Finance for part-time tuition fee only students

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

Part-time student finance applications for academic year 2024 to 2025 are now open, apply now!

What's available?

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 Loan and get help with your living costs.

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 only funding if you’ve been living in the UK, the EEA, Overseas Territories or Switzerland for the past 3 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
  • Gibraltarian status as an EU national or family member of a EU national
  • been living in the UK on the first day of the first term of your course
  • British Citizenship and are a person of Chagossian descent 

You may also be able to apply for tuition fee only funding if you're the:

  • family member of a person with settled status in the UK
  • family member of a Person of Northern Ireland 
  • family member of an Irish Citizen

You must have been living in the UK and Islands for the past 3 years and your family member is resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course.

UK nationals and their family members who are resident in Gibraltar and lived in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA or Switzerland can also apply for tuition fee funding

You can also apply if you have Irish Citizenship and have been living in any of the following for the past 3 years: 

  • the UK and/or Ireland
  • the UK, Islands and/or specified British Overseas Territories  
  • the UK, the EEA, Switzerland or the Overseas Territories

You may be able to prove this status with an EUSS share code. You will not be eligible for funding to help with living costs.

Your course

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

You could also be eligible for funding if you’re studying a Level 4 or 5 qualification with HTQ approval e.g., Certificate, Diploma or NVQ. To find out if your course is HTQ approved and qualifies for undergraduate student finance, speak to your university or college. 

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.

You’ll also need a National Insurance number to apply. If you don’t have one yet, you can apply for one online.

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