This information is for UK/Home undergraduate students who meet the eligibility rules to receive Student Finance England funding and are repeating a year of their course/repeating modules.
Full-time undergraduate students
You continue to be a full-time student while you are a module retriever and are repeating a year of your course, so you can still apply for full-time Student Finance England funding. Do not apply for part-time funding, even if you're taking fewer modules than usual as you are not eligible for this.
You are normally entitled to funding for the standard length of your course plus one extra year. Student Finance England often refer to it as a gift year. The gift year can be used to fund a repeat year of study. During this year you continue to be eligible for all the SFE loans and grants you usually receive.
However, if you repeat a year of your course more than once or you’ve previously studied on a higher education course in the past - even if you only attended for one day or studied outside of the UK - you may have used your gift year of funding already. This means that you will not be entitled to receive a Tuition Fee Loan for your repeat year and will have to pay your own tuition fee. If you started your course before September 2016 and usually receive the Maintenance/Special Support Grant, you won’t be entitled to receive this either. You will continue to be eligible for the Maintenance Loan, and grants for dependants and disabilities, if applicable.
There is an exception to this rule: If you are repeating the year because Compelling Personal Circumstances (CPR) affected your study, for example, illness or bereavement (other circumstances can be considered), Student Finance England may, at their discretion, award an extra year of funding to you. This extra year of funding would include the Tuition Fee Loan and where relevant, the Maintenance/Special Support Grant. It is known as a CPR year of funding.
To be considered for this extra year, you will need to provide SFE with evidence of the circumstances that caused you to repeat and ask them to consider this. You should do this once you have made your funding application for the next year of your course.
You can even apply for a CPR year retrospectively. For example, if you have already used your gift year to fund a repeat year but CPR issues caused the repeat, you can ask SFE to backdate a CPR year. If agreed, this would release your gift year. Your gift year can then be used to fund your current repeat year instead. This is very useful especially if you cannot provide CPR evidence for your current repeat year.
If you have CPR issues and need help with this or are unsure if you can be considered and would like to talk this over, please contact student advice.
Part-time undergraduate students
Student Finance England doesn't award additional years of funding for repeat part-time study even if the repeat was caused by compelling personal reasons.
If you started your course in September 2011 or earlier
The part-time Tuition Fee Grant and Study Grant are available for a maximum of 8 years part-time study. However, the number of years available to you depends on the intensity of your study. Any previous part-time study on a part-time higher education course will reduce the number of years you are eligible to receive part-time funding for your new course.
Part-time students must always be on target to complete their course in no more than twice the time it takes to complete as a full-time student. If you go over this limit, your part-time funding will end, even if you have not completed your course.
If you started your course in September 2012 or later
The part-time Tuition Fee Loan is available for a maximum of 16 years part-time study. You must be on target to complete within four times the normal length of the full-time equivalent course. Any previous part-time study on a part-time higher education course will reduce the number of years you are eligible to receive part-time funding for your new course.
Part-time students must always be on target to complete their course in no more than four times the time it takes to complete as a full-time student. If go over this limit, your part-time funding will end, even if you have not completed your course.
Postgraduate degree students
Student Finance England doesn't award additional years of funding if you repeat a year of your course even if the repeat was caused by compelling personal reasons. A CPR year is only an option if you did not complete a previous course because of compelling personal reasons (CPR). If SFE accept this they can consider awarding you one additional year of loan for a new course. This has to be a completely new course with new modules. If you are still enrolled on a course, you have to withdraw and start a new course. You cannot carry credits over from a previous course to the new course.
A CPR year loan can only be awarded once, no matter how many courses you start. For CPR to be considered you must apply to SFE for the Postgraduate Loan and provide SFE with satisfactory evidence of your circumstances. CPR can include health or bereavement but other issues can also be considered. CPR funding is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of SFE.
Contact Student Advice if you would like to discuss your circumstances and CPR request.
The rules on previous studies are complicated. If you are unsure of your entitlement or need further advice please contact student advice.