Undergraduate tuition fees and student loans

How much are tuition fees and how are you going to pay for them? Find out how to fund your studies and how to apply here.
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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?

These are the maximum tuition fees depending on where you’re from and where you’re studying. Exact fees will be shown when you search for courses.

Tuition fees by region for courses starting in 2017 

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
Other international Variable Variable Variable Variable

*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 who 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.


What financial help can you get?

Student loans can include a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan to help with your living costs.
  • 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.
  • England

    Apply to Student Finance England for a loan to cover tuition fees (paid directly to the university) and maintenance costs (paid directly into your bank account at the start of term). This is available wherever you choose to study in the UK, and is repayable. You don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.

    Apply to Student Finance England


    Other

    Travel expenses – you may be able to get a grant to cover some of your travel expenses if:

    • your course requires that you study abroad, or if you’re on an Erasmus work or study placement
    • you’re a medical or dental student studying abroad, or undertaking a clinical placement in the UK
  • Wales

    Tuition fees

    If you live in Wales, you can apply for a tuition fee loan (repayable) to cover some of your tuition fees, and a fee grant (non-repayable) for the remainder, regardless of where you choose to study in the UK. This will be paid directly to your university or college by Student Finance Wales. You don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.

    If you are applying to a privately-funded university, you will not be eligible for a fee grant.

    Apply to Student Finance Wales


    Maintenance

    A maintenance loan is available from Student Finance Wales for full-time students to cover accommodation and living costs, and is paid directly into your bank account. This is repayable and the amount depends on where you will be living. You don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.

    Apply to Student Finance Wales

    The Welsh Government Learning Grant and Special Support Grant are both means tested, non-repayable, and available to students from low income households. You can apply for either grant but not both, so check which is best for you.


    Other

    Travel expenses – if you are undertaking a clinical placement in the UK or studying abroad as part of your studies, you may be able to claim some of your costs. This grant can cover expenses such as medical insurance, visas, and vaccinations.
  • Scotland
    A student funding guide is available from SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland).

    Tuition fees

    If you live in Scotland and choose to study full-time at a Scottish university or college, you will not have to pay tuition fees. However, you will need to apply to SAAS to have your tuition fees paid for you, as this is not automatic.

    Scottish students who wish to study elsewhere in the UK will be charged the standard tuition fees for their chosen course provider, but may apply for a loan to cover the costs through SAAS.

    Part-time students with an individual income of up to £25,000 per year can apply for a fee grant. The amount paid depends on your course.


    Maintenance

    The student loan (repayable) is means tested. There are different levels of support available if you are applying as a dependent or independent student, and you don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process. See the funding guide for more information

    Apply to Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

    Bursaries (non-repayable) are means tested using either your parents’ income or your own household income if you are an independent student, and are available to Scottish students studying anywhere in the UK. Three bursaries are available:

    • The Young Student’s Bursary (YSB) is an annual payment for students aged 25 or younger who are classed as ‘dependent’.
    • The Independent Students’ Bursary (ISB) is an annual payment for independent students.
    • Nursing and midwifery students may also apply for a non-income-assessed bursary (plus some additional allowances) for qualifying full-time courses at a Scottish university or college.

    Other

    Travel expenses – you may be able to claim help with reasonable travel expenses if:

    • you’re on an Allied Health Profession (AHP) course, or taking a nursing diploma/degree and need to travel to a practical placement away from the university
    • studying abroad is a compulsory part of your course – you can claim the cost of your journey abroad and medical insurance
  • Northern Ireland

    Tuition fees

    For students who live in Northern Ireland and choose to study at a Northern Irish course provider, the maximum tuition fee is capped, and you can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover this cost. Likewise, if you choose to study elsewhere in the UK, you may apply for a tuition fee loan, but the costs will be higher. This loan is repayable.


    Maintenance

    A repayable maintenance loan is available to full-time students to cover accommodation and living costs, and is paid directly into your bank account. The loan is means tested and will vary on where you live/study and the length of your course. You can apply from February and you don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.

    The maintenance grant and Special Support Grant are means tested and help you pay for additional course-related costs such as books, travel, equipment, and childcare. You can apply for either grant but not both, so check which is best for you. Neither grant is repayable.

    Apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland


    Other

    Travel expenses – if you are a medical or dental student attending clinical training in the UK or Republic of Ireland as part of your course, or studying outside the UK for at least 50% of each term, you may be eligible to apply for a means tested grant to help with some of the costs incurred.
  • ​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. 

    The Northern Irish Government has now confirmed the student support arrangements for EU learners entering higher education in Northern Ireland 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.
  • Changes to funding for all new undergraduate nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students for 2017 entry

    English providers

    • From 1 August 2017, UK students who choose to study in England should apply to their home country for fee and living cost support. They 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.
    • These students will therefore be subject to the same student finance arrangements that apply to other undergraduates in 2017/18.
    • View the Government policy paper for further information about transitional arrangements and why changes have been made. 

    Scottish providers

    • From 1 August 2017, UK students who choose to study in Scotland, and who are not ordinarily domiciled in Scotland, should apply to their home country for fee and living cost support. 
    • These students will receive support for fee loans and living costs through their home country’s standard student support system, rather than through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). They will, therefore, be subject to the same student finance arrangements that apply to other undergraduates not ordinarily domiciled in Scotland in 2017/18.
    • Students who are ordinarily domiciled in Scotland, who choose to study in another part of the UK, should apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for the standard undergraduate support package. The Scottish Government has written to all Scottish universities and colleges to explain the changes. 

    Welsh providers

    • From 1 August 2017, UK and EU students who choose to study in Wales will continue to receive the current bursary package, subject to them meeting a new eligibility requirement.
    • Students must now sign an agreement to work in Wales for two years post-study, to be eligible for the healthcare bursary. This will apply to all UK and EU students.
    • If the student chooses not to agree to the two-year tie in, they will not be eligible for the healthcare bursary. These students should apply to their home country for fee and living cost support, and will therefore be subject to the same student finance arrangements that apply to other undergraduates in 2017/18.

    NI providers

    From 1 August 2017, only Northern Irish and EU students will be able to apply for courses at NI providers. Bursary arrangements for these students remain in place. 

     

    Provider country

    English domiciled Welsh domiciled NI domiciled Scottish domiciled EU domiciled 
    England

    Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance England and extra NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) support.

    Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance Wales. Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance NI. Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance Services.
    Wales

    If you meet two year post-study requirement, bursary available and Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan (RRML) from Student Finance England.

    Or, if you choose to not agree to tie-in, apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance England.

    If you meet two year post-study requirement, bursary available and Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan (RRML) from Student Finance Wales.

    Or, if you choose to not agree to tie-in, apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance Wales.

    If you meet two year post-study requirement, bursary available and Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan (RRML) from Student Finance NI.

    Or, if you choose to not agree to tie-in, apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance NI.

    If you meet two year post-study requirement, bursary available and Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan (RRML) from Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

    Or, if you choose to not agree to tie-in, apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

    If you meet two year post-study requirement, bursary available.

    Or, if you choose to not agree to tie-in, apply for fee support from Student Finance Services.

    NI Cannot apply.  Cannot apply.  Bursary and Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan (RRML) for allied health professionals, and bursary only for nursing and midwifery.  Cannot apply. Bursary available. 
    Scotland  Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance England. Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance Wales. Apply for standard undergraduate support package from Student Finance NI. Apply for standard support package (allied health professionals) or bursary  support package (nursing and midwifery students) from Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Apply for standard support package (allied health professionals) or Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary support package from Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

     

    Exceptions

    There are two exceptions:

    • commissioned dental hygiene and dental therapy places
    • commissioned part-time places

    For dental hygiene and dental therapy, courses currently commissioned will continue to be commissioned in 2017-18.

    Courses which are currently commissioned as part-time will continue to be commissioned in 2017-18. In both cases, student numbers are capped. In England, part-time students will still apply to the Student Loans Company for the support package (tuition fee loans), and they may also be able to access a maintenance bursary from NHS.


How to apply for a student loan

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. 


Stay safe online

At this time of year, there's an increased number of phishing emails and text messages sent to students from fake student finance services.