Life at King’s

Funding for nursing students explained by Melissa

My name is Melissa, and I am a postgraduate Adult Nursing student. In this blog I’ll be talking about funding.

Despite recent changes to the funding for undergraduate healthcare subjects, postgraduate diplomas are thankfully unaffected and diploma students will still be entitled to the NHS funded programme of study. This means that not only are your tuition fees paid for but, depending on whether you would be considered an independent (financially self-supporting) or a dependent student (financially reliant on one’s parent(s)/guardian), you may also be able to receive fiscal support for living costs. Click here to find out more!

So how does this process work? Once you receive an offer from King’s – whether it be unconditional or conditional – you will be prompted by UCAS to apply for your bursary. It is important to note that all students who apply to have their tuition fees paid for will receive a £1,000 annual bursary which is not means tested. So around March you can apply for your NHS Bursary, but you have until the end of May to apply and receive your allowance on time for the start of term. The application process is made simple through its step-by-step guide on what to do and, once you’ve filled in the online application with the relevant financial information, you will need to send off relevant original documentation to the given address. It is highly recommended that you use recorded delivery due to the importance of the documents.

Special allowances are also added to an individual’s entitlement, should they be eligible. This includes extra funding for childcare and adult dependents, among others. A London-weighting is also provided due to the high cost of living within a big city.

Once the whole process is complete you’ll be able to log into your account to see how much you are entitled to, and when you will receive your payment. However if your circumstances change during your studies, you are contracted to inform NHS Bursary and your allowance will follow suit. For example, if you are a classified as a dependent student living at home, and throughout the year you move out into your own accommodation, all you will need to do is fill in a ‘Change in circumstance’ form and send it off and your allowance will be altered.

Entitlement to the NHS Bursary is not at all affected by whether you possess a previous degree and/or a previous set of loans.

Lastly it’s important to stress that this may all seem rather daunting and possibly discouraging, but there are many opportunities to find work through King’s College London in order to obtain extra income. King’s also gives away annual scholarships and there is a Hardship Fund which provides eligible students struggling financially with monetary support.

Though the application process may be new and rather time-consuming, NHS Bursaries are the link to higher development and bright career aspects for many individuals. I can attest to this fact as I love my current studies and the career I’m moving into – and that wouldn’t be possible without going through this funding process. We here at King’s encourage you to research your options in regards to funding, and not allow finances to be a barrier between you and your destined career.

For the full list of funding scholarship and funding opportunities click here.

Best wishes,

Melissa Vandy

Adult Nursing

Have an offer to study Nursing at King’s? Deborah is here to help

I’m a 3rd year BSc Mental Health student at King’s and I’m one of the student buddies.  I’m here to help students through this exciting and even daunting decision time. I aim to provide you with information that may answer some of your queries or concerns and help you make one of the most important decisions of your life so far. I know what it feels like because I was in your position not that long ago.

So I’m guessing you probably want to know about funding for the Nursing course. As we are all aware, there have been plenty of changes over the last year in relation to funding which are hard to keep up with.

If you are applying to King’s to study Nursing, here’s what you need to know:

From 2017 new Nursing and Midwifery pre-registration students will have access to the same student loans system as other students. You will pay the loan back when you start earning a certain amount of money after your degree. You might get extra money on top of this, for example if you’re on a low income, are disabled or have children. You can find hints and tips on how to manage your budget here:

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/student-advice-support/how/money/index.aspx.

If you are applying to King’s you have the opportunity to apply for Nursing and Midwifery scholarships. These are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. More information about scholarships is available here http://www.kcl.ac.uk/nursing/study/funding/scholarships.aspx .

 

Good luck!

Deborah Ayodele

DeborahAyodele

No regrets – leaving Northern Ireland to study in London

I moved to London from Northern Ireland in September 2013 to study mental health nursing at King’s and I haven’t looked back since making that decision.

Naturally, I miss Ireland and my family, but due to cheap flights, we can usually visit every other month (and we talk/text almost every day). As everyone in first year in your halls of residence has left home, your flat mates become your second family.

In first year I lived in Julian Markham House (JMH), a King’s residence and I would really recommend it. I lived with medics and humanity students, and it was a nice change to come home and be able to take a break from talking about nursing all day. JMH is located in the Elephant and Castle district, and is a maximum 20 minute walk from all of the King’s campuses. Due to this, in both second and third year I have chosen to remain in the same area, renting privately owned flats. Finding these flats was fairly straight forward, and was a very quick process which we began in June and was completed within a week. This allows you to leave it until the last minute to decide where to live and who to live with, which in other universities you often need to have arranged by January.

