Full-time UK undergraduate funding

The information below is a broad overview of funding for the 2020/21 academic year for new students. This will also apply to many students who started studies prior to 2020/21 but there are some intakes that are subject to different funding amounts and terms. It's important to check out your own funding situation by referring to the official Student Finance web pages.

Student Finance England

This information is for students living in England looking to apply for funding from Student Finance England (SFE). Don't forget to check whether you're eligible for the UWE Bursary.

You can get information on the funding available for students from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales from Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Finance Northern Ireland, and Student Finance Wales.

For more information, please watch Student Finance England's video guides for information on eligibility for student funding, how to apply and on how student loan repayment works.

Apply for funding

Students can and should apply for funding now (if not already) if they are considering study during academic year 2020/21. You can apply for your funding even after your course has begun. The earlier a student applies, the earlier they will receive funding so don’t delay.

You do not need to have confirmed your place at university to apply for student finance.

If a student then attends a different University or does not study at all then no funding will be released.

Tips for the application process

  • Don’t forget the details that allow you to access your account online:
    • your account name
    • customer reference number
    • password
    • secret answers etc.

    This allows you to monitor the progress on your application.

  • Have all the information you need to hand before starting your online application and complete your application with your sponsors if possible. This can include National Insurance Numbers, course length and bank details.
  • The documentation required will vary depending on your situation. Check what is asked of you.
  • It is easy to apply for the minimal non means-tested funding in error. Check your online account to confirm that you have applied for income-assessment. If you are applying for funding based on household income, you and your sponsor (normally parent or partner) must provide the correct financial and personal information.
  • Make sure you enter your sponsor's email addresses on your application (such as your parents, step-parents or partner). They will be sent an email with a link to submit their income information.
  • Provide the passport number if you have a valid UK passport. If not, you will need to send your original birth or adoption certificate with the identity form signed by a professional. If you are an EU national, you will need to send the non-UK passport or identity card the first time you apply.
  • Tick the box to 'share UCAS information'. This will automatically input the information about your first choice course, and will be updated as you accept and confirm your place at your chosen university.
  • Ensure you know what funding you can get before committing to a university place and paying the fees. If you have been to university before, your access to funding may be limited.
  • Make sure you apply for student finance using your full name as it appears on your passport. Any discrepancies will almost certainly delay processing your application.
  • If you are funded by Student Finance England and your household income is below £25,000, remember to agree that your household income information can be shared with UWE Bristol so that we can work out your bursary entitlement.
  • Remember to sign the declaration form via electronic signature when you apply online. Without this Student Finance will not release and pay your funding to you.

You can find out more in Gov.uk's undergraduate student finance information or on The Student Room.

Entitlement to parts of the funding from Student Finance depends on the level of your household income. You will need to know who is in your household and what income is included in the means-test before you can work out your funding.

Please note: If you're eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company (SLC) and receive a message in myUWE saying it's unable to calculate your fees, this means we've not received your funding details from the SLC just yet. So for now, sit tight and try again in a week or so.

Confirmation of funding

Student Finance may have told you to provide an Information Point with confirmation of your funding - please keep hold of your letter for now, as we don't need to see proof of your funding just yet. When we do, we'll let you know by email.

Tuition fee support

You can apply for a non means-tested tuition fee loan up to the maximum of £9,250 each year to cover the full amount of your tuition fees. Alternatively, you can choose to borrow a lesser amount (or none) and pay the difference (or all of your tuition fees) up front each year. Eligibility for the loan may be affected if you've previously studied in higher education, even if you paid the fees yourself. View details on previous study and Student Finance funding.

The fee loan is paid directly to the University.

If you have applied for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance, UWE Bristol will need to send an Attendance Confirmation to Student Finance in order to receive the tuition fee payments. We send the Attendance Confirmation at the beginning of each term (three times per year), so please do not panic if you see this status within the portal during the academic year.

The maintenance loan

You can apply for a means-tested loan of up to £9,203 each year for your living expenses which is paid into your bank account at the beginning of each term. If you live with your parents during your studies, the maximum loan is £7,747.

As UWE Bristol’s academic year is longer than 30 weeks each year, our students will receive an additional amount of loan each year, taking this total means-tested loan for living expenses up to £9,698 each year, or up to £8,072 each year if you live with your parents during your studies. Your parents' or partner's household income can reduce this living cost loan. So to work out how much you could get, you need to know whose income and what portion of that income counts.

The Registration Confirmation releases your maintenance loan directly to you, the student. If your registration has been confirmed to Student Finance but the status on the Student Finance portal is ‘Awaiting Attendance Confirmation’, this will not delay your maintenance loan payment.

