Support for HE students

There is a range of support available for City of Bristol College students who are studying at university level. This includes:

Health and wellbeing support

We care about your wellbeing. We can support you, or help you access support, regarding:

  • Wellbeing
  • Counselling
  • Disability Advice
  • Study Skills
  • Learning Support
  • Settling into University life and the College

We also have HE Surgeries. These take place in the HE Common Rooms once a month at all sites.

To find more, contact student services by calling 0117 312 5000 or email us:

Financial support for university-level courses

A university education may seem like a large expense, but don’t let the costs stop you. Did you know that you don’t have to start repaying a loan until you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over the threshold?


  • Financial support is available;
  • College is often less expensive than other local universities;
  • You stand a better chance of earning more with a university degree.

Higher Education Progression Bursary

A bursary of up to £600 can be allocated to students who study an eligible full Level 3 course with City of Bristol College and enrol on the first year of eligible higher education courses.

The bursary will be paid in three equal instalments to eligible students during the first year of study at City of Bristol College. The bursary instalments will be paid individually, on the college’s receipt of each instalment of tuition fees during the first year of study (this is usually October, January, April).

If a student withdraws, or is withdrawn, from a specified course prior to the college’s receipt of a tuition fee instalment, the college will not be liable for the subsequent payment of a related higher education bursary instalment payment.

The bursary excludes all students where their course fees are paid by a sponsor (e.g. employer). Acceptance of the bursary will be taken as the acceptance of all of the above terms and conditions.

To apply for the bursary, complete the Higher Education Progression Bursary Application Form.

You can also speak to your head of department to find out more information.

Higher Education Student Financial Support Fund (Hardship Fund)

This fund is to support students who are experiencing hardship and may not be able to complete their course without financial help from the college. The fund is limited and finite, and you must speak to a welfare officer before making an application to the fund. We will need details and evidence of your financial situation, which will include bank statements. 

If your student loan is late coming in, we may be able to provide a bridging loan, which will be repayable on receipt of your student loan.

To apply for the Higher Education Student Financial Support Fund, please speak with your tutor to discuss before completing an application. 

The Student Financial Support Fund For Higher Education application form can be found here

You can view and download the assessment guidance (pdf) for more detailed information on how we assess applications.

Loans for full-time students

The following student finance is available for full-time students. Students need to be eligible for student loans and can’t already have a qualification of an equivalent level.

Returning and new students can apply online now for student support – you don’t need to wait until you’ve been accepted on a course. To find out more and apply online, visit the Student Finance England website. You can also find helpful information in the Student Finance Quick Start Guide.

Tuition fee loan

A tuition fee loan allows you to borrow the cost of your tuition fees each year (up to a maximum of £9,250). It does not depend on your household income, and you don’t need to pay it back until you are earning over £27,295 a year.

Maintenance loan

In addition to the student loan for tuition fees, you may be eligible for a student loan for maintenance. This can help with the costs of accommodation, food, books and other expenses. You may have to provide details of your household income and the loan is paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term. You have to pay the loan back.

  • Maximum of £9,488 a year available if you’re living away from home
  • Maximum of £7,987 a year if you’re living at home
  • You don’t need to pay it back until you are earning over £27,295

Repayment of loans

  • You’ll be due to start repaying your loan the April after you finish or leave your course. You’ll only make repayments if your income is over the repayment threshold
  • You don’t repay until your gross earnings are over £27,295 a year (or £2,274 per month)
  • You repay 9% of what you earn above £26,575
  • Any loan remaining after 30 years will be cancelled

Non-repayable grants for full-time students with dependents

The following grants are also available for people with children or other dependents if on a low income:

  • Parents’ Learning Allowance of up to £1,821 a year. Depending on your household income, in 2021-22, you could get between £50 and £1,821 a year.
  • Childcare Grant of 85% of childcare costs: up to £179.62 a week for parents with one child, or £307.95 a week for parents with two or more children.
  • Adult Dependents’ Grant of up to £3,190 a year.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

Students with a disability, mental health condition, long-term health condition or specific learning difficulty may be eligible for extra help through Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).

Available to full-time and part-time students (depending on the amount of hours you study), this allowance is non-repayable, and is not dependent on household income. The amount you are entitled to depends on your level of need. To find out more visit Disabled Students’ Allowance.

Students still have to pay the fees if they are on benefits.

If you’re already claiming income-related benefits and want to start a uni-level course, you should ask Jobcentre Plus or your local authority’s housing benefit team how this will affect your benefits. Find out more about benefits for uni-level students on low incomes.

Diagnostic Assessment and Testing for Specific Learning Disabilities (SpLD) Fund

You can apply for up to £250 towards the costs of undertaking a diagnostic text for dyslexia or SpLD. Contact Jane Snook (HE Study Support Co-Ordinator) to arrange an initial consultation and discuss next steps.

Tuition fee loans for part-time students

The following student finance is available for part-time students. To find out more and apply online, visit Student Finance part time students or Student Finance England website.

Tuition fee loans

A Tuition Fee loan allows you to borrow the cost of your tuition fees each year (up to a maximum of £6,935). The loan does not depend on your household income. You must be studying at least 25% of the equivalent full-time course.

Repayment of loans

  • Repayment begins in April four years after the start of your course (whether or not you have finished studying) or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first
  • You don’t repay until your gross earnings are over £27,295 a year (or £2,274 per month);
  • You repay 9% of what you earn above £27,295;
  • Any loan remaining after 30 years will be written off.

For more information, visit the Student Loan Repayment website.

Benefits for part-time students

If you’re on a low income you may be able to claim a range of income-related benefits including:

  • Income Support;
  • Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Housing Benefit;
  • Council Tax Benefit.

External support available

Mental health support and counselling

Alcohol and drug issues

Financial and housing advice

Student Voice

Student feedback is very important to us, and there are lots of ways to make your voice heard:

HE Course Representatives

Every course needs at least one rep per year. Course reps work with staff and students to ensure your time at City of Bristol College is as good as it can be.

Students’ Union Representatives

There are lots of Students’ Union positions available. For more information or to apply, visit the Student Council section on the Students’ Union home page.

If you would like to share feedback individually, you can go to the Students’ Union website, or contact the SU directly at

We always want to hear from you!

Where to find us