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Who Can Apply

The Access to Learning Fund is for home students registered on a course. A home student is defined as a person who meets certain residency conditions (the same conditions apply to eligibility for student support, for example, the maintenance loan). Usually this means you have an unrestricted right to enter and remain in the UK, and you have been ordinarily resident in the UK for four years prior to the start of your course. None of this time must have been wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

Overseas and EU students who are eligible for tuition fee support cannot apply to the Access to Learning Fund. For further information on support available if you are an EU or Overseas Student please contact The Student Union Advice and Representation Centre 01772 894880 for advice or The <i> in the Library (01772 895000).

The criteria detailed below defines the students that can apply to the Access to Learning Fund:

1) Undergraduate students, either full time or part time, including part time distance learners, following a higher education course, including sandwich courses and any period of placement. All students who study part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 are required to study at least 25 per cent (30 credits) FTE in each year.

2) Full-time and part-time students on a postgraduate course (including distance learners) following a course that is a minimum of 1 year, and providing that part-time postgraduate students are studying at least 50% per academic year for courses starting before 1 September 2012 and 25% per each academic year for courses starting on or after 1 September 2012 of a full-time equivalent course.

3) NHS students eligible to apply for a means-tested bursary or a non means-tested bursary.

Suspending Study Students

If you are a ‘home’ student and you have not permanently withdrawn from your studies and you intend to return after your time out you are eligible to apply for help from the fund. For example, if you are unable to attend your course for health or caring reasons or some other unavoidable circumstances you can apply for help.

Priorities For Assistance

The fund is there to help any eligible student who has a particular financial need, but we cannot meet every application we receive and we cannot always meet all the costs that you might apply for. The Government asks us to give priority to the following groups of students when deciding how to allocate the funding.

The priority groups are:

  • Students with children (especially lone parents)
  • Students with existing financial commitments, including priority debts
  • Disabled students / student unable to work due to illness
  • Students who have entered higher education from care or are estranged from their parents
  • Students who are homeless
  • Students receiving the final year loan rate, who are in financial difficulty
  • Students who are carers


Unfortunately students on Degree Apprenticeship courses are not eligible to apply to the Access to Learning Fund. We recommend that you contact the Students Union Advice Centre on 01772 894880 / for further advice on any additional financial support that may be available.


Financial Support Enquiries:
Telephone: 01772 895000 / Email: