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Advice and Counselling Service

Government student finance

Student Finance is the system of financial support for undergraduate students, provided by the government, through an organisation called Student Finance England (SFE). The information below is for full time Home (England domiciled) students. The information applies to the 2022/23 academic year. 

Zoomed in graphic of a bank noteMedical and Dental students

If you are studying on a programme in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the information on this page only applies to certain academic years. Please also read our webpages for medical and dental students which explain how the funding works for those programmes and what funding is available in each academic year, including NHS funding.

Students from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

If you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, your package of government Student Finance will be different. You need to contact the funding authority in your home country: 

Student Awards Agency Scotland and Student Information Scotland 

Student Finance Wales 

Student Finance NI

EU/EEA and Swiss students

The Student Finance eligibility rules changed for courses starting in 2021/22 onwards due to the UK leaving the EU. Some EU/EEA and Swiss students may be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan only, some may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan, and some will not be eligible for Student Finance at all. Once you have checked your eligibility, please refer to the relevant sections of this guide that relate to funding you are eligible for.  

Eligibility for Student Finance

Eligibility for Student Finance

There are several eligibility requirements to meet. Whether you qualify for student finance depends on:

Your university or college 

This should be a university, college or other institution that offers a qualifying course

Your course 

Your course must be a qualifying course.If you are studying full-time your course must be:   

  • a first degree, for example BA, BSc or BEd 
  • a Foundation Degree 
  • a Certificate of Higher Education 
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) 
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC) 
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND) 
  • an Initial Teacher Training course 
  • an integrated master’s degree 
  • a pre-registration postgraduate healthcare course  

Your previous qualification(s) (The ELQ Rule)


If the qualification you are studying for at Queen Mary is equivalent to or lower than a qualification you already hold, you will not be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan, or Maintenance Loan for your new course. However, if you qualify for Supplementary Grants, you should still be eligible for these. The ELQ rule applies whether you obtained your qualification in the UK or elsewhere, and regardless of whether you studied at a publicly or privately funded institution.

Your previous study 

If you have previously studied on a Higher Education course, at a publicly funded institution in the UK or elsewhere, but you did not obtain a qualification, you may not be entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan for every year of your new course.  

You can usually still get a Maintenance Loan in each year of your course even though you have previous study. If you qualify for Supplementary Grants, you should also be eligible for these in each year of your new course too. 

The number of years that you can get a Tuition Fee Loan for the new course is worked out as follows:  

OD+1- PC 

OD (ordinary duration of the current course) +1 (extra ‘plus one’ year) – PC (years of previous Higher Education study before current course)

Example: 

Previous course: 2019/20 – enrolled Year 1 (3-year Business Studies degree) at Bath University but withdrew December 2019.

Current course: 2022/23 – enrols Year 1 at Queen Mary (3-year History degree)

Entitlement to Student Finance for current course = 3+1 – 1 = 3

The standard length of the current course is 3 years, plus the ‘plus one’ year, minus one year of previous study at Bath leaves 3 years of full Student Finance at Queen Mary

Even if you only attend a course for part of an academic year (even just one day), this counts as an entire year of previous study.   

If you are only entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan for part of your new course, because of your previous study, your tuition fee loan entitlement will be applied to the later years of your course rather than at the beginning. You will need to self-fund your tuition fees in any year you are not entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan.   

If you failed to complete your most recent previous course because of compelling personal reasons (for example medical reasons or serious personal or family issues) Student Finance England has discretion to fund the first year of your new course despite your previous study. Please contact a Welfare Adviser for advice about making an application to SFE for discretionary funding.

Your age  

There is no upper age limit for Tuition Fee Loans or grants.
If you are aged 60 or over you may be eligible for a Special Support Loan towards your living costs. The amount you can apply for depends on your household income: see the Maintenance Loan page for more information.

Your personal eligibility  

You must meet the Student Finance England personal eligibility criteria. Your eligibility depends on your nationality/immigration status and your residency.  
There are many categories of eligibility. To be eligible, you must meet each of the criteria of one of the categories. Please see the SFE Assessing Eligibility Guidance for full details.   
There is further personal eligibility guidance for EU/EEA/Swiss students below.

All students must not be in breach of any previous student loan repayment.  

Medical and Dental Students may be eligible for NHS funding in certain academic years of the course. The eligibility criteria for NHS Funding are detailed in the NHS Bursary Scheme Rules, which broadly follow the SFE eligibility. Please see the Medical and Dental students funding webpage for more information on NHS Funding. 

If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact a Welfare Adviser who will be able to advise you about your individual situation. 

If your application for Student Finance is refused, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service who can advise you about your eligibility and appeal rights and can help you make your appeal, where appropriate. If you have not received a written decision, it is helpful to contact SFE on 0300 100 0607 to request one so you can appeal the decision if you need to. You can download SFE’s 'How to Appeal’ guide and the SFE appeal form on the gov.uk website. 

When do I apply for Student Finance?

When do I apply for Student Finance?