I do think that studying in London has been a brilliant decision for me, not only for the wide range of placements that are available to me as a mental health nursing student, but also on what is available to me in my spare time. I have been able to travel on the Eurostar to Paris, fly to the Netherlands and I’ve also visited a lot of my school friends at other universities in the UK, all quite cheaply because of the plentiful London transport links and the great student/youth travel fares. Being a student in London has many benefits: cheaper cinema tickets, going to concerts and local festivals, many restaurants give student discount, as do a lot of the shops.

Personally, I love the change from Northern Ireland to the fast paced streets of London. However, if you are concerned that it may be a bit too hectic, don’t worry, there are many areas in London which can prove to be a little escape from Central London. Some of the lovely places which I like to visit and can really recommend are Greenwich, Windsor and Hampstead Heath, but there are many more.

I do not regret my decision to study in London, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it to others.

Sarah, 2nd Year BSc Mental Health Nursing

For more information on Mental Health Nursing, click here.

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Managing your money

Managing money on a student budget can be tricky, find out what help is available to you if you are thinking of coming to King’s

Who are Student Advice and how can they help me?

The Student Advice Service provides information, advice and guidance to both prospective and current students at King’s College London. The team is made up of Specialist Advisors who can advise you on a range of issues including money, housing, immigration and welfare.

I am a Student Money Advisor and I can help with your questions regarding money matters such as funding, budgeting and how to best manage your money whilst at university.

How can you access this advice and support?

You can come along to one of our Drop-ins and speak to an Advisor, no appointment needed! These are weekly & across all campuses. Take a look at our Drop-in schedule: click here.

Alternatively, you can complete an Online Enquiry Form: click here.

A member of the Advice team will then assist you with your enquiry based on your preferences. We offer appointments face to face, over the phone and even via Skype!

If you have a money related enquiry you can email money@kcl.ac.uk and I will be happy to answer any money questions you might have.

What advice resources are available?

We have information on our web pages, click here, and a number of advice guides that can be downloaded. These vary from advice on banking, Council Tax and even how to do your laundry!

We also share relevant articles, information and money saving tips on our Facebook page and Twitter account. Like and follow us now!

Our dedicated Money Mentors are a team of students that have been trained to help give you support with any money worries you might have whilst you are here. They will be out and about on our money campaigns throughout the year. Money Mentors and Nursing students Sharron and Samantha will tell us what it’s like to assist their fellow students with their money saving knowledge…blog post coming soon!

What is the most important piece of advice you can give?

I always say that budgeting is essential! A budget allows you to have some control over what you spend, plan for the future, keep a check on your income and outgoings and save a few pennies every month. Does maths make your head hurt? No fear, we have a number of resources that are here to help you with your budgeting. Start by watching the short video ‘How to make a budget’: click here.

King’s have partnered up with blackbullion.com to give students access to essential online budgeting tools and financial tutorials. Use your King’s email address to register for free now!

Take a look at The Money Charity’s ‘Student Moneymanual’ which is an excellent resource packed full of money facts and information – definitely worth a read over a cup of tea: click here.

I also find that some Nursing students are not aware that if they are living in a King’s residency, then they can request to pay their accommodation fees monthly rather than termly. If you would like to explore this as an option, contact the Credit Control department directly: click here.

It also worth looking at the Funding pages of the King’s website as there are Nursing specific Hardship Funds like the Perseverance Trust Hardship Bursary 2015 for those struggling with living costs whilst on course.

 King’s College London – Fees and Funding

Perseverance Trust Hardship Bursary

And finally, I am a big fan of car boot sales. They are brilliant for finding bargains such as ornaments for your room, but also great for useful things like kitchen equipment and stationary: TimeOut Car Boot Sales List.

Rachel Glover, Student Advice

money card.jpg

 

How to Have a Social Life on a Budget: Student Nurse Edition

Having a social life while having a student income and being a student nurse seems impossible, I know, but it is all about balance, budgeting and cheap activities. Here are some of my top tips to save you money for those big nights out or quiet nights in:

  • Give yourself a budget. Having a weekly or daily budget to stick to can be hard, but getting that cash out and limiting yourself will help you save money. So instead of buying those four coffees, you can have more money to spend on other things, such as a much needed glass of wine after that 12.5-hour shift. King’s has a great financial forecaster on their website to help work out your expenditures, which has been great for keeping me out of my overdraft.
  • Try to carry cash. I know tapping your contactless all day long makes you feel like because you can’t see it, you aren’t really spending money. Stop. Put away the Debit Card and get to the ATM. Paying with cash gives you a lot more perspective on how much you are spending.
  • Create a food shopping list. Instead of going crazy in Sainsbury’s and buying a week’s worth of food shopping for £50, make a list of what you need. Maybe on the odd occasion you can treat yourself to those M&S biscuits, but going in with a plan will help you save more money in the long run.
  • Meal prep. Trust me, your freezer is going to be your best friend. Placements can be tiring and sometimes you just want to grab that oven pizza and big bag of chocolate on your way home. Instead, prepare your meals for the week. This is going to save you a lot of time, effort and especially money. Make sure to change it up a bit though, eating chicken, rice and Piri-Piri sauce can get a bit boring after a week or two.

