Government loans and support

Everything you need to know about government loans and paying them back.

Loans are available from the government

Government loans are available for eligible students to cover tuition fees and living costs.

You don't have to pay anything upfront and you don't start repaying your loan until you're earning more than the repayment threshold.

The information on this page relates to 2023 entry.

Find out more:

Tuition fee loans

The University of Sheffield Home undergraduate fee for 2023 is £9,250.  

The University will review tuition fees each year and they may increase for each year of study in line with inflation as specified by parliament. Eligible home fee paying students can apply for a tuition fee loan from the UK government to cover the full cost of their fees.

The fees to be charged by the University are updated on the University website and if there is any inconsistency between a print publication (such as the prospectus) and the website, the website should be taken as correct.

How much can I borrow?

You can get a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees for each year of your course.

Who's eligible?

All full-time home fee paying students provided you haven’t studied for an undergraduate degree, or the equivalent, before.

The Gov.UK website has a full list of eligibility criteria.

How is it paid?

The government pays the money directly to the University in three instalments. The first instalment is paid when you register with us.

How do I pay it back?

It's taken off your salary automatically so you don't have to do anything. See paying it back, below, for more details.

When do I pay it back?

You don't pay anything back until you are earning more than the repayment threshold. Currently the income threshold when you would need to begin repaying your loan is £27,295 before tax per year.

Can I pay my loan off early?

Yes. There's no extra charge for paying off all or part of your loan early.

When do I apply?

Applications for full-time students usually open in the February or March before you start your course. You don't have to wait until you've been offered a place to apply.

Do my fees go up for each year of my course?

Your fees may increase by a small amount each year in line with inflation. The government announces this each year. However, if there is an increase, you won’t be required to do anything. Your tuition fee loan will automatically increase to reflect any changes.

How do I apply?

Fill in the form online:

Can I pay my fees upfront?

Yes, you have the option to pay all or part of your fees upfront. If you only pay part of the fee upfront, you can take out a loan for the rest.

NHS-related courses

Medicine and Dentistry (BDS) courses are currently funded by the NHS Bursaries Scheme from the 5th year onwards.

Maintenance loans

All eligible students can apply for a maintenance loan. The maximum amount available for September 2023 entry for students who live in England is £9,978 per year. Some of this amount will be dependent on your household income. Household income is defined as your family's gross annual income of the household you live in, minus some pension contributions and allowances for dependent children.

Some students may be eligible to receive a higher amount of loan based on their circumstances. 

Students who reside in a devolved nation will be eligible for a maintenance loan - please see the Students from the devolved nations information below.

How much could you get?

Students from England can use the government student finance calculator to find out how much you might get.

More information about maintenance loans

Who's eligible?

All full-time students from the UK provided you haven’t completed an undergraduate degree before. The figure above is based on what an English student, studying outside of London, might receive. Awards for students from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be slightly different.

Students aged 60 or over on the first day of their course will receive a reduced rate maintenance loan.

The Gov.UK website has a full list of eligibility criteria.

Students from the devolved nations

Students who live in the devolved nations can apply for support for their maintenance costs from their funding provider.

Find out about the loans available:

How is it paid?

By three instalments, straight into your bank account. The first instalment is paid 3–5 days after you register with us.

Paying back your loans

Your tuition and maintenance loans are added together so you make one monthly payment. Your monthly payments are based on 9% of whatever you earn above the repayment threshold set by the government. The threshold varies depending on where you are from.

Students from England starting their studies in 2023 the repayment threshold is £25,000.

Your repayments are based on what you earn, not what you owe. If your wages drop, this is reflected in your repayments. After 40 years, anything you haven’t paid back is written off. The duration of the loan account is currently under review.

Your payments don't come out of your bank account. They are deducted from your salary automatically, in the same way that income tax is. If you're self-employed, you'll pay through HM Revenue and Customs.

What about interest?

The interest rate on loans is usually the Retail Price Index plus up to 3%, depending on your circumstances and income. However, the interest rate is currently capped until due to high inflation. Interest rates on loans will not go above 6.5% while the cap is in place.

What if I lose my job or take a career break?

If your salary falls below the repayment threshold your payments automatically stop. This applies even if you decide to take a pay cut voluntarily.

Do I have to pay off my tuition and maintenance loans separately?

No, they're added together so you make one monthly payment.

What you can expect to pay back:

Your salary is You pay back 9% of Your monthly payment is
£30,000 £2,705 £20.29
£35,000 £7,705 £57.79
£40,000 £12,705 £95.29
£45,000 £17,705 £132.79
£50,000 £22,705 £170.29
£55,000 £27,705 £207.78
£60,000 £32,705 £245.29

 (students from England and the EU)

Additional funding

If you are a student parent, carer, have adult dependents or have a disability then you may qualify for extra funding.

Support for student parents

Full-time home students, with children in registered or approved childcare, may be eligible to apply for a Childcare Grant to help with these costs in term time and holidays. You may also be eligible for a Parent's Learning Allowance to help with course related costs. This is on top of any Child Tax Credits you're eligible for.

Both the grant and the allowance are based on your household income and you don't have to pay the money back.

When you make your application for funding, indicate that you wish to apply for these. The government will then send you the appropriate forms.

Support for students with adult dependents

If you have a partner or another adult who depends on you financially, you may be eligible to apply for the Adult Dependants’ Grant.   

You apply for the grant as part of your application to Student Finance. The amount you receive is dependent on your household income and doesn’t have to be paid back.

Grants for students with a disability

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you can apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) to help pay for any equipment and support you need.

Full-time students are eligible for DSAs on top of any other loans, grants and bursaries. They’re not based on your household income and you don’t have to pay this money back.

When you make your application for funding, indicate that you wish to apply for a DSA. The government will then send you the appropriate form.

More about Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)


Contact the funding team

For specific questions about fees, bursaries, scholarships and financial support, get in touch:

Advice Centre

For general advice, support and representation to help our students resolve their problems.

+44 114 222 8660