Funding for part-time students

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From September 2012, the UK Government will provide non-means tested loans to cover the full cost of part-time tuition for all eligible English resident or non UK EU undergraduates. See below for details about eligibility and how to apply. 

Eligibility criteria 

 

In order to be eligible, you must have commenced your studies in September 2012 (or later) and  not hold a qualification equal to or higher than the one you’re studying for. If you’ve already received student finance for part of a course that you didn’t complete you’ll only be able to receive finance for the number of years of your course, less the number of years you’ve already had funding for.

You must maintain 25% intensity of a full-time undergraduate equivalent programme during your studies. This means you must study at least 30 credits per academic year.

You must also be resident in England for the duration of any part-time distance learning programme to qualify for financial support from Student Finance England including EU support.

The following University of Birmingham part-time undergraduate programmes will be eligible for a tuition fee loan in 2014-15:

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

  • Foundation Degree Professional Golf Studies (Distance Learning)
  • Foundation Degree Professional Golf Studies (Tour Player)
  • Advanced Certificate Golf Coaching

 School of Chemical Engineering

  • Certificate in Higher Education Food Safety & Food Legislation

  School of Education

  • University Certificate Autism Spectrum Disorders (Web Autism)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Autism (Adult/Child)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Inclusion & Special Educational Needs
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Multi-Sensory Impairment (Deaf/Blindness)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Social, Emotional & Behavioral Difficulties
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Severe, Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulties
  •  Advanced Certificate/BPhil International Studies in Education
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil International Studies in Education (Management & Policy)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil International Studies in Education (Citizenship Education)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil International Studies in Education (Inter-cultural Communication)  
  • BPhil Hearing Impairment (Children/Adult)
  • BPhil Education of Children with a Visual Impairment (Mandatory/Non-mandatory)

Please note: Students who transfer from the Advanced Certificate onto the BPhil are entitled to receive the loan only if they haven’t accepted the Advanced Certificate qualification.

Students from Wales

If you are starting a part time course after 1 September 2014 you will be elibility to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from Student Finance Wales which will be paid directly to your University.

Continuing students can apply for the following means-tested support:

  • Up to £1,025 non-repayable Fee Grant (linked to intensity of the the programme and paid direct to the University)
  • Up to £1,155 non-repayable Course Grant (to cover the cost of books, travel and other course-related expenses, paid directly into your account)

Further information and applications are available via Student Finance Wales.

Students from Northern Ireland 

Support for part-time students from Northern Ireland has not yet been announced. 

In 2013-14 students could apply for: 

  • Up to £1,230 non-repayable Fee Grant (linked to intensity of the the programme and paid direct to the University)
  • Up to £265 non-repayable Course Grant (to cover the cost of books, travel and other course-related expenses, paid directly into your acount)

Further details are available on the Student Finance NI website.

Students from Scotland

Unfortunately, financial support is not available to part-time Scottish students who choose to study outside Scotland. Contact the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for more information.

Students may wish to consider a Professional and Career Development Loan as an alternative funding option.

When and how should I apply?

New EU part-time students need to complete a EUPTL1 paper application form. New English part-time students can either apply on-line or complete a PTL1 paper application form via the gov.uk website; these forms are available now.

Continuing EU part-time students, who started their course after 1 September 2012, need to complete a EUPTLC paper application form. Continuing English part-time students can either apply on-line or complete a PTLC paper application form via gov.uk, these forms are available now.

Continuing UK and EU students, who started their course before 1 September 2012, may be entitled to a Fee Grant and Course Grant, application for the grants will be able in the summer of 2014. 

Do the loans gain interest?

From the date the University receives payment of the loan, it will accrue interest at the rate of inflation plus 3%. Once you have graduated, or otherwise left the University, you will be charged interest at:

  • the rate of inflation (if you are earning less than £21,000)
  • the rate of inflation plus up to 3% (if you are earning between £21,001 and £41,000)
  • the rate of inflation plus 3% (if you are earning above £41,000)

For further information about interest rates on student loans, please visit the repayment web pages on the gov.uk website.

Will the loans be repaid? 

You will only start repaying your loan in the April after you leave University, are in work and earning over £21,000 per year. Repayments will be 9% of income above this threshold so the amount repaid each month will depend on your earnings. If for any reason your income falls below £21,000, your repayments will be suspended.

The repayment process is simple, as it will be deducted automatically from your pay through the tax system (PAYE). If you have not paid off your loan after 30 years, all outstanding repayments will be written off. For further information on the repayment process, please visit the repayment web pages on the gov.uk website.

Please note repayment will not commence until 2016.

Is there any maintenance support available?

Unfortunately, there will be no financial support available from the Government to assist part-time undergraduates with their living expenses. You may however be eligible to apply for the Access to Learning Fund.

If you have disability, you may be eligible for additional support from Disabled Students' Allowance.