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Emma Cross main body image

Emma at her undergraduate Graduation. 

Case study: Funding my masters....and beyond!

LLM student Emma Cross shares her experiences of funding her academic studies. 

"At the postgraduate level, funding is extremely limited. Bearing this in mind, I began to research for LLM funding in my third year. I worked through major online funding sites such as Prospects UK, Target Jobs and Grants Online. I also spent several afternoons in the University Career Zone reading tomes of funding indexes. In addition to internal University funding options, many possible sources of funding originate from small charitable trust funds with staggered deadlines due to meeting at specific times of the year to consider applications.

I found I was most successful with local charitable trust funds which prioritised students and residents from the Exeter area such as The Exeter Advancement in Life Charity and The Gibbons Family Trust Fund. However, I was also successful with charities much further afield, such as The Coats Foundation Trust in Glasgow. In addition, there are so many other trust funds targeted at specific courses, groups of individuals and students from particular UK and international locations.

References were another crucial element of my applications. Some charities and groups welcomed a covering letter outlining my circumstances. However, others required detailed application forms and references. My personal tutor, Mr. Michael Sanderson, was really supportive (and patient) with the stream of reference requests during the first term this year. I am also grateful to Dr. Annika Jones, Dr. Aurel Sari and Ms. Rachel Bennett for acting as referees.

I felt that by making so many applications at the start of the academic year it helped in my application for a BPTC scholarship from Middle Temple. After an intensive writing and interview process I was awarded a Major Award Harmsworth Scholarship which will fund my BPTC tuition fees in full. I was also awarded a Blackstone Entrance Exhibition which will fund my eventual Admission and Call fees to the Bar.

Although the funding process requires much persistence, it is always worth applying and to keep applying as different opportunities arise. Ultimately, if a positive response is received, it can enable students to concentrate on their studies without as many financial concerns and open doors to fantastic opportunities."

Date: 19 May 2015

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