New students

Maintenance funding for first year students will not be released on your first day at University. You should ensure you have available funds until your first loan payment is made to you.

Providing your application is approved and the declaration is returned, your registration will be confirmed to Student Finance once you have attended one of our UWE Bristol Registration events. This will release your first loan instalment within three to five working days.

Returning students

You will be contacted during August about registering for the new academic year. Once you've completed your online registration we will submit the registration confirmation to Student Finance and this will release the maintenance funding at the beginning of term.

Please note: this will only release the funding providing your application is approved and the student declaration has been returned.

Finance at a glance

The tables below provide an indicator of the student finance package you may be entitled to if you’re a full-time undergraduate student either living away from home during your studies, or living at home.

I intend to live away from home during my studies

Household income

Maintenance loan (paid in three instalments - one at the start of each term)

Max tuition fee loan

Amount borrowed, excluding interest

£25,000 and under

£9,203

£9,250

£18,453

£30,000

£8,544

£9,250

£17,794

£35,000

£7,884

£9,250

£17,134

£40,000

£7,225

£9,250

£16,475

£42,875

£6,845

£9,250

£16,095

£45,000

£6,565

£9,250

£15,815

£50,000

£5,905

£9,250

£15,155

£55,000

£5,246

£9,250

£14,496

£60,000

£4,586

£9,250

£13,836

£62,249 and over

£4,289

£9,250

£13,539

I intend to live at home during my studies

Household income

Maintenance loan (paid in three instalments - one at the start of each term)

Max tuition fee loan

Amount borrowed, excluding interest

£25,000 and under

£7,747

£9,250

£16,997

£30,000

£7,095

£9,250

£16,345

£35,000

£6,442

£9,250

£15,692

£40,000

£5,789

£9,250

£15,039

£42,875

£5,414

£9,250

£14,664

£45,000

£5,137

£9,250

£14,387

£50,000

£4,484

£9,250

£13,734

£55,000

£3,831

£9,250

£13,081

£58,215 and over

£3,410

£9,250

£12,660

If you're a lone parent or a student in receipt of either DLA or PIP, you may be entitled to a larger loan. For more information, see Student parents or Disabled students.

Find out whether you're eligible for the UWE Bursary.

Finance for a placement year

The tuition fees charged and the funding available is different if you take a placement year as part of your degree.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for your placement year are up to a maximum of £1,850. You can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the fees.

Living costs funding

If you're on a paid or unpaid placement, you're eligible for a reduced living cost loan of £2,788 (£3,914 for London placement or £2,090 if living with your parents). However, if you're on an unpaid placement in one of the following institutions, you'll be eligible for the full package of funding as for a standard year of study:

  • a hospital or in a public health service laboratory or with a clinical commissioning group in the UK
  • a local authority in the UK acting in the exercise of its functions relating to the care of children and young persons health or welfare, or with a voluntary organisation providing facilities or carrying out activities of a similar nature in the UK
  • a local authority acting in the exercise of public health functions
  • the prison or probation and aftercare service in the UK
  • a UK institution doing unpaid research
  • a Special Health Authority, the NHS Commissioning Board, the National Institute for Care and Excellence, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, a Local Health Board, a Health Board or a Special Health Board in Scotland, or a Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland
  • unpaid service in the UK Parliament.

Please note: Students on placements are not eligible for Disabled Students Allowances. 

Social Work Bursary

A limited number of social work bursaries are available to assist with living costs and are paid to students at the start of each term. The Social Work Bursary is administered by NHS Business Services Authority. Eligibility criteria apply. Read more information about Social Work Bursaries.

Repayment

If you're a full-time student, you'll start to repay your tuition and maintenance loan in the April after leaving higher education – but only when and if you're earning at least £26,575 (gross) during the tax year. This repayment threshold increases each tax year. 

If you're a part-time student, you'll become liable to repay from the April after your fourth year of study, but only if you're earning over £26,575 (gross) during the tax year.

If you earn less than £26,575 (gross) during the tax year then no repayment will be required during that tax year. 

Interest and inflation

The maximum interest rate is inflation rate (also known as retail price index) + 3%. The current inflation rate for Student Loans purposes is 2.4% and is fixed for a 12 month period and then adjusted. This rate is applied during your studies and until the April after you graduate.

After you complete your course, (or after the fourth year of study as a part-time student), the interest rate will depend on your graduate earnings. The maximum is inflation rate + 3% and the minimum is inflation rate only.

