Fees can vary quite a bit – even for similar courses. You’ll be able to see exactly how much they are when you search for courses, but you can get an approximate idea from the table below. Then we’ll explain how to get a student loan to cover your tuition fees and living costs, and what additional funding might be available.
How much are tuition fees?
|Student's home region||Studying in England||Studying in Scotland||Studying in Wales||Studying in Northern Ireland (2016*)|
|England||Up to £9,250||Up to £9,250||Up to £9,000||Up to £9,250|
|Scotland||Up to £9,250||No fee||Up to £9,000||Up to £9,250|
|Wales||Up to £9,250||Up to £9,250||Up to £4,046||Up to £9,250|
|Northern Ireland||Up to £9,250||Up to £9,250||Up to £9,000||Up to £3,925|
|EU||Up to £9,250||No fee||Up to £4,046||Up to £3,925|
*2017 fee levels for Northern Ireland are yet to be confirmed. The table displays the Northern Ireland fee levels for 2016.
Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
The Government has introduced the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – this gives information about universities and colleges, to help applicants decide where to study. This applies to all new applicants for courses starting from September 2017, and existing students that started their studies after 1 September 2012.
Universities and colleges that achieve TEF awards are able to increase their fees in line with inflation. This means that, for 2017 entry, universities and colleges can charge fees of up to £9,250. Tuition fee loans will also increase with inflation. The Welsh Government has maintained the fee cap of £9,000 for students studying in Wales.
Studying a second degree, or another ‘equivalent or lower qualification’ (ELQ)?
Tuition fees may be higher and you might not be able to get the same financial support.
What financial help can you get?
- Tuition fee loans lend you up to £9,250 (or up to £6,165 for a private course provider), paid directly to the course provider, and you won’t have to pay it back until after your course, when you’re earning above a certain level.
- Maintenance loans can be applied for at the same time, lending you money at the start of each term (or monthly in Scotland). How much you get depends on your household income, where you study, where you live and how long for.
- In 2016, maintenance grants were replaced with loans for new full-time students in England. The student finance package includes a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan. Students can still apply for grants if they’re eligible for certain benefits, disabled, or need help with childcare costs. Read our blog on what these changes are and what they mean. You can also find out more on the student finance pages on GOV.UK.
Flexible and part-time students
You can get a loan if you’re studying at a rate of at least 25% of an equivalent full-time course and if you’re a Home or EU student.
International and EU students
The Government has announced the student support arrangements for EU students entering higher education in England in 2017. EU students that begin their studies in 2017 will be eligible for student loan and grants, and will continue to be for the duration of their course. Check the GOV.UK website for further information.
The Welsh Government has provided an update regarding student support arrangements for EU learners entering higher education in Wales in 2017/18.
The Scottish Government has confirmed student support arrangements for EU learners entering higher education in Scotland in 2017/18.
EU and international student may also be able to find a scholarship or bursary.
For guidance on whether you are eligible to pay overseas or home/EU fees, please refer to the UKCISA website.
Following the EU referendum, a statement has been issued about EU nationals and student finance in England – for EU nationals currently in receipt of student loans from the Student Loans Company (SLC), and to EU nationals who intend to begin studying in September or October 2016.
Advanced Learner Loans
The UK Government is replacing the 24+ Advanced Learner Loans so they will be available for more further education and training courses – from Level 3 (e.g. A levels) to Level 6 – and will be available to everyone aged 19 and over.
- Advanced Learner Loans will be available to those aged 19 and over, studying eligible courses from Level 3 (A level equivalent) up to Level 6 at approved course providers.
- Applications can be made now through the Student Loans Company for courses starting from 1 August 2016.
From 1 August 2017, all new undergraduate nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students on pre-registration courses will receive support for fee loans and living costs through the standard student support system, rather than through course fees and NHS bursaries for living costs paid by Health Education England (HEE).
These students will therefore be subject to the same student finance arrangements that apply to other undergraduates in 2017/18.
It can take up to six weeks to process student finance applications. Make sure you apply early – even if you have a conditional offer – as you can amend or cancel your application if your plans change.
Applicants from England
Apply for funding now through Student Finance England for courses starting in 2016.
Applications take at least six weeks to be processed, but Student Finance England will do an initial assessment so you have some money as close to the start of your course as possible.
For an independent view of what it costs, go to Money Saving Expert.
Applicants from Northern Ireland
Apply for funding now through Student Finance Northern Ireland for courses starting in 2016.
Applicants from Scotland
Apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) – although you can apply to the SAAS to cover your full tuition in Scotland, you may also get other support for living costs, or for tuition fees elsewhere in the UK.
Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) guarantee that all students who submitted an accurate application form and supporting evidence on or before 30 June 2016, will have their funding in place for the start of their course. SAAS encourages students to apply as early as possible to allow themselves time to gather the necessary supporting evidence. You can still apply after 30 June, up until 31 March 2017, and your funding will be backdated.
- Applicants from Wales
- Applicants from The Channel Islands and Isle of Man
Applicants from outside the UK
Fees can vary depending where you're studying and whether you're from the EU or outside the EU – check university and college websites. Find the links within our course search tool.
At this time of year, there's an increased number of phishing emails and text messages sent to students from fake student finance services.