Money For Living Costs

Government Loans and Grants

While you're studying you'll need to consider how to fund your living costs. The information below will help you to see what's available from Government sources. (This information applies to students from England only - if you are from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please refer to the information for your relevant awarding body) 

Maintenance Loans for living costs for 2017 entry

UK students (not EU) are entitled to Maintenance Loans to help pay for essential expenses such as accommodation, food, books and travel. All eligible students can receive the minimum amount of loan, regardless of their household income.  An additional amount is available, which will depend on your household income. Loans are paid directly into your bank account in three instalments, at the start of each term. 
The loan rates for 2017 entrants are:

2017 Entrants

Amount available to all eligible students

Maximum amount available subject to income assessment

Student living with parents



Student living away from parental home



Maintenance loans for living costs are paid back in exactly the same way as the tuition fee loans. No matter how much you owe, you only pay back according to how much you earn above £21,000.

Your Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan are added together for repayment purposes. Please see our tuition fees page for details about repayments and interest charges.

How much will I be entitled to?

This table shows the amount of funds available for living costs for a single student studying at Leeds College of Music, and living away from home, according to household income level. (2017 entry)

Residual Household Income
(As determined by the household income  assessment)

Maintenance Loan

Leeds College of Music Bursary 

Total amount available for living costs

£25,000 or less
























£62,143 and over





Additional help for specific circumstances

Students who are entitled to certain DWP benefits, such as Income support, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, or certain disability benefits, may qualify for an increased loan for living costs. Students in this category would include single parents or student couples with a dependent child, students who have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at last 28 weeks, and students who are entitled to a disability premium, PIP or DLA.   

A proportion of the increased loan, known as the Special Support element, which is a contribution towards the cost of books, equipment and travel, is disregarded when benefits are calculated.

Students with dependent children can apply for a Parents Learning Allowance and a Childcare Grant.

Students with an adult dependant can apply for an Adult Dependants Grant.

Students with a disability or a specific learning difficulty can apply for the Disabled Students Allowance to help with any extra costs incurred whilst studying, as a direct result of a disability.

If you have a disability and wish to discuss your application for Disabled Students Allowance, please email

How your household income is assessed

  • Most applicants who will be under the age of 25 on 1st September 2017, will be assessed on the income of the parent(s) with whom they normally live. 

  • If the applicant only lives with one parent, but that parent has a partner or spouse who lives in the household, their income is included in the assessment. 

  • The income of a parent who lives elsewhere is not included. 

  • Students who are married will be assessed as a couple, and students who are classed as independent* or over 25, will be assessed on their own income and that of their partner/spouse where applicable.

  • For 2017 entrants, the income assessment will normally be based on the tax year 2015 - 2016, however there is an opportunity to be re-assessed on the current tax year if there has been a significant reduction in income. (at least 15%)  

  •  You will be re-assessed for each year of the course.  

  • Where the resulting assessment has been subject to parent’s household income, and less than the maximum support is available, then it is the parent’s responsibility to make up the difference     

*The criteria for independent assessment for those aged under 25  are very specific – simply not living with your parents is not enough to claim independent status– please refer to the websites listed at the end of the page.

How and when to apply for Student Finance

Where you apply to for Student Finance depends on which country you are living.





Call: 0300 100 0607

Student Awards Agency for Scotland
Call: 0300 555 0505

Student Finance Wales
Call: 0300 200 4050

Student Finance Northern Ireland
Call: 0300 100 0077

You can apply for all of the support listed above, in one online application.  You will need to provide your:

  • Passport number (or Birth Certificate if you do not have a passport),

  • National Insurance number,

  • Correct course details – please ensure that you check the exact course code on your UCAS form

  • Bank account details

  • Household income details

If you decide to apply for the full income assessed finance (advised if your household income was below about £65,000 in 2015-2016), your parent(s) will also need to supply their personal details and income information, which will be verified by HMRC. They will not usually be required to supply paper evidence. Once you have applied and set up a Student Finance account, you will have a unique customer reference number and will be able to log back in and change details where necessary, and view all the correspondence relating to your Student Finance.

You can apply for student Finance from around February 2016.  You do NOT need to wait until your place on the course has been confirmed- Apply early and if any of your details change, you can log back into your account and update them. The deadline for on-time applications is the end of May 2017. 

Further points to note

Fees, loans and grants may be subject to annual inflationary increases. Figures quoted here apply to new entrants in the academic year 2017-2018.

EU Residents (non UK) can apply for a tuition fee loan, but are not normally eligible for any of the support for living costs.  Read our Guide to EU Fees and Funding.

In order to be considered eligible for maintenance support, you will need to meet the residence requirements.

You can apply if:

  • you’re a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (no restrictions on how long you can stay)

  • you normally live in England

  • you’ve been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course ie from 1st September 2014 for 2017 entry.

Non-UK nationals must have settled status on the first day of the first academic year of the course – (1st September 2016 for 2016 entry)

Previous Study

Eligibility for Student Finance will be affected if you have been in Higher Education before, regardless of the amount of support you received, even if you had no loan or grant.  For further advice about the effect of previous study, please contact us.

If you already hold an equivalent level qualification, from any country, you will not be entitled to Student Finance, other than possibly the specialist support for disabled students or those with dependants.   For further advice on this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Team.


Next steps

Further Education

With our BTECs in Music and Music Technology you can develop your musical interests and expertise in a conservatoire environment.


Refine your craft in Classical, Jazz, Popular, New Music, Production, Film Music or Music Business.


Further your studies, focus on your specialism and work alongside Creative Practitioners with our MMus Creative Musican.