This section provides information for students on healthcare courses, including mature students and those straight out of school. It applies mainly to English domiciled students studying in England.
Are you concerned that you cannot afford to study? Are you wondering what your funding options are? Click on the sections below to see how it works…
PLEASE NOTE: a recent announcement from the government spells out additional financial support available to students of many allied health professions. Find out more about this here.
How to fund your studies?→
If you are an eligible English domiciled student, then a range of financial support may be available to you from Student Finance England (part of the Student Loans Company) and the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).
If you are a student in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, please find more information on the Gov.uk website
- Most full-time university courses have a tuition fee of £9,250 per year.
- Student Finance England make a non-means tested Tuition Fee Loan available to eligible students on eligible courses in the UK.
- You DO NOT need a confirmed place at a university or college to apply for your student finance. So, if you make multiple choices through UCAS you can use your first choice on your student loan application and then change the details later if necessary.
- You will enter a contract with the Student Loans Company, so it is important to read and understand the Terms and Conditions.
- Student Finance England will pay your Tuition Fee Loan directly to your university, so all you need to do is apply for the loan and apply on time.
Q: Do you have to take the loan? →
No. Student loans are optional, but if you do not take one then you will need to make arrangements to pay your tuition fees directly to your university or college.
Q: How do I know if I am eligible? →
You can find out the eligibility criteria for student finance at https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies
Q: How do I know if my intended course is eligible? →
The great majority of pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health courses are eligible. However, you need to check with your university that your course is recognised as being eligible for student finance.
Following the 2017 funding reforms
Following the funding reforms of nursing, midwifery and allied health education implemented from 2017, Student Finance England can offer loans for courses leading to registration with:
- The Nursing and Midwifery Council as a midwife, or adult, mental health, child or learning disability nurse.
- The Health and Care Professions Council as podiatrist, radiographer, orthoptist, prosthetist and orthotist, occupational therapist, dietician, speech and language therapist, physiotherapist, operating department practitioner
- The General Dental Council as a Dental Hygienist or Therapist.
These can be pre registration courses (depending on disciplines and modes of study):
- a first degree, for example, BSc
- a Foundation Degree or a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) in Operating Department Practice or Dental Hygiene
- a pre-registration postgraduate healthcare course.
To be sure of your eligibility, please visit the SFE website and apply directly.
Q: What if I have another degree and want to do an undergraduate degree? →
Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions listed above are known as Exception Courses for student finance under current regulations so even if you already have a degree you may be able to access full SFE funding for a second eligible healthcare degree course. For instance, if you have a first degree in biology and want to study a pre-registration undergraduate degree in orthoptics, you may be able to obtain a second student loan if you are eligible and the course is eligible.
However, you cannot obtain a loan for a second course in a healthcare area in which you are already professionally registered. So, if you are already a professionally registered podiatrist, you are not eligible for student finance for a second pre-registration degree in podiatry, but you could choose another healthcare specialism
Q: What if I have a pre-registration Postgraduate Diploma or Masters, and want to study another-registration postgraduate Diploma or Masters? →
Similar to the undergraduate scenario, providing you are not looking to take a pre-registration postgraduate Diploma in an area you are already professionally registered in, then the standard SFE funding package may be available to you.
Pre-registration postgraduate Diplomas, and pre-registration Masters, in nursing, midwifery and allied health disciplines included in the funding reform attract the same funding as eligible undergraduate courses, and not the standard SFE postgraduate loans.
Q: What if I need to transfer? →
In some instances, you might find that the course you have chosen is not right for you, or that you need to relocate, but before you think about leaving the course, speak to your university about the options available to you. You may be able to transfer to a different course at the same provider, transfer to a different university/college or suspend your studies for an agreed period. You will need to contact the SLC for information and guidance.
Loans for Living Costs
A Maintenance Loan is intended to contribute toward your living costs and will be paid directly into your UK bank account in three installments across an academic year.
- What you are entitled to will depend on your circumstances, where you live and study and your household income.
- You can use the funding calculator on https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator to get an estimate of what you could be entitled to.
