The best-known source of funding for students starting an undergraduate degree in the UK is a loan from the Government-owned Student Loans Company.
All first degree UK students, including part-time students, can take out a tuition fee loan through the Student Loans Company to cover the full cost of university tuition fees as follows:
- Full-time undergraduate courses: up to £9,250
- Foundation courses: up to £9,250.
UK students can also apply for maintenance loans to assist with living costs including accommodation, food, books and travel from the Student Loans Company. Loans are paid in three equal instalments at the start of each term. Up to 65% of the maintenance loan is non-means tested, the remaining 35% is means-tested.
The maximum loan amounts are:
- Living in parents' home: £7,987
- Living away from home, studying in London: £12,382.
Use the student finance calculator to estimate your Maintenance Loan rate.
The maintenance loan is paid in three instalments at the start of each term.
At the start of each academic year unless students have applied for the full tuition fee loan, students must pay 50% of the tuition fees before they can be enrolled.
Once students are enrolled their enrolment will automatically be sent to the Student Loan Company who will pay any maintenance loan instalment due.
Funding for part-time students
Part-time students will be charged a pro rata version of the full-time tuition fees; between 25% study intensity and 75% intensity. New part-time students will be able to apply for a tuition fee loan to cover part or all of these fees from the Student Loans Company.
The only difference in repayments for part-time students is that repayment can begin from April, three years after starting your course, once you are earning above the threshold of £21,000 (rather than strictly after graduation).
Part-time students are expected to cover their living expenses and other course costs themselves.
Changes for EU students
Prospective students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland who plan to begin their studies in the UK after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for home fee status, due to the UK’s departure from the EU.
Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland will continue to have right to study and to access benefits and services under the Common Travel Area arrangement between the two nations.
More information can be found on the British Council website.
How to apply
You should apply for student finance through the government's website.