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UK students

UK students starting Medicine in 2022/23

We have prepared the following information for UK students who are going to be starting our MBChB Medicine degree course with us in the 2022/23 academic year.

If you need any more information after reading this webpage, please contact us.

How are Medicine degree courses funded?

Medicine degree courses have a funding structure that is unique in the UK student finance regulations. This is because the Student Finance system of loans (from the Student Loans Company) fund the earlier years of the course, then the NHS Bursary system picks up some of the funding for you from the start of the fifth year of study.

The Basics:

Tuition fees

  • If you are studying Medicine as your first undergraduate degree you can apply to the Government for a non-income-assessed Tuition Fee Loan to cover the cost of your tuition fees for your first 4 years of study.
  • In your fifth year and further years of study your tuition fees will be paid to the University as a non-repayable NHS grant.

Living cost support

  • During your first 4 years of study, you can apply for a Maintenance Loan at the same rates as any other undergrad, even if you hold a previous degree qualification.
  • In your fifth year and further years of study, you can apply for a reduced-rate Maintenance Loan for living costs as well as non-repayable NHS grant/bursary funding. 

Eligibility to Student Finance and NHS Funding

As mentioned above, in Years 1 to 4 of your MBChB course it is the Student Finance system that provides assistance with paying tuition fees and a Maintenance Loan for living costs; alongside grants for students with dependants - outlined below – and extra support for Disabled Students. In your fifth year of study and onward, the NHS provides funding. The general eligibility criteria for both systems are the same.

If you are wanting to apply for Tuition Fee Loan and/or Maintenance Loan, you will need to apply to your national Student Finance office. There are separate offices depending on where in the UK you permanently reside – e.g. Student Finance England, Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Finance Wales, or Student Finance Northern Ireland. More details are available at www.gov.uk/student-finance where you can also apply online or download a paper application (PN1) if you prefer. You should apply early – around March 2022 is the earliest – in order to be sure that you receive your funding at the start of the academic year in September 2022.

In order to be generally eligible for Student Finance and NHS funding you need to:

  • have ‘settled status’ in the UK*; and
  • have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years before the start of the course*; and
  • be ordinarily resident in the UK at the start of the course

*Refugees who have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK do not need to fulfil the 3 years residence requirement; asylum seekers who have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, or Humanitarian Protection, do need to fulfil the 3 years residence requirement.

European citizens classed as EEA Migrant Workers (or their spouses or children), and EU nationals who have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme may also be eligible for fees and maintenance support.  European nationals with ‘pre-settled status’ may be eligible for tuition fees support only. For more information visit www.gov.uk/student-finance 

Funding for your first four years of study

For the first four years of study, Medicine students can apply for the same Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance funding as any other undergraduate student.

Tuition Fees

A year’s tuition will be £9250 in 2022/23.  You can apply to your national Student Finance office (see above) for a Tuition Fee Loan to pay the fees.  This loan is not subject to any age restriction and does not depend on household income. You will not start to repay student loans until you are earning over £27,295 per year.

Previous Study

Students who have already studied in higher education – if they received government funding and/or studied at a publicly-funded Higher Education Institution – may not be eligible for, or may have only a limited eligibility to, any Tuition Fee Loan from the Student Finance system. Speak to us if you think this regulation might affect you.

The Maintenance Loan can still be paid for each year, even if you already hold a previous degree qualification.

Maintenance Loan

As mentioned above, for the first four years of study Medicine students can claim the same Maintenance funding as any other undergraduate student.  

For English students applying to SFE, the maximum amount of Maintenance Loan will be available to students whose taxable ‘household income’ is assessed to be less than £25,000 per year. 

