If you’ve been living in the UK for at least three years before the start of your course, you might be able to get help with your living costs.
If you’ll be living and studying abroad as part of your UK course, you can still apply for student finance.
If you’ll be studying abroad for the majority of a term, you’ll get the abroad rate of Maintenance Loan for that term. The amount you can get will depend on your household income.
If you’ll be studying in certain countries (including China, Japan, and Russia) for a whole year of your course, you can ask to get your Maintenance Loan payments in one instalment.
If you’re studying abroad, you could also get a Travel Grant to help with extra costs.
Under the Erasmus+ scheme, you can study part of your degree in one of 32 countries across Europe. You’ll usually get an Erasmus+ grant from the European Commission, which helps towards your extra costs.
If you’re studying abroad for a full year, you’ll be charged a lower tuition fee. You should speak to your university or college for more information.
Studying for a full degree at an overseas university
If you’ll be studying a full degree at a university outside the UK, you won’t be able to get any support from Student Finance England. Funding for studying a degree abroad will be different depending on which country you’re planning to go to.
You should speak to the university or college you’re thinking of studying at to see if there is any funding you could get.
You might be able to get a Travel Grant if you’re attending a clinical placement in the UK, or studying abroad as part of your course. You usually have to pay the first £303 of your travel yourself, and the amount you can get depends on your household income. You don’t have to pay a Travel Grant back.
If you’re studying abroad for at least half of a term, you can apply for a Travel Grant. You can’t get a Travel Grant if you’re on a work placement abroad, unless you’re on the Erasmus+ scheme.
It covers reasonable travel costs during your academic year. You should use the most economic and practical form of travel, such as buying standard class tickets instead of first class tickets.
It can be used for things such as:
- necessary daily travel costs while abroad
- medical insurance
- necessary visas, vaccinations, or medical tests
If you're studying for a full academic year abroad, you can also get up to three return journeys between the UK and your placement.
You can apply for a grant to cover travel costs between your home and the hospital or facility where you're doing your placement. You won’t get be able to get a Travel Grant if you’re getting any income-assessed bursaries or support from the Department of Health.
How do I apply?
When you apply for student finance and tell Student Finance England you're studying abroad or on a clinical placement, they'll send you a form to fill in.
You can apply for a Travel Grant at any time during the academic year. Keep all receipts for any expenses you want to claim back – you’ll need to send photocopies of them to Student Finance England.
The money will be paid directly into your bank account.
There are many different routes into teaching, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and employment-based options. All loans, grants, and bursaries are subject to certain conditions, which you must meet to get funding.
Full-time Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, will get funding in the same way as other undergraduate degree programmes. This means you’ll be able to apply as a full-time student for student finance for fees and living costs in the same way as undergraduates on any other higher education course.
If you’re on a part-time programme, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan in the same way as students on any other eligible part-time course.
Postgraduate training bursaries
Postgraduate trainees starting ITT programmes in 2018/19 may be offered a bursary by the Department for Education (DfE). How much you can get depends on when your training starts and the subject. You should contact DfE for more information.
Previous study and ITT programmes
Previous study isn’t taken into account if you’re studying an ITT programme, as long as:
- you aren’t already qualified to teach in primary or secondary school
- the course isn’t longer than two academic years, or eight academic years if you’re studying part-time
- you don’t already hold Qualified Teacher Status, or Qualified Teaching and Learning Status
School Direct programmes
If you want qualifications and practical experience in teaching, you can apply to a School Direct programme. These are designed by groups of schools to allow you to get practical, hands-on training and education.
If you’re on an unsalaried School Direct programme, you’ll have to pay tuition fees, but you might be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan from Student Finance England to cover the cost. You might also be able to get a Maintenance Loan.
If you have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty, you might also be able to get extra help.
If you have a child or an adult who depends on you financially, there are grants available to help with any extra costs you might have. You may also be able to get extra help from the NHS through the Learning Support Fund – find out more.
Whether you can get student finance for your NHS course depends on your personal circumstances and your course.
Your nationality or residency status
Medicine and dentistry
If you’re studying an undergraduate medicine or dentistry course, you’ll get full funding from Student Finance England for the first four years of your course. From your fifth year, you’ll be able to get a reduced rate Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England, and a bursary from the NHS. Find out more.
Courses starting before 1 August 2017
If you're an NHS student who started a course before 1 August 2017, you may be able to get funding from the NHS and Student Finance England.
The NHS will pay your tuition fees.
If you’re studying a medical or dental course, and you are eligible, the NHS will pay your tuition fee contribution up to a set maximum amount from your fifth year, or your second year if you’re studying a graduate entry course. You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from Student Finance England to help pay for the earlier years of your course. Find out more.
- Grant – the NHS will give you a grant that doesn't depend on your household income. The amount you get will depend on your course intensity. This doesn’t need to be paid back.
- Bursary – you’ll be assessed for an NHS bursary. The amount you get will depend your household income and where you study. This doesn’t need to be paid back.
- Extra help – you may be able to get extra help from the NHS if:
- your course is longer than 30 weeks and three days
- you have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty
- you have children or an adult who depends on you financially
- you have extra costs because of travel and accommodation as part of your placement
Funding from Student Finance England
If you’re eligible for income-assessed funding from the NHS, Local Education and Training Board (LETB), or Local Ambulance Service Trust, you can also apply for a reduced rate Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England. The amount you can get depends on where you’re living and studying. This will need to be repaid.
If you have been in the care of, or have been given accommodation by, your local authority (LA) for at least 13 weeks before the age of 16, you could apply for student finance as a care leaver. This means Student Finance England won't take your parents' income into account when they're working out how much you can get.
If you have reconciled with your parents between leaving care and starting your course, you should apply for student finance that is based on your parents’ income.
You’ll need to send Student Finance England evidence showing you were looked after by, or were given accommodation by, your LA. Usually, you’ll be asked to send a letter from your local council or care authority. This letter should confirm that you were under the care of your LA, have now left the care of the LA, and are a care leaver as defined in the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.
You’ll only have to provide this evidence once, at the start of your course. If you can’t provide this evidence, you should contact Student Finance England to discuss your individual circumstances.
What funding can I get?
You can apply for the same support as other students, but your application won’t be based on your parents’ income.You’re also likely to get additional support from the LA that was responsible for your care. You can find more information about applying for student finance as a care leaver on Propel's website.