What is the best bit of your course?

The fact that the course is so flexible. I can choose which modules I want to focus on and it's good to study something which is both theoretical and practical.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

I've found the age gap quite difficult. Even though I'm only a few years older than most students, when I started I felt very old. However I quickly got over that as the student community here is so diverse and I've made some really good friends.

How do you cope with money?

I receive a fee grant and a course grant but I won't deny that money is tight. I have a part-time job with my old company and so have some income there. On the whole I just cut back on the things I don't need. It's not that bad and you know it won't be like this forever.

Where do you live?

I live in a privately rented house, which I share with friends. The rent is not that expensive and it's quite sociable so I didn't see any need to move into student accommodation.

Where will you be in ten years?

I hope to have graduated and be in a well-paid job related to engineering. I would eventually like to start my own business but I know that I need to build up some experience before I do that.

What do you wish you had known when you started university?

I wish that I hadn't spent so much money in my first year. I'm sure I blew a lot of money on things that I didn't really need. I bought too many books that I could have borrowed.

Top budgeting tip

Remember to pace yourself when it comes to your finances. Work out a budget for the entire year so that you don't run out of money before you get to the end. Even if everyone else seems to be spending money like it's going out of fashion, set your own budget and stick to it.

Michael's summary

Tuition Fee loan £0
Maintenance loan £0
Course grant £275
Fee grant £955
Bursaries & further support £500
Savings £0
During Term £7200
During holidays £4500
Family and friends £0
Total Income £13430
Fees £1500
Insurance £80
Accommodation £3769
Utilities £1080
Transport £561
Shopping £2444
Socialising £1128
Eating £1800
Study £724
Total Expenditure £13113
Balance £317