Universities and colleges in the UK can charge home students up to £9k a year in tuition fees but most first-time students won’t have to pay anything upfront.
Tuition fees pay for things like teaching, building maintenance, facilities and equipment. Institutions that charge the full £9k also have to set part of it aside to help students from low-income backgrounds, as well as for bursaries, scholarships and access funds.
Who pays what?
Fees vary according to a whole host of factors, but you can be charged up to £9k/yr wherever you study in the UK unless:*
- You’re a Scottish/EU resident studying in Scotland (no fees)
- You’re a Welsh resident, or EU resident studying in Wales (a fee grant effectively caps Tuition Loan/costs at £3,810/yr)
- You’re an NI/EU resident studying in NI (fees capped at £3,805/yr)
- You’re an EU (including UK) resident studying in ROI: ‘registration charge’ of €3,000 (around £2k) instead.
Who pays when?
Most students won’t have to pay anything upfront. Instead, you’ll be offered a Tuition Fee Loan, which you don’t start paying back until you’re in work and your income is over a certain amount. Usually you can’t get the fees loan if you’ve already done a degree or similar course, or are an international student, so you’ll have to consider other loans, bursaries, scholarships or savings.
The short story
Can you get student finance?
- What are staff numbers and library stock like?
- Are fees good value (student experience, future earnings)?
- What financial assistance is on offer?
- How do rents, ents and eats stack up?
- Will it be easy to find part-time work if you need it?
Make an informed choice: do your own research on more than one uni.
Read this piece and much, much more in our Student Money Manual which is also available as a digital download on our website!