The idea of studying for a Masters degree, immediately after a Bachelors degree or NYSC is not new. While some have a divergent views, it is better than to be idle or engaged in almost fruitless job search. The choice of Master degree must be well thought, especially financially. In Nigeria, education at first degree level is heavily subsidized, thus studying for a Masters in Nigeria is a different kettle of fish.
Personally, I saved during NYSC and it gave me a head for my Masters, but sincerely the funds didn’t do much. So it is important to count the cost. Do you have enough funds to run a postgraduate program. Note that it is not necessary to have a lump sum, but at least having an idea of the total cost would help. This post applies to studying in Nigeria, how much funds do I need for a masters degree?
BUDGET ITEMS OF EXPENDITURES
To complete a Masters degree in Nigeria, you will be spending on all these items listed below. The amounts given are not fixed, but just an idea is given.
- APPLICATION FORMS: The first step towards a Masters degree is the purchase of an application form. This cost depends on the institution and course applied for. Schools like University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), University of Lagos (UNILAG) sell for 22,000 naira and 25,000 naira respectively. The cheapest known is University of Ibadan (UI) that sells for 13,500 naira. Many Universities sell their postgraduate forms within the range of 18,000-22,000 naira. Let’s use 22,000 naira for our budget. You can request specific application fess for any institution in the comment box
- TRANSCRIPT: The postgraduate application must be accompanied by transcript gotten from the previous institution of learning. Many Nigerian universities use transcript request as money making venture and sometimes make it difficult and frustrating to obtain (see post on that). Transcript can cost you between 5,000 naira and 15,000 naira. TASUED years back charged 8,000 naira, to produced academic transcript. To ensure the transcript gets to its destination and at the right time, you may need to collect it by hand and send it yourself- another cost. For our budget – 8,000 naira
- TUITION: The largest chunk of financial needs for your Masters degree will most likely be tuition. Don’t mind some universities that charge low amounts and boxed it up with dues, internet fees, association levies and so on. By tuition, it means everything on the invoice that is compulsory for Masters every student to pay. Virtually all first generation universities charge a first session fee between 95,000 – 170,000 naira. This is for the first full academic year. The second year, which should be for research and thesis writing has a lesser tuition fee. But not that you would keep paying tuition fees till thesis defence or final clearance, i.e some students spend more than 2 years. All these being equal, any Master student that spends the stipulated time of 18 months should pay a tuition range of 200,000 – 300,000 naira depending on the course. Note that some universities also charge acceptance fees. Generally, professional Master degree programme are costly and outside the range of our budget estimate. For our budget- 220,000 naira
- Research work and Thesis: If you decide to do a Masters in Engineering, Science (biological, physical or medical), Pharmacy, Medicine (Human or Veterinary) and Agriculture (group A courses), get set because this should definitely take the bulk of fund. For a Master in Education, Arts, Business/Management, Social science (group B) – Lucky you!. The difference is that the former group do real laboratory work. It sometimes involves purchasing your own analytical reagent, lab. animals and specialized equipment. The later group does their Masters thesis work largely based on questionnaire, site visit e.t.c which cost much less. Don’t get it wrong, every Master student will definitely spend on research and thesis work and it is even difficult to fix any specific range. The amount spent also depends on the thesis supervisor too, and the quality of work expected. Because Nigeria lack modern science equipment, Master students in the former group (Group A) may even need to travel abroad or send their work abroad. Hard to fix, but for the sake of making a budget. Group A courses would spend between 250,000 – 600,000 naira while Group B courses would spend between 20,000 – 150,000 naira. This amount are largely speculative, hence the wide range.
Expenditure (naira) Group A Group B Application Fees 22,000 22,000 Transcript 8,000 8,000 Tuition 220,000 220,000 Research and Thesis 425,000 85,000 TOTAL 675,000 335000