Part-time – Eligibility and support for students

Eligibility and financial support available to new and continuing part-time students

Find out about a student’s eligibility for support and the financial support available.

Eligibility

To decide whether a student is eligible for finance, we consider:

Where they live

A student will be eligible if they:

  • are a UK national or have settled status (that is, no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK);
  • are ordinarily resident in England
  • have been living in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the first Academic year of the course.

They might still be able to apply if they’re:

  • an EU national, or a family member of one;
  • a refugee, or a family member  of one;
  • under Humanitarian Protection, or a family member of someone with Humanitarian Protection;
  • an EEA/Swiss migrant worker, or a family member of one;
  • the child of a Swiss national; or
  • the child of a Turkish worker.

Any previous study

Generally, students won’t normally be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan if they already hold a qualification equal to or higher than the one they are going to study for.

However, if a student has previously studied but not completed their course, they may be eligible to get up to a maximum of 16 years support (minus the years of support already received) based on a course intensity of 25%.

Students who already hold an Honours degree or higher level of qualification and start a part-time Honours degree in academic year 2015/2016 or later, in engineering, technology or computer science, will be exempt from the previous study rules. If the course is a joint Honours degree, then both subjects must be within these disciplines. These students will be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan for up to 16 years based on a course intensity of 25%.

Their course

The course will be designated and eligible for part-time undergraduate support if it leads to one of the following qualifications:

  • a first degree (BA, BSc, etc.);
  • the Diploma of Higher Education (Dip HE);
  • the Higher National Diploma or Certificate (HND / HNC), or one at the same level which does not require a first degree for entry;
  • the initial training of teachers (ITT). This includes postgraduate courses such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE);
  • a professional examination above GCE "A" Level or Scottish Highers level.
  • an undergraduate course awarded by a degree awarding body. The course must be above the level of an A-level and must not require a first degree (or equivalent qualification) in order to enter it.

Their university or college

A student must be attending a part time undergraduate course at a UK university or college which is either:

  • publicly funded (paid for by the government)
  • privately funded but running individual courses that receive public funding.
  • wholly privately funded.

Financial support available

The type of financial support available depends on when the student started their course:

EU students, irrespective of when they started their course, can only apply for tuition fee support.

Started before 1st September 2012

There are three types of support available:

  • Fee Grant
  • Course Grant
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

Fee Grant

A student can apply for a Fee Grant to pay for their tuition fees.

How much they get is dependent on their:

  • course intensity; and
  • household income.

Course Intensity

To be eligible for Fee Grant a student must be studying at least 50% of the equivalent full-time course for the year. This is measured by the number of part-time units (such as credits, credit points or modules) they're studying.

This can be calculated by the following:

  • Part-Time Units ÷ Full-Time Units x 100 = Part-Time %

This table sets out the maximum Fee Grant a student can receive based on their course intensity.

Course intensityMaximum Fee Grant available
50%-59% £855
60%-74% £1,025
75% or more £1,285

*based on a single student with no dependants

The Fee Grant doesn't need to be paid back.

More information is available in the Grants for part-time study 2016/17.

Course Grant

A Course Grant of up to £280 may be available to a student. This is intended to help with course related costs such as books and travel.

How much a student can receive is based on their income and that of their partner, if they have one.

Household Income*Course Grant
Less than £26,030 Maximum Course Grant of £280
£26,030 to £28,065 Partial Course Grant (at least £50)**
More than £28,066 No Course Grant

*based on a single student with no dependants

**the amount of Course Grant decreases by £1 for every £8.84 of income above £26,030.

The Course Grant doesn't need to be paid back.

More information is available in the Grants for part-time study 2016/17.

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

Part-time students with a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, may be able to get extra help through Disabled Students' Allowances.

These consist of several allowances:

  • up to £15,543 for a non-medical personal helper (annually)
  • up to £5,212 for specialist equipment (course duration)
  • up to £1,305 for other disability related expenditure (annually)

DSAs don't need to be paid back. More information is available in Extra help - Disabled Students' Allowances 2016/17.

Started on or after 1st September 2012

There are two types of support available:

  • Tuition Fee Loan
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

Tuition Fee Loan

A student can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to pay for their tuition fees. This can be up to:

  • £6,750 if they're at a publicly funded university or college
  • £4,500 if they're at a wholly privately funded university or college

The Tuition Fee Loan can't be more than the actual fee charged by the university or college. If the fee charge is more than the Tuition Fee Loan available, then the student will have to fund the difference (this may be the case for a wholly privately funded university or college).

To be eligible for the Tuition Fee Loan a student must be studying at least 25% of the equivalent full-time course for the year. This is measured by the number of part-time units (such as credits, credit points or modules) they are studying.

This can be calculated by the following:

  • Part-Time Units ÷ Full-Time Units x 100 = Part-Time %

The Tuition Fee Loan isn't based on household income and is repayable.

More information is available in the Loans for part-time study 2016/17.

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

Part-time students with a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, may be able to get extra help through Disabled Students' Allowances.

These consist of several allowances:

  • up to £15,543 for a non-medical personal helper (annually)
  • up to £5,212 for specialist equipment (course duration)
  • up to £1,305 for other disability related expenditure (annually)

DSAs don't need to be paid back. More information is available in Extra help - Disabled Students' Allowances 2016/17.

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