New fee structure FAQs

1. What tuition fees will Plymouth University be charging?

Plymouth University is charging £9,000 a year for all undergraduate degree courses starting from September 2014. This will enable the University to continue to expand its investment in the highest quality teaching and learning opportunities for our students and the best possible facilities. Along with other universities in England, our tuition fee has to be approved by the national Office for Fair Access, and this was confirmed on 12 July 2011. The University of Plymouth Students’ Union, on behalf of our students, is supporting the University in setting its fee levels with an explicit expectation that we will sustain and further enhance the student experience and invest more in your future. (These fees are likely to rise with inflation in subsequent years). 

The exception to this will be a fee of £7,500 per annum for the Management, Government and Law Foundation Year. This fee of £7,500 applies only to the foundation year and not subsequent degree years. 

2. What financial support is available for students?

A degree from the University represents an excellent investment in your long-term future. Fees should be no barrier to our students and we have a generous package of support measures to help you before you come here, while you are studying here, and once you graduate and move on to your chosen career. We are fully supporting the National Scholarship Programme and we’ve established a new retention fund to help you during your studies. We also work with a network of colleges across the South West who will be announcing fees for their higher education programmes so that people local to them can access the Plymouth experience. More information on the student loan rates and maintenance grants is available at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance. 


3. Do we have to pay the tuition fee at the start of the course?

As an undergraduate student you don’t have to pay tuition fees up front (if approved for a tuition loan). The Government will provide UK and EU students with a tuition fee loan which you’ll only start to repay after graduation, once you’re earning over £21,000 per annum. This threshold has been raised from the previous figure of £15,000. 


4. How much will we have to pay back and when?

You’ll be expected to contribute as graduates once you’re earning over £21,000 per annum. The repayment structure means that once you’re in work, you’re required to pay nine per cent of your annual income above the £21,000 threshold, with any outstanding repayments being written off after 30 years. So someone earning a salary of £25,000 would be repaying around £30 per month – which is less than a graduate had to repay under the previous system. The process for repayment is simple and payments will be deducted automatically from pay through the tax system. Repayments will start in the April after you graduate, even if you already earn over £21,000 per annum. 

5. What rate of interest will be paid on these loans?

Interest on your loan will be applied at inflation (RPI – Retail Price Index) plus three per cent while you’re studying, and up until the April after you leave university. From the April after you leave university, if you’re earning below £21,000, interest will be applied at the rate of inflation. For graduates earning between £21,000 a year and £41,000 a year, interest will be applied between RPI and RPI plus three per cent on a gradual scale depending upon income. For graduates earning above £41,000, interest will be applied at RPI plus three per cent.

6. What are the funding arrangements for part-time students?

Part-time students are now entitled to a loan for tuition fees on the same basis as full-time students. This support is available to those who complete a minimum of 25 per cent of the full-time course load per year (unlike the previous tuition fee support package which required students to be studying for over half of their time). Part-time students are not eligible for maintenance support. We are waiting for further advice from the government, but anticipate fees will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.