Loans for online students

Undergraduate Student Loans

Students enrolling onto a part-time undergraduate programme can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan instead of paying for their tuition fees up front.

Accessible through Student Finance, a Tuition Fee Loan is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees, payable to the University in three instalments. Payment is made when Student Finance receive confirmation from the University that the student is in attendance at the start of each trimester.

Depending on where you live and because our online undergraduate courses are classed as part-time, you may be eligible for a part-time Tuition Fee Loan instead of paying for your tuition fees up front.

Please be aware that all online study is considered part-time and so, even if you intend on studying at the accelerated rate (two modules per term), you will need to apply for funding on a part-time basis. Your enrolment cannot be confirmed against an application for full-time funding.

For more information, please visit the Student Finance website. If you need help with answering the course related questions on the Student Finance website, you can contact our friendly Admissions Team on +44 (0)1332 594000.

If you are a new part-time student and do not already have an undergraduate degree, you may be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan through Student Finance England of up to £6,935 per year. You’ll only start making repayments when your income is over the UK repayment threshold, which is currently £25,000 a year, £2,083 a month or £480 a week.

With a salary of:

  • £25,000 the monthly repayment would be £0
  • £27,000 the monthly repayment would be £15
  • £29,500 the monthly repayment would be £33
  • £31,000 the monthly repayment would be £45
  • £33,000 the monthly repayment would be £60

To claim a part-time loan, your total number of credits in any year must be worth a minimum of 25% (30 credits) of a full-time course (120 credits). The number of credits you study in a year depends on how many modules you choose and the credit value of each module. You’ll find the credits and module details you need on the relevant module course page.

The following qualifications we offer are currently eligible for a loan:

  • Diploma Higher Ed
  • Full (Hons) degree
  • 1 year level 6 (Top-Up)

The deadline for applying is 9 months after the start of the academic year (September).

Our online courses are registered with the Welsh Assembly. If you are resident in Wales, you are not eligible for the new part-time loan described above but you may be eligible for grant funding. Apply to Student Finance Wales (SFW).

If you are resident in Northern Ireland, you are not eligible for the new part-time loan described above but you may be eligible for grant funding. Apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI).

Students Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) does not fund part-time courses outside of Scotland. If you are a Scottish resident applying for one of our online courses, you are unable to claim funding.

You may be eligible to apply for financial help towards the cost of your tuition fees if:

  • you are an EU* national or a family member of an EU* national
  • you have been living within the European Economy Area (EEA)** or Switzerland for the three years immediately before the start of your course
  • your main reason for being in the EEA or Switzerland is not to receive full-time education

*EU Countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands.

** EEA includes the above EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

It is your responsibility to liaise with the funding agency and ensure that funding is in place to cover your fees. You are also responsible for any difference between your tuition fees and the amount of funding you receive.

Don’t worry if you already receive a part-time grant, you can continue to claim this until you complete your current programme of study (subject to your circumstances remaining the same).

Postgraduate Student Loans

The loan can be used to pay for your tuition fees or other costs associated with studying, such as living costs or course expenses.

Am I eligible?

To check if you are able to get a postgraduate loan for your course at the University of Derby, please contact our Student Records and Awards team at

How do I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate loan using the application service at

You should apply as early as possible to make sure your loan is available for the start of your course.

When will I get paid?

The Student Loans Company will send you a payment schedule to let you know when you'll be paid once your application has been processed. This will be paid in three equal payments, one per trimester.

Depending on which academic year you are applying for, your payment schedule may differ.

How much you'll repay

You’ll pay back 6% of your income over the minimum amount which is currently £21,000 a year, £1,750 a month or £404 a week.

For example: You earn £2,500 a month before tax. This is £750 over the monthly threshold. You’ll therefore repay £45 (6% of this amount) each month.

Interest rate

You’ll be charged interest from the day you get the first payment until your loan is repaid in full or cancelled.

The interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%. RPI is a measure of UK inflation and measures changes to the cost of living in the UK.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

The postgraduate loan is designed to support students faced with payment of a full Masters programme; if you are considering applying for recognised prior learning (RPL), please be aware that if this is granted, you will not be eligible for a postgraduate student loan as you will not be studying the full 180 credits.

Associate Module

If you are asked to complete associate module(s) as a condition of gaining entry to the main programme that you have applied for, you can receive funding if the credits gained would count towards the main programme. When making an application for Student Finance funding, you should apply for funding for the main programme that you have applied for.

If the credits from the associate module(s) do not count towards the main programme, you will not be able to receive funding for the module(s). You would therefore need to delay your application for funding until you were due to begin studying towards the main programme. If you are intending to apply for funding and are unsure on whether the associate module(s) that you have been offered to study are eligible, please contact our Admissions Team ( or +44 (0)1332 594000), who will be able to assist you further.

University Certificate in Psychology

Students on the University Certificate in Psychology (UCP) are not entitled to Student Finance funding.