Funding for part-time students

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From September 2012, the UK Government will provide non-means tested loans to cover the 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 (unless you are studying on certain science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) programmes and are from England or Wales). Additionally, 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 programmes are eligible for an undergraduate part-time Tuition Fee Loan.  Further courses may be added over time:

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

  • Foundation Degree Professional Golf Studies
  • Advanced Certificate Golf Coaching (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 (Webautism)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Education of Leaners with Multi-Sensory Impairment (Deafness and Visual Impairment)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Autism (Adults/Children)
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Inclusion and Special Educational Needs
  • Advanced Certificate/BPhil Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • Advanced Certificate Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

Please note: Students who transfer from the Advanced Certificate onto the BPhil in the School of Education are only entitled to receive the loan if they have not accepted the Advanced Certificate qualification.

Students from Wales

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

Students that commenced their studies prior to September 2014 can apply for the following means-tested support:

  • Up to £1,025 non-repayable Fee Grant (linked to intensity of the programme and household income, 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, again based on the intensity of the programme and household income, paid directly into your account)

Further information and applications are available via Student Finance Wales.

Students from Northern Ireland 

Students from Northern Ireland, regardless of when their course began, can apply for: 

  • Up to £1,230 non-repayable Fee Grant (linked to intensity of the programme and household income, and paid direct to the University)
  • A Tuition Fee Loan is also available as a top-up to the above
  • Up to £265 non-repayable Course Grant (to cover the cost of books, travel and other course-related expenses, paid directly into your account)

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.

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

When and how should I apply?

New and continuing English UG part-time students who began their course after 1 September 2012 can apply for finance on-line via the website.

New and continuing EU UG part-time students who began their course after 1 September 2012 need to complete either a EUPTL1 paper application form or a EUPTLC paper application form respectively. 

Continuing UK and EU students, who started their course before 1 September 2012, may be entitled to a Fee Grant and Course Grant, and should check the website for advice and guidance.  Such students are likely to have up to nine months from the start of their course to make an application.

The University's Provider Reference Number is 10006840.

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 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 website.

Is there any maintenance support available?

Unfortunately, there will be no financial support available from the Government to assist most part-time undergraduates with their living expenses in 2017/18. You should therefore ensure that you have sufficient income/savings to pay for your day-to-day living costs.  However, students with children or adult dependants from Wales also may qualify for dependants' grants and childcare support.  Such students should check Student Finance Wales for details.

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