Read our frequently asked questions about undergraduate fees & funding.

Open Days
I can’t afford the travel costs to get to the audition - is there any help?

Audition fees are no longer charged for Leeds Conservatoire degree courses

Yes – We want to ensure that no-one with the ability is excluded from applying due to low income. If you attend your audition in person and your household income is low, or your family is in receipt of certain benefits, we will refund the travel costs. 

Find out more information on our Travel Refund Application Form.

How do I apply for student finance?

Nearly all applicants can apply online and create a student finance account. This is a secure system and once this is set up you can log back in at any time to view or change any of your information.

If you are from England, go to this link to start your application https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance

I don’t want to apply online- can I apply on paper?

If you prefer not to apply online you can download a paper form and guidance notes at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-forms

What information do I need to have available in order to apply for Student Finance?

Before you start your application, make sure you have the following to hand:

  • Your UCAS ID number
  • your National Insurance number
  • your passport
  • your bank account details.

Your parents (if you are under 25) will need to have their National Insurance numbers, and details of their earned and unearned income for tax year 2021/2022 (for 2023 applicants).

Depending on their circumstances, parents or partners may also need to provide evidence of divorce or separation, and list other dependent children. 

I have a disability which affects my learning – can I get extra help?

Students with a disability, mental-health condition, long-term health condition or learning difficulty, can apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs).
DSAs don't need to be paid back and are intended to help with the extra costs you may have whilst studying.

For more information see the Government's DSA Information.

Is there any extra financial help for students with children?

Yes – students with children may be eligible for non-repayable financial help with the cost of Childcare and also the Parents Learning Allowance. You may also still be eligible for Child Tax credits/Universal Credit too.

For more information see: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/extra-help

I’m under 25, but I don’t live with my parents - do I still have to have an income assessment based on my parents' income?

There are certain groups of students who are under 25 when they start the course, who can be considered independent for student finance purposes. You may be considered independent if you can provide evidence to prove one of the following: 

  • that you've supported yourself financially for three years (financially independent)
  • that you're married, separated, widowed or divorced

  • that you have dependent children

  • that your parents are deceased or that you are no longer in contact with your parents
  • that you are irreconcilably estranged from both your parents – you can get more information about the evidence requirements for this here: https://www.standalone.org.uk/guides/student-guide/
  • that you have been in the care of the Local Authority for any 3 month period which ended after the age of 16
I’m applying for my Student Finance and my parents are submitting their income information for the previous tax year, as required, but my Dad has just lost his job – can this be taken into account?

Yes – If your household income has reduced by more than 15% you can ask to be assessed on your current year income.

For information about how this works, see here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance/household-income 

I’ve already studied on a Higher Education course before – does this affect my future funding?

Yes, usually.

There are rules about finance for students with previous study and also for those who have already completed a degree level qualification.

If you have studied in Higher Education before, but not obtained an HE qualification, the number of years of study will determine how much funding you have for a new degree course.

If you have already obtained a degree level qualification, you will probably not be eligible for any financial support, regardless of when and where you studied.

This is a complicated issue and if you think this may apply to you, please email us at studentfunding@leedsconservatoire.ac.uk for further advice. 

What other bursaries and scholarships does the conservatoire offer and how do I apply?

Our main support is the Leeds Conservatoire bursary, which provides additional cash support for those with household incomes below £42,875 as per the income assessment carried out for your maintenance loan.

You can use this money towards your essential costs and it doesn’t have to be paid back.

In addition, we offer various scholarships. You don’t need to apply separately for any of these as we will work out automatically who is eligible and let you know.

For further information about this extra support, go to our website here.

Can I apply for benefits in the summer vacation?

Not usually, as the student finance package for full time students is designed to cover a 12 month period, unless you are in your final year, in which case you can claim benefits from when you finish the course, and the loan rate is slightly reduced in your final year because of this.

However, an exception would be students who have dependent children and some carers and students with disabilities.

For more information see: https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits 

I am worried about the amount of debt I’ll have and I have some savings – is it worth paying all or part of the tuition fees up front instead?

There is no definitive answer to this, as you cannot predict precisely what you will earn in the future. However, as the loan is only repayable subject to your income when you graduate, you may find that by paying up front, you may pay more than you actually need to.

Think very carefully about what else you may need the money for when you graduate. For example, you may need to buy a car or some equipment, or a save for a deposit on a flat/house, or even for further study at Masters level, so if you use up your savings on paying tuition fees, you may then have to borrow money on a commercial basis.

This is a complex subject and you can read more about the pros and cons at: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/

If I chose to pay my own fees, instead of taking a tuition fee loan, what methods of payment does the conservatoire accept?

You can pay in full before enrolment.

There are a number of different options available to pay your tuition. For further information about how to pay your fees, see the 'Paying Your Tuition Fees' page on our website.

Please quote your Leeds Conservatoire student ID number as the reference on all transactions. This is on your offer letter.

Detailed information about how to pay fees is sent with our joining information. 


Does the conservatoire provide any funding to buy a new instrument or equipment?

Not specifically, because we would normally expect that students studying at this level, would already have their own instrument. We have some instruments for loan, if yours is being repaired.

If your household income qualifies you for the Leeds Conservatoire bursary, you could put that towards the cost of an instrument.

There is a scheme which provides interest free loans for instrument purchase, but you should read the eligibility criteria carefully, to see if it’s right for you.

See http://www.takeitaway.org.uk/.

It’s absolutely vital that you take out insurance to cover the loss or theft of your instrument. Check to see if it’s covered on your parent’s policy, whilst away, otherwise look at the various companies which offer cover such as Allianz, Endsleigh or Musicguard. 

Do I still have to pay my student loan back if I go abroad?


If you go abroad to travel, work or live, for more than 3 months, you must complete an Overseas Income Assessment form for the SLC, showing your circumstances and your likely income. You would need to show evidence of your means of support and the SLC will calculate how much you need to pay, if anything. This will be revised if you move to a different country. The income threshold at which you start to make payments will vary according to relative average earnings in the country you are in. 

At what income level is it worth being income assessed?

For 2023 entry, we recommend that you opt to be income assessed if the household income is less than around £65,000. This will enable you to have a slightly higher maintenance loan. If your household income is definitely over £65,000 there’s no point in submitting your parents income information as the outcome would be the same. 

If I want to apply for mortgage in the future, will my student loan debt affect my ability to borrow?

Mortgage lenders have agreed that they will only consider what your monthly repayments are, rather than the total amount borrowed. This enables them to look at how much you can afford to repay each month.

Student loans do not appear on any credit files held with the credit reference agencies. 

What happens if I leave early or suspend from my course?

We will notify the SLC and all further payments will stop.

If you have been overpaid a grant or loan, you will be required to repay this as funding is calculated for the full year and payments are made in advance. Overpayments are not collected under the normal repayment terms. Students who are thinking of withdrawing or suspending from their course should seek advice about the financial issues from the Student Funding team.

With regard to your tuition fees, this is detailed in the tuition fee policy which is available on our website, and is explained in the joining information we send you before you enrol.

If you decide to withdraw, suspend or transfer from your course, tuition fees will be charged on the following basis: 

Date of withdrawal/ suspension / transfer (2023-2024)

Percentage of tuition fee payable

After registration and within first 2 weeks of teaching.


During Term 1


During Term 2


During Term 3


Students are considered to be in attendance and therefore liable for tuition fees until they formally withdraw or suspend from their course of study. Simply not attending does not constitute withdrawal.

Students should note that if they intend to withdraw at the end of the Autumn or Spring terms, they should arrange to consult their Programme Leader or Curriculum Manager, before the end of the term, due to the Christmas and Easter holidays. This applies to new and continuing students.

If you have taken a Tuition Fee Loan, the Student Loans Company (SLC) will be informed by the conservatoire and the loan amount is adjusted accordingly. If the student or a third party has paid the fee, a refund may be given or their payment schedule adjusted, as appropriate.

Any further questions?
Open Days

Find out what it's like to study at Leeds Conservatoire by coming along to one of our Open Days. 

As well as talks and tours specific to the courses you're interested in, you can also chat to our staff and students.

Plus, get immediate access to our On-Demand Open Day.

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Ahead of graduating @tashadmusouk is making their professional debut in Vernons Girls at @RoyalCourtLiv from 9 June… https://t.co/dXWt7jVMkI
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