Student fees and finance for where you live
Get your head around student finance with our breakdown below. We've listed tuition fee costs, student loans and financial support wherever you are in the UK.
- Tuition fees: how much you'll pay, by country
- Student loans and grants: England
- Student loans and grants: Scotland
- Student loans and grants: Wales
- Student loans and grants: Northern Ireland
- Can I apply for student finance after the deadline?
- Work placements and sandwich year fees
Confused about student finance? Grab our free guide to student finance.
Tuition fees: how much you'll pay, by country
Tuition fees have been frozen for 2018-19 entrants, after rising to £9,250 at some universities in 2017. The figures shown below are the maximum amounts you could be charged in university tuition fees, based on where you live and where you're planning to study, for courses beginning in 2018. A lot of courses charge less but check this with your institution:
- If you're from England: up to £9,250 per year when studying in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland; up to £9,000 in Wales.
- If you're from Scotland: free if you're studying in Scotland; up to £9,250 per year in England or Northern Ireland; up to £9,000 in Wales.
- If you're from Wales: up to £9,000 per year if you're studying in Wales; up to £9,250 in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- If you're from Northern Ireland: up to £4,160 per year if you're studying in Northern Ireland; up to £9,250 in England or Scotland; up to £9,000 in Wales.
For universities in England, tuition fees are linked with Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) ratings. Only those universities awarded a gold, silver or bronze TEF rating can increase their fees above £9,000 to £9,250 per year, in line with inflation.
For university providers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, participation in the TEF is voluntary and has no impact on tuition fees.
Student loans and help: what's available, where?
Figures shown below are the maximum amounts available. The actual amount you receive will depend on where you're studying, your course fees and household income.
As a rough guide, 68% of students we spoke to told us that they have both a tuition fee and maintenance loan*.
It’s always best to apply for student finance as soon as you can. You don’t have to have a confirmed place before you apply.
Students from England
A tuition fee loan worth up to a maximum of £9,250 per year is available to cover fees each year and is directly paid to your university.
The second element of your student finance package is the maintenance loan, to help with living costs if your household income falls below a certain amount. If you'll be living away from home while studying, a maximum of £8,700 per year is available – this increases to £11,354 if you'll studying in London. What you can get depends on your individual circumstances; so it's important your parents provide the necessary, correct information, documents and evidence to support your finance application.
What you can get depends on your individual circumstances; so it's important your parents provide the necessary, correct information, documents and evidence to support your finance application.
When do you need to apply by?
For students starting in September 2018, the deadline for student finance application is 31 May 2018 to get your finance for the start of term.
Students from Scotland
If you're Scottish and go to a Scottish university, you won't pay anything in tuition fees (but you still need to apply officially through the Student Awards Agency Scotland). If you're studying in either England, Wales or Northern Ireland, a tuition fee loan is available to cover these.
To help cover your living costs, a (repayable) maintenance loan is available of up to £5,750 per year, depending on your household income. If you're under 25, you can apply for an additional, (non-repayable) young students' bursary worth up to £1,875 if your household income is under £18,999.
When do you need to apply by?
To get your finance for September 2018, the deadline is 31 March 2018.
Students from Wales
Welsh universities can charge up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees. You can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover these.
For living costs, most Welsh students will be entitled to a maintenance grant worth £1,000, regardless of household income. Higher grants are available for students from lower income households, with a repayable maintenance loan available to make up the rest.
Overall, you'll be entitled to a combination of grants and loans worth up to £7,650 if you're living at home with your parents; up to £9,000 if you're living away from home but studying outside of London; and £11,250 if you're living away from home but studying in London.
When do you need to apply?
The exact deadline for 2018 entrants hasn’t been announced yet. But the 2017 finance deadline to guarantee student finance was received for the start of term, was 12 May 2017, so it makes sense to aim for mid-May. Check back here to see the precise deadline.
Students from Northern Ireland
If you're from Northern Ireland and staying there to study, you'll pay a maximum of £4,160 per year in tuition fees, or up to £9,250 per year if you're studying in England or Scotland, or £9,000 in Wales. In any case, you can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the full amount payable.
A maintenance loan is available to help cover living expenses – up to £4,840 if you're living away from home, increasing to £6,780 if you're living in London. You can get more if your course lasts 30+ weeks.
There are also non-repayable grants which you can apply for based on personal circumstances, although there are restrictions depending on which you apply for. There is a maintenance grant if your household income is below £41,065, with a full grant of £3,475 available for households earning £19,203 or less.
When do I need to apply by?
The exact deadline for 2018 hasn’t been announced, but the 2017 finance deadline to guarantee student finance was received for the start of term, was 30 June 2017, so it makes sense to sort out your finance by this point for 2018 too.
Can I apply for student finance after the deadline?
The deadlines are in place to ensure you have finance for the start of term. However, you can apply for student finance nine months after the start of the academic year.
Work placement and sandwich course fees
A sandwich course is a three, four or five year undergraduate course with time spent on placement, usually in industry or business.
You’ll usually get either a tuition fee waiver (so you don’t pay any tuition fees at all) or a reduction in tuition fees for the time you’re on placement - and you might even get paid, although employers aren’t legally obligated to pay you.
Contact your uni to find out their set-up with sandwich courses, and whether it would be the right decision for you.
* Data source: Which? University Student Survey 2018, surveying 5,000 undergraduate students at UK universities between March and April 2018.