Funding for undergraduate students

Page last updated:
02 Dec 2021

If you're a full or part-time undergraduate student there may be different loans, grants and bursaries available to you.

In this page you'll find information about different funding options and eligibility criteria.

Loans from Student Finance England for full-time study (2022/23)

The Maintenance Loan is for help with living costs, like accommodation, food, travel and leisure. Over half the loan is income-assessed. For the next academic year in 2022/23, the maximum amount for most students will be £9,706 for students living away from their parents’ home or £8,171 for students living at home. The awards are reduced in the final year of study to £9,179 away from home rate and £7,689 parental home rate.

This loan is paid directly to the student at the start of each term.

Usually students under 25 have their Maintenance Loan assessed on their parents’ income. In some cases, however, a student may be classed as independent, so their parents’ income will not be taken into account. If a student is 25 or over and has a partner, or if they are married, their partner’s income will be taken into account instead. See the UCAS website for who may be classed as an independent student.

Household income from the 2020/21 tax year will be used when calculating the rate of Maintenance Loan for the 2022/23 awards.  If this income reduces by 15% or more in that 2022/23 tax year, then the Maintenance Loan can be based on this income during that academic year. 

If during the current 2021/22 academic year the income reduces by this 15% rate then a review can be sought now  See Current Year Income Form 21/22 for more information.  

The maximum loan for students over 60 years old in 2022/23 will be £4,106, and all of the loan is income-assessed.

Students who are entitled to benefits while studying can take out up to £11,064 if they are living away from home, or £9,640 if they are living at home.

For a list of scenarios where a full-time student is entitled to benefits, see Turn2Us.

For more information about student funding, see our booklet Student Funding 2020/21

If you are doing a sandwich course that includes a placement year, either paid or unpaid, you can apply for a reduced rate Maintenance Loan for that placement year as well as the Tuition Fee Loan (if needed).

The amount of the Maintenance Loan varies depending on where you are living during your placement year, and it isn’t income-assessed.

At home: £2,205

Away from home:

Outside London (most likely for those living away) – £2,940

In London – £4,128

Some students can get the full Maintenance Loan if they are doing ‘unpaid service’ in:

a hospital or in a public health service laboratory or with a Clinical Commissioning Group in the UK;

with a local authority in the UK acting in the exercise of its functions relating to the care of children and young persons, health or welfare, or with a voluntary organisation providing facilities or carrying out activities of a like nature in the UK or a local authority acting in the exercise of public health functions;

in the prison or probation and aftercare service in the UK;

in an institution in the UK (including Parliament) or, in the case of a student attending an overseas institution as part of their course, in an overseas institution;

with a Special Health Authority, the National Health Service Commissioning Board, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, Local Health Board, Health Board, Special Health Board or Health and Social Services Board in England or Wales, or their Scottish or Northern Irish equivalents.

If you are studying abroad, you can get the Maintenance Loan at a higher rate of up to £12,374 and could also be entitled to a travel grant, depending on your parents’ or partner’s household income.

For UK students, the Erasmus+ Scheme is being replaced with the Turing Scheme, the new programme to study and work abroad. For more details consult the Turing Scheme web page.

Students will only start repaying their student loan the April after they have left or completed their course, and are earning a salary over £27,288 (before tax and other deductions). They will repay 9% of earnings over this threshold, and any loan remaining after 30 years is written off. See the Student Loan Repayment web page for more information.

The Tuition Fee Loan is not income-assessed, so you can borrow up to £9,250. This will cover your tuition fees in full and is paid directly to our university at the start of each term.

Full-Time Students with dependants (2022/23)

Students with a child or adult dependant may be eligible for for additional financial support.

This is to help with course-related costs if a student has dependant children. In 2022/23 they can get up to £1,863 a year depending on their income.

See Parents' Learning Allowance for more information

This will help with childcare costs for dependant children aged under 15 at the beginning of the academic year – or under 17 if they have special educational needs – in registered or approved childcare. The grant is based on 85% of actual childcare costs, with a maximum grant of £183.75 per week for one child only, or £315.03 per week for two or more children in 2022/23.

