Case study

Masters loan — Holly Morton

Holly Morton is studying MA Creative Writing: Innovation and Experiment at the University of Salford - with the help of a Masters loan

Why did you decide to pursue Masters study?

After graduating from the University of Chester in 2015, with a BA in English Literature, I wanted to continue the independence that I’d gained during university by getting a graduate job. After attending several interviews, I was eventually offered a job as a campaign executive at Prospects.

Despite enjoying working and earning money, I knew that ultimately I wanted to re-enter university. My heart was set on becoming a lecturer and researcher in English literature, and I felt that a Masters degree would be the ideal preparation for a career in academia. This was backed up by Prospects’ career planner quiz, which suggested that the role of higher education lecturer would strongly match my skills and personality. It also explained the steps that I’d need to take in order to become one.

Seeing all of the postgraduate students at my graduation ceremony inspired me to begin saving money for a Masters degree.

How did you find out about the Masters loan?

I discovered about the Masters loan through Prospects; there was plenty of useful information about it in the funding postgraduate study section of their website.

Quite simply, I wouldn’t have considered returning to university without the Masters loan. Its existence has allowed me to pursue postgraduate study without having to save money for several years.

How did you find and apply for the course?

I used Prospects’ postgraduate course search to find suitable programmes. This was a much easier process than wading through prospectuses and individual university websites.

I could filter by multiple subject areas, which meant that I wasn’t limiting my options when comparing different courses. I could also filter by location; I wanted to study near home, so I investigated courses at The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford.

After much research, I decided that the MA in Creative Writing: Innovation and Experiment at the University of Salford was the programme that best reflected my passion for writing creatively and preference for smaller class sizes.

Prospects directed me straight to the institution’s website. My application took several days to complete, as it demanded my full commitment and concentration. I found Prospects’ personal statements for postgraduate applications page incredibly useful, as it allowed me to understand what to include. I also had to supply one reference, plus two more once I’d received my conditional offer.

How did you find the Masters loan application process?

It was the most straightforward that I’ve ever completed - and much simpler than its undergraduate counterpart.

The form took around 15 minutes to complete, with the online system allowing me to save and revisit the form if I wished.

Two months after submitting my application, Student Finance England informed me via post that I had been accepted. They also provided me with more information about the loan, such as when I’d be paid and how much I’d receive in each of the three instalments. All I had to do then was sign and return my declaration form.

I initially planned on working part time at Prospects while studying, using the Masters loan to help fund my living costs. However, I’m now moving back to my family home and will use the £10,000 loan to pay for my tuition fees, living expenses, travel expenses and course materials.