University Tuition Fee Policy – 2019/20

1 Introduction

Staffordshire University is committed to ensuring that all students and prospective students are provided with clear information on the Tuition Fees they will be charged. This policy makes clear how the University sets Tuition Fees and how your fees will be recalculated if your circumstances change. It also explains the appeals process. It forms part of the University’s Terms and Conditions and should be read in conjunction with them.

This policy will be reviewed annually, and you will be asked to agree to the terms of the policy as part of your e-enrolment at the start of each year of study.


 

1. What are my Tuition Fees?

You must pay the tuition fees applicable to your course of study. Your tuition fees will be determined based on your fee cohort and status, mode of attendance, level of study and the fee regime in force at the time of your initial enrolment. For each course of study, the University will set, publish and charge tuition fees for the full duration of the course.

Undergraduate fees are agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year, but this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Price Index (RPI). The University will notify you of any increase in your fees as early as possible and before you progress to the next year of your course.

Tuition Fees for postgraduate taught students are set for each cohort of the Course and may increase for new cohorts commencing the Course each year. If you are studying a part time postgraduate taught course your fees will be fixed at the rate charged at your point of admission and you will continue to be charged in line with this rate for the expected duration of your course.

Tuition Fees for Home postgraduate research students are aligned with the levels set out by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which are not published until the start of the year in which students will commence their studies. This means that the Tuition Fees published prior to that date will be indicative only and the University will increase Tuition Fees for postgraduate research students in line with the published UKRI Tuition Fees for new students. If you have accepted an offer from the University prior to the Tuition Fees being finalised, you will be notified of that in your Offer Letter and will be provided with full information on the Tuition Fees as soon as it is available.

As an International student your fees will be fixed at the annual rate charged at your point of admission and you will continue to be charged these fees for the expected duration of your course

2 Where can I find out what my Tuition Fees are?

Tuition Fees for all courses are published on the University webpages. These can be found as follows;

UndergraduateTuition fees 

Postgraduate Tuition fees 

3 How will my fees be calculated?

The University will assign a ‘fee cohort’ to you when you start a new course registration with us. The fee cohort will be used along with your fee status and other enrolment criteria to determine the fees applicable to you.

4. Will I stay on the same fee cohort for the whole duration of my course?


Yes, as a continuing student you will keep the same fee cohort, except where you take up a new course registration or return from a break in your studies that exceeds the maximum period permitted, currently one full academic year.

5. Are there any circumstances under which I would stay on the same fee cohort even if I transfer courses?

Yes;

  • If you transfer to a new course because of an internal transfer and do not have a break in your studies, you will remain on your original fee cohort.

  • If you are a continuing “end on” student you are protected under the old student support regulations and will remain on your original fee cohort, regardless of whether you have previously been studying at the University or elsewhere.

6. How will my fee status be assessed?

An assessment will be made at the point your application is received to determine whether you should be treated as:

  1. Home/EU

  2. Overseas

If we are unsure, we may ask you for further information to determine which group you fall into for fee charging purposes. If you do not meet the criteria required to be classified as a UK/EU student, then you will be charged an overseas tuition fee. It is your responsibility to check and confirm your fee status during the enrolment process, so it is important that you understand the University’s assessment of your fee status before completing your enrolment.

Please note that the University’s decision on your fees status does not guarantee that you will be assigned the same fee status by Student Finance. If you are intending on applying for a loan to cover your tuition fees it is important that you check your eligibility with Student Finance.  

7. Can my fee status change during my studies?

The fee status assigned to you will normally apply for the duration of your course except in a small number of cases where it can be reviewed, such as if you’re granted refugee status part way through the course. All requests from current students for a review of their fee status should be sent to the Student Guidance team at support@staffs.ac.uk.

8. How much will I be charged?

If you are registered on a full-time course, you will be charged a set annual rate. The fee rate is determined by your cohort year, level of study and the fee regime in force at the time of your initial enrolment as detailed in point 3 of this policy.

Exceptions:

  • If you are a full time undergraduate or postgraduate taught student repeating a module(s) on a part time basis.
  • If you are a new entrant with recognised prior learning that has been accepted by the University.

