FAQs for students with a Higher Education qualification
What is ELQ (Equivalent or Lower Qualification)?
Who does ELQ affect?
- are topping-up to an Honours degree from an HND, HNC or Foundation Degree (see below for more information).
- meet Student Finance England residency criteria and are studying Diagnostic Imaging, Midwifery, Nursing (adult, children’s, learning disabilities, mental health), Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Radiotherapy and Oncology in 2017/18 or later as these courses will be exempt from the ELQ rules. View information about funding for healthcare courses.
- are from Wales – you will not be eligible for any funding from Student Finance Wales apart from Childcare Grant, Adult Dependents Grant and Disabled Students Allowances.
- are studying Architecture, Social Work, Veterinary Science or Teacher Training. Although you will not be entitled to receive tuition fee loans for these courses, you may be entitled to the maintenance loan.
- are studying on a part-time course in Engineering, Technology or Computer Science.
ELQ fees and funding
What tuition fees will I have to pay?
You will pay the same level of fees as a UK or EU undergraduate without any qualifications.
Is there any funding for full-time ELQ students?
The only funding available to you is supplementary grants from Student Finance, such as the Childcare Grant. You will not be eligible for the Fee Loan, Maintenance Loan, Maintenance Grant or the UWE Bursary.
Is there any funding for part-time ELQ students?
The Disabled Students Allowance is the only funding available to part-time ELQ students.
Topping-up to an Honours degree
Will I be eligible for full funding for my top-up course?
Previous study may affect your entitlement to fee loans for some of the years of your ‘top-up’ course, depending on how many years you took to achieve your lower level course.
For example, if you have an HND from two years of study, you would be entitled to a tuition fee loan for each year of your top-up course as long as you entered at level 2. If you enter at level 1 of your ‘top-up’ course, you would need to pay the tuition fees yourself for the first year.
You should continue to be eligible to apply for the Maintenance Loan, Childcare Grant and Disabled Students Allowances until you achieve your Honours degree.
It is important to check out your entitlement with your funding body (SFE/SFW etc) before you start your course and become liable for fees.
Exempt subjects and funding
I have a degree already and I want to study one of the subjects exempt from the ELQ rules. Will I be eligible for any funding?
Students taking Social Work, Veterinary Science, Initial Teacher
Training (ITT) (at undergraduate level) and Architecture receive a
reduced package of funding.
If you are a UK student you will be able to apply for the Maintenance Loan, Childcare Grant and Disabled Students Allowances.
Social Work students may be eligible for the Social Work Bursary in years two and three of their course. Not all students receive a Social Work Bursary, and this should be discussed with your academic team.
Students starting full-time PGCE courses of up to two years in length will be eligible to apply for the full package of fee and maintenance support even if they hold an equivalent or higher level qualification, as long as it is not a PGCE.
I have a degree already and I want to study an NHS-funded programme in 2018/19. Will I be eligible for any funding?
Students who meet Student Finance England residency criteria and are taking one of the following courses will receive the same level of funding as those without an HE qualification:
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Nursing (adult, children’s, learning disabilities, and mental health)
- Occupational Therapy
- Radiotherapy and Oncology.
Students from Wales will not be eligible for any funding from Student Finance Wales apart from the Childcare Grant, Adult Dependents Grant and Disabled Students Allowances.
I have a degree already and I want to study Engineering, Technology or Computer Science. Will I be eligible for any funding?
As long as you study on a part-time basis, you will be eligible for the tuition fee loan and part time maintenance loan. You must be studying in one of the above subjects or a combination of those subjects and study must be at least 25% intensity of a full-time equivalent course. You must complete your course within 16 years. Degree holders are not eligible for the UWE Bursary.
Disabled Student Allowances
Will I be eligible for Disabled Students Allowances?
You will still be eligible for DSAs even if you have an equivalent or lower qualification.
Fees and funding enquiries
If you have questions regarding fees and funding, please contact our fees and funding teams.