To try and ensure that you are paid the first instalment of your Student Finance at the start of the 2022/23 academic year, you should apply (and provide any additional documentation or information required by SFE) by the following deadlines:  

  • new students - 20 May 2022.   
  • continuing students - 24 June 2022.  

If you have not applied by the above deadlines, you can still apply for Student Finance up to 9 months after the first day of the academic year (31 May 2023).   

If your Student Finance will not be ready for the start of the academic year, you may be able to apply for a short term loan from Queen Mary. 

New students do not need to have a confirmed place on a course before you apply. If you later change your choice of course or university, you can notify SFE through your online account. 

Continuing students should be invited to reapply for your Student Finance, so look out for emails from SFE in March each year. However, if you will be resuming your course part way through the academic year, for example following an interruption, please see the 'Will my Student Finance be affected when I return from an interruption?' guidance for information on when and how to re-apply for Student Finance.[these links will need changing for new website] 

EU continuing students who are only eligible for a tuition fee loan should automatically be sent the EUPR1A form so it is important to notify Student Finance England if you change address using the EU notification of change of circumstances form (EUC01). 

How do I apply for Student Finance?

How do I apply for Student Finance?

How do I apply? 

The easiest way to apply is online via the gov.uk website. 

However, if you prefer you can apply using a paper application form 

EU students (eligible for a tuition fee loan only) must apply using the paper application form:  

If you are an EU Student eligible for tuition fee support and living cost support (see the eligibility guidance section on this page), you can apply online. 

EEA Migrant workers can start the application process online and set up an online account with SFE, but when working through the online application form you will be directed to download and complete a PN1 form at the appropriate point.

To apply for Student Finance, you will need:  

  • Your passport details 
  • Details of the university and course 
  • Your bank details 
  • Your National Insurance number* 
  • Your EUSS Share Code (if you have EUSS pre-settled or settled status).  
    NB SFE can only accept a ‘general code’ When presented with the options you just need to select ‘another reason’ which should generate the ‘general’ share code.  
  • If applicable, your parents’ or partner’s details, including their National Insurance number and income details (alternatively you can provide this later) 

* Undergraduate students applying for Maintenance Support must provide SFE with their National Insurance number. SFE cannot release payment without this. If you don’t have a National Insurance number, you can either apply for one before applying for Student Finance, or your application for Student Finance will trigger the DWP to send you a National Insurance Number application pack (to UK addresses only).   

EU nationals applying for the Tuition Fee Loan only do not need to supply a National Insurance Number.

What evidence do I need for my Student Finance application?

What evidence do I need for my Student Finance application?

What evidence do I need to provide with my application? 

Please see the SLC guidance for students, parents and partners providing evidence to support a student finance application. Which includes guidance on the following: 

  1. If you need to provide evidence of your identity. 
  1. If your parent(s) or partner need to provide evidence of their income. 
  1. If you or your parent(s) need to provide evidence of marital status. 

If you apply online, once you have completed your application you will see a list of evidence you need to send. Remember to upload this straight away to your online SFE account to avoid delays to your application and payments. There may be some evidence which SFE asks you to post to them rather than upload. Look out for any correspondence from SFE after you have applied asking for more evidence and provide this as soon as possible.  

If you are asked to send any original documents, it is advisable to keep copies. Try to send your documents straight away to avoid delays to your application and payments, preferably using Royal Mail Special Delivery post which enables you to track delivery.  

After you apply

If there are any problems or severe delays with your application, or if you are told you are not eligible for Student Finance, contact a Welfare Adviser and we can advise you and try and help you resolve issues with SFE where possible. If your Student Finance is delayed, after you enrol at Queen Mary you can apply for a short term loan from the university while you are waiting.  

The Student Finance income assessment

The Student Finance income assessment

Certain elements of Student Finance are income assessed to work out how much you are eligible for. These are part of the Maintenance Loan, and the Supplementary Grants. In the Maintenance Loan section later on this page we explain how the income assessment works and how much loan you can get.  

The Queen Mary Bursary is also assessed on household income. If you want to get the bursary but you don’t want to take out a Maintenance Loan, this is possible. Please see our Queen Mary Bursary information for how to do this.

The Student Finance income assessment is based on your household’s gross income for the tax year two years previously (e.g. for the 2022/23 academic year, the income for the 2020/21 tax year is assessed).  

This is:  

  • your own personal income, however most students will not have any personal income to declare as this relates only to taxable unearned income, so income from part-time work is ignored. Guidance about what types of personal income needs to be declared is given in the SFE application form 
  • your parent(s) and their partner’s income, unless you are an independent student. SFE will work out your parents’ residual income by taking their gross income (before tax and National Insurance) and deducting certain allowances. 
  • See the Student finance: how you're assessed and paid 2022 to 2023 guidance for more information.  

If your parents are separated or divorced, SFE will use the income of whichever parent you are financially dependent on, including the income of your parent's partner, if they have one. They will ignore the income of the other parent.   

If the total estimated household income for the full current tax year is at least 15% lower than for a previous tax year, your parents can apply for a current year income assessment. 
 
