UK and EU student tuition fees and maintenance loans - eligibility and amounts
If you're a UK or EU student and your course includes a placement year - studying abroad or working, either abroad or in the UK - your funding will change for the year.
If you're an international student and your course at Leeds includes a placement year, check your tuition fees with the Fees team.
Remember, you still need to register with the University of Leeds as normal, even if you're away on placement.
Entitlement UK Students
You're entitled to receive both your Tuition Fee Loan and your Maintenance Loan during the year you spend on placement.
Apply for your student loan through your national student finance organisation:
- Student Finance England (SFE)
- Student Finance Wales (SFW)
- Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI)
- Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)
See our information on applying for your student loan for guidance on how to complete the loan application when on a placement year.
Entitlement EU Students
You're entitled to receive your Tuition Fee Loan for the year you spend on placement. Apply for your student loan through Student Finance England (SFE).
All UK and EU students on a year study abroad, work placement, or British Council language assistantship (BCLA) will pay a reduced tuition fee. You can find more information on our undergraduate fees page.
If you're only going on placement for one term, your tuition fee will be the same as if you completed the full year at Leeds.
There is no tuition fee to pay to the host university, although there may be some other fees and charges (eg insurance, student union membership, sports membership, travel passes). Some of these will be optional, some mandatory. The Study Abroad Office website has further information about fees and charges.
Maintenance loan and grant
The amount of maintenance you're eligible for depends on your individual situation, including if you are:
- studying abroad or on a work placement;
- part of the Erasmus+ programme;
- on a 'special case' work placement - see below;
- living at home with parents;
- living in London (but not with parents);
- living elsewhere in the UK (but not with parents);
- living abroad.
- SFE students:
- Levels of maintenance loan funding by student circumstance are published on the SFE website.
- This links to the SFE published funding levels for 2017/18. Funding information was last updated by SFE in April 2017, and SFE have not published funding levels for 2018/19 or 2019/20. The 2017/18 figures can be taken as a guide to funding levels for following years.
- There are two categories of maintenance loan for students on a placement year - Full Funding and Reduced Funding. Students eligible for full funding can choose to be income assessed or non-income assessed. Students eligible for reduced funding receive a significantly lower level of funding and cannot be income assessed (i.e. the funding does not take account of household income).
- Students on study abroad, Erasmus+ work placement (paid or unpaid), and special case work placement are eligible for Full Funding.
- Students on a work placement that is not under the Erasmus+ programme, or is not a special case, are only eligible for Reduced Funding. This is regardless of whether the placement is paid or not. These students should be aware that their funding for the placement year will be significantly less than they would expect to receive in a standard year.
- Students on study abroad, an Erasmus+ work placement, or special case work placement, should refer to the SFE tables Students who chose not to have their household income considered (if they don't provide household income information) or Students who chose to have their household income considered (if they do provide household income information). These are the tables for Full Funding.
- Students on a work placement that is not Erasmus+ or not a special case should refer to the SFE table Sandwich years. This is the table for Reduced Funding.
- British Council Language Assistants (BCLAs) who are on the Erasmus+ programme will be eligible for full funding. BCLAs on placement outside Europe will be eligible for reduced funding only.
- Politics and Parliamentary Studies (PPS) students undertaking a semester in the USA or Canada and a semester in Parliament should apply for their loan as being on study abroad in semester 1 and special case work placement in semester 2. They will therefore be eligible for full funding for the entire year.
- SFW, SFNI, and SAAS students should check with their loan provider about maintenance loans.
- SFE students:
- In a standard (non-placement) year, students who commenced study after August 2012 and before August 2016 can apply to be means-tested and may receive a maintenance grant depending on their household income.
- On a placement year, only students on study abroad, an Erasmus+ work placement, or a special case work placement will be eligible to be means-tested and could potentially receive the grant.
- Students who are on a work placement that is not Erasmus+ or a special case, who might receive the grant in a standard year, will not receive the grant in their placement year. This is regardless of whether the placement is paid or unpaid.
- SFW, SFNI, and SAAS students should check with their loan provider about maintenance grants.
Receiving Your Loan Early Starters and Loan Instalments
- You may be able to receive your loan early, and students going on study abroad to certain countries will be paid in 1 or 2 instalments instead of 3. See Applying For Your Student Loan for details.
Further information detailing
Leeds Financial Support and University Scholarships
Students on a study abroad or work placement year will not receive Leeds Financial Support during the year they are away.
