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Other financial support

Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

A Professional and Career Development Loan is a deferred repayment bank loan which provides financial help for vocational education or training, including postgraduate courses.

You can borrow anything between £300 and £10,000 to fund up to two years of learning (or three if the course includes a year of work experience), including fees, other course costs and living expenses.

The loans are available through an arrangement between the Government and participating banks. The Government pays the interest on your loan while you are studying and for one month after you finish, after which you become responsible for repaying the loan over an agreed period of time at a fixed rate of interest. This rate is comparable with that of other unsecured personal loans.

You can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan if you are ‘settled’ in the UK and have been ordinarily resident here for at least three years prior to the start of your programme. You must also intend to use your qualification to work in the UK, EU or EEA.

Before applying for a loan, check how much your monthly repayments will be, and that you feel confident you will be able to make them. For further information call a PCDL adviser on +44 (0)800 100 900 or contact UBS Advice and Representation Centre.

You should apply 3 months before your course starts to give the bank enough time to process your application.

If you took out a Career Development Loans before June 2009, you will not be able to take advantage of a Professional and Career Development Loan for the same course.

Further information is on the GOV.UK website.

The University Hardship Fund

The University Hardship Fund provides financial assistance to all students studying in England who face difficulty in meeting their living costs or course costs (although not tuition fees). This can be due to ongoing personal circumstances, or because you fall into hardship unexpectedly and through no fault of your own. You can only apply once you have enrolled as a student, since the University assesses how much should be awarded. You must be able to show that you have adequate financial provision prior to commencing your studies.

Support for students with disabilities

The Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) pays for any extra costs UK disabled students may have in attending their course as a direct result of their disability.

This non-means-tested allowance can help pay for resources such as specialist equipment and support workers, but does not contribute towards living costs.

Students referred by the Disability and Dyslexia Service for a diagnostic assessment of a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, may be eligible for funding from the Hardship Fund (UHF) to cover the cost of the assessment.

For more information or for help in applying to either of these schemes, contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service.