This section gives information for students who began their current course prior to September 2012, when the student finance system changed. The information is also relevant to students who are undertaking a part time ‘top-up’ degree programme immediately after completion of a part time Foundation Degree, HND or similar that started before Sept 2012. Please contact Student Financial Guidance Team if you require further clarification of this.
Students on part-time undergraduate courses which involve the study of at least 60 credits a year (or are 50% of a full-time equivalent course) can apply to Student Finance England (SFE) for a tuition fee grant and a grant of up to £297 for other study costs.
The part-time course should last no longer than twice the length of time it would to complete a full-time equivalent (FTE) course (e.g. no longer than 6 years for a 3 year FTE, or 8 years for a 4 year FTE)
Students who already have a degree or other ‘equivalent or higher level qualification’ are not eligible for this funding.
The maximum fee grant available will depend on the ‘intensity of study’:
- Students studying 50-59% of a FTE course can receive up to £907
- Students studying 60-74% of a FTE course can receive up to £1088
- Students studying 75% or more of a FTE course can receive up to £1,363
The grants are income-assessed – taking into account the student’s and their spouse’s/partner’s gross taxable income, but not that of a student’s parents. Students in receipt of means-tested benefits (i.e. Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit) qualify for the full grants.
If the income level of a single student with no children is less than £16,845 they receive the full grants. If a student has a spouse/partner and/or children this income level is raised by the following amounts:
- £2000 for spouse/partner;
- £2000 for the eldest dependent child;
- £1000 for each further dependent child.
For students who entered Higher Education from academic 2005-2006 it does not matter what the age of the student, their partner’s income is taken into account in assessing the fees and study grant. For students who entered H.E. prior to September 2005, the income of a partner will be taken into account only if the student is aged 25+. The definition of ‘partner’ includes a same-sex co-habiting partner.
Where the assessable income is more than the appropriate threshold, the amount of fees grant, then the £297 course grant, is reduced by tapers dependent on the income level.
Continuing students, who applied for part-time funding last year, will receive an email in August 2018 with a short application form (PTGC). Continuing part-time students who wish to apply for finance for the first time need to complete a full application form (PTGN). Once you have completed the application form, you will need the University to complete a section of the form to confirm that you are enrolled and attending the course, and how much the fees are, before submitting the form to SFE. New applicants cannot submit the form until you have been registered and have attended the course for at least 2 weeks. Please note: all students must now apply to Student Finance England.
Forms will be available to download from the following website: gov.uk/student-finance
If the tuition fees for the course are more than the fee grant available, the student is responsible for paying the difference. Fees for part-time courses at the University of Sunderland vary. Contact the relevant Faculty of study regarding the fees for the course you are interested in joining.