Aged 19 – 23 and thinking about further education?  

If you are thinking of studying a Level 3 or 4 course*, you may be required to pay for your course.
However if you are aged 19-23 and have not already achieved a full Level 3 qualification, you will be eligible for Fee Remissions which means the course is free.

* Courses must be approved by the Skills Funding Agency

Examples of Level 3 qualifications are:

  • 2 A levels
  • 4 AS Levels
  • NVQ3 Diploma
  • Level 3 BTEC qualification
  • 90 credit Diploma

If you have already achieved a Level 3 qualification, you will be required to pay for your course. Help is available in the form of an Advanced Learner Loan.  If you are unsure, please contact the Learner Experience Team on 01606 74444.

Aged 24 + and thinking about further education?

If you are thinking of studying a Level 3 or 4 course* you will be required to pay for your course. Help is available in the form of an Advanced Learner Loan.
* Courses must be approved by the Skills Funding Agency

What is an Advanced Learner Loan?
Advanced Learner Loans are similar to higher education loans, but for the further education sector. You can apply for a loan to meet the upfront costs of your qualification, which will be paid directly to the college on your behalf. If you don’t take out a loan, you will be expected to meet the course costs yourself.

Who is eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan?
Individuals who are:

  • Aged 19 or over at the start of the course
  • Resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course
  • Have not previously had a loan to do an A level study programme or an Access to HE Diploma

Loans will not be means tested (or subject to credit checks) and any individual who meets the criteria above will be able to apply for a loan irrespective of their current employment status.

What does it mean for me?
You don’t pay anything up front for your course fees and if you’re not earning over £21k, you don’t pay anything back. In the April after you complete your course, repayments will begin if you are earning above £21K and payments are based on what you earn. For example, if you are earning £25K per year, your monthly payment would only be £30 per month. Interest will be charged from the day the loan is activated but after 30 years any loan amount remaining is written off.

If your loan is for an Access to Higher Education programme and you progress and complete a Degree, the loan is written off.

How and when do I need to apply?

Once you have been offered a place on the course, we will send you a Funding Letter in the summer which will give you all the course details and reference codes required to complete your online application. You will need to apply online through the .GOV site. Once submitted, applications usually take 5-10 days as they do not assess household income.

For more information see: