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Placement year & year abroad funding

Tuition fees and the Placement scholarship

For the 2017/18 academic year tuition fees will be:

  • £1,000 for home & EU students who began their studies after 2012/13
  • £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 after 2012/13 you may qualify for a placement scholarship which can be requested as a tuition fee waiver or cash payment.  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 either Aspire household income based scholarships in year 1 of your course

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.


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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 2017/18 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 2016/17 are:

  • Living at home -  £1,915
  • Living in London - £3,585
  • Living elsewhere (UK or overseas) - £2,553

You may also qualify for a placement scholarship of £1000

If you will be undertaking a Unpaid Placement in 2016/17 (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 2017/18 are:
  • Living at home - £1,915
  • Living in London - £3,585
  • Living elsewhere (UK or overseas) - £2,553

Unpaid placements qualify for a placement scholarship of £1000

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. These would include a maintenance grant and dependents grants if you normally qualify for these.

Placement scholarship are paid to students on unpaid placements. The placement scholarship is £1000.

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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 the same level of funding as in a normal academic year.  This would includes grant if you usually qualify for these.

If you normally recieve a grant based on household income you may also qualify for a travel grant.  SFE will send you an application form if you qualify.

All overseas placements are eligible for a placements scholarship of £1000.   

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 an Erasmus 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.

SFE funding for an Erasmus placement (work or study, even if the work placement is paid) is the same as in a normal academic year plus approx £1000 extra loan.

All overseas placements will also qualify for a placements scholarship of £1,000.

 

If you will be taking a work  placement abroad, but outside the EU, you can apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. The maximum amount available for 2017/18 is £2,970. This amount is not dependent on your household income.

All overseas placements in 2017/18 will qualify for a placements scholarship of £1,000.


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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 after 2012/13 you may qualify for a placement scholarship .  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 the Aston Advantage household income based scholarship in year 1 of your course

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.

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.

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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 £11,500 in the tax year 6th April 2016 to 5th April 2017. 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 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  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 2016/17 if you earn more than £155 in a week and you will have to pay 12% of any amount which exceeds this.

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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. 

Aston Support Fund - UK students 

If you are a home student and you are facing unexpected financial difficulties during your placement year and meet the other criteria in the Policy then you may apply for short-term assistance from the Aston Support Fund.

Susan Cadbury Fund - EU & International students 

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

Updated 12/04/2017 KJ