Financial assistance for full-time undergraduate students

United Kingdom Students

 The University of Ulster will charge Home and EU Students (excluding students from Great Britain (GB)) entering full-time higher education in the 2017/18 academic year, course tuition fees of  £4030 for each year of a full-time undergraduate course. GB Students will be charged £9,000 for each year of a full-time undergraduate course. All fees are subject to an annual increase.  Exceptions to these fees are for certain health related courses where no fees are charged (details provided in this section).

For a placement year, that is, any year of the course spent away from the University gaining work-based experience, or any intercalary year that is, any year spent abroad as part of a language degree the tuition fee for that year will be £2005.

However, the package of student finance allows you to ‘study now and pay later’.

 What help is available?

While at the University you will have two main costs:

  • Tuition fees
  • Living costs

 However, there is help towards both.

Student Loan for Tuition Fees

If you are eligible for a student loan for tuition fees, you will not have to pay fees before you start university or while you are studying.  Instead you will be able to apply to your local Student Finance NI office (or Student Finance England for students living in England, Student Awards Agency for Scotland for students in Scotland or Student Finance Wales for students in Wales) for a loan to cover the cost of fees. This means that you will not have to find the money before you start your course or while you are studying, and the fees will be paid directly to the university, on your behalf. You will repay these loans once you have left university and are earning over £17,495. Repayments will be deducted from gross income at the rate of 9% of any income earned in excess of £17,495 per year. Interest on the loan is linked to inflation only, so what you repay will be worth what you borrowed.

You will NOT have to pay tuition fees for the following courses:

  • Dietetics
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiography
  • Speech and Language Therapy

Student Finance NI will provide you with a letter indicating that you are in receipt of a Student Loan for Fees.  You should bring this letter with you at the time of enrolment to prove that you have taken out a tuition fee loan deferring payment of fees until after you have left the University.  You have until 15 November to provide evidence that you have taken out a student loan to pay your fees, otherwise you will be responsible for paying the tuition fees.

Maintenance Grant

Maintenance Grants of up to £3,475 are available for full-time students from lower income households. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back. How much you get will depend on household income. Your local Student Finance NI office will work this out when you make your application for help. The table below is a guide to how much you could get:

Household Income


How much?


up to £19,203


Full £3,475 grant


Between £19,204 and £41,065


Partial grant


Over £41,065


No grant


 Student Loans for Maintenance

 A student loan for maintenance/living costs (which is partly dependent upon parental income) is available to help pay for expenses such as accommodation, food, travel and course materials. For Academic Year 2017/18, the maximum amount of this Student Loan will be £4,840 if you are living away from your parents’ home, and £3,750 if you are living at home.

Broadly speaking, 75% of the loan is not means-tested and you are entitled to apply for this irrespective of the income of your parents or spouse.

 Where you have applied by the deadlines specified by Student Finance NI the first instalment of your loan will be paid by direct electronic transfer via the Banks Automated Clearing System (BACS) into your bank or building society account approximately three to four days after the you register.

If you decide to take out a student loan, make sure you provide your National Insurance number. If you do not provide your National Insurance number, or you provide an incorrect one, your first loan instalment may be delayed and further loan instalments may not be paid.

You should apply for financial support as early as possible. If you have not done so before you come to register in September then you should do so without delay as it can take up to eight weeks for your application to be processed. If you have already applied but enrol on a different course you must inform your local Student Finance office immediately.

Health Professional Courses

 If you are taking a health professional course (Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech and Language Therapy) you are entitled to the following means tested bursary and student loan:

Bursary rates for 2017/18 were not known at the time of publication.

If you are on a Nursing course you are not entitled to a loan as you will receive a bursary from the Central Services Agency.


 University Bursaries (UK and EU Students)

The University offers a bursary of £403 if you are from a household with lower income.  To be eligible for this bursary, you must be permanently resident in Northern Ireland or the EU (excluding GB students). You must be paying the maximum fee of £4030 and your residual household income must be £19,203 or less (however, if you are on a Social Work degree, where additional financial support is available from government, you are not eligible to a bursary).

You do not have to apply for a bursary as the University awards these on the basis of financial information received from the Student Loans Company (SLC). It is essential that the University receives details from the SLC of household income in order to assess the amount of bursary to which you are entitled. If you or your parents have ticked the box on the PN1 application form to opt out of sharing this information a bursary cannot be assessed or paid.

Deadlines for financial support

To guarantee you get a payment at the start of the first term of your course, make sure you and your family fill in and return your application form by the relevant deadlines. In 2017, the deadlines are as follows:


For new students who choose not to supply financial information in their form.


April 2017
Other new students


June 2017


If you miss your deadline, there is no guarantee that you will receive a payment at the start of term.

If, after your course starts, you decide that you want to apply for financial help, you must apply no later than nine months after the first day of the academic year of your course.

Your application will generally take six to eight weeks to process.

How to check the progress of your application online

 The Student Finance NI ‘customer portal’ allows all students in Northern Ireland to access their details online. You can update your customer details, view letters that have been sent to you and view the details of scheduled payments.

Further information is available on the customer portal at

 EU Students (excluding United Kingdom)

If you are from another country in the European Union, you are not eligible for student loans for maintenance or for grants. You are, however, entitled to apply for a tuition fees loan.  You will have to provide your National Identity number.

If you wish to apply for a tuition fees loan you should contact the Student Loans Company as follows:


Student Finance Services Non UK Team

Student Finance England

PO Box 89


County Durham



Phone: +44 (0)141 243 3570 (9am – 5.30pm)