If you are registered on a part-time course, you will be charged based on the number of credits being studied. Part time students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses cannot register for more than 90 credits, or 75% of a full-time equivalent year. The fee rate is determined by your cohort year, level of study and the fee regime in force at the time of your initial enrolment as detailed in point 3 of this policy.

If you are an MPhil/PhD student, you will be charged an annual tuition fee. On enrolment you will be charged for a full year and will re-enrol on the anniversary month of the commencement of your course. Once you enter the writing up phase of your postgraduate research degree, you will become liable for writing up fees. This fee covers a period of 12 months after which time the fees will revert to the standard annual tuition fee.

9. What do my Tuition Fees Cover?

Your Tuition Fees cover your tuition along with the academic and pastoral services made available to you while you are a student. Your Tuition Fees do not cover your accommodation or living costs. As part of your course you may be required to pay some additional costs. These will be set out in the Course Specification or, for optional modules, the relevant module description form.

If your course requires the payment of a registration and/or examination fee, payment should be made as soon as requested by the University. Such fees are sent directly to external bodies and are non-refundable

Certain courses involve residential visits or field trips for which separate fees are payable. Such fees must be paid in advance of the visit. If you have not paid in advance of the date of the visit you will not be permitted to attend. In the event you cannot attend and need to cancel, the fees may not be fully refundable.

10. Will I be charged Tuition Fees if I repeat?

If you are repeating a module(s) with attendance (or the distance learning equivalent) or studying a replacement module(s) you will not be charged an additional tuition fee.

If you are offered the opportunity to repeat the level with a fresh start and without carrying any marks forward, you will be charged the appropriate tuition fee (as detailed in point 3 of this policy). However, if you have applied for exceptional circumstances and this has been upheld, no re-sit fee will be applied. For detailed information please see the University’s Academic Regulations.

11. When and how do I pay my Tuition Fees?

You must pay your Tuition Fees in full at or before enrolment unless one of the following applies to you:

  • You are receiving a loan from Student Finance; or
  • You have provided evidence of sponsorship from an approved sponsor; or
  • You are eligible to pay your tuition fees in instalments

Information on how you can pay your tuition fees, including instalment plans and acceptable sponsor arrangements can be found in the University’s Credit Control Policy..

If you experience difficulties in paying your fees by any of the methods detailed in the Credit Control Policy you must contact income@staffs.ac.uk immediately and a member of the team will be able to advise on alternative ways to submit payment.

12. Do I have to pay a deposit?

If you are an overseas student studying on campus you will be required to pay a deposit of £3,500 before the University can issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter, which is a requirement of your Tier 4 visa.

Deposits are non-refundable, unless:

  • You fail to meet the conditions of your offer
  • You are not issued with a visa
  • There are exceptional circumstances beyond your control, such as illness or death of an immediate family member

Information on how you can apply for a refund can be found in our Refund and Compensation Policy.

13. What evidence do I need to provide if the Student Loans Company or a sponsor are paying my Tuition Fees?

If the Student Loans Company (SLC) are paying your tuition fees you must provide evidence your loan has been approved, or that a plausible application for funding has been submitted.

If a corporate sponsor, such as your employer, are paying your tuition fees you must provide written evidence of their sponsorship in the form of a purchase order or sponsor letter on corporate letterhead. For further details please see the University’s Credit Control Policy.

14. Am I responsible for paying my Tuition Fees even if I have a loan or a sponsor is paying them on my behalf?

Yes, you are ultimately responsible for the payment of your tuition fees, even if you have applied for a loan from the Student Loans Company or a sponsor is paying the fees on your behalf. If your sponsor fails to pay or your student loan is withdrawn, the University will attempt to recover the fees from you directly.

15. What happens if I don’t pay my Tuition Fees?

If you believe you might be at risk of being unable to pay your tuition fees you must discuss your situation with the Credit Control team at the earliest opportunity. The University adopts a supportive approach to the collection of Tuition Fees. In cases of genuine difficulty, the University will take reasonable steps to support you to pay any outstanding fees, which may include setting up payment instalments. Please note that the University has no obligation to agree alternative arrangements.

Where necessary the University reserves the right to take appropriate action against students who fail to pay their Tuition Fees and may apply sanctions against you, including refusing to allow re-enrolment and withholding your degree certificate.

