Money matters when it comes to online study


22nd Mar 2019




We’ve spoken before about the incredible savings that are possible with online study, as opposed to on-campus study. And we know that cost is an incredibly important part of deciding how, when, and with whom to study.

Here are some of our tips when planning your budget for studying:


1. Know the costs

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, many online courses charge extra for exams, assessment centres or resits, and you may also have to pay out extra for course materials and textbooks. A lot of institutions also charge international students an inflated price.

However, at University of Essex Online, all of your course materials are included on our learning platform, and there are no added fees when it comes to exam time. We also charge the same tuition fees for both UK and international students.

Want to know more about our fees?


2. Look into student loans

This one is a no-brainer, if you’re eligible. Government-backed student loans are an incredibly cost-effective way to pay for your higher education, and our courses are designated for undergraduate or postgraduate student loans in England. These loans can pay up to the full tuition fee for a course.

For more information about eligibility, repayments and application process, check out our student loans page.


3. Talk to your employer

If the content of the course you are hoping to study is applicable to your job role, why not approach them to see if they are willing to cover the costs of your course, or subsidise it at least. Many employers will see this as evidence of your commitment to your field of work and will be willing to discuss payment options.

You can also take a look at your HR policies to see if there is any provision to cover personal or professional development fees.


4. Consider spreading your costs

If you’re self-funding, you may not be able to pay the full tuition fee for the course you choose in one lump sum. Instead, look for courses that offer the ability to spread your costs throughout the duration of your study. At University of Essex Online we offer exactly this – a simple monthly payment plan that allows you to pay as you study.


5. Look for discounts

Some online course providers offer discounts on some of their courses. For example, we offer two different discounts:

  • if you pay the full course fee upfront, you will receive a 5% full payment discount off the cost of your tuition
  • if you are a graduate of the University of Essex or University of Essex Online, you will receive a 10% alumni discount on full postgraduate courses

Discounts like these can really affect the price you need to pay for studying, so it’s always worth looking into the options that are available.


6. Find a scholarship

Scholarships are another incredibly effective way to reduce the cost of your studies. Awarded based on merit, you will normally need to write a statement in support of your scholarship application or provide other evidence.

At University of Essex Online, international students living in certain regions outside the UK can apply for a part-scholarship towards the cost of their fees.

Find out more about our discounts and scholarships.


7. Look at external funding

If you’ve found the course you want to study, it might also be worth looking around at career services and funding bodies relevant to your current role or your future industry.

For example, members of the armed forces may be eligible to receive funding for ELCAS towards any their study (all of our courses are eligible for this funding). Those planning on studying health subjects who are based in the UK may be able to find funding they can apply for through the Health Course website.

Try doing a search for “undergraduate degree psychology funding” or a similar term depending on what course you are looking at.


8. Consider all your options

Working out how to pay for your studies is just as important as figuring out which course to study! It’s important to do your own research, work out how much you can reasonably pay up-front or each month, and find a course that you can afford.

Luckily, you’re not alone – our knowledgeable Admissions Advisers are happy to discuss your options with you and help you work out what the best decision for you is.


If you’re interested in finding out more about our courses, download a prospectus. Alternatively, speak to our friendly Admissions team through email, phone or LiveChat.