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What higher education funding is available in Northern Ireland?

By David Malcolm

Tuesday 19 March 2013 Higher education

Here’s a guide to the higher education support that’s available from the government if you normally live in Northern Ireland. The funding available depends on the level of your course (undergraduate or postgraduate), where you want to study (in Northern Ireland or elsewhere), whether you’re studying full- or part-time and when your course began or will begin.

Can I get higher education funding in Northern Ireland?

If you normally live in Northern Ireland you may be eligible for funding from Student Finance NI – a partnership between the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, the Student Loans Company and all five Education and Library Boards in Northern Ireland. To get the funding, you and your course must be eligible for it. For more details, see Can I get higher education funding in the UK?

What funding is available for undergraduates (or equivalent) studying in the UK?

If you’re studying for an undergraduate-level qualification, which includes honours degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND) and initial teacher training, the funding that’s available from Student Finance NI depends on when your course began or will begin, and whether you’re studying full- or part-time. You can use this funding to study in Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland or the Republic of Ireland.

For more details, see:

 This information is also relevant to you if you’re studying for a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).

What funding is available for postgraduates studying in the UK?

If you’re studying for a postgraduate-level qualification, which includes most courses that require an undergraduate degree for entry, the funding that’s available from Student Finance NI is fairly limited, and depends on what you’re studying. However, other funding options are available.

For more information, see What funding is available for postgraduates studying in the UK?

What funding is available if I want to study outside the UK?

Most higher education funding from Student Finance NI is for study in the UK. However, students resident in Northern Ireland can also get funding to study in the Republic of Ireland (see What funding is available for undergraduates (or equivalent) studying in the UK?).

If you want to study elsewhere abroad, see I want to study outside the UK – what higher education funding can I get?

I’m an international student and I want to study in Northern Ireland – what funding can I get?

If you’re a student from outside the UK and you want to study for a higher education qualification at a university or college in Northern Ireland, you may be able to get funding from Student Finance NI. If not, there’s a range of funding options and help available to you.

For more information, see I’m an international student and I want to study in the UK – what higher education funding can I get?

How do I apply for government funding?

You apply for funding through Student Finance NI. For more information, see How do I apply for higher education funding in Northern Ireland?

Where else can I get funding?

As well as government funding, you may be able to get funding from your academic institution, charities or other sources. To find out more, see Can I get higher education funding from my university or college? and other sources of funding.

This information was updated in March 2013. NUS provides this information in good faith and has taken care to make sure it’s accurate. However, student finance issues can be complicated, and rules change frequently. You should contact the advice centre in your students' union, college or university for support if you’re uncertain or need more help.