The University will refer accounts that remain unpaid to its partner, STA (an external debt recovery agency) to pursue payment. Further details can be found in the University’s Credit Control Policy.

16. How will my Tuition Fees be recalculated if I take a break in my studies or withdraw?

The University understands that from time to time students may need or want to take a break or withdraw from their studies. If you take a break or withdraw from your studies, you may still be required to pay a proportion of your Tuition Fees. The amount you have to pay will be calculated from the date formal notification of your break from studies or withdrawal is received. Failure to formally notify the University in writing of your intention to take a break or withdraw from your studies will result in you remaining liable for the full Tuition Fees until notification is received. Please note retrospective breaks in studies and withdrawals will not be permitted, except where exceptional circumstances apply.

If you formally withdraw or take a break from your studies within the first two weeks (including induction week) of the published start date of your course, you will not incur any Tuition Fees. If you take a break or withdraw from your studies after the first two weeks you will incur Tuition Fees, even if you have not taken the opportunity to attend or engage with your course. The amount you will be charged is detailed below:

When you take a break/withdraw from your studies  Undergraduate FT & PT Students** Postgraduate Taught FT Students** 
   
Term * Week of Term LiabilityRefund Liability Refund 
1Weeks 0-2 (see section 160%    100%

0%

100%
1Week 3 onwards25% 75% 34%  66%
 2 Week 1 onwards 50%  50%   67% 33%
 3Week 1 onwards100% 0%100%  0%

*  Depending on the start-date of your course, term 1 of your year of study may begin at another point in the year. Examples include October, January or March.
**  All tuition fee refunds are calculated on the net tuition fee, which considers any fee waiver, reduction or discount that has been applied to your account. 

If you are studying on a part time postgraduate taught course, you will be charged the full fee for all the modules you have commenced.

If you are on a postgraduate research award you will be a charged a proportion of your annual tuition fee, based on the number of full weeks you were in attendance prior to your withdrawal and calculated pro-rata over 52 weeks. Please note that part weeks will be counted as full weeks for the purpose of calculating your fee liability.

 

17. What happens to my Tuition Fees if I change my course or mode of study?

If you decide to change your course or mode of study (for example from part-time to full-time) your fees will be reviewed, and you may be required to pay a different fee.
 
If you change your mode of attendance by switching from a full time course to a part time equivalent, you can defer the charges for any module(s) not taken (but paid for) until you are able to take the module (s) as part of the part time award.

Detailed guidance in respect of taking a break in or withdrawing from your studies withdrawing, as well as the implications of changing course or study mode can be found in the University’s Refund and Compensation Policy.

The University is obliged to report any course and/or mode of study changes to external agencies, for example the UKVI for overseas students on Tier 4 visas, and the Student Loans Company for Home/EU students with loans.  These external agencies have their own regulations which may limit the changes you can make.  This may include changes to:

  • Course
  • Mode of attendance
  • Length of study
  • Withdrawals, terminations, and exclusions

18. When would my fees be refunded and how do I apply for a refund?

Refunds of Tuition Fees as a result of taking a break from your studies or withdrawal from the University will be determined and calculated in accordance with the tables set out in section 16 of this policy.

As required by UK Money Laundering Regulations refunds will only be made via the method and account used for the original payment. As such, if someone else has paid your Tuition Fees, the refund will be made to that person or organisation. Full details regarding how the University assesses students eligibility for refunds and how you can claim for a refund can be found in the University’s Refund and Compensation Policy.

19. I study at a partner college, does this policy still apply to me?

This Policy will not apply if you are a student studying at one of our UK Partner Colleges. The Terms and Conditions relating to Tuition Fees in such cases will be those of the relevant Partner College, unless they specifically refer to this policy as part of those terms and conditions. For further information please check the college webpages for your chosen course.

20. Who can I contact if I have a question about my Tuition Fees?

If you have any questions or concerns about your Tuition Fees, please contact our Fees and Bursaries Team in the first instance.

21. How do I make an appeal if I feel this policy has not been correctly applied?

If you consider this policy has not been correctly applied or have a concern about the accuracy of the tuition fees you are being charged, you can make an appeal under the University’s Appeals and Complaints Procedure (PDF, file size: 120.59KB) .