skip to main content

Previous Study

If you have already studied on a Higher Education course this may affect the fees you pay and your student finance entitlement.

The following scenarios are designed to help you understand the effect on your funding. However, the rules and calculations are complicated so we advise contacting the Student Advice Service for information based on your specific study history.


Studying a course that is equivalent to or at a lower level to a qualification you already hold (ELQ)

If the qualification that you currently hold is an honours degree or higher, you will not qualify for undergraduate student finance such as a tuition fee loan or maintenance loan in this situation. This is the case regardless of whether you previously received undergraduate student funding, or if you completed your degree abroad.

Supplementary grants may be available to some undergraduate students with children or adult dependants, or if you have a disability.

If you already have a taught or research master’s degree, you will not be eligible for the Postgraduate Loan scheme that is available for new postgraduate students from September 2016.

If you are not sure whether your previous qualification is an Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) to the one you already hold, UAL staff can offer you support by verifying its equivalence, or checking the value of your UK or international qualification using the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK-NARIC).

'Topping-up' a previous qualification

If you hold a lower level Higher Education qualification and wish to 'top-up' to a higher level, you will generally qualify for full student finance. For example, if you have completed a Foundation Degree and now wish to enter a BA 'top-up' year. However, your previous study will still be taken into account when calculating how many years of remaining funding you have available.

If you already hold an Honours degree you will not qualify for funding to 'top-up' for a different qualification.

Studied a Higher Education course, but did not complete it

The full student finance package is normally available to eligible students for the length of their course plus one extra year to cover situations like starting a course that is not right for you, a repeat year or a transfer.

If there are any years where you are not eligible for full funding due to previous study, you will have to pay your own tuition fees and will only be able apply for a maintenance loan and if you qualify, supplementary grants. Your eligibility for full funding will depend on the number of academic years in which you attended your previous course.

In cases where you had to leave a course due to 'compelling personal reasons' such as health issues, it may be possible to apply for an extra year of full funding.

A Student Adviser in the Student Advice Service can discuss your study history and advise you on your funding entitlement.

Transferring to, and within, University of the Arts London

Students who began an undergraduate degree course before September 2012 are subject to different fee regulations to those who began later. If you started your course before this date and want to transfer to, or within, University of the Arts London, you should contact the Student Advice Service to discuss your situation. In some cases, students may remain in the old fee regime and be charged the lower rates of fee.

Current UAL students can find more information by downloading the Course Transfer Policy and Request form on the Extenuating Circumstances page.