Once your application has been income assessed, if you do not receive the maximum Maintenance Loan, the system assumes parents will fill the gap. MoneySavingExpert has a UK University Maintenance Calculator/Ready Reckoner which works out the parental contribution by subtracting the loan the student will receive from the full Maintenance Loan. We understand that parents are not always able to make a contribution and you may have to find other ways to fund the rest of your living costs. Please look at our budget planning guidance and the other possible funding options on our Undergraduate Funding pages. Please see the gov.uk webpage 'Understanding living costs while studying at university or college'.  

Independent students (care experienced or estranged)

Independent students (care experienced or estranged)

The UCAS website lists several categories of student who qualify as independent for the purpose of the Student Finance income assessment. If you are in one of these categories SFE will not require parental income information, but SFE will consider any taxable unearned income you have in the current academic year. This does not include income from any part-time or vacation work so most students do not have any relevant income to be counted. Therefore, most independent students can qualify for the maximum amount of Maintenance Loan. If you are married or in a civil partnership or aged over 25 and cohabiting at the start of the relevant academic year, your partner’s income will be counted in the income assessment.  

Students who have experience of being in Local Authority care, as well as students who have no contact - or very limited contact - with either parent (this is known as ‘estrangement’) can apply for independent status. We have detailed guidance about how to apply on our estranged Students webpage and on our care experienced students webpage. You can arrange tomeet with a Welfare Adviser to discuss your situation, and they can help you to apply. There is also other financial support that we can explain to you, and which is also described on our estranged students and care experienced students webpages.  

Tuition Fee Loan

Tuition Fee Loan

You will be charged a tuition fee by Queen Mary in each academic year. The Home rate of tuition fee is £9250 unless you started your course before 2017. The tuition fee is frozen at £9250 up to and including the 2024-25 academic year.  
 
You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to pay all or part of your tuition fee if you are eligible. Tuition Fee Loans are repayable - more information can be found in our Loan Repayments section on this page.

The Tuition Fee Loan is not income assessed. The money is paid directly from the Student Loans Company to Queen Mary on your behalf.  

Non-payment of tuition fees can lead to deregistration from your programme so make sure you apply in good time for a Tuition Fee Loan. Payment deadlines are explained in the Queen Mary Tuition Fee Regulations.

If you intend to pay your own tuition fee instead of taking a loan, you will need to sign a payment agreement before enrolment. You will be required to pay 25% of the total amount of tuition fee which you are self-paying on or before enrolment, and the remaining balance will normally be payable in seven monthly instalments between October and April. Please note the deregistration information above and ensure you can pay by the relevant deadlines. Before enrolling ensure you have adequate funds to pay all of the tuition fee instalments on time. There are no university hardship funds which can help you to pay your tuition fees once you have enrolled on your course.  

Maintenance Loan

Maintenance Loan

The Maintenance Loan is to help towards paying your living costs, for example rent, food, bills and travel. If you are eligible for a Maintenance Loan, the total amount you can get for the academic year will be split into three payments and paid into your bank account at the start of each semester (September, January and May).

How much is the Maintenance Loan? 

The maximum amount of Maintenance Loan you can get depends on your circumstances, including where you live during the academic year, how much your household income is and whether you are a final year student (final year students receive a lower amount of Maintenance Loan than in other years).  

Students who live away from home can get a higher amount of Maintenance Loan than those living with parents. You should only apply for the 'away from home' rate of Maintenance Loan if you will be living away. SFE may contact you to request evidence that you are living away from home for example your tenancy agreement. If you are living at home but receiving the away from home rate of Maintenance Loan, SFE could consider your application to be fraudulent and could cancel your student finance entitlement. If your living arrangements change you need to notify SFE.  
 
Students on longer than standard courses can get an extra amount of Maintenance Loan above the standard amounts. This applies if you are required to attend your course for more than 30 weeks and 3 days in an academic year. The maximum amount of Long Courses Loan in 2022/23 is £134 for each extra week or £69 if you live in your parental home. 

In 2022/23 the Maintenance Loan rates for students studying in London are: 

Where you will be living 

Maximum Maintenance Loan (100%) 

Non-income assessed Maintenance Loan 

Students not in their final year 

Living away from home 

£12,667 

£6,308 

Living at home 

£8,171 

£3,597 

Overseas rate (inc. ULIP) 

£11,116 

£5,374 

Final year students 

Living away from home 

£11,736 

£5,747 

Living at home 

£7,689 

£3,304  

Overseas Rate (inc. ULIP ) 

£9,950 

£4,669 

Household Income assessment 

Students with household incomes of £25,000 or less qualify for the maximum Maintenance Loan at whichever rate applies to your situation (living at home, living away from home and studying in London or overseas). 

For a detailed explanation of the income assessment for full year and final year rates of Maintenance Loan, for students with household incomes of more than £25,000, see Student finance: how you're assessed and paid 2022 to 2023 (section 4.4).  

