• Financial Support for Students aged 19+


We strive to offer both support and encouragement to adults hoping to study with us. Whether you would like to learn a new skill, embark on a career change or return to learn after a break, it’s never too late to follow your ambition.  

If you need a helping hand with which direction to take, you can book an appointment with the Helpzone team for free, impartial advice and guidance. We have a dedicated Adult Guidance Officer who is Level 6 trained in Advice & Guidance, available to support your journey.  

There is plenty of support available to you, if you need access to funding, childcare or flexible study time, we can help you break down the barriers so you can achieve your goals. There are many funding and fee options available to you, we have outlined the main support options below. If you are unsure as to what support you qualify for, please contact the Helpzone Funding Team by calling 08000 380123 or email enquiries@southdevon.ac.uk  

Please see below for information regarding tuition and exam fee waivers and support and our Adult Bursary Fund support 

Tuition Fees, Support and Waivers

Depending on the level and type of course you choose, we may be able to offer tuition and exam fee support.  

Level 1 and Level 2 Courses:  

  • Adults who work and earn under £17,004.50 are entitled for free tuition for L1 or L2 courses  
  • Adults who are in receipt of means-tested state benefits such as; Universal Credit, Employment & Support Allowance, Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance may be eligible for free tuition for L1 or L2 courses  
  • Adults aged 19-24 may be entitled to funding to study a Level 1 or Level course, if they have not studied at that level before  
  • Those entitled to tuition and exam fee waivers and support are still required to pay the Adult College Fee, this is up to a maximum of £120, which can be paid in instalments.  

Please note that funding options are always provisional until they are confirmed in May. Full Cost courses are not eligible for tuition fee or bursary fund support.   

Level + College Courses:  

  • *NEW FOR SEPTEMBER 2021*: Adults of all ages may be entitled to funding to study a Level 3 course, if they have not previously studied at Level 3, or higher. Please note that further information regarding eligible courses etc, will be available from May 2021  
  • Adults aged 19-24 may be entitled to funding to study a Level 3 course, if they have not studied at that level before 
  • For those not entitled to L3-6 fee support, Advanced Learner Loans are available! Repayments begin when you earn more than £25,725 a year.  

Advanced Learner Loans for Level 3 – 6 Courses  

If you are not entitled to course funding, as outlined aboveand want to study a Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3 to 6 Vocational Qualification, you’ll need to pay for the cost of your course. If you’re thinking about returning to education, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. These loans help you to pay the fees charged by colleges and training organisations. The Advanced Learner Loan is a Government-funded loan to help adult students. It’s easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check. Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed. You only start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £25,725 a year. Until then you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time.  

Here are some key facts about the loan:  

  • Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed  
  • You only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £25,725 a year. Until then you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time.

For information on the GOV.UK website, click here.  
Find out if you are eligible for the Advanced Learner Loan here: Eligibility tool 

Adult Bursary Fund (College)  

If you’re aged 19 or over and want to study a college course at Levels 12, 3 or 4, our Adult Bursary Fund is available to support you through your studies (Please note that this support is not available for apprentices, full-cost courses or UCSD HE learners)  

For those with an earned household income of below £30,000 per year, the support available to you is listed below. For those with an earned household income of between £30,000 and £35,000, you may still qualify for a SDC Stagecoach bus pass or petrol allowance payment support!  

If your earned household income is below £30,000, you may be eligible for bursary support towards things such as:  

  • Course Fees & Exam Fees – For adults undertaking a Level 1 or Level 2 course, bursary-entitled learners who do not qualify for a tuition fee waiver, may be entitled to fee support through our bursary scheme. Depending upon your household income total, we can support up to 80% of your fees!   
  • Course Equipment and Kit – We can support all essential items, whether it be a hairdressing kit, catering uniform and kitchen utensils, or even AAT accountancy books…  
  • Course Material Depending on which course you choose, our bursary funds can support you with cash to fund items required such as; steel toe-capped boots for construction courses, Adventure Sport exhibition costs such as buying walking boots, tents and rucksacks, to even supporting your printing costs!  
  • DBS Certificate Fee – For courses requiring a DBS certificate, our bursary funds can cover this for you  
  • Bus Passes  Transport and travel costs can be a huge barrier to your education, we are delighted to work in partnership with Stagecoach, offering our exclusive SDC Stagecoach bus passes, allowing 24/7 free and unlimited travel!  
  • Travel Costs – For those who drive, we can provide you with petrol allowance payments which are calculated using your home-postcode and paid directly into your bank account on a termly basis  
  • IT Devices – We understand that access to devices such as laptops and tablets, can be a challenge. For bursary-entitled learners studying 100+ hours over the year, we will provide you with an IT Package Voucher! Redeemable at our college shop outlet, Essentials, you will be able to redeem your voucher for either a laptop or a tablet!  
  • Childcare Costs – We understand that your childcare commitments of paramount importance. Our bursary funds can help to fund your childcare costs whilst you study. We can support with both nursery/school and registered childminder fees. For learners aged 20 and above at the start of your course, you can apply for your childcare through our Adult Bursary Fund.  

For learners aged under 20 at the start of your course, you can apply for your childcare directly through the Government scheme, Care to Learn; Care to Learn – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Find out more about the help you can receive with childcare costs by using the Childcare Choices calculator. 

There is a limited amount of funding available for tuition fees. Your application to the fund will be means tested and proof of household income will be required. Please contact us below for further information. 

For further information, please contact the Helpzone Team at South Devon College, on enquiries@southdevon.ac.uk  or Freephone 08000 380 123.  

University Centre South Devon (UCSD) Bursary 

There is support available to you if you want to study at TEF Gold rated UCSD. To find out more about the UCSD bursary click here. Alternatively, please contact the Higher Education Team on university@southdevon.ac.uk  

For free and impartial advice, please see: Money Advice Service  

In this section