Financial help or funding for a masters degree? — Scope | Disability forum
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Financial help or funding for a masters degree?

KoalaKatie1993 Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited November 6 in Education
I’m looking at whether or not it’s even feasible for me to do a masters right now. 

I did my degree in 2013-2018 (took longer than normal because of my health) and my health rapidly declined in 2018. 

It’s still bad and I haven’t worked. But I was thinking of trying do further my education while I was off work. My ideal masters is taught very close to my home town. And I meet the entry requirements. 

However I just don’t see how people afford it even without disabilities. I mean surely part time and working alongside is the only way unless you have someone pay for your living expenses. 

The course I want is not available part time and I couldn’t work anyway. But I cannot work out the universal credit website. Because it says something about may be able to claim universal credit if you get LCW and PIP. 
I’ve had LCWRA for almost 4 years now. And I have my second PIP application coming up (they denied it 3 years ago and I wasn’t well enough to appeal. All my medical professionals have said I should be on it so reapplied).

So first question is can I claim UC for living costs while I am studying an MRes? If I get LCW and PIP. And who do I talk to about this?

And second is what happens with the masters loan? Being classed as income? Because the entire loan is going to be going towards tuition fees. I read somewhere if it’s a masters loan they class 30% of it as income? What happens with that, do they take (say £3000 is 30%) and divide it over the 12 months and class it as £250 a month income? (Additionally would this be exempt from a UC deduction as there is a £293 work allowance before deduction)
Or would they only class the income during the assessment periods I receive it? Say I got 3 instalments would they just take 30% of each instalment off that months UC, and nothing off the other months? 

Lastly. I got DSA while I was at university before. I had a needs assessment in 2013 and they provided me with equipment and stuff like extra time, a manual note taker and considerate marking. This was for dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism etc. My physical health is a lot worse now and it is an MRes I’m looking at doing (part taught, part research) will I require a new needs assessment for the new course? As it will be at a different university, 4 years after my last course finished, and have different needs. 


  • Poppy_
    Poppy_ Community Volunteer Host Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi, how are you today? To answer your question, I would approach the disability team at your university of choice to see what they would recommend. I would of thought that DSA would need to be reevaluated due to your needs changing and the amount of time it has been since your last degree. 

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,727 Disability Gamechanger
    You will not be able to claim UC as well as being a full time student unless your claim for PIP is successful. If it is then you can continue with UC but if being a student contradicts the reasons why you were found to have LCWRA then you could be reassessed early and the decision could go against you once it's made.
    Any maintenance loan will affect the amount of UC you're entitled to, even if you decide not to take the loan, it will still be counted as if you have.

  • KoalaKatie1993
    KoalaKatie1993 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you, I have reached out to the disability office this week. And I intend to try and attend the open day next month, and try and find one of the course leaders. 

    The course has a research module, which I’m unsure how physically demanding it is. So I need to find out if I’ll physically be able to attend the course. 

    I was in my final year (not funded by SFE) of university when I first went on UC. I just had dissertation and assignment hand ins. I am on LCWRA for physical reasons (cannot stand or walk for very long, or lift much, very poor exercise tolerance). Which is why I need to find out how much of the course I can do from home or without much physical demand. My dissertation was in a lab but could almost all be done sat down for example. And if there’s anything DSA can do to help. 

    If I’m honest, I’m really not optimistic about being able to do the course and I’m already thinking I’m going to have to revisit the idea in a few years if my health improves. It’s getting me down a lot that I don’t think I will be able to do it. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,621

    Scope community team

    It’s getting me down a lot that I don’t think I will be able to do it. 
    I'm sorry to hear that the possibility of this is getting you down. Have you been able to have a think about how else you could fill your time if you're not able to go ahead with the course for now?
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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