Part-time UK undergraduate funding

The information below is a broad overview of funding for the 2021/22 academic year. 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 ScotlandStudent Finance Northern Ireland, and Student Finance Wales.

For more information, please watch Student Finance England's video guides:

Eligibility

If you already have an honours degree, you won't qualify for financial support from SFE unless you are studying a part-time course in one of the STEM subjects including Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths. See further information on ELQ.

If you have other previous study but have not achieved the qualification, this could affect the number of years funding you are entitled to. Please contact a Money Adviser or your funding body to find out how this may affect you.

To qualify, you'll need to register on a designated part-time course that is equivalent to at least 25% of a full-time degree course (30 credits or more), and you'll need to be classified as a Home (UK) student or meet other specified residency criteria. View full eligibility criteria.

Tuition fee support

The tuition fees charged for part-time courses depends on the number of credits you study each academic year.

Tuition fees for most part-time courses are charged on a pro-rata basis, so 50% of a full-time course would cost £4,625 per academic year.

You can apply for a non means-tested loan up to £6,935 each year.

You can choose to borrow a lesser amount (or none) and pay the difference (or all of your tuition fees) up front each year. The fee loan is paid directly to the University. Find out how and when you repay your loan.

The maintenance loan

You can apply for a means-tested loan each year for your living expenses, which is paid into your bank account at the beginning of each term.

Course intensity

How much loan you can get depends firstly on your ‘course intensity’. Course intensity measures your course each year compared to an equivalent full-time course. To work this out, you need to know how many module credits you'll study when you apply for the loan. The table below shows the maximum maintenance loan amounts per academic year depending on the intensity of your course, ie the number of credits you're studying per academic year.

Household income

How much loan you can get depends secondly on your parents' or partner's household income. This can reduce the living cost loan because it is means-tested based on this income. To work out how much you could get, you need to know whose income and what portion of that income counts.

Students living away from home with a household income (parents' or partner's) above £25,000 gross taxable income lose £1 of loan for every complete £7.36 of income above £25,000, until the amount they receive reaches 46.6% of the maximum amount, at which point there is no further reduction.

Students living with their parents lose £1 of loan for every complete £7.43 of income above £25,000, until the amount they receive reaches 44% of the maximum amount.

Maximum maintenance loan per academic year

Intensity of study per academic year

Max maintenance loan for students living away from home based on 100% amount of £9,488

Max maintenance loan for students living with their parents based on 100% amount of £7,987

75% (full-time equivalent rate) = 90 credits

£7,116

£5,990

66.6% = 80–85 credits

£6,319

£5,319

50% = 60–75 credits

£4,744

£3,993

33.3% = 40–55 credits

£3,159

£2,659

25% = 30–35 credits

£2,372

£1,996

You can also use the online student finance calculator.

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 over the threshold which is £27,295 (gross) for the 2021/22 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 £27,295 (gross) during the tax year.

If, for any reason, your income falls below £27,295 (gross) during the tax year then no repayment will be required during that tax year.

Interest and inflation

The interest rate is inflation rate (also known as retail price index) + 3%. This is set in September each year. For the 2020/21 academic year the interest rate is 5.6% (RPI level 2.6% + 3%). This rate is applied during your studies and until the April after you graduate or after the fourth year of study as a part time student. 

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 £27,295 so the amount repaid each month will depend on earnings. For example, someone earning £31,000 in the 2021/22 tax year would initially make repayments of approximately £28 per month.

If you borrow the maximum fee and maintenance loan for each year of a three-year course, your outstanding balance will be near to £56,214 + interest. How much of this student loan debt you'll actually repay – ie 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. The debt will not be passed on to anyone in the event of death.

Annual income

Net monthly income

Monthly repayment

Annual repayment

£27,000

£1,833

£0

£0

£31,000

£2,060

£28

£336

£36,000

£2,343

£66

£792

£41,000

£2,627

£103

£1,236

£46,000

£2,910

£141

£1,692

£56,000

£3,427

£216

£2,592

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

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.