Okay. Decisions, decisions. So, I've been asking advice on this forum for about three years now. Might as well post another question involving advice.
I am an American student with a bachelors degree in physics from a small, liberal arts college. I took a year off before applying to graduate school, and I'm currently working as a guest scientist at Fermilab (all astrophysics research). I really wanted to go to graduate school overseas (England specifically) for a variety of reasons, but a big one involves the fact that my boyfriend is English and lives in London (plus the experience of living in a different country and the graduate schools over there actually have a lot of the research I'm doing, etc). I was accepted into several different universities to study a PhD in Astronomy/Astrophysics (UCL, King's, Sussex, and Imperial), but funding was so competitive (including university scholarships, departmental assistantships, and US scholarships to study overseas) that I did not receive any.
The prospect of paying for graduate school for the next four years (at roughly £15,000 per year) is an absolute nightmare to me. But, both UCL and Sussex have the research I want to do and they have close ties to my supervisors here at Fermilab. So, I was thinking about enrolling in and self funding (gotta love loans) a MSc program at UCL and reapplying to graduate schools in the fall, this time both in the US and the UK. I could also reapply for funding, such as the NSF fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, etc. I guess my concern is....if this falls through a second time and I don't get funding again, at least I will have earned a MSc in Astrophysics. But, what exactly can you do with a MSc degree? I'm assuming most laboratory jobs require a PhD, so would I only be able to teach high school with this degree? Or is it possible to do research?
PS- I actually want to study observational astrophysics, but at the time I created my username on this forum, I wanted to go for theory. So, pay no attention to my username.