Skip to main content Skip to footer

Learn about higher education

When supporting an individual through the application process of higher education it can often be daunting with a wide range of new terminology and things to understand. To support you with understanding these concepts some areas have been provided below.

university information

There is a wide range of options available for individuals looking into higher education. Below you will find some statistics on the amount of choices available.

undergraduate providers in the uk available

Undergraduate courses approximately available

(£) is the current maximum price per year for an undergraduate course

Higher education jargon

Often words can be used that you may not have heard of as they are specific to a certain area. Below you can find some explanations to words which are used throughout higher education that you might not know.

The area that some universities are located within. All of the buildings are located together in one place.

The way that subjects you can study are grouped together. Subjects that are similar to each other will be in the same faculty. E.g. Chemistry and Physics.

The main way you learn at university. Delivered to lots of people at one time. The biggest theatre at the University of Surrey fits 430 people!

They are discussion based, and allow you to share ideas. Much like a lesson at school they will have approximately 20 people in.

Normally for a small number of people (around 4-10 people). They allow you to talk about your studies in much more detail

A group of students who all share a common interest. E.g. Gospel Choir or Judo.

Students are elected into a variety of roles to represent students. They can help form rules for the way the university is run.

The organisation that handles most of the universities applications. You apply through them to the university you wish to study at.

The cost of your degree course.

Money lent to you to pay for the cost of your course which you have to pay back (when you’re working).

Money that is lent to you which will assist with your living
expenses and any other non-degree-related costs.

Money that you’re awarded based on your achievements at school or college or personal circumstances.

Money that you’re awarded as a result of a competition based on your achievements at school or college, or personal circumstances.

Money given to you that you don’t need to pay back.

Student finance

Below you will find two sliders which will give you an example of what student finance the applicant may be entitled to when applying for university.


Each UK student could be eligible for two loans, a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. If eligible the Tuition Fee Loan will cover the yearly cost of the first undergraduate course, the student wishes to study.

In addition to the Tuition Fee Loan, they may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan which can be used to support your living costs whilst they study. Every year an application is required to apply for this loan and the amount received will depend on where is chosen to study and the household income.

Use the slider to display the household income and show an estimate* of how much Maintenance Loan could be available.

Household Income


living away from home and studying in London

living away from home and NOT studying in London

living at home

*The above estimates are based on a student starting university in September 2020 and studying a three-year course with no additional needs. For the most up to date information about Student Finance, including what you may be eligible for if you have dependents, are studying a four-year course, or are living independently search The Student Loans Company or visit


For all new student loans, the student would need to be earning £25,725 before they must start paying money back. Currently they would pay back 9% of anything they earn over this amount. If their earnings were to fall below this the repayments would stop. The repayments happen automatically through their employer. After 30 years, any outstanding debt is written off, and it can never be passed to anyone else. 

Use the slider to see an estimate* for how repayments may vary depending on yearly incomes.

Yearly Annual Income


Your gross monthly income will be

Your monthly repayment will be

*The above estimates are based current figures available from The Student Loans Company as of February 2020. To find out more information about student loans repayment terms, including the most up to date information, search The Student Loans Company or visit