A Guide to Student Finance: Funding Opportunities for Undergraduates

Student Finance England (SFE) was established due to a partnership between the Department for Education and the Student Loans Company. On behalf of the UK government, they offer financial support to students in the UK who are entering their further, higher and postgraduate studies. All UK nationals and citizens are eligible to apply for a student loan under this initiative to pursue a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

You can apply for funding from Student Finance England (SFE) once you have received an offer letter from a Higher Education Institute (HEI). The funding you receive is a long-term payable student loan which you need to settle after graduation.

What are the types of financial help available for undergraduates?

Undergraduates can borrow funds to pay for their university or college tuition fees and to help with living costs.

Depending on the nature of your study programme, you can receive an annual Tuition Fee Loan of £9,000 or more to cover the total cost of your course.


  • If you are a full-time student, you can get up to £9,250.
  • If you are studying an accelerated degree course, you could get up to £11,100.
You will be eligible for a Maintenance Loan ranging from £7,000 to £12,000 per year based on the nature of your course, household income, and where you live while studying.


  2021 to 2022 academic year 2022 to 2023 academic year
Living with your parents Up to £7,987 Up to £8,171
Living away from your parents, outside London Up to £9,488 Up to £9,706
Living away from your parents, in London Up to £12,382 Up to £12,667
You spend a year of a UK course studying abroad Up to £10,866 Up to £11,116
If you’re 60 or over on the first day of the first academic year of your course Up to £4,014


Up to £4,106



SFE will pay both loans in three instalments of 25%, 25% and 50%, typically at the start of each term.

The Tuition Fee Loan is paid directly to the university, while the Maintenance Loan is deposited directly into your bank account.

Moreover, undergraduates can apply for extra funding if they are experiencing any of the specific circumstances listed below.


Students with child or adult dependents.

  1. 1. Childcare Grant

If you are a full-time higher education student with children:

  • Under 15
  • Under 17 if they have special educational needs

You are eligible to receive financial aid to help with your childcare costs. This grant is paid on top of your other student finance and does not have to be paid back.

The grant amount depends on your household income and the number of children dependent on you. You can either receive 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.

  • A maximum of £183.75 a week for one child
  • A maximum of £315.03 a week for two or more children
  1. 2. Parents’ Learning Allowance

If you are a full-time higher education student with children, depending on your household income, you will receive an annual amount from £50 to £1,863 to help with your learning costs.

This allowance is paid on top of your other student finance and does not have to be paid back.

  1. 3. Adult Dependents’ Grant

If you are a full-time higher education student and have an adult in your family who is dependent on you financially, you can apply to receive an annual grant of £3,263.

This grant is paid on top of your other student finance and does not have to be paid back.

Students with a disability, learning difficulty or special need.

You can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you are a student who needs financial support to cover your study-related costs because of a long-term illness, mental health issue or any other disability. Recipients of this allowance are offered an annual amount of up to £25,575 to help with the costs of:

  • Specialist equipment
  • Non-medical helpers
  • Extra travel expenses to attend the course or placement due to the disability
  • Other disability-related study support

Once you become eligible for DSA, the SFE will request you to contact an assessment centre to find out what help you need. This process is called the ‘Needs Assessment’ and determines the support you will receive and how your payments will take place.

The funds are transferred to the student’s bank account or the service/equipment provider.

Students enrolled in specific academic programmes. 

Students enrolled in the below programmes can apply for extra funding from specific support schemes reserved only for them.

  • Medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health profession students
  • Social work students
  • Teacher training students

Many universities and colleges also offer extra help directly to their students.

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