Lots of students from overseas choose to study in the UK, and could be eligible for student finance. Content provided by Student Finance England.

If you’re a new student starting a part-time course on or after 1 August 2018, you can also get help with your living costs if you’ve been living in the UK for at least five years before the start of your course.

If you’re a UK national or Irish citizen, settled under the EU settlement scheme or have been granted indefinite leave to remain for other reasons, you could qualify for a Tuition Fee Loanand get help with your living costs.

COVID-19 update

In 2021/22, if your course will mostly involve studying online rather than attending classes on site at your uni or college, you’ll still be entitled to student finance.

If you’re unable to be in the UK at the start of the academic year, you’ll still be eligible for student finance. Your tuition fee loan will be paid to your uni or college each term when they confirm your attendance, even if you’ve been studying online from abroad.

This exception has only been put in place due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, you should travel to the UK to attend your course once it is safe to do so.

What's available?

If you’re an EU national studying part-time in England, you might be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan to cover your tuition fees.

How much you can get depends on:

  • how much your university or college charges
  • when you started your course

You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £6,935 if you're studying at an eligible uni or college.

You have to pay back any loans you borrow, but not until you’ve finished or left your course, and your income is over the repayment threshold.

Course intensity

Course intensity is how long it takes to complete a part-time course, compared to the equivalent full-time course.

You must be studying at an intensity of at least 25% to be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan.

This is worked out by taking the number of part-time units you’ll be studying in the academic year, and dividing it by the number of units you would complete in one academic year if you were studying your course full-time. For example, 60 part-time units divided by 120 full-time units, multiplied by 100, equals 50% course intensity.


You can apply for tuition fee funding if you’ve been living in the UK, the EEA, Gibraltar or Switzerland for the past three years and you have:

  • pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and are an EU national or a family member of an EU national
  • pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and are a family member of an Irish citizen or Person of Northern Ireland
  • Gibraltarian status as an EU national
  • been living in Gibraltar as a UK national
  • been living in the UK on the first day of the first term of your course, unless you're prevented from travelling due to COVID-19 restrictions

You can also apply if you’ve been living in the UK or Ireland for the past three years (with part of that time spent in Ireland) and have Irish citizenship.

You will not be eligible for funding to help with living costs.

Your course must lead to a recognised higher education qualification. The most common examples include:

  • first degree (such as a BSc, BA, or BEd)
  • foundation degree
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • integrated master’s

If you’re not sure whether your course qualifies, you should check with your university or college.

If you've studied before

You can usually only get student finance for your first higher education course. If you’ve already studied a higher education course, you might not get help for a second.

You can have a maximum of 16 years of part-time funding. 

If you haven’t got enough years of funding left to cover your course, you’ll usually have to cover some of the cost yourself.

Your university or college

You must be studying at an eligible university or college in England.

How it's paid

You need to register at your uni or college before Student Finance England can make your first payment. You’ll usually do this in the first week of your course, and you may have to take your Student Finance Entitlement letter with you.

Student Finance England will pay your Tuition Fee Loan or fee grant directly to your university or college in three instalments during the academic year.

When are payments made to your uni or college? How much is paid to your uni or college?
At the start of term one 25% of the tuition fee
At the start of term two 25% of the tuition fee
At the start of term three 50% of the tuition fee

Find out how to apply