.

Placement year & year abroad funding

Tuition fees and the Aston Allowance / Aston Bursary

For the 2014/15 academic year tuition fees will be:

  • £1,000 for home & EU students who began their studies in 2012/13
  • £1,725 for home & EU students who began their studies in 2011/12 or earlier
  • £2,500 for International students

If you are a Home or EU student, you can apply to Student Finance England or Student Finance Services for a tuition fee loan to pay your fees in the same way as for the other years of your course.

If you started your degree in 2012/13 you may qualify for a placement scholarship which will cancel the tuition fees for the placement year.  You will qualify if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You are undertaking a placement overseas
  • Your placement is unpaid
  • You usually qualify for an Aston Excellence scholarship
  • You qualify for a household income based scholarship

Please note, if you qualify for more than one of the above you can only receive one scholarship during your placement year.  All scholarships during the placement year are paid as fee remissions.

In order to be awarded the placement scholarship you must submit a currnet year SFE application even if you do not wish to take out loans during your placement year.  If you do not wish to take out the loans simply enter zero in the loans amount box on the form.


If your degree started pre-2012/13 you may qualify for the Aston Placement Allowance and Aston Placement Bursary  - see below.

Living cost grants and loans during your placement year

If you are a home student, you may be able to receive living cost grants and loans through Student Finance England for your placement year. 

There are different types of student funding available for home students depending on what kind of placement you will be doing.

If you will be taking a paid placement in 2013/14 you can apply to Student Finance England for a reduced Maintenance Loan in addition to your placement salary.  This loan is not based on your family’s income and the amounts for 2013/14 are:

  • Living at home -  £1761
  • Living in London - £3295
  • Living elsewhere (UK or overseas) - £2347

If your course began in 2012/13 you may also qualify for a placement scholarship (see tuition fees section)

If your course began prior to 2012/13 you may also be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary and of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

If you will be undertaking a Unpaid Placement in 2014/15 (which is not considered as Unpaid Service) then can apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. This loan is not based on your family’s income and the amounts for 2014/15 are:
  • Living at home - £1761
  • Living in London - £3295
  • Living elsewhere (UK or overseas) - £2347

If your course began in 2012/13 and your placement is unpaid you will qualify for the placement scholarship which is a £1000 fee remission.

If your course began pre 2012/13 you may be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

As a placement student, you are considered to be doing Unpaid Service if you are taking an unpaid placement in one of the following:

  • in a Hospital or Laboratory or with a primary care trust in the UK (or equivalent health authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • with a Local Authority or a voluntary organisation in the UK relating to the care of children and young persons health or welfare.
  • in a prison or aftercare service in the UK
  • unpaid research in an institution (ie: a University) in the UK or overseas

If you considered to be taking Unpaid Service in your placement year then you can apply to Student Finance England for the same types of student funding for your living costs as you would in the other years of your course. You can apply for a Maintenance Loan and the maximum amounts for 2014/15 (depending on your family’s income) are:

  • Living at home - £4418
  • Living in London - £7751
  • Living elsewhere in the UK - £5555

You can also apply for the Maintenance Grant of up to £3387 which is assessed on your family’s income. Don’t forget that any amount of Maintenance Grant you receive will be partly used to subsidise your student loan (it is not a simple as adding the Maintenance Grant and Loan amounts together!)

If your course began in 2012/13 and your placement is unpaid you will qualify for the placement scholarship which is a £1000 fee remission.

If your course began pre 2012/13 you may be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

 

If you are talking a placement in London, you may be eligible for a 30% discount on travel.

You are also eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster Card.

The Oyster Card is a plastic smartcard which travellers can use in the place of paper tickets.

To be eligible for the card the placement needs to be:

  • An integral part of the degree
  • 14 weeks minimum based in London 

The benefits of this card are:

  • 30% discount off adult rate travel cards
  • 30% discount off weekly, monthly and yearly bus passes
  • 30% discount off weekly, monthly and yearly tram passes 

To apply you will need to pay a £10 administration fee to Transport for London (TfL) and complete an online application form which requires you to provide a digital photo of yourself.

When you have completed this initial application step please email Patrick Coughlan in the Hub: fau@aston.ac.uk

You will need to provide your undergraduate student ID number which appears on the orange strip of your university ID card and the unique reference number that your application to TfL will generate using the link above.

The Student Funds Administrator will check your placement details and forward these on a TFL template confirmation letter to the travel company on behalf of the University.

Transport for London will then process your application and contact you independently of the University.

If your Placement in London ends before your expected end date please contact the Student Funds Administrator as your Oyster Card discount scheme will need to be cancelled.

Working or studying abroad on your placement year

If you will be studying abroad for your placement year then you can apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. The maximum amount available for 2014/15 (depending on your family’s income) is £6660.

You can also apply for the Maintenance Grant of up to £3387 which is assessed against your family’s income. Don’t forget that any amount of Maintenance Grant you receive will be partly used to subsidise your student loan (it is not a simple as adding the Maintenance Grant and Loan amounts together!)

