If you are required to repeat any part of your course, you will need to consider the financial implications. The student finance information outlined below is for students covered under the Education (Student Support) Regulations and receiving support from Student Finance England. Arrangements may vary slightly for those applying to other authorities and those students should seek advice. Further advice is available from the Student Financial Support Service.

If you fail some elements of your course, you may still be able to progress to the next year, repeating those outstanding elements as you go. However, depending on the nature of the failure, it may be decided that you cannot progress to the next year until you have passed the failed elements of your course. This means you may have to repeat parts of your course, with or without attendance.

The tuition fees you are required to pay and the funding you may be eligible to receive during any repeat period of study will depend on both of the following:

  • the extent to which you are enrolled and required to attend classes
  • the number of years you have spent in higher education to date.

Patterns of attendance for repeated periods of study vary and students could be faced with any of the following scenarios:

Repeating the full year with full-time attendance

If you are required to repeat the full year with full-time attendance, you will be charged the full undergraduate fee.

If you are repeating the whole year with full-time attendance, you may be eligible for the full student finance package for fees and living costs (subject to meeting the other eligibility requirements). However, this depends on your previous study (see below).

Repeating the year without attendance

If you are not attending, you will not be charged the tuition fee. However, you should check with your academic school whether any administrative or exam fees are due.

Students must be fully enrolled and attending University to receive tuition fee loans and support with living costs. If you are repeating the academic year without attendance, you will effectively be taking a year out of your studies for student finance purposes. You should notify your Student Finance Service about your break in study and your funding will be put on hold, to be picked up when you return and progress to the next year of your course. You can do this on the Student Finance England website. Further information about taking time out from your course is available on this site.

Repeating part of the year with attendance

Often students may not be expected to repeat all modules again and usually tuition fees will be based on the number of modules or credits that are to be studied. You should check with your academic school what your tuition fee for the year will be as it is likely to be less than the full fee. Your academic school will be responsible for contacting Student Finance England to advise them of the correct level of tuition fee.

Provided that the course you are attending is full-time and it is your attendance on that course that is part-time, you may be eligible for the full student finance package for fees and living costs (subject to meeting the other eligibility requirements) for the time you are in attendance at University. However, this depends on your previous study (see below). Please be aware that you will only be entitled to funding for living costs for the part of the year that you are repeating.

Applying for next year's student finance

We strongly recommend that you apply early for your student finance each year. Applications open for each academic year in the Spring. If you have already applied for next year's student finance, it’s important that you update Student Finance England to let them know that you will not be progressing to the next year of your course so they can assess your funding correctly. If you will be attending during your repeat year, you can simply update the year of study on your online application. If you will not be attending, you should contact them to let them directly to let them know this.

It is important for Student Finance England to have the correct information about your studies on their systems. Incorrect information may affect your entitlement and could delay payments being made to you. 

How will repeating affect your student finance entitlement?

Eligibility for student finance in a repeat year of study will depend on your previous study history. The government provides funding for the duration of a course of study plus one additional year if needed. Therefore, if a course has a duration of 3 years, you would be entitled to 4 years of funding in total (3 + 1 = 4). So if you need to repeat one year of your course and you haven't previously repeated a year or studied on a HE course prior to this one, you will be entitled to the full student finance package for the repeat year.

However, if you have undertaken a previous course at HE level, your entitlement to funding will be reduced to reflect this previous study and although you may not be entitled to the Tuition Fee Loan, Maintenance Grant or NTU bursary during your repeat year, you would still be entitled to receive the Maintenance Loan (plus the Childcare Grant, Adult Dependants Grant and the Parent's Learning Allowance if applicable).

Compelling personal reasons

If you were unable to progress with your course of study due to compelling personal reasons (CPR), Student Finance England has the discretion to disregard the affected year / s of study and continue to provide full support for the duration of the course. Although the affected year / s of study would be disregarded, you would still be liable to repay any loans taken out.
Compelling personal reasons could include mental / physical illness, bereavement etc.

If you had compelling personal reasons which prevented you from progressing with your course we would suggest that you contact Student Finance England to advise them of your circumstances. They would require documentary evidence to substantiate your claim.

Further information

If you have any questions about repeating your studies, please contact the Student Financial Support Service on +44 (0)115 848 2494 or by email. In addition, you may want to visit the Directgov website.