Prospective students | Undergraduate courses | Student loans and finance
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Student loans and finance

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to study at Birkbeck. We want you to feel confident about applying for and enrolling on a first degree or certificate, knowing whether you can pay your fees by taking a government loan.

Course fees

Additional study-related costs

  • As well as fees and travel costs, you should expect certain other study-related expenses.
    • Books and apparatus: You are advised to consult your lecturers before purchasing textbooks, instruments or apparatus. Expenditure on books will vary, according to the requirements of the programme.
    • Field courses: Attendance at field courses is obligatory for students on some of our courses (e.g. biology, geology and geography). Expenses consist mainly of travel and maintenance costs. You can contact the department via the link on the course description to find out if this will apply to you.
    • Museums and galleries: If your course includes modules on the history of art, you will be expected to spend some time visiting museums and monuments.You can contact the department via the link on the course description to find out if this will apply to you.
    • If you experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits, you can apply through the head of your academic school or department for assistance with those costs.

Student loans (for part-time and full-time study)

  • There are no upfront fees for most undergraduate and Certificate of Higher Education students, as you can access government student loans to cover the full cost of tuition fees.
    • Your student loan will cover the full cost of your tuition fees.
    • Loans are not dependent on age or income.
    • You can complete your studies before you start to repay your loan.
    • You only start to repay when your income is over £21,000 a year. If for any reason your income falls below £21,000 – for example, if you become unemployed or take maternity leave – your repayments stop.
    • Repayments will be deducted automatically from your pay packet, like income tax, or through your tax return if you are self-employed.
    • The amount you repay each month depends only on your income, not on how much you borrowed or what the course fee is. This means that you can study the course that’s right for you without worrying about the fees.
    • There are no penalties for repaying the loan early. Any outstanding loan will be written off after 30 years, no matter how much or how little you have repaid.
    • You don’t need to apply for your loan before you apply for your course. In fact, you should apply for your course as soon as possible to secure your place; Birkbeck will help you with your student loan application. If you are eligible, you will get the full amount you need to pay your course fees.
    • Unlike commercial loans or credit card debt, student loans don’t go on credit files. The loan is unlikely to affect your ability to get a mortgage, but the amount of mortgage available may depend on your net income (i.e. income after tax and loan repayments).
  • Find out more about your eligibility and how you can apply for a student loan.

Maintenance loans and grants (for full-time students)

  • Full-time students can apply for maintenance loans and grants to help with living costs, as well as loans to pay their fees. (This option is not available to part-time students, as part-time study allows you the flexibility to work alongside studying.)

Other financial support

  • We offer a range of generous financial support packages to support students in need, including:
    • Birkbeck cash bursary scheme: Undergraduate students may be eligible for the Birkbeck cash bursary scheme to assist with the costs of study, such as purchasing books, printing and travelling to lectures. Cash bursaries do not have to be paid back.
    • Birkbeck Access to Learning Fund (BALF): these awards are for students who need help with their course and/or living costs (e.g. essential books, photocopying, childcare).
    • Birkbeck Hardship Fund: The College Hardship Fund is used to support students who need additional financial support due to an unforeseen change of circumstance in their personal situation while they are studying, such as redundancy, illness or domestic problems.
    • 10% discount for union members if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Instalment plan: spread out your payments, at no extra cost

  • Our flexible payment scheme is designed to help you manage your finances. You can pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. The earlier you enrol, the cheaper your monthly payments.

Payment in full (debit/credit card)

  • You have the option of paying your fees in full at the beginning of the academic year, or paying one-third of the yearly programme fee at the beginning of each term. Find out more about payment options.

Payment by your employer

  • Your employer or other organisation (sponsor) may agree to pay all or part of your fees on your behalf. If this applies to you, you will need to notify us of this when you enrol.