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I am considering studying a master's degree in England, however, the price system is quite unlike the system in the US, at least in wording, so I am uncertain how to estimate the costs.

The schools I looked at listed the fees in one of two ways:

Cost (2013-14)




UK/EU: £1,000

Part-Time: £500

International: £4,000

Part-Time: £2,000

Most schools require that master's degree students complete four 30-credit modules, each taking 8-10 weeks, depending on the school, as well as one 60-credit dissertation.

  • Under the price system used in England, how can I estimate the total cost of tuition for an entire master's degree?
  • Do schools in England often apply additional costs, such as registration fees, technology fees, renovation fees, or special course fees, as is typical of US schools?
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Most UK Masters degrees are a single year. Even if for some reason you get an extension (e.g. to finish your dissertation), you will only be charged tuition for the taught year, maybe a small fee for remaining registered. But the International fee will just be it (unless you are from the EU, in which case the home fee is it), and normally includes any bench fees.

Note the fixed tuition costs matters less for Masters students, but is a huge win over US degrees for PhDs – you normally only pay 3 years tuition even if you take 4 or even 5 years to finish.

A part time degree will probably take about twice as long and you will have to pay the fee for double the number of years. If you are legally allowed to work in the UK, or you can telecommute to a part-time job in your home country, this can be a win. Though keep in mind that the cost of living is very high in the UK and will probably exceed your tuition even if you are full time.

Anyway, UK universities are very keen to get Masters students, if you just email the contact for a university they will give you full numbers.

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Part time study as an international student in the UK for an American citizen is likely not possible due to immigration rules. Getting extensions can also be difficult. The university will happily give you one if you have an extenuating circumstance, but the UKBA will not. This means that as long as you can complete the degree from outside the country you are fine. – StrongBad Dec 26 '12 at 11:33
We have a US PhD student telecommuting home -- no problem if you aren't actually being paid in the UK. (Only the USA & North Korea care if you work both in & for another country, incidentally.) The fourth year doesn't require an extension anywhere I know, and generally the fifth is not hard to get either, but may cost a little. Suspending or taking longer can get hard. – Joanna Bryson Dec 26 '12 at 19:40

First work out whether the price you're given is per module (such as is done by the Open University) or per year (common for most other universities).

If the former, find out how many points you'll need for the degree you want, and the number of points per module. And calculate accordingly. So if it's £1000 per module, one module is 15 point, and you need 90 points, then your total cost is £1000 x 90 / 15 = £6000

If the latter, multiply the fees by the course length. So, for example, if it's £2000 per year part time, and will take you three years to do it part time, the total fee cost will be 3 x £2000 = £6000.

As you've seen, the fees will vary depending on whether you're a UK/EU citizen or not. International is lazy shorthand for non-EU. There may be a residency criterion as well as a nationality criterion (e.g. Bachelors degrees at Scottish universities).

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How do I multiply the fees by course length? – Village Dec 25 '12 at 22:31
@Village updated with illustrative calculations – EnergyNumbers Dec 25 '12 at 23:08

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