See Childcare grant for more information.

The grant of up to £3,263 a year should help any student who has an adult who depends on them financially. The amount the student can receive depends on their income and the income of their husband, wife or partner and that of any dependants.

See Adult Dependants' Grant for more information.

Full-time funding for students from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the EU (2021/22)

Full-time undergraduate students from Scotland studying in England can apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 per year and either a Young Student’s Bursary of up to £2,000 and a loan for living costs of up to £5,750 if you are under 25 years old, or an Independent Student’s Bursary of up to £1,000 and a loan of up to £6,750 if you are over 25 or independent for another reason.

How much loan and bursary you can get depends on you or your parents’ household income.

There are also grants for students with dependants and / or a disability.

For more information see Student Awards Agency Scotland.

Full-time undergraduate students from Wales can apply to Student Finance Wales (SFW) for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250. They can also get help towards living costs of up to £10,350 a year if studying at Leeds Beckett. The money for living costs is made up of grant and loan depending on household income with the grant proportion varying from £1,000 to £8,100 in the 2021/22 academic year.

There are also grants for students with dependants and / or a disability.

For more information see Student Finance Wales.

Full-time undergraduate students from Northern Ireland can apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI) for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250. They can also get help towards living costs of up to £6,428 as a mixture of grant and loan depending on household income.

There are also grants for students with dependants and / or a disability.

For more information see Student Finance Northern Ireland.

Students on existing courses should be able to maintain the funding package they currently receive unless there is a change in course or other change in circumstances.

For EU students beginning a course from 2021/22 they may be able to obtain both Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan support if they have Settled or Pre-Settled Status and meet the residency requirements.

EU funding in relation to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is subject to ongoing review and is highly complex so we recommend speaking to a student money adviser if wanting to find out more about eligibility for student funding.

Similarly, there are other categories, such as migrant workers or refugees who can, if meeting certain criteria, be eligible for student funding. Given the variables involved and complexity of the rules we again recommend speaking to Student Money Advice.

For more information, see the website.

Funding for part-time students

In addition to the Tuition Fee Loan, part-time degree students or degree students who have transferred from a full-time course on or after 1 September 2018, can apply for a Maintenance Loan to help with living costs. How much loan you can take out depends on your ‘intensity’ of study.

For example, if you are studying at 50% intensity (usually 60 credit points) then you can take out 50% of the maximum loan (£4,853 in 2022/23 if you are living away from your parents’ home). Part of the loan is income-assessed based on parents’ or partner’s income.

For information about eligibility and how to apply, read page 26 of the SFE Guide – How You're Assessed and Paid.

Students studying part-time at 25% or more of the equivalent full-time course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from Student Finance England. Students need to meet the residency rules which include students who are EU nationals. Previous study does not affect entitlement unless students will be studying for a qualification which is equivalent to, or lower than, one they already hold (ELQ). (There are exceptions to the ELQ rule for students studying for certain engineering, technology, computer science, agriculture and related subjects, biological sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences, veterinary sciences or pre-registration healthcare courses; please consult a student money adviser if unsure about a particular course.)

Distance learners

Students studying an undergraduate distance learning course, who are studying at least 25% of the equivalent of a full-time course, can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan.

Disabled students who are taking a full-time course that normally requires attendance by distance learning, or who are taking a full-time distance learning course, because they are unable to attend the course for a reason relating to their disability, are also eligible to apply for the Maintenance Loan, Grants for Dependants and Disabled Students’ Allowances.

Other disabled students who do not fit into the categories above can still apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances in addition to the Tuition Fee Loan.


People who receive Carer’s Allowance are automatically awarded National Insurance credits, without the need to be in employment. These count towards some entitlements like the state pension. If you have paid National Insurance contributions for the full 35 years, then you are eligible for the full rate of state pension when you retire.

