Bite Size Courses

Women Returners' Network Chelmsford College
Moulsham Street
Essex CM2 0JQ
Phone: 01245 263796
Fax: 01245 491712

This ninth version is the first that has been set-up online. It has been updated by Andrea Lohner, WRN's Research Assistant.

<< Directory home page

Who can fund you:

Fees and Subsistence Finding adequate funding to take up higher education is a major problem for may women. Since 1998/1999 most full-time students starting a course of higher education have had a responsibility to make a contribution towards their tuition fees. The maximum tuition fee contribution expected from students in 2000/2001 is 1050. Most students, however, are entitled to a grant towards their fees. This grant is based on an assessment of your income and that of your family. This assessment, known as the Income Assessment, is carried out by your LEA. This means that your family may be expected to contribute towards the costs. So may you, if you expect to have any income while studying.

Some students will be able to apply for extra help depending on their circumstances. These include:

Disabled students
Lone parents
Students with incurring travel
Students leaving care to enter higher education.

For example if you have dependants, like your husband and/or your children, you may get an extra allowance. The most you can get for the full 52 weeks of the year is as follows:

Dependant husband or other adult dependant allowance 2,125
Dependant children's allowance:
Under 11 445
11-15 890
16-17 1,180
18+ 1,700

If you are a single parent who is eligible for dependants' allowance you may be able to receive up to 1050 extra allowance. Check with your LEA; they can give you more detailed information.

Your college can also give you some financial help if you experience financial difficulties. For those difficulties Access funds and Hardships loans are available. They can be used to help with living expenses and course costs including childcare costs, travel, accommodation costs, household expenses, books and course equipment. You will usually need to wait until you have started your course before you can apply for either a hardship loan or an Access Funds payment.

If you think of starting studying part-time you can also get financial help. Many colleges help out their students by giving discounts on the tuition fees. For further information about having your fees waived, contact your college.

Part-time students on low incomes can apply for a loan to help with the costs of their course and Access Funds are available to meet general living or course costs.

Student loans
Students can apply to their Local Education Authority (England and Wales) or the Education and Library Boards (Northern Ireland) or the Students Awards Agency for Scotland for loans (areas dependent on student's home base and not the area of study!). After the awards agency has assessed student's loan entitlement it will be paid by the Students Loan Company. Student loans are administered by the Student Loans Company Ltd,
100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JD, tel 0141 3062000, free telephone number: 0800 405010,
fax 0141 3062005, website

Entitlement to Social Security Benefits
These are not normally available to students who attend full-time courses (21 hours/weeks or more). From October 1996 benefits may not be claimed by people undertaking `guided learning` for more than 16 hours/week. Social security benefits may still be claimed by students in certain vulnerable groups such as long parents or students with disabilities. Contact your local benefits agency office or Freeline Social Security 0800 666555 for more information. The Unemployment Unit has produced a guide to studying while unemployed: the Jobseekers` Allowance and the 16 Hour Rule ` available from the Unemployment Unit and Youth Aid,
PO BOX 30069, 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7WR, tel/fax 0207 5827721

In Scotland, applications for grants for full-time HNC, HND, degree, diploma or equivalent course should be made to the Students Awards Agency for Scotland, Gyleview House, 3 Redheughs Rigg, Edinburgh, EH12 9HH, tel 0131 5568400, fax 0131 2445887. Apply to the Bursaries Department of the local authority education department for awards for school-level courses, National Certificate or Diploma, Open University or part-time courses.

Northern Ireland:
In Northern Ireland, applications for undergraduate level courses should be made to the local Education Library Board for most postgraduate courses to the university. For more information, contact the Department of Higher and Further Education, Adelaide House, 39-49 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8FD, tel 02890 257707, fax 02890 257778

Other sources of funding:

The Daphne Jackson Trust, Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 5XH, tel 01483 879166, fax 01483 876781, email, website

Fellowships are available for women or men who have had a career break for family reasons, to enable them to resume a career in science or engineering, industry or academia. It is aimed at people over the age of 27 who have attained at least a first degree. A successful candidate will carry out a substantial research or development project under expert supervision in a university laboratory or comparable research establishment, including industrial laboratories. Fellowships are part-time and of a fixed duration (usually two years) in science, engineering and technology. Registered as The Daphne Jackson Memorial Fellowship Trust, Charity No. 1009605.

EPSRC (The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Fellowships and Research Grants, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire SN2 1ET, tel 01793 444361, helpline 01793 444005, email, website

The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) is the largest of the seven UK Research Councils. It funds research and postgraduate training in universities and other organisations. Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge: Bursaries and other Awards,

Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge CB3 OBU, tel 01223 332190
Contact: The Secretary (Awards)

Lucy Cavendish College, which specialises in offering mature women students (21 or over) the opportunity to work for a first or higher degree, is normally able to offer small bursaries to undergraduates and graduates to augment other funding. All awards must be held at the College, which is part of the University of Cambridge. It is not possible to apply for an award until after a place has been offered. All enquiries should be addressed to The Admissions Officer.

The Royal Society Research Fellowships, Research Appointments Department, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London SW 1Y 5AG, tel 0207 451 2547,
email, website

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships offer a high level of support and flexibility, which should be particularly useful and encouraging to women. They offer four years guaranteed tenure on Research Staff IA/ II Scale, up to 5000 annual research grant, the option to take part in mentor and networking schemes, of part-time working, career advice and support and flexibility with maternity cover.

University of Warwick Bursaries, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL tel 02476 524306

The University of Warwick Business School offers two special bursaries. These bursaries, which amount to 4500 are awarded to women applying to enter the fulltime MBA. Women accepted on the course are eligible to apply, contact the academic director of the programme at the address above for further information.

Some useful contacts for further information:

For information sheets on student finance:
The Welfare Unit National Union of Students (NUS) 461 Holloway Road London N7 6LJ
Tel: 0171 2728900 Fax: 0171 2635713

For grants in Scotland:
The Student awards Agency for Scotland 3 Redheughs Rigg South Gyle Edinburgh
EH12 9YT Tel: 0131 5568400 Fax: 0131 2445887

For a copy of the Education Departments' guides to student support, call the free information line on 0800 7319133

<< Directory home page