<aside> 📌 This definitive guide on student finance was developed by Catrin Byrne in 2022. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, please make financial decisions based on your own circumstances and research!
Starting a second degree is a particularly daunting step in the career of a future maxillofacial surgeon. It’s a sizeable commitment just in terms of time and hard work but, unfortunately, second degree students face the additional pressure of supporting themselves through this period financially.
The idea of having to find the money to pay for university fees whilst giving up fulltime employment is very daunting. Multiple sources of financial support exist, but they are not always well-publicised, and the routes to funding are often different for graduate students or for mature students who are financially independent from their parents.
This guide aims to bring together the relevant information to give second degree one source which can give them a good understanding of the options available to them. The specific amounts of money offered by various organisations tend to differ slightly from year to year. However, the principles outlined here have stayed largely unchanged for many years.
P.S. If and when the time comes that this information is significantly out of date, updating it would be a perfect project proposal for the BAOMS bursary!
The first thing to consider when looking at your finances is your outgoings. A lot of your income is likely to be from locum work, and it will be up to you to decide how much work you need to take on to cover your fixed, necessary costs. This section will outline those, and will discuss any ways you can arrange discounts at the source.
The next section will discuss ways to pay for all these things.
University fees differ depending where you study and what your “home nation” is. Your home nation is considered to be the place you most recently lived, excluding time as full-time student. So, if you are originally from England, studied dentistry in Scotland and then stayed in Scotland for a DCT job, you are treated as a Scottish student. However, if you had studied in Scotland but then moved back to England to work, you are still treated as English.
The table below outlines the fees currently charged to students in the four constituent countries of the UK. Aside from Scottish students studying in Scotland, most students can expect to be charged around or just above £9000 per year of their course.
Table showing tuition fees by region for courses starting in 2022/23, as found on the UCAS website: https://www.ucas.com/finance/undergraduate-tuition-fees-and-student-loans
This is a necessary evil; to be able to continue working as either a dentist or a doctor during your second degree you will have to continue to pay your annual retention fee to either the GMC or GDC. Unfortunately, they do not offer discounts for second degree students.
If working alongside studies, you will need to arrange indemnity. This may be cheaper than for working full-time; calculate the average number of hours you are likely to work per week and request a quote based on this to ensure you aren’t overpaying. If asked to calculate “sessions” per week, a session is four hours. Indemnity can range wildly depending on the number of years since you qualified and the type of work you’re doing. If you’re considering doing any private work, make sure your earnings will consistently make up for the high indemnity fees you’ll be charged.
Lots of professional bodies offer discounts or free memberships to students. Some may take your university acceptance letter as proof of student status. Others will need more formal proof, so make sure to get a formal “proof of student status” letter from your university as soon as you enroll for your first term.