Students Eligible for Welfare Benefits 

You might be able to get extra Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs if: 

  • you're a lone parent or single foster parent of a child or young person under 20 who is in full-time education below higher-education level or on an approved training course. 
  • you have a partner who is also a full-time student and one or both of you is responsible for a child or young person under 20 who is in full-time education below higher-education level or on an approved training course. 
  • you have a disability and qualify for the Disability Living Allowance, Disability Premium or Severe Disability Premium. 
  • you're deaf and qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances. 
  • you have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks. 
  • you have a disability and qualify for income-related Employment and Support Allowance; or 
  • you qualify for Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment. 

In 2022/23 the Maintenance Loan rates for students studying in London and who are eligible for Welfare Benefits whilst also being a full-time student are: 

Where you will be living 

Maximum Maintenance Loan (100%) 

Non-income assessed Maintenance Loan 

Students not in their final year 

Living away from home 

£13,815 

£6,308 

Living at home 

£9,640 

£3,597 

Overseas 

£12,374 

£5,374 

Final year students 

Living away from home 

£12,947  

£5,747 

Living at home 

£9,191  

£3,304 

Overseas 

£11,290 

£4,669 

Household Income assessment (for students eligible for Welfare Benefits) 

Students with household incomes of £25,000 or less qualify for the maximum Maintenance Loan at whichever rate applies to your situation (living at home, living away from home and studying in London or overseas). 

For a detailed explanation of the income assessment for full year and final year rates of Maintenance Loan, for students with household incomes of more than £25,000, see Student finance: how you're assessed and paid 2022 to 2023 (section 4.4). 

How will my loan affect means-tested welfare benefits? 

Part of your Maintenance Loan is paid as a 'Special Support Element' for books, childcare, travel and equipment. The 'Special Support Element' (£4,106) is not taken into account as income by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when calculating your means tested benefits. Your SFE entitlement letter should breakdown the ‘Special Support Element’ portion of the Maintenance Loan separately.  

Students aged 60 or over on the first day of the first academic year of their course (Special Support Loan) 

Students aged 60 or over on the first day of the first academic year of their course, with a household income of £25,000 or less, qualify for the maximum Special Support Loan for living costs. In 2022/23 the maximum amount of Special Support Loan is £4,106. 

For a detailed explanation of the income assessment for students aged 60 or over with household incomes of more than £25,000, see Student finance: how you're assessed and paid 2022 to 2023 (section 4.4).  

Students aged 60 or over with household income above £43,780 do not qualify for a loan for living costs. 

Loan repayments

Loan repayments

Your Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan will be combined into one Student Finance loan account which is repayable after course completion, but only if your income is a certain level or above. The income thresholds for loan repayments are explained on the gov.uk website, as well as how repayments are made. 

Your monthly repayment amount is based on how much you earn once you finish studying, not on how much you borrowed. The amount you borrow just affects the total repayment amount and therefore how many years it will take you to repay your loan. If your income stops, or falls below the salary threshold, your repayments should automatically stop. 

If you live outside the UK after completing your course, there are different loan repayment thresholds depending on the country.  

You will be charged interest on your loans from the day you receive them, until the loan is repaid or written off, whichever is first. The interest is added to the total amount you owe every month. The gov.uk website explains interest rates. 

You may also find the Money Saving Expert website useful. 

Students who are parents or who have an adult dependent

Students who are parents or who have an adult dependent

There are income assessed grants for students with certain circumstances, such as student parents, or students with an adult dependant. All supplementary grants are non-repayable.  
 
There is information on the gov.uk website about each of the supplementary grants including the eligibility criteria, how much you could get, how to apply, and what information you will need to provide: 

Parents Learning Allowance 

Childcare Grant 

Adult Dependants Grant 

Please also refer to our Students with Children webpage as well as to the information on this page about extra Maintenance Loan for students eligible for welfare benefits

If you are a lone parent, you are likely to be eligible for the maximum amounts of Parents Learning Allowance and Childcare Grant. If you have a partner, their income will be counted, which could reduce or eliminate your entitlement. A Welfare Adviser can help you check your entitlement if you are unsure.  

If you are claiming means tested welfare benefits, the only Supplementary Grant income which will be counted in your benefit calculation is the Adult Dependants Grant; income from the other Supplementary Grants will be ignored. 

If you are an EEA national who is eligible for a Maintenance Loan, then you would also be eligible to apply for supplementary grants as applicable to your circumstances. 

Students with a disability, specific learning difference, or ongoing ill health

Students with a disability, specific learning difference, or ongoing ill health

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) is support to help pay the extra costs you may have as a direct result of your disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition, or specific learning difference such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. DSA can help pay for extra study related costs like specialist equipment or travel costs, or (in some circumstances) a non-medical helper. 

DSA is not income assessed. How much support you get is based on your needs. It is non-repayable.  

Information about eligibility, amounts, and how to apply are on the gov.uk website. 

Please refer to our maintenance loan section on this page for students eligible for welfare benefits. 

Our webpage Extra Money: Disability and ill health has advice on possible additional funding including welfare benefits.  

Contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service at Queen Mary for advice about support.  

Help with travel costs to clinical placements (Medical / Dental students)

Help with travel costs to clinical placements (Medical / Dental students)

During the years when you are not eligible for NHS funding, you can apply for a travel grant from Student Finance England for reasonable costs you incur travelling between your home and the hospital or other facility in the UK where you are doing your clinical training placement. You cannot claim for the first £303 you spend. This grant is income assessed. You apply online as part of your main student finance application.

There is more information on the travel grants section of the gov.uk website. 

Study or work abroad funding

Study or work abroad funding

Some courses at Queen Mary University of London include a year abroad, either to study or work. The financial support you can receive will depend on what kind of year abroad placement you undertake. If you are unsure what type of placement yours is, check with your School and the Global Opportunities Office 

Please see the Global Opportunities webpages for 2022/23 updates regarding the following programmes:  

Tuition Fees  

The tuition fee for students who will be taking a full year of study abroad or an Erasmus+/Turing Scheme work abroad placement will be £1,385 

If you are on a non-Erasmus+/Turing work abroad year, or a split year of work and study, you will pay £1,850, unless you are in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, in which case you will pay £1,385. 

If you are going abroad for just part of an academic year, and you will be spending at least ten weeks at Queen Mary, you will be liable to pay the full annual tuition fee (£9,250).  

You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to pay you tuition fee if you are normally eligible for one. 

SFE Living Cost Support 

Subject to the usual eligibility rules, you can apply for the following living costs support for your Study/Work Abroad Year. EEA/Swiss Migrant Worker students please see note below.  

Study Abroad 

If you are studying abroad, you can get a Maintenance Loan, subject to the usual income assessments. There is a special overseas rate of Maintenance Loan. In 2022/23, the maximum amount is £11,116 (or £9,950 for final year students). 

If you are studying abroad, once you have applied for Student Finance you should be sent a Course Abroad Form by SFE. Take this to the Student Enquiry Centre (SEC), ground floor Queens’ Building to be completed. The SEC will let you know when the form is ready to collect, and you will then need to send it back to SFE so they can process your application.  

Providing you apply to SFE on time (by 24 June 2022), you will automatically receive your first Student Finance instalment 25 working days before the course start date. The second and third instalments of your Student Finance will be paid at the start of Queen Mary Semester 2 and the exam period. 

Queen Mary can ask SFE to bring forward the first instalment of your Student Finance if you are required to travel abroad to start your study more than 25 working days before the start of the Queen Mary academic year. 

Also, in certain countries the academic year runs across two semesters rather than three, in which case Queen Mary can ask SFE to pay your second and third instalments together. 

In some countries (usually China, Japan & Russia) you may be required to show that you have the money to support yourself financially for the entire year before you are allowed into the country. In these instances, SFE will pay the full amount of Student Finance for the year on your first instalment date (unless requested otherwise). As only the university can make requests to SFE for special payment arrangements, please contact the Student Enquiry Centre to arrange this. 

SFE Travel Grant 

You can apply for an income-assessed Travel Grant from Student Finance England (SFE) for reasonable travel costs (this means buying the most cost-effective tickets for the most economical form of transport). 

You can be reimbursed for up to three return journeys from the UK to the overseas institution or workplace during a full academic year abroad. You cannot claim for the first £303 you spend. You may also be able to claim for the costs of visas, medical insurance, and a mandatory medical.  

To apply, you need to complete the SFE Travel Abroad Expenses form, which SFE will automatically send you if you are eligible to apply. You will be asked to provide evidence to support your travel expenses claims, showing proof of payment and confirmation of what you purchased, for example an e-receipt for payment of flights. 

You can apply for a Travel Grant at any time during the academic year, and you will not have to wait until your next instalment of Student Finance to be paid the Travel Grant. 

Queen Mary Bursary 

If you meet the usual eligibility requirements for the Queen Mary Bursary you will also be able to receive it during your study abroad year as long as you continue to be eligible for income assessed Student Finance. 

Study Abroad Bursary 

Queen Mary has created a Study Abroad Bursary fund to assist international placements for students who could not otherwise meet the costs of a study abroad programme. Any student who would qualify for a Queen Mary Bursary can apply for this award. Please contact the Global Opportunities Team to discuss your eligibility. 

Work Abroad Turing/Erasmus+ Placements   

Funding arrangements as per study abroad above. However, you would not be eligible to apply for the  Study Abroad Bursary. 

Work Abroad (non-Erasmus+/Turing Placements)  

You can only apply for a non-income assessed Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan at the elsewhere rate £2,940 (or £2,292 for final year students). 

Your Student Finance is normally paid at the start of each Queen Mary semester. If you need to travel abroad to start your work placement earlier than the start of the Queen Mary academic year, you could contact SFE to ask if they can discretionally pay your first instalment early. You would need to provide evidence of the start date of the work placement. 

You cannot claim the Travel Grant from SFE. 

You will not be able to get the Queen Mary Bursary, because you are not eligible for income assessed Student Finance. 

EEA/Swiss Migrant Workers  

If you receive UK government Student Finance as an EEA/Swiss migrant worker, your eligibility for maintenance (living cost) support will cease while you are on your study or work placement abroad. This is because you will lose your worker status when you stop working in the UK and therefore cannot qualify for Student Finance on that basis. You may still be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan depending on your circumstances. See the Eligibility section to check if you are eligible or contact a Welfare Adviser. 

