Course Fees & Funding

We endeavour to keep course fees up to date on the website, however these may change subject to government policy. Please see individual courses for details.

Please note: A learner's age is calculated as their age on 31st August in the academic/funding year of study, not at the date of enrolment/course start.

Learners Aged 16 to 18 years-old only*

If you are aged 16 to 18 years-old (*or up to 25 years-old if you have a statement of special education needs or education, health and care plan) you will not usually need to pay fees.

However, where a course is a college certificate or marked as 'full cost' fees will apply.

Higher Education Courses

As our Foundation Degree courses are delivered in partnership with the University of Sunderland the up to date fees are shown on the university's website, they are not FREE. Please visit The University of Sunderland website, find the course and check the fees.

Advanced Learner Loans are available, subject to eligibility.

Learners Aged 19 to 23 years-old only

For some Level 2 courses you will not have to pay any tuition fees if you are over 19 but under 24 at the start of your course and haven’t already got a full Level 2 qualification, such as five GCSEs at grade C or above or an NVQ Level 2. Also may be subject to where you live.

For some courses below Level 2 you will not have to pay any tuition fees if you are over 19 but under 24 at the start of your course and haven’t already got a full Level 2 qualification, such as five GCSEs at grade C or above or an NVQ Level 2. Also may be subject to where you live.

For some Level 3 to 6 courses you will not have to pay any tuition fees if you are over 19 but under 24 at the start of your course and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification, such as two or more A Levels or an NVQ Level 3. Also may be subject to where you live.

An Advanced Learner Loan is available for individuals who already have a Level 3 qualification.

More details on Advanced Learner Loans can be found here.

Learners in receipt of low wage

You may qualify for full funding, if you are employed and cannot contribute towards the cost of the certain course fees.

The earnings threshold which enables learners to be fully funded is below £25,000 (as of 1st August 2024), regardless of whether you are currently in paid employment or not.

Please note: The College must see evidence of the learner's gross annual wages in these circumstances. This could be a wage slip or a Universal Credit statement within 3 months of the learner’s learning start date, or a current employment contract which states gross monthly/annual wages for example.

Learners Aged 24 years-old and above

For some level 3 to 6 courses an Advanced Learner Loan is available, we will notify you if you are able to apply for a loan. You may also pay for your course yourself in 10 instalments.

More details on Advanced Learner Loans can be found here.

Learners Aged 19 years-old or over

Learners who are not employed, are aged over 19 and wish to study a course at Level 2 or below and are actively seeking employment and are in receipt of the following benefits:

  • Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) including those receiving National Insurance credits only
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and their take-home pay as recorded on their
    Universal Credit statement (disregarding Universal Credit payments and other benefits) is less than £345 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner)
  • Or are released on temporary licence, studying outside a prison environment, and not funded by the Ministry of Justice

The College may also use its discretion to fully fund other learners if both of the following apply. The learner:

  • Receives other state benefits (not listed above) and their take-home pay (disregarding Universal Credit payments and other benefits) is less than £345 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner)
  • and wants to be employed, or progress into more sustainable employment, and their take-home pay (disregarding Universal Credit payments and other benefits) is less than £345 a month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner), and you are satisfied identified learning is directly relevant to their employment prospects and the local labour market needs.

Adults Living in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area

IMPORTANT: If you live in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area, please read the below course fees guidance carefully.

Due to strict rules on how Adult Education Budget (AEB) is managed by combined local authorities, the following rules currently apply to anyone aged 19 or over who lives in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area and would like to study at East Durham College in Peterlee or Houghall in Durham:

  • If you are aged 19+, live in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area and are currently UNEMPLOYED, unfortunately, we are not able to offer any of our courses for free. You can only enrol if you pay the full course fee yourself.
  • If you are aged 19+, live in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area and are EMPLOYED, you may qualify for fee remission and be able to study with us for free if you complete some additional paperwork for alternative funders.

These rules apply to all courses running from July 2023 to the end of July 2024.

Adults living in the Tees Valley Combined Authority area

IMPORTANT: We do not currently have a contract with Tees Valley to enable the College to access the funding they hold for adult training and education. We are therefore unable to enrol Tees Valley based adults on to any of our courses.

English & Maths

English and maths is funded for anyone aged 19 or above if they do NOT have a GCSE at grade C (grade 4) or higher on the day they enrol. May be subject to where you live.

Full Cost Short Courses

Unfortunately, the landbased short courses (chainsaws, pesticides, mowers etc) offered at our Houghall Campus are classed as full cost courses and are not eligible for any funding/discounts on the course fees.

Distance Learning Courses

We regret that we are no longer able to provide Level 2 Distance Learning courses for free, to people living in the following devolved combined authority areas:

The Tees Valley, North of Tyne, North Yorkshire, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City, Cambridge & Peterborough, West Midlands and West of England.

Your postcode will be checked upon application to ensure you are eligible to this course for Free.

You can complete our Level 2 courses if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are aged 19 or over before the start of the academic year (1st August) in which you wish to study.
  • If aged under 24 you must already hold a FULL level 2 qualification or above.
  • You have lived in the UK continuously for 3 years or more.
  • You have NOT completed the same course before.
  • You are NOT currently completing a distance learning course with us or any other training provider.
  • You do NOT live in an area of England with a devolved government (this will be checked by our team upon application).

You can complete our Level 3 courses if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are aged 19 or over before the start of the academic year (1st August) in which you wish to study.
  • You must already hold a Level 2 qualification in English AND have completed the Level 2 distance learning course in your chosen level 3 course option.
  • If you are unemployed or earn the National Living Wage or less AND already hold a FULL level 2 qualification or above.
  • If you are employed and do NOT earn the National Living Wage or less, you must NOT hold a FULL level 3 qualification or above, your overall highest qualification will be a level 3 or full level 2.
  • You have lived in the UK continuously for 3 years for more.
  • You are NOT currently completing a distance learning course with us or any other training provider.
  • You do NOT live in an area of England with a devolved government (this will be checked by our team upon application).

Proof of benefits and income

Proof of benefits and income must be produced at enrolment. Your place on any course is not secured until all requested evidence has been received and checked against eligibility criteria and a signed learning agreement is completed, with payment (where applicable).

Any Questions?

Please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222 to discuss your personal circumstances and options.

Any questions?

Please use the enquiry form below or call Student Services on 0191 518 8222 to discuss your options.

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