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Funding for part-time higher education courses

Part-time students can also apply for loans to help with the cost of studying

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This information is for students from England only. Students from Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland studying in the UK have their own separate funding arrangements.

Part-time students from England, studying for their first degree or other designated higher education course will have access to student loans for tuition fees and living costs if they are studying at least 25% of a full-time course. 

The student loan for tuition fees will cover the full cost of the tuition fees for each year of the course. The student loan for living costs will vary depending on the intensity of study when compared to an equivalent full-time course. Note the student loan for living costs is not currently available for distance learning courses, but the government is considering introducing this for new students in the 2019/2020 academic year.

Getting help sorting out the funding

If you are already in work, the human resources or personnel section at your place of work may be able to help in providing some of the information you require.

Key questions to ask your employer will include:

  • Will my employer provide financial support towards my course?
  • What other support will my employer provide - for example time off for study?

Many colleges and universities have a Student Services Centre; they are a good source of information for people making enquiries about courses and financial support available.

The funding arrangements for part-time students studying in higher education.

Part-time students will start to pay back their loan when they are earning more than £25,725 a year.

They will then pay back 9% of their income each month, above £25,725 a year.

Any outstanding debt will be wiped out after 30 years.

It will still be possible to pay university fees up front in order to avoid accruing any debt. If you choose to take out a student loan you can choose to pay back all or some of the loan at anytime without an early repayment charge.

View information about funding for higher education.

Some part-time students may be entitled to government benefits whilst they are studying, find out more.

Find out about financial support for childcare when studying.

Part-time students who are eligible might also be able to claim Disabled Students Allowances (DSA)

View further information about the financial support available for part-time study

For information about fees and how to pay for an Open University course.


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