To apply for the Tuition Fee Loan, you will need to complete the EUPR1a paper application form, which you can download from the gov.uk website. 

If you start working in the UK again when you return from your study or work abroad, you should be able to apply for full Student Finance, including maintenance support, for your next period of study. You will need to apply on a paper PN1 application form, which you can download from the gov.uk website. This form is normally for new students, so you will need to include a covering letter explaining that you are a continuing student who got a Tuition Fee Loan only in the last academic year, and who is now applying as an EEA/Swiss migrant worker for full Student Finance. For EEA/Swiss Migrant Workers, you can find more information on when and how to apply in our Student Finance section on this page.

If you have any difficulties, contact a Welfare Adviser. 

Sandwich placement funding

Sandwich placement funding

Students on a sandwich course will usually spend a year of the course on a work placement in the UK. During this year, your entitlement to Student Finance will be different to the other years of the course unless you are considered to be undertaking unpaid service (see below).  
 
Whether your work placement is paid or unpaid, you can apply for a non-income assessed Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan. In 2022/23 the rates are:  

  • £4,128 - if you live away from home and your work placement is based in London.  
  • £2,940 - if you live away from home and your work placement is elsewhere in the UK. 
  • £2,205 - if you live at home.  

The tuition fee for students who will be doing a work placement as part of a sandwich course will be 20% of the full-time rate of tuition fee, which is £1850. You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to pay for your tuition fee if you are normally eligible for the Tuition Fee Loan.

Students undertaking only one semester on work placement are charged the regular full-time rate for the year of the programme if at least 10 weeks are spent at Queen Mary.

You will not normally be eligible for the Queen Mary Bursary during the placement year of a sandwich course unless you are considered to be undertaking unpaid service (see below).    

If you receive UK government Student Finance on the basis of being an EEA worker, your eligibility for maintenance support will cease while you are on your work placement year. This is because your work placement is considered ancillary. Ancillary means the work is part of the course or work you were offered only because you have been accepted on a particular course. 
 
Unpaid Service  

If you are considered to be undertaking ‘unpaid service’ in your placement year, then you can apply to Student Finance England for the same types of student funding for your living costs as you would in the other years of your course as well as the Queen Mary Bursary (subject to the usual income assessment). See section 6.2 of SFE’s Assessing Eligibility Guidance 2022 to 2023 for the definition of unpaid service. 

Sharia compliant finance

Sharia compliant finance

Some students don’t feel able to take Government Student Finance loans for faith reasons, due to the interest payment system. Interest is charged on Student Finance loans from the day they are paid until the loan is repaid or written off, whichever is first. The interest is added to the total amount owed every month. The gov.uk website explains interest rates. 

Note that Student Finance includes some grants which are non-repayable and are explained earlier on this page. These only apply to students in particular circumstances. 

If you decide for not to take loans for your studies you would need to find alternative funding such as family, friends, savings, etc, to cover the cost of your education. Also, some other funding is only available for someone who has taken out a Maintenance Loan. For example: 

  • Students can only apply to the Financial Assistance Fund at Queen Mary if they have taken their full Maintenance Loan entitlement 
  • Banks often want to see evidence of a Maintenance Loan before opening a student account with the interest-free overdraft facility 
  • Some trusts and charities may require students to first take a Maintenance Loan before applying for financial support  
  • If you are entitled to claim welfare benefits as a student, the office assessing your benefit claim will assume you have taken your loan entitlement and will reduce your benefit entitlement accordingly 

Sharia-compliant financing 

The UK government has been exploring the possibility of an Alternative Finance system available alongside traditional student loans that will avoid the payment of interest but results in identical repayments to the conventional system. This funding would be Sharia (Shariah, Shari’ ah) compliant and overseen by a Sharia advisory committee. The UK government undertook a public consultation ending in September 2014 which has resulted in an agreement to offer an Alternative Finance product. This 'Takaful' product has received preliminary approval from Al Rayan Bank's Sharia supervisory committee and chapter 4, paragraphs 27-36 of the November 2015 government green paper 'Fulfilling our potential Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice [PDF 2,197KB] sets out the details of this. It is also referenced in Sucess as a knowledge economy' [PDF 13,948KB] dated May 2016. 

Unfortunately there have been no recent updates from the government and we do not know if or when they are going to introduce a Sharia compliant student finance product. We will update this page if there is any news.

Some financial institutions have Sharia-compliant financial services. They guarantee that money held in these accounts is not invested in industries such as gambling, alcohol or weapons manufacturing.  