Students who are not entitled to Carer’s Allowance can claim Carer’s Credits instead. You will not receive a payment, but this allows your National Insurance contributions to continue whilst you study, as long as you continue in your caring role.

For more information about this and how to apply, see the Government web page or independent information from Turn2Us.

You are a carer if you care for a family member or a friend who is suffering from an illness, addiction or has a disability.

If the person you care for is an adult who is dependant on you financially and you are studying full-time, you could be eligible for an Adult Dependants’ Grant from Student Finance England.

Full-time students are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, but if you have extra costs because you are a carer then apply to the Leeds Beckett Hardship Fund. If you are studying part-time you can usually continue to claim Carer’s Allowance.

Care leavers

Care leavers who start a full-time course before their 25th birthday may be entitled to a £2,000 bursary from their local authority. In England, care leavers can get support from their local authority up to the age of 21. Some care leavers over 21 and under 25 can also get some support if they are still being helped by their local authority with an agreed programme of education or training.

To apply, students should contact their pathway planner at their local authority. This is not part of the student finance package provided by Student Finance England and it is disregarded when calculating student grants and loans.

Care leavers studying full-time may also be eligible for the Leeds Beckett Care Leavers and Estranged Student Bursary. See Care Leavers and Estranged Students Bursary for more information.

If you have been looked after by a local authority it is important to let Student Finance England or your national funding provider know, so that you can be considered as an independent student. They will require a copy of a letter from your local authority or social worker confirming that you have been in local authority care. This will ensure that you are income-assessed in your own right.

Propel is a useful website for care leavers, produced by the Who Cares? Trust.

The bursary is intended to assist full-time undergraduate students who have responsibility as primary carer for a dependant adult that will continue whilst they are studying. See Primary Carers Bursary for details.

You can also get free confidential support and advice from Carers Leeds.

Estranged students

Full-time students who have been assessed as estranged may be eligible for our university’s Care Leavers and Estranged Students Bursary. See Care Leavers and Estranged Students Bursary for details.

If you need help proving estrangement, you can contact our Money Advice team and arrange an appointment with one of our money advisers.

Most students under 25 who are entering higher education are considered to be ‘dependant’ on their families. However, if you have a permanent lack of contact with your parents, you could be considered estranged. If this is the case, Student Finance England will ask you to provide evidence that you are estranged from your family in order for your Maintenance Loan to be assessed against your own income. For more information, see the Stand Alone website.

Healthcare courses

In addition to this main funding from Student Finance, students will be able to get extra help through the Learning Support Fund, which includes support through:

Training Grant – £5,000 per academic year

Parental Support – £2,000 for students who have parental responsibility for children under 15 years or under 17 years if they are registered as requiring special educational needs

Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses – reimbursement for costs incurred over and above daily travel costs related to essential practice placement

Exceptional Support Fund – up to £3,000 available for students who are facing severe hardship

More information is available at NHSBSA Learning Support Fund.

Students studying a pre-registration healthcare course will be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England. Additional funding will be available for students with dependants, childcare costs and a disability.

If you have studied in higher education before, that will not affect your entitlement to this funding if you are studying a healthcare course. See NHSBSA for a list of eligible healthcare courses. Apply for funding at

Social work courses

An undergraduate bursary of (outside London) is available in the second and third year of the Social Work BA (Hons) £4,862.50 (2020/21 figures).

The bursary is not means-tested and will be paid in addition to all the full-time student support available from Student Finance England.

Social work students on placement can get help with their travel costs. If you are getting the Social Work Bursary then an allowance for travel costs is included in the bursary. If you are not getting the bursary, then you could apply for a Placement Travel Allowance of up to £862.50 (2020/21 figures).

See our Postgraduate funding pages for details of the postgraduate Social Work Bursary.

For more information about the bursary, see the NHSBSA website.

Contact money advice

We offer advice about student funding, benefits, budgeting and debt, over the phone and at appointments. We run a Money Advice Line on 0113 812 5593. It is open Monday to Thursday between 10:00 and 12:00.

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