Funding sources

Distance learners

International students should be aware that some of the funding options below are not available for students from outside the UK or EU. You may wish to check whether there are scholarships available from your own country, either from the government or other organisations.

Employer sponsorship

Studying by distance learning gives a clear signal to employers that you are committed to developing your skills and knowledge. Your employer may be willing to fund all or part of your course if you are able to show the key benefits to their business:

  • Distance learning allows you to develop your skills without taking time out of the workplace
  • You will be able to apply your new skills into your roles immediately
  • The skills you develop will include: complex problem solving; communication skills; creative and strategic thinking; time management; and decision making.

There are many different ways that your employer may provide support, from fully or partially paying your tuition fees to offering you study time or additional leave days. The form your sponsor will need to complete, together with further information can be found on our Finance Office website. If you are seeking, or have gained, sponsorship from your employer please mention this when you make your application.

ELCAS funding for members of the UK Armed Forces

If you are a current or former member of the UK armed forces then you may be eligible for ELCAS funding. We are an approved provider for the Ministry of Defence Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme (ELCAS) for armed forces personnel and all of our distance learning courses are available under this scheme.

Please check their website for full details or contact your Education Officer. If you are seeking, or have gained ELCAS funding, please mention this when you make your application.

Tuition Fee Loan

All part-time UK students studying in an undergraduate course in Higher Education for the first time may apply for a non-means tested, Government-backed tuition fee loan to cover the costs of tuition fees. Please note, part-time distance learning students are not eligible for the maintenance loan.

Professional and Career Development Loans

Professional and Career Development Loans (CDLs) are offered by a consortium of major banks for UK students on vocational courses only. Further information can be found on the Directgov website. If you are seeking, or have gained CDL funding, please mention this when you make your application.

For an application pack or for any enquiries relating to Professional and Career Development Loans, please call the National Career Line on 0800 100 900.

Future Finance Student Loans

Future Finance offers students the opportunity to apply for a loan of up to £40,000.

*Please note that the information provided on the University of Leicester’s website is not, and shall not be deemed to constitute, advice, an endorsement or a recommendation regarding any loan product. You should always ensure that a particular loan product is suitable for you and seek independent professional advice if needed. The University of Leicester does not assume any liability for any content on external third party websites that it provides hyperlinks to. The third party website provider is liable for the accuracy of the content and information it provides on its website. 

International (non-EU) funding

If you live outside the EU, try contacting your government's Ministry of Education for details of scholarships or loans. The British Council, the UK's international organisation for educational and cultural matters, has offices in 110 countries and can advise on sources of funding. You may want to visit Education UK’s section on scholarships for more information.

There are also a number of charities and foundations you may want to consider contacting regarding funding. A few notable foundations are the Aga Khan Foundation, the African Educational Trust and the Said Foundation.

Students from the USA

In the case of students from the USA, overseas distance learning programmes are no longer eligible for Federal loans or VA (Veterans Association) funding. Students may apply for loans from a private provider. One of the largest is SallieMae, and several of our former and existing students have used this route. There are, of course, many other providers of private loans for the purposes of education. Private loan companies usually require the education provider to have a 'Federal School Code': the University of Leicester’s code is G22291.

Mature students (21 or over)

If you are 21 or over when you start an undergraduate course, you are classed as a mature student. You will pay the same fee as other students and can receive all the same support. If you are 25 or over, any support which is means-tested will be based on your own income (and that of your partner, if you have one) rather than your parents' income.

Care leavers

If you have been living in Local Authority care you may qualify for the University of Leicester Care Leavers’ Bursary. This pays £2,000 for each year of undergraduate study.

Disabled students

If you have a disability, you may be entitled to claim Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) while studying. Disabilities covered include long-term illnesses, mental-health conditions and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Students with children

As a full-time student with dependent children, you may be able to get extra financial help from the Government. A Childcare Grant is available to help with childcare costs, and the Parents' Learning Allowance with your learning costs. You may also be able to claim Child Tax Credit.

Students with adult dependants

If there is an adult who depends on you financially, you may be entitled to extra help through the Government's Adult Dependants’ Grant.