If your course began in 2012/13 and your placement is overseas you will qualify for the placement scholarship which is a £1000 fee remission.

If your course began pre 2012/13 you may be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

 

Aston University participates in the European Union’s Erasmus scheme which encourages students to undertake placements in other participating European countries.

Home/EU undergraduates who take part in this scheme are eligible for a mobility grant which can contribute towards the extra costs of living abroad.

The countries which will participate in the Erasmus programme 2014/15 are:

Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Cyprus | Czech Republic Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Iceland | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovak Republic | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Turkey | Croatia

If you are not sure whether or not you qualify to apply for Erasmus funding then contact the Placements Office (internationalplacements@aston.ac.uk).

You have to apply to participate in the Erasmus scheme but the funding position is often not certain until just a month or so before you are due to start your placement.

If you are doing a placements through ERASMUS you can still apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. The maximum amount for 2013/14 (depending on your family’s income) is £6600

You can also apply for the Maintenance Grant of up to £3387 which is assessed on your family’s income. Don’t forget that any amount of Maintenance Grant you receive will be partly used to subsidise your student loan (it is not a simple as adding the Maintenance Grant and Loan amounts together!

If your course began in 2012/13 and your placement is overseas you will qualify for the placement scholarship which is a £1000 fee remission.

If your course began pre 2012/13 you may be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

 

If you will be taking awork  placement abroad, but outside the EU, you can apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. The maximum amount available for 2013/14 is £2807. This amount is not dependent on your household income.

If your course began in 2012/13 and your placement is overseas you will qualify for the placement scholarship which is a £1000 fee remission.

If your course began pre 2012/13 you may be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

 

EU and International students

If you are an EU student, you can apply to Student Finance Services for a tuition fee loan to pay your fees in the same way as for the other years of your course. 

 

If you started your degree in 2012/13 you may qualify for a placement scholarship which will cancel the tuition fees for the placement year.  You will qualify if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You are undertaking a placement overseas
  • Your placement is unpaid
  • You usually qualify for an Aston Excellence scholarship
  • You qualify for a household income based scholarship

Please note, if you qualify for more than one of the above you can only receive one scholarship during your placement year.  All scholarships during the placement year are paid as fee remissions.

In order to be awarded the placement scholarship you must submit a current year SFE application even if you do not wish to take out loans during your placement year.  If you do not wish to take out the loans simply enter zero in the loans amount box on the form.


If your degree started pre-2012/13 you may qualify for the Aston Placement Allowance and Aston Placement Bursary  - see below.

If you are taking a placement in the EU, you can also apply for support through the Erasmus scheme.

Both EU and International can apply to the Susan Cadbury Fund if you are facing unexpected financial hardship.

Paying tax and National Insurance on your placement salary

Everyone pays income tax once they are earning above their tax threshold, even if you are on placement.

The earnings allowance (the amount you have to earn before you start paying tax) for Income Tax for all UK residents is £10,000 in the tax year 6th April 2014 to 5th April 2015. Any amount of money you earn over this will be taxed at a rate of 20%. As well as your placement salary, your earnings include interest from savings and all other employment (including part-time jobs you may have done before or after your placement).

The tax year in the UK always starts on 6th April, which means your placement will actually fall into two different tax years. At the end of the tax year, your placement employer should give you a P60 which will confirm what your earnings were for the tax year 2014/15 and how much tax you paid.  Once you finish your placement, your employer should give you a P45 which will confirm how much you have earned so far in the tax year 2014/15 and how much tax you will have paid.

Although you will often find that you placement employer calculates your tax correctly for the first part of your placement, many students end up paying too much tax during the second part of their placement. You can claim a tax overpayment back from HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)by completing a form using information you will find on your P60 and P45. You can collect Tax reclaim forms from The Hub and one of our advisers can help you to complete the form if you wish. 

Placement students do pay National Insurance Contributions. The amount you pay will depend on how much money you will earn each week.

You only have to pay National Insurance in the tax year 2014/15 if you earn more than £153 in a week and you will have to pay 12% of any amount which exceeds this.

Funding for emergencies

If you face unexpected financial hardship during your placement year, you can apply for assistance. These are limited funds for students facing hardship and there is no guarantee you will receive an award. You should not plan to rely on these funds as a way to pay for your placement year studies. 

Access to Learning fund - home students 

If you are a home student and you are facing unexpected financial hardship during your placement year then you can apply for assistance from the Access to Learning Fund.

You can only apply to this fund if you have enrolled as a student for that year and you have taken out all the student funding which is available to you through Student Finance England. 

Susan Cadbury Fund - EU and International students 

If you are an EU student or International student and you are facing unexpected financial hardship during your placement year then you could apply for assistance from the Susan Cadbury Fund. 

You can only apply to this fund if you have enrolled as a student for that year and you will need to show that you had made adequate financial provision to fund the cost of your placement studies before you started the year.

Amended 24/04/2014 KJ

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research