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Funding for Undergraduate Students

Plus Icon Loans from Student Finance England for Full-Time Study (2020/21)

Tuition Fee Loan

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

Maintenance Loan

The Maintenance Loan is for help with living costs, like accommodation, food, travel and leisure. Over half the loan is income assessed. The maximum amount for most students is £9,203 for students living away from their parents’ home, or £7,747 for students living at home. This 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, and 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 2018/19 tax year is used when calculating the rate of Maintenance Loan. If this has reduced by 15% or more in the current tax year (20/21) then the Maintenance Loan can be based on this income. See Current Year Income Form 20/21 for more information.

Students under 60 can get at least £3,410 which is the minimum for a student living at home. The maximum loan for students over 60 years old is £3,893 and all of the loan is income-assessed.

Students who are entitled to benefits while studying can take out up to £10,490 if they are living away from home, or £9,140 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

Maintenance Loans for Placement

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: £2,090
  • Away from home:
    • In London - £3,914;
    • Outside London - £2,788

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 his 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.

Study Abroad

If you are studying abroad you can get the Maintenance Loan at a higher rate of up to £10,539 and could also be entitled to a travel grant, depending on your parent or partner’s household income.

If your placement year is a part of the Erasmus+ scheme, then in addition to your student loan and travel grant you could get an Erasmus+ grant which is paid monthly.
See our Erasmus Exchange webpage for more information.

Repayment of Loans

Students will only start repaying their student loan the April after they have left or completed their course and are earning a salary over £26,575. They will repay 9% of earnings over this threshold, and any loan remaining after 30 years is written off. See Student Loan Repayment for more information.

Plus Icon Full-Time Students with Dependants (2020/21)

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

Parents' Learning Allowance

This is to help with course-related costs if a student has dependent children. They can get up to £1,766 a year depending on their income.

See Parents' Learning Allowance for more information.

Childcare Grant
This will help with childcare costs for dependent 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 £174.22 per week for one child only, or £298.69 per week for two or more children.

See Childcare Grant for more information.

Adult Dependants' Grant
The grant of up to £3,094 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.

Plus Icon Full-Time Funding for students from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the EU (2020/21)

Students from Scotland

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 Students Bursary of up to £1000 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

Students from Wales

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 £9,810 a year if studying at Leeds Beckett. The money for living costs is made up 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 Wales

Students from Northern Ireland

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 NI

Students from the EU

Most full-time undergraduate European Union students can take out a Tuition Fee Loan to pay their fees. Part-time undergraduate European Union students can also take out a loan for tuition fees if their course started in September 2012 or later.

Some EU students may be eligible for living cost support too:

  • If they are resident in England and have lived in the UK for five years or more before the start of their course (three years for students from the Republic of Ireland.)
  • If they, or a family member, are a migrant worker from the EEA or Switzerland
  • If they are settled in the UK because they have acquired the right of permanent residence.
  • If they are the child of a Swiss National; or they are the child of a 'Turkish worker'

For more information see the Gov.UK website.

Plus Icon Funding for Part-Time Students

Tuition Fee Loan

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 a pre-registration Healthcare courses)

Maintenance Loan

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 1st 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. (£4,601.50 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 are Assessed and Paid.

Plus Icon 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.

Plus Icon Care Leavers
Local Authority Care Leavers' Bursary

Care Leavers who start a full-time course before their 25th birthday may be entitled to a £2000 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 Estarnged Student Bursary. See Care Leavers & 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

Plus Icon Carers

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 dependent 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 continue to claim Carer's Allowance.

Carer's Credits                                                                                                  

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 Turn2Us.        

Leeds Beckett Primary Carers Bursary
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.

Plus Icon Estranged Students
Most students under 25 who are entering Higher Education are considered to be ‘dependent’ 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.

Full-time students who have been assessed as estranged may be eligible for the University's Care Leavers and Estranged Student Bursary. See Care Leavers & Estranged Students Bursary for details.

If you need help proving estrangement, you can contact our Money Advice Team & arrange an appointment with one of our Money Advisers.

Plus Icon Healthcare Courses

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 Gov.UK.

IIn addition to this main funding, 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.

Plus Icon Social Work Bursary

A undergraduate bursary of £4,862.50 (outside London) is available in the second and third year of the Social Work BA (Hons). 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 (2019/20 figures). 

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

For more information about the bursary see the NHSBSA website.

Loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries are available for undergraduate students from England.


This page was last modified: 14/04/2021

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