Part time study in the UK
There are a lot of myths surrounding part time courses, even making them a mystery to the
residents of the UK at times – but do not worry. You might think that there’s no reason to only study
part time while in the UK. Sometimes it might feel as if nobody studies part time degrees due to the
heavy cultural focus on full time degrees – but appearances can be deceiving. Over 450000 foreign
students’ study in England every year and the UK are well known as an education destination – with
it ranking as the second highest place in the world for the number of foreign students it gains. And
over a third of students in the UK study part time, from a variety of ages, from 18 to over 100. So, no
matter what your age or situation, there is a course out there for you even if you’re looking for one
For a sizeable group of foreign students there is one reason or another not to study full time: the
costs involved with both living and studying here, having to care for somebody full time (like a child
or relative) or simply not wanting to spend all your time in a foreign country simply to study, making
part time study a necessity. You may find yourself in one of these situations or even a plethora of
others that prevent full time education. So, we’re going to tackle the fiscal side of the question and
answer how you can support yourself whilst studying in the UK.
In this blog we are going to discuss the pragmatic view of part time study and how a part time
student can support themselves whilst they are studying in the UK. But there are systems in place to
help students deal with these and here are some tips about them and how you can approach them:
1 – Government Support
One of the most common ways to support yourself while you are studying abroad is to get a student
loan. Whilst the initial costs may seem quite daunting (the cost being up to £6,935 per year
depending on where you go) the way you pay them comes into effect only if you are earning actual
money. You only start paying back your student loan after you are earning a salary which equals over
£18,330 a year, and you only pay a percentage of the money you earn OVER £18,330 – meaning that
if you earned 23,330 you would only be paying back your student loan with a percentage of the
£5,000 you would be earning over 18,330. So, you can earn up to 18,330 and use it as you like
without having to worry about paying off your loans, which is fantastically useful as you come out of
university and begin looking for jobs as well as during your degree. If you feel as if you will be
heading straight into work out of university, we highly recommend this option of study.
There are also some cases where foreign students can be given a maintenance loan, some of these
loans can be over £11,000. To find out more about this, please head over to the LSB website to find
2 – University Support
Universities can offer grants and monetary support for a variety of situations. The most famous
examples are for those who have performed exceptionally well in their studies and are given
payments to facilitate higher education. However, there is a plethora of grants and monetary
support you could have the viability to get. Search around for these grants online if none are made
readily apparent/available to you is something highly recommended by academics and employers, as
it can help your studies and does not need to be paid back – You could potentially just be getting the
money for free for simply being of a certain ethnicity or from a certain cultural background.
We recommend always watching out for these grants, as they can come and go quickly, and people
are applying for them all the time.
3 – Working on the Side
If you can, it’s always a valuable experience and a wonderful opportunity to work part time during
your studies. You gain valuable work experience, as well as making money to help fuel your own
studies and savings.
However, as a foreign student there are a few criteria you must fulfil before you are able to study. If
you do not have a Tier 4 visa to study, you will most likely be allowed to work. Tier 4 visas generally
allow you to work in the country if you have no prior criminal convictions.
Looking for these jobs may be daunting, but there are a variety of ways you can search for them. If
you feel up to looking around in person you can watch out for flyers in windows of shops and
newsagents nearby. Many newspapers also have a job posting column, where local jobs are
advertised and have the employer’s details for you to contact. You can also search online via job
websites like Indeed, Glassdoor or reed, but these job sites generally push for you to make an
account and will send you lots of job-related emails and content, so if you are not looking for a
proper job, it may be a little bit more than you need.
We recommend using as many paths as possible to find the right part-time job for you. Who knows
where opportunity may strike, after all.
So, there are some of our tips for part time study in the UK. Whilst we may not have covered course
specific information, the information here helps you know the avenues you can take to make sure
you can afford to study and whether part time study is the right avenue for you to take.