of intensive study (with no time for earning as I had when I studied my BA) hit home.

I am wondering if anybody can shed any light - for either Ireland or the UK.

In Ireland, the government pays for a 4- or 5-year course of study for a person just once. So I've had mine, which means I'd have to pay full fees if I wanted to start again at undergraduate level.

This would be prohibitively expensive: In Ireland, UCD charge almost 6,000 euro per year (and rising) and DIT charge about 3,000 (which seems relatively low, although the lady in admissions didn't seem to have a clue). Added to this of course would be living expenses (rent, food...). I have no financial backing, no property, no savings to speak of... NADA.

So you can just imagine: "Mr. Bank Manager, could I borrow 100,000 euro to study something that has no real financial security about it? I'll be able to start paying it back in a decade or so." Hmmm...

Anyway, getting to the point:
What's the situation in the UK? Is it similar to the scene described above?
Does anybody know if what one studies in Ireland has any bearing on fee considerations for further studies in the UK?
Are there any scholarships / funds available for somebody like me? And how might I qualify for them?
Would anybody be willing to lend me 100,000 Euro? :D Ah go on go on go on...

ANY advice would be most welcome.

David.
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Re: $$$ Considerations before taking the plunge as a mature student

Postby afm » Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:26 am

I was in the same boat four years ago. I was 25, I had a BA from UCD and wanted to study architecture, but the fees and general cost of lving in Dublin were putting me off.
But, then I found Dundee! As an EU student, regardless of how many previous accolades you have gained, the SAAS in Scotland pay your fees (around £1100 a year) and the city is really cheap to live in. Check out Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen too, although they'll be more expensive of course and bear in mind that you're not eligible for student loans, but might be able to apply to the college's hardship funds or the like.

Check out http://www.student-support-saas.gov.uk and http://www.dundee.ac.uk

Hope this helps!
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Re: $$$ Considerations before taking the plunge as a mature student

Postby stuarthart » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:43 pm

Well David, I can vouch for what "afm" just said - I too qualified here, got my degree then decided to take a sharp left and try something better...Architecture. I too went to DUNDEE! May I say it is a great place to study architecture very student-friendly. I am now on my year out.

Getting back to the point though-I have no source of income, in fact my parents fund my rent and living expenses while studying (its hard getting part-time work and putting the architecture hours in at the same time). I am claiming the SAAS fund for my tuition fees but unfortunately cannot claim a grant from them - their stipulation is that you must be a UK resident.

Perhaps other members may be able to answer MY query (afm?) - after spending three years studying in the UK, can I not now qualify for a grant of some kind???

...and what about the other grants available here can they not work?

afm, did you have to pay SAAS back for your tuition fees? There is a rumour circulating around Dundee in the Irish camp that we are excempt from paying it back (surely this is rubbish?!)

Hope my info was a bit helpful
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Re: $$$ Considerations before taking the plunge as a mature student

Postby afm » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:03 pm

Stuart,
I'm fairly sure (hopeful) that EU students don't pay back their fees, however you might have to pay the graduate endowment when you finish. Check with SAAS or have a look at the UCAS pages
http://www.ucas.com/studentfinance/costs/scotland.html

aileen
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Re: $$$ Considerations before taking the plunge as a mature student

Postby experiMental » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:34 pm

So you can just imagine: "Mr. Bank Manager, could I borrow 100,000 euro to study something that has no real financial security about it? I'll be able to start paying it back in a decade or so." Hmmm...


Davidian: Architecture is such a universal course that you could use its principles in many areas related to design. It would be easy to get a job in these areas with an architecture degree, because the employers there look more into your portfolio and your personal abilities than your degree. So therefore I don't think that there's no financial security about architecture/design.

I have an exactly the same problem as you do, as regards to payment of student fees. I know that even as i would apply as a mature student for grant, I would still not get enough money to finance my degree. So I've decided to work in architectural visualization for a couple of years to get some extra income and experience, and then study a degree (I haven't decided where to study yet).

I'm looking into Czech Republic/Hungary, because the cost of living there is much cheaper than in Ireland or UK, and architecture schools there have quite flexible options for admission of mature students. The lecturers speak good English, so you wouldn't have much of a problem with understanding lectures. However, it would still be an advantage for you to know either native languages or Russian there.
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Re: $$$ Considerations before taking the plunge as a mature student

Postby FIN » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:41 pm

i believe you can still ge tthe local authorities grant here ( same as if you were studying here) for abroad... when i studied in dundee, i applied for it however they thought my parents earned too much...it's not the same amount obviously as if you studied here but it is something at least. it's worth looking into..as you are a mature student then you will get one...
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