Ways to pay for a qualification in Northern Ireland
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Depending on your income and your course of study, you could be eligible to apply for a Fee Grant, Course Grant (or both of these), or help from the Access to Learning Fund.
Fee Grant and Course Grant
Fee Grant– if you are on certain benefits or have an annual household income below £25,420 you can apply for a Fee Grant to go towards or even cover your module costs. The amount provided depends on how many credits you’re studying for, but it could be worth as much as £1230.
Course Grant– if you are on certain benefits or have an annual household income below £28,067 you could be eligible for a Course Grant of up to £265 to help you pay for course-related costs such as a laptop, internet access or travel to tutorials.
Additional income allowances may also be given if you have a partner and/or dependent children. These are £2000 for a partner, £2000 for your first child and £1000 for each further child. For example, if you have a partner and two children who are financially dependent on you, you could have a household income of up to £33,067 and be entitled to receive some financial support.
If you live with your parents, their income will not be included in any assessment of your household income.
You will need to be studying between 30 and 120 credits' worth of modules to qualify (usually with a minimum of 30 credits for any one module).
Access to Learning Fund
Once you have started studying with us you may be able to apply for additional help towards your study costs if you are experiencing financial hardship. Students with an annual household income below £16,845 (plus allowances, where applicable) can apply for assistance from the Access to Learning Fund.
This fund is provided to assist students who are facing higher than expected costs as a result of their study. It cannot be used to pay for tuition fees, but will support course-related costs such as travel, childcare and internet access. Funding may be limited and is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
You need to allow plenty of time if you’re applying for financial support so please apply as early as possible.
For more information about financial support, try our
online eligibility checker or contact the Financial Support Office.
You can pay your tuition fees by monthly Direct Debit through Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA).
This convenient 'pay as you go' option is a secure, quick and easy way to pay your fees on a module-by-module basis.
With OUSBA you can:
Pay by instalments – OUSBA Ltd pays the OU your full module fee at registration and you repay the loan to OUSBA Ltd in monthly instalments starting a month after your module begins. Currently, interest is charged at 5.0 per cent (Annual Percentage Rate 5.1 per cent) and is only applied once your module has commenced. This is an exclusive rate that is only available to OU students.
Register now, pay later – OUSBA Ltd pays your full module fee direct to us. You can repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding for your module.
For more information, speak to an adviser or visit our website
www.open.ac.uk/ousba where you can access a set of frequently asked questions and learn more about the instalment plans on offer.
Credit or debit card
You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront securely with a debit or credit card. We accept most well-known credit and debit cards. We also accept payment by bank transfer.
Other ways to pay
OU gift vouchers
You can pay for part or all of your tuition fees with OU gift vouchers. Vouchers are currently available in the
following denominations: £10, £20, £50 and £100.
Find out more about
buying or redeeming vouchers.
Mixed payment methods
You may also be able to pay via mixed payment methods. You could, for example, pay part of your tuition fee
upfront with OU gift vouchers and pay the remainder with an Open University Student Budget Account.
For more information about these payment options, speak to an adviser.
Disabled Students’ Allowance
Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) help with additional study costs that result directly from your disability or
specific learning difficulty.
Allowances are not means-tested and may go towards specialist equipment (such as an adapted computer), non-medical
study support (for example, a sign-language interpreter; a note-taker or a dyslexia support worker) or other related
expenses. You can also apply for help with study-related travel costs that directly result from your disability.
You may be eligible for a DSA if you’re studying at least 30 credits towards an OU undergraduate qualification that
lasts for more than one year.
For further information, visit our
Services for disabled students website.
To find out how much it costs to study for a qualification, look at the individual qualification descriptions.
Find out about the types of
qualifications we offer.
Or look at the subjects we offer:
Accounting and Finance
Arts and Humanities
Business and Management
Business Management Studies
Computing and IT
Children and Young People
Childhood and Youth
Childhood and Youth Studies
Design and Innovation
Environment, Development and International Studies
Educational Technology and Practice
Engineering, Technology and Design
Global Development Management
History of Art
Health and Social Care
Literature and Creative Writing
Mathematics and Statistics
Professional Development in Education
Physics and Astronomy
Psychology and Counselling
Sport and Fitness
Working with Young People