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Funding for students on undergraduate courses

Find out what options are available to help pay for fees and living costs while you study for your undergraduate degree.


How much does an undergraduate degree cost?

When calculating the cost of an undergraduate degree there are two elements to consider - tuition fees and living costs.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees will vary from programme to programme, and depend on whether you are from the UK/EU or overseas. Check the Undergraduate Prospectus for information on what your fees may be for any particular programme.

Living costs

The amount spent on living costs may vary greatly from student to student and depend on lifestyle and individual circumstances.

For a single undergraduate student living in UCL halls, an estimated average would be £280 per week or £10,920 for the 39 weeks academic year. 

More information on cost of study and the figures above can be found on UCL's cost of study page.


Government loans

Student Finance (UK/EU students)

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Loans for tuition fees and maintenance are available from the UK government through Student Finance to help eligible UK and EU undergraduate students pay for their studies.

Home students

Eligible Home undergraduate students can get a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan in addition to supplementary grants such as the Childcare Grant, Parents' Learning Allowance, Adult Dependents Grant and Disabled Students' Allowance, depending on their circumstances.

Home students will need to apply to the relevant funding authority for the nation they normally live in:

EU students

Most EU undergraduates are entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan from Student Finance England. If you are an EU undergraduate and have lived in the UK for more than 5 years, or you are an EEA or Swiss Migrant Worker (or relative of one) you can also get a Maintenance Loan and supplementary grants.

Find out more about Student Finance funding for EEA or Swiss Migrant Workers.

For both Home and EU students: if you have previously studied in higher education, this will affect your entitlement to a Student Finance tuition fee loan.

Find out more about what is available from Student Finance and how to apply on the .gov website

Interest and Repayment

You'll be charged interest from the day you receive your first payment until your loans are repaid in full or cancelled.

Find out more about repayment of Student Finance loans and the interest they accrue on the .gov website.

US Loans

UCL participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans). This is the main U.S. Federal funding available to American students in the UK. 

The processing of loans at schools outside the US is different to that when applying to a school inside the US. Students applying to Direct Loans for study at UCL should follow the instructions carefully as we will not be able to administer your loan unless you submit that application to the Student Funding Office as outlined in the guidance.

Find out more about US Loans

Canadian Loans

Students from Canada may be able to apply for Canada Student Loans and provincial or territorial student assistance. 

Find out more about Canadian Loans


Bursaries

UCL Undergraduate Bursary

The UCL Undergraduate Bursary provides support to UK/EU undergraduates with a household income below £42,875. The Bursary is given in each year of undergraduate study, provided the household income remains below £42,875

You do not have to repay the UCL Undergraduate Bursary.

How to apply

UK Students who apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan from their funding body will submit their household income as part of the application. Provided that you opt to share this data with the university, UCL will then automatically asses you for the bursary so you don't need to make a separate application.

EU students contact studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk for information on how to apply.

Payment

Payments are made in three termly instalments directly into your bank account. The exact dates will be confirmed in a letter sent to you in September.

Find out more about the UCL Undergraduate Bursary.

Estranged Student Bursary

UCL offers a £1,000 per-year bursary for UK undergraduate students who can demonstrate they meet the definition of estrangement from their family.

Successful bursary candidates can request an advance payment of £100 to help with their transition costs in first year.

Prospective students can apply via Portico. Current students should contact studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk with evidence of their estrangement to apply.

More information on support for estranged students at UCL can be found on the Student Support and Wellbeing website.

Care Leaver Bursary

UCL offers a £1,000 per-year bursary for UK undergraduate students who live or have lived in care.

Prospective students can apply via Portico. Current students should contact studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk with evidence that they live or have lived in care.

More information on support for care leaver students at UCL can be found on the Student Support and Wellbeing website.


Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships available to undergraduate students. You can use the scholarships finder to search for awards that you might be eligible for. Your academic department may also be able to provide you with more information about funding.

Use the scholarships finder.


Funding for disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances

If you're a Home student, you can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance. You won’t need to repay DSAs.

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing provide information around DSAs and other support available for disabled students at UCL.  

Disabled students who are not awarded a Disabled Students’ Allowance may be eligible for a Student Health Association Bursary

Disabled International Students

UCL recognises that disabled students may have to incur additional costs in order to pursue their studies. If you are an international student who would like to discuss this further please contact Student Support and Wellbeing.


Benefits

As a student, it is unlikely you will be able to claim benefits unless you have a disability or have children.

The charity Turn2Us have guides on what benefits students may be eligible for. 

If you are experiencing problems with your benefits, contact the Student's Union UCL Advice Service.

Council Tax

Full-time students do not need to pay council tax


Other sources of funding

Talk to your department about any programme or subject specific funding that may be available.

From time to time external organisations contact the UCL Funding team with funding opportunities. We place these on an online notice board. UCL does not administer or take responsibility for any of these schemes.

Some students choose to apply for personal loans provided by private finance companies. UCL is not affiliated with or able to endorse any private loan providers.

Students on the MPharm programme who are in or entering their final year may be able to receive financial support from Pharmacist Support either in the form of a hardship fund or their National Student Bursary Scheme. The charity also has a Finding Funding fact sheet that lists other funding opportunities for Pharmacy students.

The Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme provides the children of people who have died in service of their country with scholarships for university.

The government has been looking in to the possibility of an alternative Sharia-compliant funding system which would be available alongside traditional student loans. However at present this system is not yet in place.

The Anglo-Jewish Association provides means-tested grants to assist Jewish students (who are British Citizens) with the costs of further education.

Online aggregators like Scholarship Search and International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search contain information on a variety of external schemes.
If you have specific circumstances or ethnic or religious background it is worth searching for scholarships, bursaries and grants that relate to those things. Some schemes are very specific. Also try subject specific searches.

Turn2Us Grants Search database contains information on over 3,000 charitable funds offering welfare and educational grants, as well as other support and services. 

Find out more about external funding options

The charity Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has a hardship fund for international students from developing countries who are facing financial hardship in the final stages of their course.

Lists of charitable grants and awards are kept in the following directories which are held in UCL libraries - see references below:

Charities Digest: Selected charities & voluntary organisations

  • 1x Main Library - Reference R 20 CHA
  • 1x IOE Library - Reference Collection, Level 4, RF3 HEW CHA

Directory of Grant Making Trusts 

  • 2x Main Library - Reference R 20 DIR
  • 1x IOE Library - Reference Collection, Level 4, RF3 HEW DIR

Grants Register

  • 1x Main Library - Ref Collection M, Reference R 20 GRA
  • 1x School of Pharmacy Library - Reference Shelves, Pharmacy 378.3 GRA

Guide to Educational Grants

  • 1x Main Library - Reference R 20 GUI
  • 1x IOE Library -  Reference Collection, Level 4, RF3 EDU

Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need

  • 1x Main Library - Reference R 20 GUI