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University tuition fees and financial support in England

Our guide to student finance for undergraduate students from England on how much going to university costs and what funding is available in 2022/23.

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CONTENTS

  1. Undergraduate student finance in England, 2022/23
  2. University tuition fees and tuition fee loans
  3. Funding your living costs
  4. Maintenance loans for students from England, 2022/23
  5. Extra funding
  6. Loans if studying abroad or on a placement year
  7. Student finance for a second degree (ELQ)
  8. How to apply for student finance in England
  9. Repaying your student loan

Undergraduate student finance in England, 2022/23

University funding for students from England includes tuition fee loans and maintenance loans towards your living costs, plus extra funding based on your personal circumstances. The student loans outlined below show what’s available in 2022/23 for undergraduate students who are starting their first degree.

To be classed as an English student, you normally need to have lived in England for the three years before the start of your course. There are some exceptions, which you can find in our guide on student finance eligibility.

University tuition fees and tuition fee loans

Universities in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland can charge students from England up to £9,250 a year for undergraduate tuition. For accelerated degrees (which are completed in less time) English universities can charge up to £11,100. The most Welsh universities can charge is £9,000 a year.

To pay these fees, you can apply for a loan of up to £9,250 (or up to £11,100 for an accelerated degree) from Student Finance England, if you’re studying at a UK university. This’ll cover your university’s tuition fees in most cases. If you go to a private uni, you'll get less funding (up to £6,165, or £7,200 for an accelerated degree) but the fees charged may be higher. You'd need to pay the difference yourself.

Funding your living costs

While you’re at university, your living costs may include accommodation expenses like rent and bills, your food and drink, and travel. There may also be course-related payments such as field trips.

You may be eligible for a means-tested maintenance loan to help with living costs. The amount of loan you get will depend on your household income and where you live during term time. For students living with their parents, ‘household income’ means your parents’ income will be assessed.

Only those with a low household income of £25,000 or less are likely to get the full financial support. If your household income is higher the loan reduces on a sliding scale, with the implication that the difference needs to be funded by other means. This might be through contributions from your parents, a part-time job, university bursaries or scholarships, or savings. 

If you don't want to provide your household income, you can apply for a non-means-tested loan. If you do this, you’ll get the minimum student loan available for where you live while you study.

Even if you’re eligible for the full maintenance loan, your living costs may be more than the amount you receive. You’ll need to budget in advance to work out how you’ll meet these costs.

Maintenance loans for students from England, 2022/23

Household income

Loan if living at home

Loan if living in London

Loan if living elsewhere

Up to £25,000

£8,171

£12,667

£9,706

£35,000

£6,796

£11,255

£8,318

£45,000

£5,420

£9,843

£6,929

£55,000

£4,045

£8,430

£5,540

£65,000

£3,597

£7,018

£4,524

The figures above are shown for illustrative purposes; actual loan amounts will depend on your personal circumstances. The minimum maintenance loan is £3,597 if you live at home, £6,308 if you study in London (for households with an income above £70,022) and £4,524 if you study elsewhere.

Long course loan in 2022/23

If you’re on a university course that’s longer than 30 weeks and three days in the academic year, you may be eligible for a long course loan. You must be in receipt of an income-assessed maintenance loan, and it won’t apply if you’re on a paid sandwich course or get NHS bursary funding. If your household income is above £39,796, the amount will be reduced.

In 2022/23, the maximum long course loan per week is:

  • £69 – if you’re living with your parents
  • £134 – if you’re living in London
  • £104 – if you’re living outside of London
  • £144 – if you’re studying overseas

Living cost loan for over 60s in 2022/23

Normally, over-60s aren’t eligible for maintenance loans. However, if you study full-time and your household income is low, you can apply for living cost support as well as a university tuition fee loan. Amounts are means-tested, based on your household income. If your household income is more than £43,780, you won’t qualify for this financial support.

If you’re over 60 with a household income of…

You could get…

Up to £25,000

£4,106

£35,000

£1,947

£45,000

£0

Extra funding

Some students may be eligible for extra financial support – for instance, if you’re a single parent, or leaving care to enter higher education. If you have a disability, learning difference or mental health problem, you could be eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. You can read more about these grants on our student finance and funding page.

It's also worth looking for other financial support such as a bursary, scholarship or award from your university or college. You won’t have to pay this back. It also won't count as household income, so it won't affect the amount of maintenance loan you could get.

On the other hand, if you get other public funding during your course – such as a healthcare bursary – it’s likely to reduce the amount of student finance you are eligible for.

Loans if studying abroad or on a placement year

If your university course includes a placement year or year studying abroad, you'll normally be charged a reduced university tuition fee. Your tuition fee loan will reduce too. Private universities may charge higher fees than the tuition fee loan you get.

Living costs if you study abroad may be higher than in the UK. If you’re studying abroad in 2022/23, your maintenance loan could be between £5,374 (minimum) and £11,116 (maximum) if you’re away for the whole year. How much you get will depend on your household income and how long you’re away. You can also get help with your travel expenses.

Living cost support for placements is based on whether the placement is unpaid or paid. If you're on a year-long paid placement, you'll only qualify for a 'reduced rate' maintenance loan. In 2022/23 this is £4,128 if you live in London, £2,940 if you live elsewhere, and £2,205 if you’re living with your parents. Those on ‘approved’ unpaid placements will be able to get the usual maintenance support.

Student finance for a second degree (ELQ)

Undergraduate student loans are usually only available for your first degree. However, for some subjects there may be some support available for a second degree (ELQ or ‘equivalent or lower qualifications’).

These include:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary science
  • Architecture (if a MArch RIBA Part 2 course)
  • Social work
  • Initial teacher training
  • Healthcare courses
  • STEM subjects (part-time study only)

If you're studying a full-time degree you may need to fund some or all of your university tuition fees yourself, depending on the subject. If you're studying Medicine, Dentistry or a healthcare subject as a second degree, you can find out more from our NHS bursary page.

How to apply for student finance in England

Apply online to Student Finance England. You’ll need to reapply for each year of your degree course.

Applications for student finance usually open in March. The deadline for application is usually late spring. This is to ensure your student loan is in place if your course starts in the autumn. You don't have to wait until you've accepted a place on a university degree, you can always update your details later.

You can still apply after the deadline, but you may not get your funding in time for the start of your degree.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) handles loans on behalf of the government. They’ll pay your tuition fees direct to your university. The maintenance loan is paid into your bank account at the start of each term, once you’ve registered on your course.

Repaying your student loan

Loan repayments begin from the April after you've left your university course. You repay a percentage of your income when you're earning over a certain amount.

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