How to fund your distance learning course

There are a number of ways you can choose to pay for your tuition fees as a distance learner. In fact, there has never been a better or easier way to pay for online learning. We've got some useful information below and our Money Advice Service are on hand to offer specialist, impartial and confidential advice.

Undergraduate student loans

If you are eligible, you will be able to study an undergraduate online distance learning course with ARU without paying anything up front. Instead, you can apply for a Government loan to help cover the costs. The Government pays your fees and you start repaying the loan after you’ve finished the course. Your repayments come out of your salary, a bit like tax, and the amount your repay each month will depend on how much your earn, not what you owe.

Am I eligible?

You can apply for a Government loan to cover your course fees if:

  • You are applying to study one of our undergraduate courses. That is: Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE), Foundation Degree (FdA, FdSc) or Honours Degree (BA or BSc).
  • You are classified as a UK student
  • You are an EU student and have lived in the UK for more than 5 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course.
  • You are studying at this level for the first time.

Full student loan information and eligibility can be found on the Student finance website.

How do I apply?

Once you have applied for your online course with ARU you can apply for your student loan providing you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you live in England you can apply through Student Finance England.

Postgraduate student loans

If you are eligible you can access a postgraduate loan to study an online Master's degree with ARU.

EU students will also have access to UK postgraduate loans in 2020/21 as part of fee and funding guarantees following the EU referendum.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible for a postgraduate loan for distance learning if:

  • You're a UK or EU national living in England on the first day of the first academic year of your course.
  • This must be your first time studying at postgraduate level
  • You must be studying a full Master's degree programme (180 credits)

Full eligibility details can be found here.

How do I apply?

To apply for a postgraduate loan visit Student Finance England

Instalment plans

If you are self-funding we offer interest-free instalment plans on all courses, undergraduate and postgraduate, delivered by ARU.* You can choose to pay for your course at the start of each year, in three instalments per year or six instalments per year for undergraduate courses or three instalments per year for postgraduate courses.

To discuss paying by instalments please get in touch or phone (+44) 01245 686 707.

*Courses delivered by our partners may carry interest charges for paying by instalments, please contact them directly to discuss payment plans in more detail.

Employer sponsorship

Many of our distance learning students are sponsored on their courses by their employer. Your company may well have a scheme to help pay for all or part of your studies.

Speak to your line manager, or if you want to discuss the process and our work-based learning opportunities in more detail please contact us or phone (+44) 01245 686 707.

Money Advice Service

Our Money Advice Service offers specialist, impartial and confidential information and advice about all aspects of student finance.

Whether you're already studying at ARU or you're thinking about applying, you can talk to us about:

  • student funding
  • budgeting and money management
  • entitlement to welfare benefits
  • what happens if you can’t pay or are unable to continue studying
  • what to do if you have any financial worries
  • and more...

Contact the money advice team

Call us on 01245 686700 (we’re here 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday), or email