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Advice and Counselling Service

Tuition fee status: Will I pay the home or overseas rate of tuition fee?

Like all universities, Queen Mary University of London charges two different rates of tuition fees for each individual programme of study.  The two different rates are know as 'home' and 'overseas'. However, the rules are more complex than this simple distinction, and it is important to check your eligibility carefully. This page will help you to understand which fees you are eligible to pay, and what to do if you disagree with your fee status.

How does Queen Mary decide which rate of tuition fee I pay?

What do I do if I disagree with my fee status assessment?

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and Brexit

Students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Tuition Fee concession for asylum seekers

Tuition Fee update for people with Humanitarian Protection

How does my fee status affect my eligibility for student loans and grants

Can I gain 'home' fee status during my programme?

I can't afford to pay the overseas tuition fee

If I withdraw and re-start my course, will it change my fee status?

How much are the tuition fees at Queen Mary?

How does Queen Mary decide which rate of tuition fee I pay?

The regulations that define which groups of students all UK universities must charge the 'home' rate of fee to, are set out in legislation made by the UK government. Whether you are charged fees at the 'home' or 'overseas' rate is known as your fee status. Queen Mary makes fee status decisions in line with this legislation and does not operate a discretionary policy outside this legislation. This means that if you do not meet one of the categories in the legislation that states you must be charged the 'home' rate of tuition fee, Queen Mary will normally charge you the 'overseas' rate. An exception to this is for asylum seekers - see below. 

When you apply to study at Queen Mary, the Admissions office will use information that you provide with your application to make an assessment of your fee status so that they can include your fee status in your offer letter. If they require more information to inform their decision, they will ask you to provide this by completing a Fee Assessment Questionnaire. You should be notified of your fee status before you begin your studies at Queen Mary and you will be required to accept your fee status during the enrolment process. This fee status will normally apply for the duration of your programme. The circumstances in which fee status may change during your programme are described in UKCISA guidelines. Queen Mary reserves the right to re-assess and amend your fee status if information is received after your initial fee status assessment that was not provided at the time the assessment was made. This is explained in the General Terms and Conditions

It is important to be aware that the Queen Mary assessment of fee status and a decision by Student Finance England (or other funding body) to award student funding are not linked and are made independently of each other.  One decision does not alter the other.  For example, an undergraduate student may be assessed by Queen Mary Admissions to pay the overseas rate of tuition fee.  When they apply to SFE for student finance they may be assessed as eligible and awarded a Tuition Fee Loan.  However being awarded the SFE Tuition Fee loan does not automatically change the University decision and they continue to be liable to pay the higher overseas rate of tuition fee.  As the SFE Tuition Fee Loan will not cover the full amount of the overseas tuition fee charged by Queen Mary, the student will be liable to pay the shortfall.  Therefore a student in this position must seek advice about eligibility to pay home fees and/or eligibility for student funding before they start their course to avoid financial difficulties.

The UK legislation that defines who is eligible for 'home' fees sets out the categories of people who qualify for 'home' fee status.  Broadly speaking, eligibility for 'home' fee status depends on key things such as: 

  • your status in the UK (e.g. whether you are a UK national, EU national or what other type of permission you have to live in the UK)
  • where you are living on the first day of the first academic year of your programme (this is not the actual 'first day' of the course.  For courses that start in September this is always the 1st September immediately before you begin your programme at Queen Mary and for courses that start in January it is always 1 January immediately before you begin your programme at Queen Mary)
  • how long you have lived in the UK
  • the type and purpose of your residence in the UK. There are special rules if you normally live in the UK but you have been living somewhere else temporarily e.g. because of your parent's temporary employment overseas

Many students think that length of residence in the UK or being a UK national are the the only criterion, but there are other criteria that have to be met too.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has a list of all of the eligible categories who qualify for home fee status. Please check this carefully. Please note that some of the caetgories also include certain family members. 

What do I do if I disagree with my fee status assessment? 

If you have checked the eligibility criteria for home fee status and believe you have been incorrectly assessed as overseas, firstly make sure you have completed a fee status questionnaire for Queen Mary Admissions - how to do this is explained on the fee status assessment webpage. If having done that you still believe your fee status has been assessed incorrectly, you can appeal. The appeal process is explained on the fee status assessment webpage.

You are advised to resolve your fee status query before enrolling because by enrolling you are accepting your fee status and are liable for paying the tuition fees at that rate. After enrolment you can appeal your fee status but only up until 31 October in your first academic year and only on the basis that there has been a procedural error or where new, material information is presented that could not reasonably have been made available during the original fee status assessment carried out by the Admissions Office. 

If after taking the steps above you have an unresolved complex fee status case, or you need one to one advice about what to do in your particular situation, please contact the Advice and Counselling Service at Queen Mary. The Welfare Advisers at the Advice and Counselling Service can offer you specialist advice about your eligibility for 'home' fee status, UK Student Finance and can liaise with the Admissions office at Queen Mary about your fee status if required.

