This information is for students starting a course in September 2020, whose home is in England, the EU/EEA or Switzerland and who will be studying at the University of Westminster. It is not normally relevant for International students and students with a Tier 4 (General) visa.
EU/EEA nationals and family members should also visit our EU, EEA and Swiss students page.
The following information outlines the funding available from Student Finance England (SFE) for part-time undergraduate courses, the SFE eligibility rules and how to apply.
If your home is in another part of the UK, visit one of the following instead:
Module retrievers: If you are registered on a full-time course but take fewer modules than usual in a year because you are repeating part of your full-time course, you remain a full-time student and are eligible for your usual full-time Student Finance England (SFE) funding. Please visit our Funding for Repeat Years page for information.
SFE provide a Tuition Fee Loan and has introduced a Maintenance Loan for students starting their course in September 2018 or later. A Disabled Students Allowance is also available. No additional funding is available for students with children or partners. SFE do not provide a Child Care Grant.
You must meet the eligibility rules to receive any funding, so it’s important to check you qualify before you start your course, especially if your circumstances are complex. See the section about this below.
SFE require the minimum intensity of study per academic year to be at least 25% of the full-time equivalent. You must be able to complete your part-time course within four times the normal length of the full-time equivalent. If you reach a point where you are unable to do this, your funding entitlement will stop.
The Tuition Fee Loan
The Maximum Tuition Fee Loan available from Student Finance England is £6,935. The tuition fees charged by the University will not exceed this amount.
The new Maintenance Loan
The maximum Maintenance Loan available for living and study needs depends on where you live and your intensity of study. For example:
- If you live away from your parent’s home while you study and study at an intensity equivalent to 75% of a full-time course, the maximum available is £9,008. If you live with your parent/s it's £5,810
- If you study at an intensity of 25% it's £3,008 is you live away from home and £1,937 if you live with your parent/s.
Part of the Maintenance Loan is assessed on household income. See the section below about this.
Information about the funding available from Student Finance England for part-time study can be found on Gov.uk.
The Disabled Students Allowance
For information about the Disabled Students Allowance, visit our Disability Learning Support page.
Previous study and/or degree level qualification
Any previous part-time study on a part-time higher education course will reduce the number of years you can receive part-time SFE funding for a new course. The maximum years of funding available are four times the length of the full-time course. The Disabled Students' Allowance is not affected and you will continue to receive this if applicable.
In most cases, if you already hold a qualification equivalent to, or higher than, an Honours degree, you will not normally be eligible for any SFE funding for a new course, except for the Disabled Students Allowance. It does not matter if the qualification was not obtained in the UK.
An exception applies to STEM subjects (Science, Engineering Technology and Mathematics) and you may still qualify even if you already hold a degree level qualification.
Please contact Student Advice for information about your individual circumstances.
If any of the following apply, we recommend you contact Student Advice to discuss your eligibility to receive SFE funding before you start your course:
- I have been living outside the UK/EEA/Switzerland during some or all of the last three years
- I am not a UK or EU national and I am waiting for the outcome of an application to the Home Office to grant my immigration status
- I am not a UK or EU national but have been granted Limited or Discretionary Leave to Remain by the Home Office
- I am not a UK or EU national, but a member of my family is a UK or EU national
- I will be aged 60 plus when I start my course.
You must meet the main eligibility rules to receive any SFE funding. These are related to age, nationality, UK/EEA/Swiss residence and immigration status in the UK.
For general information about who qualifies visit Gov.uk.
EU and EEA nationals and family members should read our dedicated EU/EEA funding page for further details.
The eligibility rules are complex and there are many ways to qualify. Specific requirements apply to EU nationals, EEA nationals, Swiss nationals, Turkish workers, refugees, people with long UK residence, and those with discretionary leave or indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Relevant family members’ may also qualify, e.g. a spouse or dependent child.
Please note: If you meet the eligibility rules, always make sure you can provide suitable evidence to prove this as SFE could request this. SFE will always require original immigration documents and proof of immigration status. If you cannot provide the relevant evidence, SFE can refuse funding, withdraw funding or ask for money to be repaid.
The part-time Maintenance Loan is assessed against household income. If you are under 25 this normally includes your unearned income and the income of your parent/s or their co-habiting partner or spouse. If you are over 25 this includes your unearned income and income of your spouse or co-habiting partner. Taxable income counts e.g. earned income, earnings from work and unearned income such as interests from saving or income from letting out a property.
In some circumstances, students under 25 can be assessed without parents' income and classed as Independent. For information about when this applies see page 24 of the SFE funding guide. If you are estranged from your parents or are a care leaver have a look at our information dedicated to you.
The Tuition Fee Loan is not assessed against any income so if you are only applying for this, you do not need to provide any financial information.
Applying for SFE funding
Applications are made to Student Finance England.
Applying as a UK/Home student for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan and/or Disabled Students Allowance
New part-time students can apply online or on a paper application form which will be available from Summer 2020. You will need a valid passport and National Insurance Number. If you do not have a National Insurance Number, you can apply for one on the gov.uk website.
Applying as an EU student for the EU Tuition Fee Loan
If you are an EU national and do not meet the eligibility requirements for the Maintenance Loan and/or Disabled Students Allowance and are applying for the EU Tuition Fee Loan instead, you should apply using a paper application form which will be available from Summer 2020. You will need a valid passport or National Identity Card but are not required to have a National Insurance Number.
Who can I contact for help with my SFE funding?
The Student Advice team at the University can provide tailored advice about your eligibility to receive SFE funding, help if things go wrong with the application process and also liaise with SFE on your behalf.
The Disability Learning Support Team can help with issues related to the Disabled Students’ Allowance.
You can also contact Student Finance England.
How do I repay a loan?
Both loans are repaid once you complete your course.
The Student Loans Company (SLC) manage loan repayments.
If you began your course in September 2012 or later, you only start repaying when you are earning more than £25,725 each year before tax. Repayments start in April, after you finish or leave your course, or the April four years after the start of your course (even if you’re still studying), whichever comes first.
Your repayments are linked to your earnings, not the level of your student loan debt. If you earn above £25,725, you will pay the equivalent of 9% of your earnings.
Interest is added from the day the loans are paid to you. The amount of interest charged is lower while you study, but increases when you stop studying and will be based on your earnings.
Visit the Student Loans Company website for further details.
What other funding is available?
If you’ve been classed as a UK Home student, you can apply to the Living Expenses Support Scheme when you have enrolled on your course.
Charities and Trusts offer financial support to people in need. Each one has its own eligibility criteria and application process. For example, you may need to live in a certain area and be under a certain age or have an unexpected financial difficulty during your study. This is a useful option to investigate, but should not be viewed as a way to meet all your study needs, as the sums involved can be quite small. Turn2Us has a free online trust fund search. Alternatively, you could look in the Educational Grants Directory, published annually by the Directory of Social Change. Student Advice have a reference copy or check with your local library.
If you are in the process of making an application to study at Westminster or have accepted an offer, have a look at our Scholarships.
Part-time study does not exclude you from claiming Social Security Benefits and you can claim under the usual benefit rules. The part-time Tuition Fee Loan and the Disabled Students Allowance do not count as income and do not reduce the amount of benefit payable to you.
The maintenance loan counts as income when assessing your entitlement to benefits, and can reduce or cancel out some income-based benefits. Please seek advice from Student Advice about how your benefits may be affected if in receipt of a part time maintenance loan.