For 2022/23, the maximum rates of Maintenance Loan are £9,706 for students not living with their parents whilst studying (known as the 'elsewhere' rate), or £8,171 for students living with their parents whilst studying.  A minimum amount of Loan is paid if your household income is above the thresholds shown below – this is called the 'non-income-assessed' part of the Loan:

Indicative levels of Maintenance Loan at ‘Elsewhere’ rate of Loan:

Income                            Loan           

£25,000                            £9,706        

£30,000                            £9,012        

£35,000                            £8,318        

£40,000                            £7,623        

£45,000                            £6,929        

£50,000                            £6,234        

£55,000                            £5,540        

£60,000                            £4,845        

£62,311+                          £4,524  (minimum)


Indicative levels of Maintenance Loan at ‘Parental Home’ rate of Loan:

Income                            Loan           

£25,000                            £8,171        

£30,000                            £7,484         

£35,000                            £6,796        

£40,000                            £6,108        

£45,000                            £5,420        

£50,000                            £4,733        

£55,000                            £4,045        

£58,220+                          £3,597  (minimum)


(Scottish students should visit www.saas.gov.uk for details of their Bursary scheme, as this uses different income scales).

‘Household Income’

Your parents’ income (including that of your natural parent’s spouse/partner with whom you live) is assessed unless you qualify for ‘Independent Status’. You can be classed as ‘independent’ from parents, and therefore their income is not counted, if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • you are 25 or over at the start of the academic year; or
  • you have been married before the start of the academic year; or
  • you have financially supported yourself for at least 3 years before the start of your course (you will need to show evidence of earnings / welfare benefits); or
  • you have no living parents; or
  • you are responsible for a child/children; or
  • you are ‘irreconcilably estranged’ from your parents.

If you are married, or you are aged 25 or over and living with a partner, then your spouse/partner’s income is taken into account in assessing your entitlement to the Maintenance Loan.

The gross taxable income 2020/21 of your parent(s)/spouse/partner is taken into account, but any payments made into a personal pension fund which is subject to tax relief are deducted, and £1130 will be deducted for any other child who is financially dependent on them.  Any earnings that you, the student, may have from part-time work whilst studying are ignored; only certain taxable ‘unearned’ income you may have will be taken into account.

Students who qualify for State Benefits

Students who are classed as being in ‘vulnerable groups’ and who are eligible to claim means-tested welfare benefits while they study (e.g. Income Support, Housing Benefit) will be eligible for a higher rate of Maintenance Loan.  Generally, the main groups of students who will be eligible for this are lone parents, students with certain disabilities, and students who the Department for Work and Pensions have deemed to be incapable of work.  So, a student who fulfils one of these criteria and has a household income of less than £25,000 will receive a maximum Maintenance Loan of either £11,064 (‘Elsewhere’ rate) or £9,640 (‘Parental Home’ rate).

If a student receives this maximum loan, £4,106 will be disregarded when calculating benefits.

Adult Dependants Grant **

If you have a spouse (or co-habiting partner if you are aged 25 or over) who is financially dependent on you, you may be eligible to receive a grant of up to £3,263.

Scottish students, funded by SAAS, can receive a Dependants’ Grant of up to £2,640 for an adult dependant.

Childcare Grant ** 

If you are a lone parent, married to another student, or have a spouse/partner who is on a low income or unable to work, you could receive a Childcare Grant from SFE to meet up to 85% of your childcare costs.  The maximum grant for one child is £183.75 per week.  The maximum grant for 2 or more children is £315.03 per week.  Your childcare provider must be OFSTED registered or approved.  This grant is payable over the vacations (including summer) as well as during the academic year.

If you are in receipt of assistance towards childcare costs through Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, you cannot also receive the childcare grant.  You can, however, opt to receive the grant rather than the WTC/UC childcare element.  (WTC assists with 70% of costs, but the Childcare Grant assists with 85% of the costs).  Student Finance England will want to see that you have stopped claiming for childcare costs through WTC/UC before awarding you the Childcare Grant.

Parent Learning Allowance **    

This is a grant for students with children to help with study-related costs.  The maximum is £1,863.

Scottish students, funded by SAAS, can receive a Lone Parent's Grant of up to £1,305.