- Courses at university typically last around 30 weeks per year. You should remember that students on Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions courses typically study for more than 30 weeks per year. Additional maintenance support will be automatically applied and factored into your loan calculation to taken into account for these extra weeks. This is known as a Long Course Loan.
- When you apply for your student finance on https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance you will be creating an online account which you can use to check what you are going to get paid and when. You can also make some changes to your application and keep SLC up to date with your information if it changes.
Q: If I take the tuition fee loan, do I have to take the Maintenance Loan? →
No. Like the Tuition Fee Loan, a Maintenance Loan is optional so if you do not need it you do not have to take it.
Alternatively, you can take a Maintenance Loan but not necessarily the full amount you are entitled to for an academic year. So, if you know you will only need a specific amount then that is all you need to apply for.
Q: If I did not take the loan and my circumstances change, can I apply in the second year? →
Yes. Providing you are eligible and entitled to receive the loan then you can choose not to take it in one year and take it in another year.
Q: If I don’t take a maintenance loan, am I entitled to any other allowances on offer? →
Yes – you might be eligible for the extra help detailed below i.e. for students with caring responsibilities or students with disabilities.
How does student loan repayment work?
If you are employed in the UK then your student loan repayments will be taken directly from your salary when you get paid, so will be deducted at the same time as your income tax and National Insurance contributions.
If you are self-employed then your repayment will be worked out as part of your self-assessment tax returns.
If you are living abroad, please visit gov.uk or more information on how to pay back your loan.
Support for placement related costs and other grants→
The following sections detail the extra help available, depending on the individual’s circumstances, for example for students living with a disability or students that are parents or carers.
Reimbursement of additional placement costs through the NHSBSA Learning Support Fund
Students starting a new pre-registration Nursing, Midwifery or Allied Health course on or after 1 August 2017 may be eligible to apply for financial support from the NHSBSA Learning Support Fund (LSF). Please visit NHSBSA website for a list of eligible pre-registration courses. Please visit NHSBSA website for a list of eligible pre-registration courses.
This offers support for:
- practice placement travel and/or temporary accommodation costs (Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses TDAE)
- students with at least one dependent child (Child Dependants Allowance)
- students experiencing financial hardship (Exceptional Support Fund)
Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses (TDAE)
If you study a pre-registration subject, you may qualify for reimbursement for some additional placement costs under the Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses element.
- You can make a claim for reimbursement of some of your expenses for travel to practice placements each day for costs incurred over and above your usual daily travel costs to attend university. If your placement is too far away from your normal term time accommodation to be able to travel there each day, you may be able to claim reimbursements towards temporary placement accommodation costs, up to a maximum rate of £55 per night.
- You need to register for a Learning Support Fund account on the NHSBSA’s website. You can download a TDAE claim form from your account. Your university must authorise your claim before sending it to the NHSBSA for payment.
- The money from NHSBSA is a grant and is not part of your loan.
Disabled Students’ Allowances
Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are designed to ensure that you have the additional support you may need as a result of your disability.
Eligible disabilities could include a long-term health condition, mental health condition or a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia.
DSAs don’t depend on household income – what you can get depends on your own needs. You don’t have to pay this back.
DSAs can help with the cost of specialist equipment, such as a computer, non-medical helpers, personal support, travel costs and other disability-related costs of studying.
Grants for students with dependents→
There are grants for students with dependents available from Student Finance England and from NHSBSA. They can be cumulated.
Student Finance England Dependants’ Grants
If you have children or an adult dependant, and you want to study a full-time undergraduate course or an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme, you may be able to get extra help through a Childcare Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance, or Adult Dependants’ Grant.
These grants are paid in addition to your main student finance. You do not need to pay them back. https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/extra-help
Student Finance England Parents’ Learning Allowance
This helps with course-related costs if you have dependent children. In academic year 2019/20 you could get up to £1,716, depending on your household income. For more information and how to apply, please visit Gov.uk
Student Finance England Childcare Grant
Depending on your household income, you could get up to 85% of your actual registered childcare costs during term time and holidays. In academic year 2019/20 you could get up to £169.31 a week for one child or £290.27 a week for two or more children. Please visit Gov.uk for more information and how to apply.
Types of childcare that qualify
You can only apply for a Childcare Grant if your childcare provider is registered or approved by:
- The Care Quality Commission
- The Department for Education
- An equivalent inspection body appointed by the Secretary of State to inspect certain independent schools.
If your childcare provider is in Wales, Northern Ireland, or Scotland, they must be registered or approved by the regulatory body that inspects childcare in the country they’re based in.
You might be able to get a Childcare Grant if your childcare provider is:
a relative of your child and is:
- – approved under the Approval of Child Care Providers Scheme in Wales, or the Approval of Home Child Care Providers Scheme in Northern Ireland,
- – providing care away from your child’s home
However, if the childcare provider is only caring for children they are related to you will not be eligible for a CCG.
Student Finance England Adult Dependants’ Grant
You can apply for an Adult Dependants’ Grant if you have a partner or another adult who depends on you financially. In academic year 2019/20 you could get up to £3,007, depending on your household income.
You can’t get Adults Dependants’ Grants for grown-up children, or if the dependant adult is a student receiving student finance.
Child Dependants Allowance (CDA)
This is available to new students who have parental responsibility for a child who is either:
- under the age of 15 years; or
- under 17 years if the child is registered with special educational needs
Parental responsibility means someone who is either a parent or has the same legal rights, duties, powers and responsibilities as a parent for a child.
This allowance will not affect your access to child support or other means of funding through your higher education provider or other sources.
Payments will be made in three termly instalments:
- term 1 – £250
- term 2 – £250
- term 3 – £500
Students on part-time courses
Students who are on eligible part-time courses will be able to apply for CDA. The amount you receive will be on a pro-rata basis:
- 4-year part-time course – £750 per year
- 5-year part-time course – £600 per year
- 6-year part-time course – £500 per year
Other financial support→
This section provides information on support for students who have already exhausted all other means of funding and experiencing severe and genuine financial difficulty during their studies.
NHSBSA Exceptional Support Fund
This is a grant intended to assist students who find themselves in unexpected hardship during training. The grant pays up to £3,000 per academic year to students who can demonstrate they have a shortfall between their available income and day to day expenditure.
Students must show they have exhausted all other sources of financial support including student loans and university hardship funds.
Click on the following link
Q: When do I need to apply?→
A student can only apply for the Learning Support Fund when they have enrolled on the first academic year of study on the course.
Any applications made in advance of course commencement will not be accepted by the NHSBSA.
Q: How long does reimbursement of placement related costs take to pay? →
The NHSBSA aims to make payment of placement costs to eligible students’ bank accounts within 25 working days of the receipt of a valid claim.
You’ll need to submit your TDAE claim form within 9 months of the date you incurred the cost.
Some students may wish to submit their forms on a fortnightly or monthly basis during their placement or wait until the end of placement to submit all claims together.
Q: Do I need to submit tickets, etc?→
You should include all receipts, tickets etc with your claim form and hand this to your university. Don’t forget to attach your student coversheet to your application form as this helps to allocate the form and any evidence to your account.
Q: Is eligibility for reimbursements and grants linked to having applied for, or not applied for, finance through Student Finance England?→
Yes. In order to apply for the Learning Support Fund allowances, students must meet the eligibility criteria defined by either Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales (SFW), Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI) or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) and be eligible for both a maintenance loan and tuition fee support.
Exceptionally, students who choose not to claim a student loan for personal reasons may still be eligible to access the Learning Support Fund, but they will be required to demonstrate that they would otherwise have met the eligibility criteria defined by SFE, SFW, SFNI or SAAS, if they had chosen to apply to one of those organisations for a student loan.
Examples (these are presented on the left-hand side with carousel, each scenario opens to new page)
The following scenarios are not based on real people and are an indication of what the repayments may be if earnings are within the following band scales. In most cases an allied health professional starting salary would be band 5.
|Pay scales and bands Pay Scale||Lower Limit||Upper Limit|
*Information is subject to change. Up to date at time of publishing September 2019
All healthcare specialists within the NHS are paid according to the “NHS Agenda for Change”. Find out more on the Health Careers website https://www. healthcareers.nhs.uk/working-health/working-nhs/nhs-pay-and-benefits/agenda-change-pay-rates
As a newly qualified allied health professional, you will be able to start working at a Band 5 position.