Nothern Ireland 2016/17 - student fees and grants

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Date of publication: 2017
Fees - first cycle (euro): max 4608
Fees - second cycle (euro): most common 4839
Fees - note: All students pay fees
Grants - note: In 2014/15, 60 % of 1st cycle applicants for support were awarded a grant
Need-based grant (euro): Most common/max 4080
Merit-based grant (euro): -

National student fee

1st cycle full-time programmes: fees are set by institutions but capped at GBP 3 925. Students are not required to pay up front and can apply for a loan to cover the full fee.

1st cycle part-time programmes: fees are unregulated and loans are not available.

2nd cycle: fees are unregulated and vary widely. The 'most common' shown (GBP 4 121) represents an indicative fee level for research students in 2016/17 set by Research Councils UK.

Short cycle programmes: the same fees apply as for students taking 1st cycle programmes.

1st and 2nd cycle international students: fees are unregulated.

Student grants

1st cycle and short cycle full-time students: the support package includes a need-based grant for living costs. The full grant of GBP 3 475 is awarded to students with a household income of GBP 19 203 or less, with partial grants for students whose household income is up to GBP 41 065. In 2014/15, 59.9 % of applicants for support received a grant (37.6 % of applicants received a full grant and 22.3 % a partial grant). All institutions must offer an additional bursary, whose amount varies, to students who receive the maximum grant for living costs or special support grant.


The support package also includes a loan for living costs for all students. The maximum loan is GBP 3 750 if living in the family home, GBP 6 780 if living away from home and GBP 5 770 for a year of a UK course spent abroad. The amount is reduced for students who receive a need-based grant. Repayments are income-contingent and made at the rate of 9 per cent of income above the earning threshold of GBP 17 495.

1st cycle part-time students: the support package includes a need-based grant towards payment of fees (though it is not intended to cover them completely). Students studying at 50 % or greater intensity and whose household income is up to GBP 25 420 receive a fee grant. The grant is awarded on a sliding scale with the maximum awarded to students studying at 75 % intensity whose household income is less than GBP 16 843.

For 2nd cycle students, there is no universal support package. 2nd cycle postgraduate non-taught: individual institutions can provide a merit based grant, which tends to follow the minimum stipend recommended by Research Councils UK, GBP 14 296 for 2016/17.

Tax benefit for student's parents

Tax benefits for parents and family allowances do not play a role in the student support system.

Family allowances

Tax benefits for parents and family allowances do not play a role in the student support system.

Source: Eurydice, National Student Fee and Support Systems 2013/2014, 2015/2016, 2016/2017
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