EU/EEA/Swiss Students and Brexit

Tuition fee levels for EU students who enter UK Higher Education in 2020 will remain at the same level of that of UK students for the course duration. For information on tuition fee amounts click here.

2021/22 EU/EEA/Swiss entrants please see our EU/EEA Fees and Funding webpage

Students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are charged the Home/EU rate of tuition fees for all programmes except for the clinical years of the MBBS and BDS programmes, when a higher rate is charged.

Tuition Fee concession for asylum seekers, and children of asylum seekers. 

Queen Mary operates a concession for Asylum seekers or children of asylum seekers. Students who qualify under this concession will receive an award from Queen Mary which reduces their tuition fees to the same level as the ‘home’ tuition fee rate and will charge them the 'home rate' of tuition fee while their asylum application is under consideration by the Home Office. For full details click here.

Tuition Fee update for people with Humanitarian Protection

Successful legal action taken by the Central England Law Centre has made the Department of Education in England to reconsider the ordinary residence requirements for people with Humanitarian Protection.  For information please visit the UKCISA student news page.

How does my fee status affect my eligibility for student loans and grants from the UK government?

In the same way that the fee status rules are defined in legislation, so are the rules relating to the UK government's system of Student Finance.  Many students use the system of UK Student Finance to take out loans and grants to pay their tuition fees, and their living costs like rent, travel and food etc.

The eligibility rules for Student Finance are very similar, but not identical, to the fee status rules.  Therefore, most students who are not eligible for 'home' fee status are also not eligible for loans and grants through the Student Finance system in the UK.

For detailed explanations of each of the categories of people who are eligible for Student Finance in the UK, please see the guidance written by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). We have written our own undergraduate funding guidance here. 

Can I gain 'home' fee status after I have started my programme at Queen Mary?

Some students misunderstand the rules on fee status, and believe that they will gain 'home' fee status part way through their programme, for example, once they have lived in the UK for 3 years.  As you will see from the UKCISA guidance on tuition fee status, most of the qualifying categories of eligibility relate to your circumstances BEFORE you start your programme of study.  For example, if you need 3 years residence BEFORE you started your studies to qualify for 'home' fees, you will never accumulate this residence AFTER you have started your programme of study.

There are some limited categories of people who may gain 'home' fee status part way through their programme of study. Examples of these are nationals of countries that join the EU and people who become family members of EU nationals (for entry up to and including the 2020/21 academic year, people who become family members of UK nationals, and people who gain full Refugee Status or obtain Humanitarian Protection part way through their studies (or who are the family member of someone who gains this status). For more information, please see the UKCISA guidance on fee status.

If you think that you will qualify for 'home' fees at some point in the future, you may decide to ask to defer your entry to Queen Mary until then.  Check the UKCISA guidance on fee status carefully, to make sure you have understood the rules correctly. 

What if I am not eligible for 'home' fee status but I start my studies anyway, and cannot afford to pay the 'overseas' rate of fee for the whole programme?

As mentioned above, once you start your programme of study at Queen Mary, your fee status is very unlikely to change.  It is never advisable to begin a programme of study unless you have a guaranteed way of paying your tuition fees and living costs for the entire length of the programme.  If you cannot pay your fees to Queen Mary at the required time, you may be de-registered from Queen Mary and you will still owe the amount of tuition fees that are due  - even if you have not completed the academic year or the full duration of your programme.

Remember, the fee status assessment is normally based on your situation immediately BEFORE you start a programme of study.  So, if you start your programme at Queen Mary and you later find you cannot continue to pay the 'overseas' rate of fee, you cannot simply take an interruption of study and later be 're-assessed' as a 'home' fee payer. This is because students who take an interruption of study are 'continuing students' and therefore your fee status assessment will always be based on your situation BEFORE you originally joined your programme at Queen Mary. 

If you cannot pay the 'overseas' tuition fees, you may need to apply for an interruption of study (this means that you take some time out of your studies, and your place on the programme is held open for you to return to) while you secure the funds that you need to pay the 'overseas' rate of fees to complete your programme. Or you may need to withdraw from your course. For information about interrupting or withdrawing, please see our 'Re-sitting, interrupting or leaving your course' advice guides.

Can I start my programme and then withdraw from Queen Mary part way through, and later re-apply to Queen Mary to resume my programme, once I qualify for 'home' fees?

The only way that your fee status could be re-assessed is if you fully withdraw from your programme at Queen Mary, and apply to Queen Mary as a 'new' student at a later date.  Your fee status assessment would then be based on your circumstances immediately before your new start date.  You could re-apply to begin a programme at Queen Mary from the very start (year 1) or, if you have successfully completed a year or years of the programme previously, you could apply to join a later year of the programme. However, under Queen Mary regulations, you will not normally be able to start studying at Queen Mary again for at least 12 months after your withdrawal from your original programme. Remember, there is no guarantee that you will be offered a place at Queen Mary again; you will have to apply in the usual way and your application will be considered alongside all the other applications to Queen Mary in that particular year. Contact a Welfare Adviser if you are considering this. 

How much are the tuition fees at Queen Mary?

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