Confusion over previous studies Watch

Jayne1607
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Hello,

I have some confusion over my eligibility for student finance for starting a new degree. Basically, I have previously studied with the Open University, starting in 2007 and with my latest course completed in 2012. From what I understand, any previous part-time study that does not result in a qualification does not affect your entitlement to student finance? However, I did claim a qualification with four of the modules that I studied - a Diploma in Geosciences. But this is where I am confused as the diploma is not considered as a diploma of higher education (it is only 120 credits, so half the requirement of a normal diploma HE), nor is it considered as a certificate of higher education. It was a diploma specific to the OU, which has now been withdrawn completely so I cannot find any further information on it. So I am unsure of where I stand in terms of where it would be on the higher education qualification framework. I contacted student finance by phone to enquire about this earlier this year, as I am interested in studying for a degree elsewhere, and was informed that as I don't already have a degree and would be studying for a qualification higher than the one I already have then there would be no problem and I would still be eligible for student finance. However, I have since read conflicting things so I suspect I may have been given the wrong information. I am now wanting to study a 3 year full time degree - BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing, but need to confirm whether I would be eligible for student finance of not.

If my previous OU studies are counted against this then would the full 5 years I spent studying be counted (therefore leaving be with no years of student finance eligibility left), or would it only be the number of years spent studying the modules that were claimed against the Diploma in Geosciences? (those modules where studied in 2009 and 2010, so it only took 2 years for the diploma). Also, if this does affect my eligibility for a tuition fee loan for my new degree then would I still be eligible for a maintenance loan, or would this not be possible either?

I am shortly due to start an access to higher education course to gain the entry requirements for the veterinary nursing degree, however, I cannot afford to spend £3000+ on this course if I will not then be able to get funding for the degree as I would not be able to afford it myself, so it is essential that I can confirm the correct details regarding this issue as soon as possible.

I would be very grateful for any help or advice you could give.

Thank you,
Regards
Jayne Taylor
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Shahrzad SFE
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(Original post by Jayne1607)
Hello,

I have some confusion over my eligibility for student finance for starting a new degree. Basically, I have previously studied with the Open University, starting in 2007 and with my latest course completed in 2012. From what I understand, any previous part-time study that does not result in a qualification does not affect your entitlement to student finance? However, I did claim a qualification with four of the modules that I studied - a Diploma in Geosciences. But this is where I am confused as the diploma is not considered as a diploma of higher education (it is only 120 credits, so half the requirement of a normal diploma HE), nor is it considered as a certificate of higher education. It was a diploma specific to the OU, which has now been withdrawn completely so I cannot find any further information on it. So I am unsure of where I stand in terms of where it would be on the higher education qualification framework. I contacted student finance by phone to enquire about this earlier this year, as I am interested in studying for a degree elsewhere, and was informed that as I don't already have a degree and would be studying for a qualification higher than the one I already have then there would be no problem and I would still be eligible for student finance. However, I have since read conflicting things so I suspect I may have been given the wrong information. I am now wanting to study a 3 year full time degree - BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing, but need to confirm whether I would be eligible for student finance of not.

If my previous OU studies are counted against this then would the full 5 years I spent studying be counted (therefore leaving be with no years of student finance eligibility left), or would it only be the number of years spent studying the modules that were claimed against the Diploma in Geosciences? (those modules where studied in 2009 and 2010, so it only took 2 years for the diploma). Also, if this does affect my eligibility for a tuition fee loan for my new degree then would I still be eligible for a maintenance loan, or would this not be possible either?

I am shortly due to start an access to higher education course to gain the entry requirements for the veterinary nursing degree, however, I cannot afford to spend £3000+ on this course if I will not then be able to get funding for the degree as I would not be able to afford it myself, so it is essential that I can confirm the correct details regarding this issue as soon as possible.

I would be very grateful for any help or advice you could give.

Thank you,
Regards
Jayne Taylor
Hi Jayne,


My understanding is that your OU qualification is not one of the following: Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma, Foundation Degree. Is that correct?

If so, I would like to confirm since your previous part-time study did not result in a higher education qualification you would be eligible for full SFE funding for this new course. This includes Tuition Fee Loan, Maintenance Loan, Supplementary Grants and Disabled Students' Allowance if applicable.


Kind regards,
Shahrzad
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Jayne1607
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(Original post by Shahrzad SFE)
Hi Jayne,


My understanding is that your OU qualification is not one of the following: Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma, Foundation Degree. Is that correct?

If so, I would like to confirm since your previous part-time study did not result in a higher education qualification you would be eligible for full SFE funding for this new course. This includes Tuition Fee Loan, Maintenance Loan, Supplementary Grants and Disabled Students' Allowance if applicable.


Kind regards,
Shahrzad
Hi Shahrzad,

Thank you very much for getting back to me. Yes, that is correct in stating that the qualification I received is not a Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma or Foundation Degree. It was an Open University specific award comprising 120 credits that they had titled 'Diploma of Geoscience'. They did send me a certificate and an academic transcript for my award (if that makes any difference?) and I have discovered from other searches that some other students have been refused student finance before for having similar Open University awards to mine and so I am still concerned that this is a grey area.

I have just emailed the Open University to ask for their assistance in clarifying the position of this award and whether or not it is considered an undergraduate qualification for student finance purposes, so I am hoping they will be able to make light of this soon.

Thanks again,
Regards
Jayne Taylor
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Jayne1607
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Hello,

I have heard back from the Open University today and, although they confirmed that it is not one of the 'Higher Education' qualifications classified above in our previous discussions, they stated that the Open Uni diploma I have received is still an official undergraduate qualification, therefore, they are uncertain how this would affect my eligibility for student and suggested that I send my diploma supplement to Student Finance to look into. However, since there seems to be so much uncertainty about this situation I have decided not to pursue this degree, as I would need to undertake the access course for 2 years first, so even if I was told I could get student finance now, I would not feel confident that this would still be the case in 2 years time when I would be applying to student finance to start my degree.

I am now considering if studying a degree in a human health care profession would be better for me. As I understand it, such degrees are exempt from these student finance rules and are still eligible, even after previous studies/qualification? The degree I am considering studying is a full-time BSc (Hons) Midwifery degree. Please could you confirm if I am correct in thinking that I would still be eligible for full student finance for this degree despite my previous Open University studies/qualification?

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Regards
Jayne Taylor
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SFE Holly
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(Original post by Jayne1607)
Hello,

I have heard back from the Open University today and, although they confirmed that it is not one of the 'Higher Education' qualifications classified above in our previous discussions, they stated that the Open Uni diploma I have received is still an official undergraduate qualification, therefore, they are uncertain how this would affect my eligibility for student and suggested that I send my diploma supplement to Student Finance to look into. However, since there seems to be so much uncertainty about this situation I have decided not to pursue this degree, as I would need to undertake the access course for 2 years first, so even if I was told I could get student finance now, I would not feel confident that this would still be the case in 2 years time when I would be applying to student finance to start my degree.

I am now considering if studying a degree in a human health care profession would be better for me. As I understand it, such degrees are exempt from these student finance rules and are still eligible, even after previous studies/qualification? The degree I am considering studying is a full-time BSc (Hons) Midwifery degree. Please could you confirm if I am correct in thinking that I would still be eligible for full student finance for this degree despite my previous Open University studies/qualification?

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Regards
Jayne Taylor


Hi Jane,

Yes, I can confirm that BSc (Hons) Midwifery Degree is classed as an exception course therefore we wouldn't take any of your previous study into account and your would be entitled to the full student support package.

Thanks, Holly.
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