** The Adult Dependants GrantChildcare Grant and Parents Learning Allowance are specialist grants for lower-income households. The amount you may receive depends on the income of your spouse/partner and/or children - as they need to be financially dependant on you, the student, in order to receive the grants. 

Please contact us if you require further information on this calculation.

Funding from your fifth year of study

From the 5th year of study, if your permanent residence is in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, your funding will be split between two sources:

  • your national Student Finance office (SFE, SFW, or SFNI); and
  • your national health service (NHS Business Services Authority, NHS Wales Student Awards Unit, or the Dept of Health NI).

Scottish students are funded through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for all years of their course.

Tuition Fees

UK and EU medicine students do not need to take a Tuition Fee Loan out in their fifth year of study onward. This is because the tuition fees are paid to the University for you as a non-income assessed, non-repayable grant. You need to apply for this from your national Health Authority as mentioned above (e.g. NHS for English students) or, for Scottish students, from SAAS.

Non-Repayable Grant and Bursary

You will also be eligible to apply for grant and bursary from your national health service. As an example, for English students, the NHS funding currently consists of a non means-tested grant of £1,000 and you may be eligible for an additional means-tested bursary of up to £2643 (21/22 figs). There are also additional grants/allowances for dependants and for practice placement costs to be reimbursed.

Maintenance Loan

From the fifth year of study, Medicine students can claim a reduced rate of Maintenance Loan from their Student Finance office. This is not means-tested, so household income does not affect this loan. The 2022/23 reduced-rate loans for a final year student are £1,443 for a student living with parents or £1,975 for students in their own accommodation.

Thinking of intercalating study?

If you interrupt your studies on a Medicine degree in order to study a year on a different programme that interests you (such as the final year of a BSc course, or a MSc programme) and then rejoin the Medicine course from where you left off, this is called ‘intercalating study’.

Contact us in the Student Financial Guidance Team to discuss how this will affect your funding, as there are different funding scenarios depending on which course you want to intercalate and when during the Medicine course you want to do this. 

Studying Medicine as your 2nd Degree?

If you already hold a degree qualification but wish to study our Medicine course as a second degree, you can still receive some funding for this.

For your first 4 years of study on our Medicine degree, you can claim a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England as normal. You will NOT, however, be entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan - so you would need to pay your own tuition fees for your first four years of study.

From the fifth year of study, the funding arrangements are the same as for students studying Medicine as their first degree. (See the paragraph above - "Funding from your fifth year of study").

University of Sunderland Scholarships

The University of Sunderland will offer a number of scholarships in 2022/23, some of which are specifically for Medicine students.

Check out the ‘Scholarships’ link from the University’s website homepage for more details: www.sunderland.ac.uk

University of Sunderland Student Support Fund

This is a University hardship fund to help students who face unexpected costs, higher than expected costs, or face serious financial problems for other reasons.  Applications can be made once you have enrolled for the academic year.  You will need to provide evidence of all of your income and costs for an assessment to be made.  Priority groups of students for assistance from the Fund include students with children, students who are incapable of work, and final year students suffering financial difficulties.

Applications are processed by the University's Student Support Fund Team. You can find more information on the Fund here.

Free School Meals for your children

As a student, you can receive free school meals for your child(ren) if you receive either:

  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190); or
  • Universal Credit - your household income must be less than £14,000 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

You will need to contact the Local Education Authority of your child(ren)’s school and show evidence of your Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit award.

Council Tax Exemption/Reduction

Certain kinds of properties are exempt from Council Tax.  These include student halls of residence and ‘dwellings occupied only by students’ (which includes the house or flat of a student who lives alone). 

If you live with non-students then your property may not be exempt from Council Tax.  If you live with a non-student spouse or partner, and there are no other adults living in your home, you can receive a discount of 25% on the Council Tax bill when you become a student, irrespective of your spouse/partner’s income.  Your spouse/partner may also be able to claim Council Tax Reduction/Support to further reduce the bill.

You will need to obtain a Council Tax Certificate from the University after enrolment to prove your status as a full-time student. Simply print one from your university MySunderland account when you have started your course.

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