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Undergraduate Funding Guide for 2020/21

This guide is for new undergraduate students living in England, starting in 2020/21.

If you normally live in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the EU, please contact us for advice as you may receive a different entitlement.



The government offers help to undergraduate students to help you cover your tuition fees and support you with your living costs, so you shouldn't have to pay any upfront costs to attend University.

You will only start to repay any student loan you take out after you have finished your course and you are earning over £26,575 per year. For any money you earn above this threshold, deductions will be made automatically from your salary  at a rate of 9%, in the same way as tax or national insurance. If you earn less than £26,575, you will not make any repayments. 

Student loans are unlike other debts, as they have a relatively low interest rate and do not appear on your credit file. Any remaining balance is also written off after 30 years, regardless of what you decide to do after you graduate.

Previous study

If you have previously studied a higher education course or hold a degree already, you may not qualify for student finance support, unless you are studying an allied healthcare course such as nursing or midwifery. If you are unsure if you qualify for further funding, contact us for advice.

Loans from Student Finance England

Tuition fees

You can apply for a tuition fee loan from the government to cover your tuition fees upfront. For students normally resident in England, you will apply through Student Finance England to do this.

You can apply online by visiting Applications normally open in mid-February each year for courses starting in September.

For 2020/21, you can apply for a loan of up to £9,250 each year to cover your tuition fees.

Most undergraduate courses at the University (and in England) charge £9,250 per year - but make sure you check the fees charged for your course beforehand. At the University of Bradford, you can find information about course fees using our course search tool.

Maintenance loans

Student Finance England can also provide you with a loan to help with your living costs and course-related costs. You can apply for a maintenance loan at the same time as you apply for your tuition fee loan.

The amount of loan you can receive is based on your household income. If you're aged under 25, the amount you receive will also depend on whether you are living at home with your parents or living away from home. Any maintenance loan you receive will be divided into three and paid into your bank account at the start of each term.

The maximum maintenance loans are available to students with household incomes of less than £25,000 per year. For 2020/21 from Student Finance England this will be:

Living circumstancesMaximum maintenance loan per academic year
Living with parents £7,747
Living away from home £9,203

For household incomes above £25,000 per year, the amount of maintenance loan you receive reduces on a sliding scale. You can calculate how much you might receive using the GOV.UK Student Finance Calculator.

Single parents and disabled students who receive a qualifying benefit can also access a 'special support element' from Student Finance England.

Further information about household income

In general, if you are aged under 25, your household income will be based on your parent's income. If you are aged 25 or over, this will not be based on your parent's income. If you are aged 25 or over and you live with a partner, it will be based on their household income instead.

Some people aged under 25 can apply for 'independent' status from Student Finance England, meaning any maintenance loan you receive will be based on your household income and not your parents. This can be in cases where:

  • You have children
  • You are or have previously been married or in a civil partnership
  • You have no living parents
  • Your parents can't be traced or contacting them would put them in jeopardy
  • You have lived independently for the last 3 years
  • You are not in contact with your parents
  • You have been in local authority care for at least 3 months on or after your 16th birthday

If you are aged under 25 and think you might qualify for independent status, please contact us for advice.


Loan repayments after graduation

Loan repayments

After you graduate, you will repay any tuition fee and maintenance loans together as if they were one combined loan.

You will only start to make repayments when you are earning more than £26,575 per year - this will be deducted from your salary at a rate of 9%. Deductions are made automatically by your employer, in the same way as tax or national insurance.

You will only repay 9% of any money you earn over £26,575. For example, if you earnt £25,576 (£1 over £26,575), you would only pay 9% of that £1.

If you earn less than £26,575, you will not make any repayments.

Any outstanding loan is written off 30 years, regardless of your circumstances after you graduate.


For an average UK salary of £29,009, you would repay:

£29,009 - £26,575 = £3,284

9% of £3,284 = £219.06 per year

or £18.26 per month


Interest is added to your student loan balance. The amount of interest you pay depends on your earnings and a rate of inflation called the Retail Price Index (currently 2.4%). The interest rate you pay does not affect the size of your repayments.

