“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs
IT and software development are fields that a lot of young people are interested in studying. Fortunately, the field is constantly evolving so there’s always something new to learn.
But how much will it cost you to learn these things?
Let’s look at the cost of paying for software development courses.
How Much Do University Courses Cost?
If you've decided to study for a Computer Science degree, you'll also need to remember that these are far from free. However, the cost of a degree will also depend on which of the home nations you're studying in.
- Studying in England and Northern Ireland can cost up to £9,250 a year. Students from Northern Ireland who choose to study there can enjoy reduced tuition fees of £4,395 a year.
- Studying in Wales is capped at £9,000 a year for students from any of the home nations.
- The cost of studying in Scotland is also the same as in England and Northern Ireland with the exception that students from Scotland won't have to pay anything if they choose to stay in Scotland for their studies.
The cost of studying in the UK for international students will depend on where they come from so you may want to check exactly how much a student from your country would be expected to pay.
How Much Do Online Courses Cost?
If you're driven and capable of working independently, online courses are usually a cheaper option. While they won't always give you qualifications with the same clout as a university degree, they're a great option if you're just after learning the skills and not the accolades that come with it.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are among the best way to learn new skills online and there are a bunch of different ones available for those who want to learn how to code or study computer science, web development, or software engineering.
If you're completely new to programming, we recommend starting with Codecademy. This free platform features lessons and activities to help you learn how to program and complete programming tasks. This only focuses on coding itself, so remember that you'll also need to study other aspects of computer science before you can become a fully-fledged developer.
As for MOOCs like Udacity, Coursera, and EdX, the cost varies. There are shorter courses (6 months) on EdX that cost around £300 for the whole thing. However, access to Udacity, for example, costs around £300 per month. There are options for all budgets so think carefully about how much you need to learn and how much you can afford to put towards a course.
How Much Do the Other Courses Cost?
You can learn to program or study computer science, web development, and software engineering without doing an online course or going to university.
Generally, there are also courses for all levels and budgets and the cost will depend on the qualification you get, what you're taught, where the course is, and how long the course lasts.
Free courses and cheaper options can cost as little as between £99 and £229 for around 4 weeks of studying. There are also places offering longer courses (3 to 6 months) for upwards of £5,000.
Like with everything else, the courses offered around London tend to be more expensive and you can find 3-month courses costing nearly as much as a university degree.
Don't forget, however, that a lot of these courses focus on those already in work looking to learn new skills or transition into new careers, hence the increased cost.
There are even options to do day-long courses. While quite expensive at £750 for the day, these could be a good option if you're interested in seeing whether or not coding is for you but aren't sure if you'd be able to spend months learning about it.
How Much Do Private Tutors Cost?
One of the best ways to learn anything is with a dedicated educator. With private tutors, you can do just that. Of course, there are so many variables to consider. Let's have a look at what will affect the cost of hiring a tutor rather than trying to pin down an exact cost.
Firstly, your location will affect the cost of hiring a tutor. The cost of living varies across the UK and a tutor also has to make ends meet. This means that tutors in more expensive cities like London tend to charge more than cheaper places to live.
However, that doesn't mean that every tutor outside of London will be cheap. Your tutor's experience and qualifications will also affect how much they can charge for tutoring. A tutor with years of experience and qualifications from the best universities will probably charge more than a student who's tutoring to help pay their way through a university course.
A tutor's reputation and schedule will also affect their rates. A tutor with plenty of happy students and a busy schedule will probably charge more per lesson than someone who is on the lookout for students.
How Can You Fund Your Studies?
If you've decided to study computer science, you'll need to think about how you're going to pay for your studies. University degrees come with the option of being funded by student loans.
Students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their courses and this money will go directly to the university. With tuition fee loans, you don't have to start paying them back until you start earning over a certain threshold.
Similarly, students can apply for maintenance loans. These are paid to the student and are normally used to help students with their outgoings while studying for a degree. Like with the tuition fee loan, these are paid back once the student has started earning enough.
The amount a student can get for their maintenance loan will depend on what they're studying and their household income. This is called "means-tested" and essentially means that your parents have to prove how much they earn for you to be eligible for it.
There are also grants for students with disabilities. Disabled Students' Allowances are there for students who will have extra costs for their studies due to their disability and rather than a loan, this is a grant and the student won't have to pay it back.
Similarly, there are other grants for those who are disabled, parents, those with dependent adults or children in their care, or those in financial hardship.
Finally, there are also scholarships, grants, and bursaries available to students.
Generally, scholarships are awarded according to academic or sporting achievement. Bursaries are dependent on circumstances like background, disabilities, and personal circumstances.
Grants are awarded based on personal circumstances as well and the examples we gave earlier.
A lot of students don't apply for these because they don't think they're eligible, but it doesn't hurt to have a look around as there are a lot of scholarships, grants, and bursaries available.
If you want to learn more about programming, computer science, web development, or software engineering, consider getting help from one of the many talented and experienced private tutors on the Superprof website. There are tutors all over the country and around the world offering different types of tutoring so think about which will be right for you, your budget, and how you like to learn.
Face-to-face tutors offer the most cost-effective type of tuition, but they also tend to charge the most per hour. This is because they can tailor every minute of every lesson to you, what you want to learn, and how you like to learn. Similarly, many of them may also travel to you and charge extra for the distance they have to cover.
As they don't have to travel and can schedule more lessons each week, online tutors tend to charge less than face-to-face tutors. While online tutoring isn't always ideal for hands-on subjects, academic subjects like computer science, web development, and software engineering, can be taught just as effectively.
Group tutorials are an excellent choice for those on a budget. With every student paying for the tutor's time, it works out cheaper per student per hour. While you won't be able to guarantee that every aspect of the tuition is tailored to you, it can be useful to learn from your peers.
Don't forget that many of the tutors on the Superprof website offer the first lesson for free. Use these free sessions to try out various tutors before deciding on the one that's right for you, your preferred learning approach, and your budget.