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Student finance if you're going back to uni

Student finance if you're going back to uniInterrupted your course? Dropped out? Failed a year? Find out how these complications affect your student finance.

One simple rule

There's one simple rule for how much support you can get:

You are entitled to funding for the whole of your first undergraduate course, plus one bonus year in case something goes wrong.

Of course, real life is never quite as simple. Here's how the rule works in a few real-world situations.

Repeating a year

There are lots of reasons that you might end up repeating a year of your course:

  • You might have to leave your course - for example, if you are ill - and pick it up again later from the start of the year
  • You might not get the results you need and be asked to take the year again
  • You might transfer to a different university or course

In any of these situations, the 'bonus year' of student finance comes to the rescue: you can do the extra year of study and still get student finance in full for your whole course.

Topping up

Even if you have already been given student finance for an HND, HNC or foundation degree, you can still apply for more funding if you want to 'top up' to a degree. You'll get funding for the whole of your 'top up' course, plus the bonus year if you need it.

Starting a new course after dropping out

If you dropped out of a course and want to start a new one, how much funding you can get depends on how long you spent on your first course.

Every year of student finance you received on your first course will count against a year of your new course. But remember that you get a bonus year of finance. So the end result looks like this:

  • One year of previous study: You'll get student finance for your whole course, but if things go wrong you've used up your bonus year.
  • Two years of previous study: You'll have to pay your own way for the first year of your course, but you'll get student finance for every year after that.
  • Three years of previous study: You'll have to pay your own way for the first two years of your course, but you'll get student finance for every year after that..

...and so on.

Second degrees

If you have a degree already, you normally don't qualify for student finance if you go back to university to take a second degree. That means that you won't receive the maintenance loan, and you'll have to pay your own tuition fees.

There are some exceptions for specific courses such as medicine and dentistry, but even with these you may not be able to access the package of loans and grants.

Extra funding for parents and disabled students

If you are entitled to funding because you are a parent, have an adult dependant or have a disability, you will receive this funding for every year of your course no matter what previous study or qualifications you have.

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