Funding information for interrupting and withdrawing students

UCL and Student Finance can offer funding information and advice for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Funding advice and support
Undergraduate Student Finance funding
Postgraduate Student Finance funding (Master's Loan and Postgraduate Doctoral Loan)
UCL Undergraduate Bursary
PGCE Training Bursary/ Scholarship
U.S. Federal Loans
PhD Funding - Stipends
UCL Financial Assistance Fund

Funding advice and support

For any query regarding interruption and funding, log in to askUCL, select 'Log an Enquiry' and choose from the categories.

Log a query via askUCL

Undergraduate Student Finance funding

The information in this section relates to Student Finance England regulations and procedures around interruption of studies. If you use one of the other funding bodies (Student Finance Northern Ireland, Student Finance Wales, Student Awards Agency Scotland) we would advise you contact them directly to find out how interruption is treated.

When you interrupt or withdraw, your faculty sends a ‘change of circumstance notification’ (CoC) to Student Finance to let them know you have interrupted or withdrawn, and your last date of attendance. This date will be the same as your ‘Date of Interruption’ i.e. the date that your interruption was approved. Student Finance use this date to calculate how much funding you should receive.

Tuition fee loan

When you interrupt:

The correct amount of tuition fee loan will automatically be paid to UCL on your behalf by Student Finance, in line with your date of interruption.

When you return to study:

You are liable for the fees that you did not pay the following year. You will need to apply for your loan for fees/maintenance funding before you return.

When you complete your application, it is important that you select ‘apply for the maximum’ option for your fees. This allows the correct fee to be calculated and paid to UCL automatically. If you attempt to calculate and enter a specific amount yourself, it is possible that the amount may be wrong. This can be time-consuming to correct afterwards.

Maintenance loan

Student Finance will calculate pro rata how much maintenance loan you should receive in line with your date of interruption. This means that if your date of interruption is halfway through a term, Student Finance will have overpaid you 50% of your maintenance instalment for that term. When there is an overpayment, Student Finance will ask you to repay that money or have it deducted from your funding when you return to study.

If repaying this overpayment or having it deducted from your funding when you return to study would put you in financial hardship, you can apply to Student Finance to keep the overpayment via their hardship process

An extra 60 days for health reasons

If you interrupt for health reasons, Student Finance will add 60 days of maintenance funding from your date of interruption. This usually means any overpayment is reduced or eliminated.

Maintenance funding for more than 60 days

You may be able to get funding for more than 60 days if you can prove that you will be in financial hardship during your interruption if you don't continue to receive a maintenance loan. You'll be asked to provide evidence that you cannot support yourself by any other means, along with proof of your financial obligations. Your proof could be bank statements, tenancy agreements and other financial commitments. 

To apply for discretionary maintenance payments on the basis of hardship, call Student Finance. They will send you a form to complete and submit.

Funding when you return to study

You must apply for funding from Student Finance for each academic year that you need it. Apply for your funding before you return to study so that the money can be approved and released to you when you return.

Your overall funding entitlement

You are entitled to tuition fee funding for the duration of your course, plus one additional ‘gift year’. Interrupting or withdrawing from your studies will use up one of these years.

However, you may interrupt or withdraw for ‘compelling personal reasons’ (e.g. mental or physical health, personal or family crisis). Should you submit evidence to Student Finance, they may grant you that year of tuition fee funding again. 

Postgraduate Student Finance funding (Master's Loan and Postgraduate Doctoral Loan)

If you are receiving a Postgraduate Master’s Loan or Postgraduate Doctoral Loan from Student Finance and take an interruption of study, your faculty will send a change of circumstance notification (CoC) to Student Finance with your date of interruption. Your loan will be paused from the date of interruption. When you return to study, your faculty will inform Student Finance. Your loan payments will then begin again.

Should you receive a payment while you are not in attendance, do not pay this back to Student Finance. Keep the payment safe for when you return to study. If you repay an overpayment of Postgraduate Loan, it cannot be released to you again.

You cannot receive a Postgraduate Master’s Loan or Postgraduate Doctoral Loan funding for any repeat periods of study. Typically, you can only secure a Postgraduate Master's or Doctoral Loan once. However, if you withdraw from your course for 'compelling personal reasons' and provide evidence of this to Student Finance, they may permit you to apply again, provided you are starting a new course.

Student Finance login

UCL Undergraduate Bursary

When you interrupt your studies, your UCL Undergraduate Bursary stops. If you interrupt part way through the term, it may be considered that you have received an overpayment. The Student Funding team may give you the option to pay the money back or have the amount deducted from your next instalment when you return.

When you return, make sure you have had your household income assessed by Student Finance for that academic year. If your household income is still below £42,875 per year, your UCL bursary payments will start again.

PGCE Training Bursary / Scholarship

When you interrupt, your PGCE Training Bursary / Scholarship payments will stop. If you are in attendance on the 1st of the month in which the bursary is paid, you will still be entitled to this payment.

You will be required to repay any money you have been overpaid. When you return, you will not receive PGCE Training Bursary / Scholarship payments for months that you have already been paid for in the previous academic year.

U.S. Federal Loans

If you receive U.S. Federal Loans and you interrupt or withdraw from studies, you must inform the UCL Student Funding Office immediately. Your loan eligibility will change and your Cost of Attendance will be recalculated based on your new student status.

Should you interrupt for more than 180 days, you will be reported as withdrawn for U.S. Federal Loans purposes. The conditions of your loans for when you are no longer studying will then come into play. If you subsequently return to education, your loan can be reinstated at that point.

If you withdraw from your programme, you must complete exit counselling. Any unearned funding must be returned to the U.S. Department of Education according to their guidelines.

PhD Funding Stipends

If you interrupt as a PhD student, you must let your funding provider know. Your funding will then be paused, resuming when you return. If you are interrupting for pregnancy or maternity/paternity/adoption leave, speak to your funding provider about financial provision that may be available to you.

UCL Financial Assistance Fund

Students who are interrupted or withdrawn are not eligible to apply for the UCL Financial Assistance Fund. If you are awarded funds from the Financial Assistance Fund and subsequently withdraw from studies, you will not be asked to repay any of the money you were awarded.