Placement costs and finance

Tuition fees

Although you won’t physically be attending University, you are still enrolled as a student on the credit-bearing placement module and will need to submit coursework.

This means you are charged the tuition fees for one module during your placement year. This is approximately £1,200 for home students and £1,800 for international students. You then pay for one less module during your final year.

You can still apply for a loan from Student Finance to cover the tuition fees if you are eligible. 

Maintenance loan

UK students are entitled to a reduced maintenance loan during a placement year to cover living costs. The amount available depends on circumstances such as where you are based in the UK and whether you are living with parents.

Find more funding guidance for UK full time undergraduate students on placement

In some circumstances, students undertaking unpaid placements may be eligible for the full maintenance loan (if the role is within a certain type of organisation such as a hospital, prison or parliament).

If you have any questions about fees and funding, please make an appointment with a UWE Bristol Money Adviser.

Applying for student finance

You should follow the same process as normal for making an application via Student Finance informing them that you will be on a sandwich placement year.

Even if you've not been offered a placement, there is still time to secure one so when applying you can still advise that you plan on taking a placement year.

If you do not find a placement by end of August, you can then notify Student Finance by logging into the online portal (dependent on whether you're going via Student Finance England, Scotland or Wales) and updating your record. We also suggest you email the Placements Team at to confirm you will be continuing into your third year.

If you are on an unpaid placement that is eligible for the full maintenance loan, you may be asked for a ‘Type B Placement’ letter which the Placement Team can provide. 

Additional funding available during a placement

UWE Bristol Employability Bursary

UK students with a household income of less than £30,000 may be eligible to receive up to £1,000 via the UWE Bristol Employability Bursary during their placement.

If you're eligible, you will be contacted by Student Money Services once your placement is confirmed.

The Turing Scheme

The Turing Scheme is a UK Government's funding programme to help students take part in international opportunities across the world. Some students on overseas placements can receive funding via the scheme.

If you're eligible, you will be contacted by the University before you depart.


The majority of placements are paid and will attract a salary starting at £20,400 per year. The amount you will earn does vary significantly depending on the industry and location.

Unpaid placements

Some sectors, such as the charity sector and statutory services, may offer unpaid placements. The University doesn’t advertise these but will consider approving them on a case-by-case basis except for placements taken by students within the College of Business and Law (whose placement learning module states students must be in paid employment).

If you are considering undertaking an unpaid placement, you can check if your unpaid placement will entitle you to a full maintenance loan. It is essential you carefully consider how you will support yourself financially and check that the role description is clear to ensure that you'll be gaining worthwhile experience.

For support with budgeting and gaining financial confidence we recommend using Blackbullion.  


Council tax

You won't have to pay council tax during your placement year. This is because you are officially registered as a full-time student with UWE Bristol.

You must provide the local authority with a council tax exemption certificate which you can download from MYUWE (login required).

Taxable income

You may have to pay income tax and National Insurance (NI) on your earnings, depending on your salary level. Tax and NI will be deducted monthly from your salary in accordance with your personal tax code. Take your P45 and/or P60 (if you have them from previous jobs) with you when you start your placement to make sure you’re paying tax at the right rate.

You may also be interested in