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    Hi, I've been trying to get some info for a while about this, I contacted the National Careers Service but they have been no help whatsoever.

    I am 28, I already have a degree in drama (I only graduated with an ordinary degree due to issues in my final year, therefore my degree is currently worthless).

    I want to return to education to study a new degree in primary education or social work but the issues I have are the tuition fees, and if I can get the information I need this will decide whether this path is doable for me or not.

    When I studied my first degree it was under the old rules, it was means tested on my mum's income (she was a student nurse at the time) and I did not have to pay tuition fees so I did not take out a tuition fee loan. I did however take out a student loan to pay for living expenses etc.

    My partner (who i do not yet live with) has agreed to support me living expenses-wise, but I need to know if I will be eligible for a tuition fee loan as I did not take one out before for my first degree. I am currently on just over minimum wage.

    I would not be expecting to take out a second student loan as I am aware I would need to have paid the original back before I could get another one (although I may apply for bursaries or grants if they are applicable to me), just the tuition fee loan.

    If anyone can enlighten me as to whether I might be entitled to the tuition fee loan I would be very grateful. This is the only thing currently holding me back.

    (Also are tuition fees means tested now?)


    Thanks in advance
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    Hi Holly,

    Unfortunately we wouldn't be able to provide tuition fee support for Social Work as a second degree although you would be entitled to another maintenance loan and you could also apply to the NHS for non repayable bursary.

    If you choose to study for a teaching PGCE you would be entitled to receive full funding including tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and maintenance grant based on your household income.

    You can study a one year top up to change your ordinary degree to an honours degree and you would be entitled to full support for the year.

    It might also be worth noting that NHS courses taken as second degrees are eligible to receive a reduced rate maintenance loan and fees paid by the NHS with an NHS bursary too.

    Hope this helps,
    Mark-Lee
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    I finished my course in 2006, I thought it would be too late to top-up now? I am more inclined towards primary education but obviously the rules changed and now I can't use my degree for anything now it would seem. As it stands I can't do a PGCE with my current qualification as it isn't good enough, otherwise I would be doing that

    I can't afford the ridiculous tuition fees to return to study, which is why I wanted to know if I would have been eligible for a tuition fee loan as I never took one out first time round.

    I have never heard of being able to top-up my degree so I have no idea what this means.
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    Hi again Holly,

    A top up essentially means that you study for an extra year to raise your ordinary degree up to an honours degree. This is very common. It would be worth sending emails to some unis to find out if this is an option of you.

    Thanks,
    Mark-Lee
 
 
 
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