If you receive an Educational Engagement scholarships, you will need to email the Educational Engagement team to enquire if you will continue to receive this when on a placement year.
If you'll be on study abroad or a work placement in a European country, you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.
You should not depend on the grant to cover all living costs when budgeting. More information can be found on the British Council website
'Special Case' Work Placement Definitions
If you're on an unpaid placement you may be eligible for means-tested funding if the placement is one of the following:
- a) unpaid service in a hospital or in a public health service laboratory or with a clinical commissioning group in the UK;
- b) unpaid service with a local authority in the UK acting in the exercise of its functions relating to the care of children and young persons, health or welfare or with a voluntary organisation providing facilities or carrying out activities of a like nature in the UK; ba) unpaid service with a local authority (within the meaning of section 2B of the NHS Act 2006) acting in the exercise of public health functions (within the meaning of that Act);
- c) unpaid service in the prison or probation or aftercare service in the UK;
- d) unpaid research in an institution in the UK or, in the case of a student attending an overseas institution as part of the student's course, in an overseas institution*;
- e) unpaid service with i) a Special Health Authority established pursuant to section 28 of the NHS Act 2006; (ia) the NHS Commissioning Board; (ib) the NIHCE; (ic)the Health and Social Care Information Centre; (ii) a Local Health Board established pursuant to section 11 of the NHS (Wales) Act 2006(b) or a Special Health Authority established pursuant to section 22 of that Act; (iii) a Health Board or a Special Health Board constituted under section 2 of the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978(c); or (iv) a Health and Social Services Board established under Article 16 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972(d); or
- f) unpaid service with either House of Parliament.
* 'Institution' in the Student Support Regulations is defined as an educational institution offering designated higher education courses of at least one year in length, or overseas equivalents.
If your employer is paying you expenses (e.g. for travel) your placement will be classed as unpaid. If you are receiving a bursary (e.g. from the NHS) you should contact your loan provider and give them details of the employment contract and the bursary so that they can determine if they class your placement as paid or unpaid. In the first instance, you can phone your loan provider, but you may be asked to post information about the bursary to them.
If you are on a work placement which is classed as a 'special case' you will need to indicate the category of placement (a, b, c, d, e, or f) on your student loan application form. The University will also need to confirm your placement details with your loan provider. Once you have applied for your loan, you should email Funding with:
- your name
- your student ID number;
- the name and address of your placement;
- charity number (if applicable);
- a note of the category (a, b, c, d, e, f);
- your placement dates (please see information below on extra weeks funding and placement dates).
We will then write to your loan provider to request that you are assessed for mean-tested funding.
Extra Weeks Funding - SFE, SFW, and SFNI students
If your placement is longer than 30 weeks and 3 days you may be entitled to extra Maintenance Loan payments for each additional week of attendance. However, you will only be eligible if you have applied for a means-tested loan. This will be students on study abroad, Erasmus+ work placement, or special case work placement.
For students who are abroad, your loan provider will calculate the length of your placement from the information provided on the Course Abroad Form. SFE students will be sent a Course Abroad Form by SFE. SFW and SFNI students will need to download a form from their loan provider website, or contact their loan provider to request a form to be sent.
For students who are in the UK, the dates of your placement should be included in the letter sent by the University to your loan provider confirming that your placement is a special case.
The Course Abroad Form or the placement confirmation letter needs to be completed with accurate dates for the periods of study or work, taking account of public and national holidays (i.e. Christmas/New Year and Easter) when you would not be expected to be in attendance/working. Your loan provider will deem your placement to be under the threshold for extra weeks funding if you only provide dates for the start and end of the year, and they will not assess you for extra weeks. They will expect to see three terms or periods of work with breaks in December/January and March/April. For students on study abroad in Japan and China, they will expect to see two periods of study, corresponding to the semester dates of the host institution, with a break in February/March (i.e. at the academic year end).
The same Course Abroad Form is used to calculate long course funding and for the purposes of claiming the Travel Grant.
Student Finance England students can find further information on the SFE Long Courses Fact Sheet.
SAAS do not have extra weeks funding for long courses.
Please see the Student Loans Company guidance on:
- Full-time Travel Grants for students studying abroad or on a work placement
- The Student Finance England Travel Grant Fact Sheet
The University of Leeds Travel Grant Fact Sheet has additional information specific to 2018/19.