CircumstancesInterest rate
While studying RPI + 3%
Salary less than £26,575 RPI
Salary between £26,575 and £46,305 RPI + up to 3%
Salary more than £46,305 RPI + 3%

Grants from Student Finance England

Some students are also eligible to receive grants from Student Finance England. Grants are different to loans as they do not have to be repaid.

You will be assessed for any additional grants you might be entitled to when you apply to Student Finance England for your tuition fee and maintenance loans.

Adult Dependants' Grant:

  • The maximum award for 2020/21 is £3,094.
  • This grant helps students who are financially responsible for another adult.
  • This will usually be your husband, wife, partner or civil partner, but other adults can sometimes be considered.
  • The adult who depends on you cannot be your child or earn more than £3,796 per year.

Childcare Grant:

  • The grant covers up to 85% of your childcare costs. For 2020/21, the rates are:
    • 1 child: up to £174.22 per week
    • 2 or more children: up to £298.69 per week
  • You must have children under 15 (or under 17 if they have special educational needs).
  • Your childcare provider must be OFSTED registered.
  • This grant doesn’t affect any income-related benefits you receive.
  • For more information about the Childcare Grant, visit our dedicated guide.

Disabled Students' Allowance

This grant helps students with disabilities, long-term illnesses or mental health needs.

This is a non-repayable grant, and is composed of three allowances:

  • general allowances (upto £1,954)
  • specialist equipment (upto £5,849)
  • to pay for non-medical helpers (upto £23,258)

You will need to attend a ‘needs assessment’ with an assessor who will determine exactly what you should be entitled to.

Parents Learning Allowance:

  • The maximum award for 2020/21 is £1,766.
  • This grant is paid to students with children.
  • This grant doesn’t affect any income-related benefits you receive.

Grants from the NHS

Some students on healthcare courses are also eligible to receive grants from the NHS. Grants are different to loans as they do not have to be repaid.

You will need to contact NHS Student Services to apply for these separately to your Student Finance England funding.

NHS Bursaries

This is a brand new scheme that has recently been announced by the Government and will be launch in September 2020. 

£5,000 per year will be made available for students on allied health profession courses, such as:

  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Diagnostic Radiography
  • Paramedicine
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy

Additional grants will also be available for:

  • £2,000 for Parental Support
  • £1,000 for new students studying shortage specialisms (e.g. diagnostic radiography, mental health nursing)
  • £1,000 for regions struggling to recruit (details TBC)


NHS Learning Support Fund

The Learning Support Fund provides additional financial support to students on university healthcare courses. At the University of Bradford, these include:

  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Diagnostic Radiography
  • Physiotherapy (not MPhysio courses)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Paramedicine

The Fund is made up of 4 packages:

  • Training Grant
  • Parental Support
  • Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses
  • Exceptional Support Fund 

For more information about the NHS Learning Support Fund, visit our dedicated webpage NHS LSF

University support

The University of Bradford also offers additional financial support to students in the form of non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships. Visit our Scholarships website for full information.

Care Experienced Student's Grant

This is available to any student who has been in the care of a local authority as a child, for any period of time. Your household income must also be less than £30,000.

The grant is worth £1,000 for each year of study.

For further information, visit the grant webpage.

UK Academic Excellence Scholarship

The scholarship is awarded to students who achieve:

  • AAA or higher in their A-levels (or equivalent) and are from low participation area backgrounds

The scholarship is worth up to £3,000, with a guaranteed £1,000 in your first year.

Further payments of £1,000 can be made if you achieve 58.00%+ in your modules in subsequent years.

For the full eligibility criteria, visit the scholarship webpage.

Student Support Fund

The Fund is available to students experiencing financial difficulty or unexpected crises during their course.

Awards of up to £2,000 per year can be made.

Students can also access budgeting and money advice.

For further information, visit the fund webpage.

Undergraduate Bursary Scheme

The bursary is available for students with a household income of less than £30,000 per year.

Payments are made in three instalments over 3 years:

  • First year of study: £500
  • Second year of year: £600
  • Third (and any subsequent) year of study: £700

For the full eligibility criteria, visit the scheme webpage.

For further information about student finance and funding: