What financial support you’re entitled to as a student will depend where you’re from, what course you’re studying, whether you’ve studied before and at whether you’re an undergraduate or a postgraduate. Below is a brief guide to what might be available. We strongly recommend that you contact the DSU Advice Centre to get more information before making any decisions about funding.
If you’re a student from the UK then you should be entitled to receive student financial support, including help with both your tuition fees and your living costs. The exact amounts will depend on your circumstances and which country you are from (i.e. whether you are from England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland); there’s extra support available for parents and older students with dependents.
You can make an application online at http://www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance by following the links to the relevant pages for England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. You can also find out further information from the National Association of Student Money Advisers at http://www.nasma.org.uk/students.
There’s also the Durham Grant available to supplement your statutory funding.
If you have a disability, you might also be entitled to receive disabled students allowances, which can help pay for any extra support you need whilst studying (e.g. laptop, specialist notepaper, a notetaker).
If you care for a child, or you have adult dependents, there are additional grants which can pay for things such as childcare.
If you’re a student from the European Union, you will usually be entitled to receive a tuition fee loan. You will usually only be entitled to receive help with your living costs if you are a “migrant worker” and you came to the UK to work before you started your studies.
If you’re a student from elsewhere in the world, you will usually not be entitled to receive any support with either your tuition fees or your living costs. Certain people who have come to the UK seeking asylum may be entitled to receive help with their fees or their living costs, but this will depend on your immigration status now and in the previous three years. If you’re not sure whether you should be treated as a “home” student or an “overseas” student, you can find more help from the UK Council for International Student Affairs at http://ukcisa.org.uk/.
There is usually no statutory funding available to postgraduate students in the UK, regardless of whether you are from the UK or elsewhere in the world. Funding may be available for your subject from one of the Research Councils, who provide some funding for postgraduate students. You can find out more about funding postgraduate study from Prospects at http://www.prospects.ac.uk/funding_my_further_study.htm.
If you are not able to access funding for your course, you will be expected to fund the course yourself. This could be from savings, from paid employment (but be aware that the University expects full-time postgrad students to work less than 20 hours a week) or from either a Professional Career Development Loan or from commercial funding from your bank or other lender. We cannot recommend any particular form of commercial lending.
If you have a disability, you might also be entitled to receive disabled students allowances. Whilst these won’t pay your fees or your living costs, they can help you purchase extra equipment you need to complete your studies (e.g. laptop, specialist notepaper).
If you are undertaking postgraduate study for teaching, health or social work, you may be entitled to receive funding for your postgraduate course. You can find out more information about funding, and how to apply, at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/UniversityAndHigherEducation/ChoicesAfterYouGraduate/DG_10012463. You might also be eligible to receive the Durham Grant.
Getting Further Help
This information is only intended to be a brief overview, there are hundreds of variables depending on your own particular circumstances.
If you have any questions or queries about this information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the DSU Advice Centre for expert advice and information about exactly what you should be receiving.