Rate of repayment

Repayments will be 9% of income above £26,575, so the amount repaid each month will depend on earnings. For example, someone earning £31,000 in the current tax year would initially make repayments of £33 per month.

If you borrow the maximum fee loan and maintenance loan for each year of a three-year course, your outstanding balance will be approximately £55,359 + interest. How much of this student loan debt you'll actually repay, i.e. how much your degree will cost you, will depend on how much you earn as a graduate in the 30 years after you graduate.

The table below illustrates how much of your student loan debt you would repay monthly and annually based on the current repayment threshold (which increases annually which is good for the student), based on the following income levels. The higher your graduate earnings, the more you repay. The lower your graduate earnings, the less you repay. Any outstanding student loan debt is then completely written off after 30 years.

Annual income

Net monthly income

Monthly repayment

Annual repayment

£26,000

£1,767

£0

£0

£31,000

£2,051

£33

£398

£36,000

£2,334

£70

£848

£41,000

£2,617

£108

£1,299

£46,000

£2,901

£145

£1,749

£56,000

£3,417

£220

£2,649

The government announced that the earnings threshold will be adjusted annually in line with average earnings.

You'll be liable to repay from the April after you graduate. You'll remain liable to repay for a maximum of 30 years, or until the loan is paid off – whichever comes first. However, you only repay when you earn more than the repayment threshold of £26,575. The repayment rate is 9% of gross earnings (i.e. before tax and national insurance deductions) above the threshold. So, as an indication, if you earn £31,000 in the current tax year then your monthly repayments would be £33. Any outstanding debt will be completely written off after 30 years of liability to repay. The debt will not be passed on to anyone in the event of death.

Means-tested funding

Entitlement to parts of the funding from Student Finance depends on the level of your household income. You will need to know who is in your household and what income is included in the means-test before you can work out your funding.

Independent status and funding

Student Finance assumes that you are the financial responsibility of your parents unless you can prove otherwise. This is up to the age of 25. The following circumstances are ones that indicate that you are ‘independent’ from your parents:

  • if you have had a child
  • if you have been married or in a civil partnership
  • if you have been in care
  • if you have supported yourself for 36 months
  • if you are irreconcilably estranged from your parents.

This is not an exhaustive list, and you may wish to seek further advice if you feel that you should be assessed as independent.

Self-support

You will need to provide evidence of earnings or benefit receipt for 36 months prior to the start of your course. The 36 months do not have to be consecutive; they can include any month where you earned enough.

There is no fixed amount but, as a rough guide, earning more than £8,000 per year may be seen as sufficient. Evidence could include wage slips, P60s and benefit award notices.

Estrangement

There are many causes of estrangement, from disagreement over the decision to study at university to a negative family reaction to a student’s sexuality or gender identity.

You are classed as estranged if you are ‘irreconcilably estranged’ from your parents on or before the first day of the academic year (1 September for September course starts) for which you are applying for funding, and there is no expectation that this will change.

To claim independence on the basis of estrangement, you will need to source a supporting letter/s from third party professionals who are aware of the circumstances. This can include:

  • a letter from a social worker (if you have one) or a police or social services report
  • a letter from an advice worker, personal tutor or teacher, confirming your circumstances
  • a letter from your doctor to confirm your circumstances.

Current students

If you claimed Income Support when you were under 18 years old, you can provide a letter from your local Jobcentre Plus office showing that you received benefits because of your situation.

If you are a current student and would like some advice about proving estrangement to a funding body, or if you are having difficulty proving estrangement, please contact a UWE Bristol Money Adviser. You can get in touch by completing an online InfoHub enquiry and the team will respond afterwards. This enquiry will ask you a series of questions about your circumstances so that we are best placed to answer your query as efficiently as possible.

You may also want to visit the Standalone website for guidance.

Prospective students

If you are a prospective student and would like some advice about proving estrangement to a funding body, or if you are having difficulty proving estrangement, please contact a UWE Bristol Money Adviser by emailing sms@uwe.ac.uk.

You may also want to visit the Standalone website for guidance.

Estranged students may qualify for the UWE Cares bursary and pastoral support.

Student Finance and UWE Bursary means test

If you are under 25 on 1 September, Student Finance will want the income details of your parents unless you are considered as ‘independent’.

If you are dependent on your parents, Student Finance will want income details for both parents if they are living together. If they are not living together, Student Finance will want the details of the parent with whom you have lived most recently or have most contact with. If your parent is living with a partner, civil partner or spouse, then Student Finance will need their details too.

If you are 25 or over you will need to provide the income details for your co-habiting partner or spouse. If you are an independent student under the age of 25, only the income of your spouse or civil partner is included. If you are single and independent, then Student Finance will just use your income in the means-test.

All students: Student Finance will request an estimate of your unearned taxable income for the coming academic year. Examples of unearned income includes income from employers who are releasing you to study, property rentals and investment income. Your part-time earnings are not required.

Student Finance means-test

For parents or partners, SFE will need the gross taxable income for the tax year 2018/19 to determine the students funding entitlement for academic year 2020/21, and tax year 2019/20 for 2021 funding, and so on. A new funding application needs to be substituted and assessed each year for both tuition fee loan and maintenance loan.

For the student, SFE will need an estimate of unearned taxable income (e.g. rental income) for the academic year of your studies. SFE ignore income from part-time earnings (except job release or secondment earnings).

If your household income has dropped by 15% since the financial year used for the assessment, let SFE know and they may be able to increase your funding by using the ‘current’ financial year. You can only do this if your household income was originally above £25,000 for students funded by Student Finance England, or above £18,370 for students funded by Student Finance Wales. Seek advice from UWE Student Money Service if your circumstances change. You will need to complete a current year income assessment form. See the SFE website or SFW website for further details.

Delayed funding

Register without your funding in place

You can register online via myUWE before your Student Finance notification of entitlement arrives. We display the latest information we have on your tuition fee loan on the fees page.

You should continue to log on to myUWE until the end of the registration period, as the University receives information on new assessments from the Student Finance every day. Click on the 'Calculate fees' button from the 'Payment required' page to access the fees page.

If you have not received confirmation of your funding, or believe there will be a delay, you must follow the link below to submit your 11-digit Student Finance customer reference number (CRN). This is available at the top of all correspondence from Student Finance, or via the Student Finance Application Portal. The CRN collection page is available from 1 August each year.

You will also need your UWE Bristol student number and the date that you applied for your fee loan or the date of the latest correspondence from Student Finance about your application (this will be your ‘Loan Date’).

Submit your Student Finance customer reference number

Your data will be held securely and we will use it later in the term to check your funding status with the SLC. You will still be able to register on to your course once your funding information becomes available provided this is before the registration tab closes in myUWE.

During November we will start updating records and issuing invoices where notification of SLC funding has not been received. You won’t have to pay this yourself if your SLC funding comes through and we will use the delayed funding information to regularly check and update records as data is received form the SLC.

If we have not received funding information for you by the start of December we will contact you to discuss your options.

Receiving your notification of entitlement

Check your registration status by logging on to myUWE and selecting the 'Registration' tab.  If you are fully funded for tuition fees by Student Finance and we have received details of that funding, you will be fully registered.

Remember to keep checking back on myUWE to see if your information has been updated.

Please note: If you receive your notification of entitlement and it does not show UWE Bristol as your institution, the University will not receive your funding information from Student Finance, even if you are studying at one of our partner colleges. You can log in to your Student Finance account online to amend the institution on your application. You should do this as soon as possible to ensure the University receives your funding information and your tuition fees.

If your notification of entitlement does not show a tuition fee loan, you will need to make arrangements to pay the tuition fees yourself. If you think you should be entitled to a tuition fee loan, contact Student Finance to find out why you have not been awarded one. If you need help with this, contact a UWE Bristol Money Adviser (see below).

Manage your funding claim

Find out why your funding is delayed. It may be that your funding provider can tell you when your funding will come through.

 

Student Finance England

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance N.I.

Phone number

+44 (0)300 100 0607

+44 (0)300 200 4050

+44 (0)300 100 0077

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 08:00–20:00

Saturday and Sunday 09:00–16:00

Monday to Friday 08:00–20:00

Saturday 09:00–13:00

Closed on Sunday

Monday to Friday 08:00–20:00

Saturday and Sunday 09:00–16:00

Minicom

+44 (0)300 100 0622

+44 (0)300 100 1693

+44 (0)300 100 0625

If you want someone else to contact Student Finance on your behalf, you will need to set up a joint password for you and the third party. To arrange this you will need to contact Student Finance (either in writing or by phone) and set up a consent to share.

UWE Bristol Money Advisers

If you are experiencing problems obtaining your funding, contact a UWE Bristol Money Adviser by completing an online InfoHub enquiry and the team will respond afterwards. This enquiry will ask you a series of questions about your circumstances so that we are best placed to answer your query as efficiently as possible.

Student loans and Sharia Law

Some Muslims and members of other faiths may be deterred from taking out the UK government's student loans, due to the interest payment system. We have prepared this document on student loans and Sharia Law for undergraduate and postgraduate students who need to finance their education, and who also have questions or concerns about Sharia compliance.