Health Education Funding

From 1 August 2017, new students in England on nursing, midwifery and most allied health professional (AHP) pre-registration courses will have access to the standard student support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs, rather than getting an NHS grant.

If you start most nursing, midwifery and AHP pre-registration courses in England after 1 August 2017 you will take out maintenance and tuition loans like other students rather than getting an NHS grant. At the same time, there’s much that isn’t changing: the process for getting on to a course, the standards of education and the reasons for going into a career in health are all the same.

This change affects a wide range of courses that lead to professional registration:

These reforms do not as yet include funding for paramedic courses. These courses are currently on a mixed funding model (some students are already on the loans system, some are funded by Ambulance Trusts and some are supported by Health Education England). 

For those students applying for BSc (hons) Paramedic Science, the tuition fee funding arrangements for 2017/18 remain unchanged i.e. tuition fees will be paid by Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Further details are available on the Paramedic Science prospectus page.

The above courses shall be funded through the Student Finance England tuition and maintenance loan arrangement. These loans work like a tax on earnings above a certain amount, not like a commercial loan or a payday loan:

  • When you make an application to the Student Loans Company the tuition fees are transferred to the university automatically – you don’t have to get involved with that process.
  • Under the current rules, you only start paying back the loans when you earn above £21k, and pay 9% of any income above £21k. If your income drops below the threshold you stop having to repay the loan.
  • To give you an idea of what that means in practice, under current rules if you started on a Band 5 salary in the NHS of £21.7k you would repay £5.25 per month (9% of £700/12).
  • You pay back the loans gradually from your pay packet – it’s done automatically so you don’t have to worry about missing repayments.

Visit the student loans page for more information on loans and repayments.

Under the student support system, students are eligible for a range of means-tested loans, including a specific loan designed to support students on courses that have a longer than average student year. There are also special allowances, for example for childcare, adult dependents and parents’ learning. These special allowances are grants not loans, so you don’t have to repay them.

  • Students outside of London and living away from the parental home: the maximum amount of living cost support per year would increase from £6975 to £9256 (a 33% increase);
  • Students living in the parental home: the maximum amount of living cost support per year would increase from £5,623 to £7,588 (a 35% increase).

Severe Hardship

There will be an Exceptional Support Fund of up to £3,000 available for eligible students facing severe hardship. The NHS Business Services Authority will be administering this scheme and further details will be available shortly.

This is in addition to sources of exceptional hardship funding support which the University provides.

Under the new system, the childcare allowance, which is a grant not a loan, is more generous than under the old NHS bursary rules. In both systems, you can claim up to 85% of the maximum rate:

  • For one child, this is currently a maximum of £155.24 per week on the general HE system, compared to a maximum of £128.78 per week on the NHS Bursary system.
  • For two or more children, this is currently £266.15 per week on the general HE system, compared to £191.45 per week on the NHS Bursary system.
  • The Government has committed to providing additional support of £1,000 per healthcare student with dependants, per academic year, to make certain that those with child dependants can continue to study and attend clinical placements.

Students who are planning to undertake nursing, midwifery and allied health professional subjects as a second degree will be able to access the standard student support system, on the same terms as students studying for a first degree.

That might sound daunting but the 9% repayment over the earnings threshold applies even if you’ve got more than one set of loans. So if you take out loans for two degrees you will still pay back 9% not 18%. The rule about the remainder of the loan being written off after 30 years applies from the first loan you take out.

Nursing, midwifery and AHP students spend a large portion of their courses on placements, which means that students have additional travel and accommodation expenses. Under the Department of Education student support arrangements, students contribute an excess of £303 towards their travel costs before costs can be reimbursed. However, the government has now committed to providing this payment as a non-repayable grant to all new healthcare students. Students will then be able to access funding from the standard student support system to pay for essential travel over this amount.

The Government has also acknowledged that some students may need to rent extra accommodation whilst on clinical placement if the placement is a long way from their usual place of study. These students will be entitled to have their costs reimbursed.

Those with dual accommodation can claim £55 per night for commercial accommodation, such as a hotel or bed and breakfast, and £25 per night for non-commercial accommodation, such as staying with friends or family.

In addition, Canterbury Christ Church University shall be investing £200,000 in to a Pre-Registration Health and Social Care bursary from August 2017 in response to the funding changes and to support Health students from low-income backgrounds to access their placements. View full eligibility criteria.

The Student Finance Calculator is a helpful tool that allows you to calculate the loans and support available to you.

Pre-Registration Health and Social Care Bursary

In response to the changes in financial support arrangements for students on formerly NHS funded courses, Canterbury Christ Church University has committed £200,000 to support students starting on Health and Wellbeing courses in 2017.

The Pre-Registration Health and Social Care Bursary is an award of up to £1,000 per year of study and will be available to students who come from a household with a combined income of less than £25,000.

The bursary will be awarded in date order once the eligible student has confirmed their place at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University has received household income information via Student Finance England loan application.

It is essential that all students give Student Finance England consent to share household income information on their loan application. The University will pre-screen applications for eligibility and will contact successful applicants with confirmation of the bursary.

CCCU Advantage Package

Our aim is to ensure that there are no hidden initial costs when commencing your Health and Wellbeing course. Any additional costs to pre-registration health and social care students should be kept to a minimum, therefore, we will be providing all our students commencing courses affected by the NHS bursary changes from September 2017 with extra funding support as part of your course fees.

The CCCU Advantage Package includes:

  • Uniforms
  • Disclosure & Barring Service check
  • Occupational Health costs, including immunisation

Please note: Awards are limited and eligibility does not guarantee receipt of award.

Canterbury Christ Church University would like to acknowledge the Council of Deans of Health for their support in preparing this information. For more information, please visit The Funding Clinic and Council of Deans.


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Last edited: 04/10/2017 13:55:00