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 from Student Finance England (SFE). If you have transferred onto a new course to include your placement year (i.e. completed a Change of Programme form with your school), you will need to complete your loan application with the new course title and new graduation date.
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's no tuition fee to pay to the host university, although there may be some other fees and charges (e.g. 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.
The amount of maintenance you're eligible for depends on your individual situation, i.e. where you'll be living and what you're doing, including if you're:
- studying abroad or on a work placement;
- part of the Erasmus+ programme (depends on continuation after January 2021);
- on a 'special case' work placement - see below.
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, 2019/20 or 2020/21. The 2017/18 figures can be taken as a guide to funding levels for following years.
There's 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), or special case work placement are eligible for Full Funding.
- Students on a work placement that's not under the Erasmus+ programme, or isn't 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.
SFW, SFNI, and SAAS students should check with their loan provider about maintenance loans.
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'll need to email The Plus Programme team to ask if you can continue to receive this when on a placement year.
You can find out more about the 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.
* The placement can be with a council or a voluntary organisation in the UK. If with a voluntary organisation, the work must be of a 'like nature' to the work that a council would undertake in exercise of its functions. The student must be working directly with 'service users' (i.e. in the provision of care/welfare, not in an administrative, funding raising, etc. role).
** '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) or if you're receiving a bursary (e.g. from the NHS) or other subsidy that is not liable for tax, your placement will be classed as unpaid by SFE.
If you're being paid a salary or any income is tax liable, your placement will be classed as paid by SFE regardless of the amount you receive.
If you're on a work placement which is classed as a 'special case' you'll 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);
- job title and brief description of duties;
- a note of the category (a, b, c, d, e, f);
- your placement dates (approx. start and end dates if actual dates not confirmed).
We'll then write to your loan provider to request that you are assessed for full 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'll only be eligible if you've 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 on study abroad, the University of Leeds will update SFE with the term dates of your host institution so that you can be assessed for extra weeks funding. SFW, SFNI, and SAAS students will need to download a Course Abroad Form from their loan provider website, or contact their loan provider to request a form to be sent. SFW, SFNI, and SAAS students should complete page 1 of the Course Abroad Form with their study abroad details, and then email a scan of the form to Funding for the form to be signed and stamped.
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. See Special Case Work Placement definitions above for more information.
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).
Student Finance England students can find further information on the SFE website.
SFW and SFNI students should contact their loan providers for more information.
SAAS do not have extra weeks funding for long courses.
Please see the Student Loans Company guidance on:
The University of Leeds Travel Grant Fact Sheet has additional information.