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Funding for higher education overview

By David Malcolm

Friday 22 March 2013 Higher education

Here you can find information about the government support you’re entitled to for higher education across the UK, including information on student loans and grants. You can also find details about higher education funding from other sources (eg scholarships and bursaries).

What is higher education?

Higher education (HE) covers a wide range of courses and qualifications above the standard of GCE A level, Advanced Higher, NVQ/SVQ level 3 or equivalent. These include undergraduate degrees, higher national diplomas, foundation degrees and postgraduate qualifications. Many higher education courses take place in universities, but may also be taught at higher education colleges, specialist institutions and through distance learning.

Whether you’re eligible to attend a higher education course usually depends on your previous academic qualifications, or potentially on equivalent work experience.

If this doesn’t sound like your course, our information on funding for further education may be more relevant to you.

How do I find the right support for me?

The financial support that’s available for students in higher education varies a lot, depending on:

  • your nationality or residency status
  • your age
  • the level of study
  • whether you’re studying full- or part-time
  • the year you began or will begin your course
  • your university or college
  • your course subject.

Please use the links below to find the right information for you.

Funding information

Can I get higher education funding in the UK?

What higher education funding is available in England?

I’m from the Channel Islands or Isle of Man – what higher education funding is available to me?

What higher education funding is available in Wales?

What higher education funding is available in Northern Ireland?

What higher education funding is available in Scotland?

General FAQs about higher education funding

What funding is available for postgraduates studying in the UK?

I’m a student with children or other dependants – what extra higher education funding can I get?

I’m a disabled student – what extra higher education funding can I get?

I’m a student from a low income household – what extra higher education funding can I get?

I’ve been in local authority care – what extra higher education funding can I get?

I’m a mature student – what extra higher education funding can I get?

I want to be a teacher – what higher education funding is available?

Can I get higher education funding from my university or college?

Can I get higher education funding to study dance and drama?

How and when do I repay my student loan?

What shall I do if I have problems with my funding?

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 the UK – what higher education funding can I get?

What other sources of funding are there?

Where can I find more information?

The National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) produces a series of information leaflets about the rules governing funding and support, as well as general information about managing your finances as a student.

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.