Trusts and Charities 

  • The COSARAF Foundation runs the Sheikh Family Scholars’ Fund for Muslim undergraduate home students in financial difficulties. This funding is open to undergraduate home students studying their first degree. Applications for a grant are considered once a year in October. Information and the application form are available on the COSARAF website
  • If you are a Muslim student and your motivation for doing your course is to serve your community, then you may apply for a grant towards your tuition fees and learning resources from the Education Fund at National Zakat Foundation. Detailed advice about eligibility and the different areas of study they fund is on their website

Personal Eligibility for EU/EEA/Swiss Students

Personal Eligibility for EU/EEA/Swiss Students

There are many categories of eligible student. To be eligible you must meet each of the criteria of one of the categories. Please see the SFE Assessing Eligibility Guidance for full details. Your eligibility depends on your nationality, immigration status and your residency. 

We have summarised below three of the main categories of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who might qualify for government Student Finance in England. 

In some categories this would just mean qualifying for an SFE Tuition Fee Loan only. In others it also means qualifying for living costs support as well (the SFE Maintenance Loan, SFE Supplementary Grants (as applicable) and the Queen Mary Bursary, depending on the income assessment. 

Pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme 

If you are: 

  • An EU national on the first day of the first academic year of the course (you may also be eligible if you are the relevant family member of someone who is an EU national in the UK); and 
  • You have Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or you are awaiting a decision on an application you made to the EUSS by the deadline, or appealing a decision; and 
  • You have been ordinarily resident in the UK/EEA/Switzerland/Gibraltar for the full three-year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course (1 September for course starting between September and December); and 
  • That residence was not wholly or mainly for the purpose of education; and 
  • You are undertaking the course in England 

You should be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan. Please check our guidance on how to apply.  

EEA/Swiss Migrant workers 

If you are an EEA or Swiss national and you meet the eligibility criteria for the category above (Pre-Settled Status) and, in addition, if you are ordinarily resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course (this is 1 September for course starting between September and December) you could qualify for living costs support in addition to the Tuition Fee Loan if you or a relevant family member are a worker in the UK.  
 
Worker status must be maintained throughout the course; where worker status is lost, you would no longer be eligible for support under this category.   

The necessary requirements for being deemed a worker are detailed and are explained on page 40 onwards of the SFE Assessing Eligibility guidance. Worker can include employed, self-employed, and in some cases former workers. We also have guidance below about the type of work and hours of work required to meet 'worker' status. If you need help applying, please contact a Welfare Adviser 

Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme 

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national who has been granted Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme you may be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan and living costs support if you meet all of the following criteria on the first day of the first academic year of the course (1 September if your course starts between September and December): 

  • ordinarily resident in England  
  • have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom and Islands throughout the three-year period preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course 
  • if the three-year residence period referred to above was wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education, you must have been ordinarily resident in the territory comprising the UK, Gibraltar, EEA and Switzerland immediately prior to the start of that period of residence. 

If you are an EU national who has been granted Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme but who does not have three years of ordinary residence in the UK and Islands on the first day of the first academic year of the course, but you do have three years of ordinary residence in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA and Switzerland, you can be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan only under this category. However, check the category above (EEA/Swiss Migrant workers) as, if you meet that criteria, you could also get living costs support.   

Irish citizens 

Irish citizens are free from any restriction on the period for which they may remain in the UK. They are deemed to have ‘settled status’. They do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Please check the information below to see if you are eligible for Student Finance.  

Please note that where a category refers to ‘the first day of the first academic year of the course’, for courses that start in September this is defined as 1 September, or for courses that start in January this is defined as 1 January.

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for full Student Finance funding, please read the section below that to check if you are eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan only. For all categories you must be studying the course in England.  

Full support (Tuition Fee Loan and Living Costs Support) 

There are two main categories of eligibility. You only need to meet one of these:  

  • Three years of ordinary residence in the UK or Islands immediately prior to the first day of the first academic year of the course and to be ordinarily resident in England on this date.  To be eligible for support, your residence in the UK and Islands during the relevant three-year period must not have been wholly or mainly for the purposes of receiving full-time education; or 
  • To have been resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 and be a worker or self-employed person, or the relevant family member of such a person; and be ordinarily resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and have been ordinarily resident in the territory comprising the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA and Switzerland throughout the three-year period preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course. 

Worker status must be maintained throughout the course; where worker status is lost, you would no longer be eligible for support under this category. 

Tuition Fee Loan only 

There are two main categories of eligibility. You only need to meet one of these:  

  • To have been ordinarily resident in the Common Travel Area (the UK, Islands and Ireland) for the three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of the course. You don’t need to be resident in England on that date but you need to be studying the course in England so you would normally be expected to be resident in England by the start of term; or 
  • You must be an Irish Citizen on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and have been resident in the EEA or Switzerland on 31 December 2020 (or have moved to the UK before this date immediately after living in the EEA or Switzerland); and have lived continuously in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar between 31 December 2020 and the start of the course; and have lived in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar for the full three year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course; and your residence in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar during the relevant three-year period must not have been wholly or mainly for the purposes of receiving full-time education.  

How to apply for Student Finance as an EEA/Swiss Migrant Worker

How to apply for Student Finance as an EEA/Swiss Migrant Worker

General information on how to apply for Student Finance can be found in the earlier sections on this page.

