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For the 2021/22  academic year, the Government will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £3,397.50 for students studying on undergraduate part-time courses.

The current fee grant support will also remain in place unchanged.

The Part-time Tuition Fee Loan will be:

  • Non-means tested
  • Available to new and continuing students from the beginning of the 2021/22 academic year
  • Paid directly to the student’s Higher Education Provider (HEP)

Important:  Your fees are calculated based on the number of modules completed within the respective academic year. A tuition fee loan may not cover the total costs of your course.    If the course costs more than the student finance you can get, you need to pay the difference.

Personal Eligibility

  • New and continuing students who are undertaking a part-time undergraduate course in 2021/22 academic year may be eligible for the loan
  • Any student who has already received a part-time grant or loan funding from any source for 16 years will not be eligible
  • Students who already hold a qualification, gained in the UK or overseas, which is equivalent to or higher than the new qualification being undertaken will not be eligible for the part-time undergraduate (or distance learning) tuition fee loan

You could get this funding if you’re able to identify as one of the following:

A UK or ROI National or someone with settled status in the UK

You must:

  • normally live in Northern Ireland
  • have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years before the first day of your first academic year

An EU National

You must:

  • normally live in Northern Ireland
  • have been living in Northern Ireland for the three years before the first day of your first academic year

EU Nationals (including ROI nationals) with less than 3 years residency in Northern Ireland may be eligible for EU student funding.

A UK National who has been living in the EU

You must:

  • have normally lived in Northern Ireland before you moved to the EU
  • have normally lived in the EU for the past three years
  • be living in Northern Ireland on the first day of the first year of your course, unless COVID-19 travel restrictions prevent you from doing so

An eligible exception residency type

Our eligible exception residency types can include refugees, those under humanitarian protection or their immediate family members.

Resident in another area of the UK but living in Northern Ireland while you study?

You will not be classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ in Northern Ireland and will not be eligible for support from Student Finance NI.

You should contact your home funding provider for further information on what support is available.

Course Eligibility

  • The course must be at level 4, 5 and 6 of the Framework for HE Qualifications for England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • The Part-time Tuition Fee Loan will be available for Higher National Certificates, Higher National Diplomas, Foundation Degrees and Undergraduate degrees
  • The Course must be at least 25% intensity level
  • Courses must be completed in four times the full-time equivalent or less


The Fee Loan for part-time students is money that you can borrow to pay for your Tuition Fees when you are studying.

This is a loan, not a grant, meaning that you will have to pay it back.

You will be eligible to start repaying your loan from the earlier of the following dates:

  1. April 6th after you have finished or withdrawn from your course;
  2. April 6th after the fourth anniversary of your course start date.

The amount you repay will be linked to your residual household income.

Once you earn over £19,390 a year, you will repay 9% of anything over this amount.

If your residual household income is below £19,390, or drops below that amount, you will not have to make repayments.

The time to repay is based on residual household income and amount borrowed, not a fixed time period as with commercial loans.

Students will still be able to apply for a means tested non-repayable tuition fee grant of up to £1,230 per academic year, and a course grant of up to £265 towards books and travel for academic year 2021/22.

The grant income thresholds and amounts will not change under the new arrangements.

The grants don’t always cover the full cost of course fees so students will be able to apply for the part-time tuition fee loan as a top-up.

Students in receipt of tuition fee grants will simply see their tuition fee loan level reduced accordingly.

Tuition Fee Loan

Guidance on the Part-time Tuition Fee Loan is available from Student Finance NI, and application forms are posted directly to those students who continue on the same course they studied during the 2021/22 academic year.

All NEW starts from September 2020 can obtain a PTL1 Form from Student Finance NI or from their University/College.

EU application forms will be available from

Student Finance Services PO Box 89
County DurhamDL1 9AZ
Telephone: 0141 243 3570
From outside the UK: +44 (0) 141 243 3570 Opening hours: Monday to Friday – 9am to 5:30pm