Higher Education Short Course (HESC) loans

Higher Education Short Course (HESC) loans are now available for a selection of short, part-time courses delivered in Bristol.

About the HESC loans

If you are looking to up-skill, for a new career path, currently unemployed, or not sure that a full-time university degree is right for you at this time, then one of our Higher Education Short Courses could be the right choice for you.

Higher Education Short Course (HESC) loans are now available for a selection of short, part-time courses delivered in Bristol. Courses eligible for this loan funding will increase learners’ access to high-quality technical qualifications that allow people to build up skills over time in a flexible way that suits them.

These courses and loans are part of a nationwide pilot programme that will help shape the Government’s Lifelong Loan Entitlement scheme due to be launched in 2025. These courses are designed to offer more choice and flexible options when it comes to developing skills. The loan is repayable through earnings once in employment.

Support available through a HESC loan

You can get funding up to a certain amount which will cover the full course fees, for short courses lasting up to one year, that are worth either 30 or 40 credits:

Number of course credits

Maximum tuition fee loan available

30 credits

Up to £2,310 per course

40 credits

Up to £3,080 per course

The Student Loans Company will pay the course fee directly to UWE Bristol and, once you are earning over a certain threshold, you would start to repay the loan and the monthly deductions will be proportional to the amount you earn.

Any loans taken out as part of the HESC trial will not affect your Lifelong Loan Entitlement of up to four loans once the scheme comes into play from 2025.

You don’t have to take out the full loan for all of the course fees, you could use it to partially fund your studies.


You can get a loan if all of the following are true:

  • You’re a UK national or Irish Citizen or have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to enter or remain so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay.
  • You normally live in England.
  • You’ve been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three continuous years before the first day of your course, apart from temporary absences such as going on holiday.

How to apply

The HESC loans are available from now until the trial has ended in 2025.

You must apply for and be accepted onto the course before making your loan application via the GOV.UK website.

Once the trial is over, loans will be available under the Lifelong Loan Entitlement, of which you can use the loan entitlement for up to four courses, over the period of a lifetime.

How it works

Eligible courses

UWE Bristol are trialling the scheme with three Zero Carbon Buildings courses, designed specifically for you to gain credits, but be able to learn flexibly and fit your studies around work.

Find out more about the Zero Carbon Buildings courses and how to apply:

As the trial progresses, we plan to increase our offering of learning available with a HESC loan, covering a wider range of subjects.

Course locations

The courses will be delivered in-person, with the Level 4 course taking place at City of Bristol College’s Advanced Construction Skills Centre and the Level 5 and 6 course taking place at UWE Bristol’s Arnolfini Campus. Both will have workshop days hosted at UWE Bristol's Frenchay Campus.

Teaching will be delivered in person as there will be some practical elements to the course.

Key facts about the HESC loan

  • Loans are available for up to four Higher Education Short Courses.
  • Learners can earn credits towards other degrees at various participating institutions.
  • Flexible learning; part-time and evening study to fit around work.
  • Loan eligibility does not depend on previous study or current qualifications held.
  • Loan repayments don’t begin until you are earning over a certain amount (the size of your monthly repayments will depend on how much you earn, not what you owe).
  • Applications for the loan are now open – but ensure you are accepted onto an eligible course before you apply.
  • Any loans you use as part of this pilot scheme will not affect the amount of loans you can take out in the future as part of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement scheme which will be introduced from 2025.