EEA/Swiss Migrant Workers or their family member(s) cannot fully apply online. You can start your Student Finance application online but then SFE will ask you to complete a paper PN1 application form 

Documents you will need 

You will need to provide Student Finance with a range of documents to prove your worker status and your nationality.  If you are applying as a family member of an EEA/Swiss worker you will also need to provide documents to prove the family relationships and your family member’s EEA/Swiss Worker status. 

  • Your original passport to prove your nationality. However, if you are providing a share code to confirm your immigration status, you do not have to send additional identity evidence 
  • If you are applying as the family member of an EEA/Swiss worker, you will also need to provide your family member’s share code and their original passport 
  • You will also need to provide formal documents to confirm your relationship to your family member. Student Finance is strict about what documents it will accept, and precisely what you need to provide will depend on your circumstances. A Welfare Adviser can give you advice about what documents you will need 
  • For some documents such as birth and marriage certificates, Student Finance will accept official copies. Who can certify documents and what they must write on the copy of the document is explained here  
  • Evidence that you/your relevant family member, are employed or self-employed

    If you/your family member are employed, you will need to submit all the following documents: 

  • Your/their employment contract 
  • A letter from your/their employer confirming the contract accurately represents the hours and terms within the contact. The letter must be on headed paper and signed by the HR department or a manager. The information should confirm: the date the work started, the job title, whether the job is permanent, how many hours work is done each week and how much the salary is 
  • The last 3 months’ payslips. If you have been working for less than 3 months, contact a Welfare Adviser as it may not be necessary for you to wait until you have 3 months’ payslips 
  • If you are paid weekly or fortnightly, you will also need to provide a payslip to show you are working in September (just provide the first one for that month). If you are paid monthly, you don’t need to provide a September payslip – just ensure that your employer’s letter is dated in September 
  • A copy of your P60 from the most recent tax year that has ended if you were working in that tax year 
  • SFE will request evidence of your continued employment during the year so it's important to keep evidence of your continued work 
  • For subsequent years you will need to reapply using a paper PR1 form. 

If you/your family member are self-employed you will need to provide the following documents:  

  • Evidence that you/they are registered self-employed with HMRC, you should be sent a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) letter 
  • Last 3 months invoices and corresponding bank statements. 
  • Last 3 months business expenditure 
  • If you have been self-employed for less than 3 months, contact a Welfare Adviser 
  • Most recent tax return (if available) 
  • SFE will ask you to send evidence of continued self-employment during the year so it's important to keep evidence of your continued self-employment 
  • For subsequent years of study, you will need to reapply using the PR1 application form 
  • A letter written by you, explaining how you meet the eligibility requirements for Student Finance as an EEA Worker. Your letter must confirm your residency information, to the day, for the full three years prior to the start of your course. You will find a template letter which you can personalise at the end of this section 
  • You need to have been ordinarily resident in the UK on 1st September immediately before you started your course. You do not normally need to provide evidence of your residence at the time of applying, but SFE might ask you to provide it later. Examples of documents you could provide include a tenancy agreement, or payslips, or bank statements 
  • Make sure you complete Section 3 of the application form which asks you about your residence status and for details of your work

After you have collected your documents, drafted your letter and completed as much as you can of the application form, contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service. They will check your application including your documents and your letter before you send it to SFE. It is advisable to send your application by special delivery post so you can track delivery 

European Economic Area (EEA) Migrant Worker Applications 
Student Finance England 
PO Box 89 
Darlington  
DL1 9AZ 

After you have applied 

If your application for Student Finance is refused, you can contact a Welfare Adviser who can advise you about your appeal rights and can help you make your appeal, where appropriate.  

The Welfare Adviser will need to see a copy of any letters you have received from SFE so they can check whether SFE’s decision about your eligibility seems correct. If it does not, the Welfare Adviser can advise you about appealing against it and can usually write you a letter to send with your appeal.  

If you have not received a written decision, it is helpful to contact SFE on 0300 100 0607 to request one so you can appeal the decision if you need to. You can download SFE’s 'How to Appeal’ guide and the SFE appeal form on the government website. 

Template letter to send with an application for Student Finance in the EEA/Swiss Worker category.

Do not use this letter if you are applying as the child of a migrant worker or self-employed – please contact a Welfare Adviser.

Please adapt this letter to describe your own circumstances:

European Economic Area (EEA) Migrant Worker Applications 
Student Finance England 
PO Box 89 
Darlington 
DL1 9AZ

[Insert date]

Dear Sir/ Madam, 

Application for Student Finance as an EEA/Swiss Migrant Worker 2022/23

I am a 1st/2nd/3rd/4th year undergraduate student studying on the [course title] at Queen Mary University of London.

I understand that I meet the definition of an EEA/Swiss migrant worker and should therefore be eligible for full Student Finance in this category because: 

  • I am an EEA/Swiss national from [country] who moved to the UK on date/year to live.  
  • I have been ordinarily resident in the UK since I moved here.  
  • I have been granted pre-settled/settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Share code:  [insert share code] 
  • Prior to moving to the UK, I lived in [country] all my life or for [how many] years.  
  • I have been working as a [insert your job title] for [insert your company’s name] since [month/year] 
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