Getting out of bed after two long days on placement can be the hardest thing in your life. But trust me, get up, get a shower and get out of the house. Being a student nurse can be isolating at times, but pushing through and being social will really lift your mood and spirit. Here are some suggestions to get you out of bed and not spending crazy amounts of money.

  • I know it sounds simple, but get out and explore London. Channel your inner tourist, you’ll be amazed at what you can find and how cheap things are. Whether it’s the museums, the Southbank, parks or the holiday markets, they always end up being a lot of fun and pretty cheap as well. (Bonus tip: Look out for the Carnaby Christmas Party, they give out free drink and it’s a great night out with friends.)
  • You are a student, use this to your advantage. Always ask if places take student discount, you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save in restaurants or on activities. The London Eye, The Shard and the London Dungeon all take student discount, making fun activities even cheaper to do. Also, use your newly found NHS card as well. A cheeky Nandos is great, but you can make it even cheekier with 20% NHS discount.
  • Time Out London. Follow them on twitter, Facebook or Instagram. They post about cheap ways to get out and have fun in London, such as free gigs or rooftop cinemas. This once led me to unlimited free pancakes in Pimlico one morning, let’s just say, maybe one of the best days of my life.

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Masked Ball in Fresher’s Week

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Amazing and free day out celebrating Pride 2015 in Piccadilly Circus

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Carnaby Christmas Party

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Inside Winter Wonderland

Living at home while studying

After living away from my parents for four years, I was reluctant to move home for the duration of the nursing course.

I had initial reservations such as needing my own space and giving my parents theirs but it has turned out to be one of the best parts of studying in London for me. This is because studying nursing is not like other courses. The hours are very full on, leaving you with little time to play with while you are on placement. The more help and support you have while you study, the better!

There is nothing like coming home from a long day of placement to food in the fridge and little things like knowing that you don’t have to stop for milk of other essentials on the way home. Another reason is that it will most likely be the last opportunity that I will live with my parents – and it has been nice to spend some quality time with them after a few years living away.

Before I moved to London I was worried about the commute to university and even more so to my placement because of the wide range of Trusts linked with King’s College.
Despite having a 45 to 60 minute commute to get into Central London, I have really adapted to travelling and realised that the nature of the big city means it takes a while to get anywhere.

Be prepared to spend money on transport as commuting in London is expensive. I think if you have the opportunity to save money on accommodation then definitely do it as it will give you extra pocket money to explore London when you have time off.

Geraldine, 1st Year PG Dip Adult Nursing

For more information, click here.

Can part-time work fit with your studies?

I received mixed feedback about how easy it was to do part-time work alongside the university course but, from the start, I knew I wanted to work to keep my expenses under control.

The course, like any other university course, has some quieter periods throughout the year which is why casual work is so useful. It allows you to work more when it’s quiet and less when you have more hours on placement because you are in control of booking your own shifts.

Throughout my first term I experimented with a few different jobs to find out what would work for me. After struggling to find (healthcare assistant) HCA work on the bank, I decided to postpone that idea until I had done at least one placement as it would be easier to work within my principal Trust at that point.

I did temporary work in an office, as a waitress and with the University. If I could give any advice it would be don’t be afraid to tell your employer ‘no’. I had to remind myself that I moved to London to do the course and if I was so burned out from working all the time, I would not get the best experience from being a student nurse as possible. Saying that, London is a fantastic place to find casual, part-time work as there are so many working opportunities in the City. Therefore, if you need to work during the course, it will be easy to find work. The best opportunity I got was to work within the University, as you won’t be a student forever and it’s a great way of meeting people within the faculty!

Having a little extra cash has helped me enjoy my time off even more, allowing me to spend Christmas in a warmer climate. The hard work has been worth it!

Geraldine, 1st Year, PG Dip Adult Nursing

For more information on PG Dip Adult Nursing, click here.

For more information on the Perseverance Trust scholarship, click here.

A warmer Christmas break

My Christmas ‘Snowman’