Dear Department for Education,

Can you confirm that student finance for a part-time ELQ (non-first degree) in a STEM subject is available for a course leading to an honours degree, but not a foundation degree in isolation? Is it available for a foundation year that is incorporated as an additional year bolted onto an honours degree course, but not available where the foundation degree is separate to the honours degree which can then be 'topped up' to an honours degree?

The above is my interpretation of the legislation: regulation 144(7A)(a)(ii) of the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 ( ).

Yours faithfully,

A Fletcher

ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Thank you for contacting the Department for Education. We can confirm that
we have received the Freedom of Information request you submitted.

We will respond to you within 20 working days.


ACCOUNT, Unmonitored, Department for Education

Dear Mr Fletcher


Thank you for your email of 30 January addressed to the department’s
enquiry unit about part-time ELQ, non-first degree study in STEM subjects.
On this occasion I have been asked to reply.

Your email contained an enquiry rather than a request for information
recorded by this department. As a result, this was processed as a 'normal
course of business' enquiry rather than a formal request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I would like to explain that the funding available for student support is
finite and it is necessary to put limits in place to ensure that all
eligible students who wish to enter higher education (HE) for the first
time can do so. 

As such, a range of factors are taken into consideration when determining
if students qualify for student support, including HE qualifications
previously obtained. Generally, students who already hold an honours
degree are not eligible for student support for another undergraduate

There are some exceptions for undergraduate study on a part-time basis,
when a tuition fee loan is available for technology, computer science and
engineering degree courses. There is also a long standing exemption that
allows students studying full-time second degrees in teacher training,
medicine, dentistry, social work, veterinary surgery and architecture to
apply for maintenance loans. From 2017/18 the exception has been extended
to graduates studying a second degree in agriculture and related subjects,
biological sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences or
veterinary sciences (or a combination of those subjects) that leads to an
honours degree, allowing them the opportunity to benefit from part-time
tuition fee loans.

These exemptions apply for a second undergraduate course that leads to an
honours degree. A Foundation Degree does not constitute a full honours

Foundation years which are an integral part of a designated degree course
can be eligible for HE student support where the student enrols at the
outset for the full duration of the course and the foundation year does
not lead to a qualification in its own right.

I hope that this information helps in addressing your enquiry and would
like to thank you for writing to the department.

Your correspondence has been allocated reference number 2018-0005734. If
you need to respond to us, please visit:
[1] and quote your reference number.

As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our
customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your
comments via our website at: [2]

Yours sincerely

Amanda Christian 

Ministerial and Public Communications Division

Web: [3]
Twitter: [4]
Facebook: [5]



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