Previous Education and Progression

Previous Education and Progression

What are the Previous Education and Progression Criteria? 

To be eligible for a grant, you must be progressing in your education. This means that you must be attending an approved course:

  • that leads to a higher level of qualification than any you may already hold. For example, if you hold a level 6 qualification, you must be progressing to a level 7 course or higher;
  • that is at a higher level than any course you may have previously attended;
  • in which you are progressing from one year to the next and not repeating a year except in exceptional circumstances.

Repeat Period of Study

You are not eligible for a grant if you are repeating a year on the same course.

However, if you previously attended a further or higher education course but left prior to finishing, you may be eligible for a portion of a student grant once you have completed an equivalent period of study.

Example: You previously completed 3 months of a level 7 course. You are now applying for a grant for a different level 7 course. Provided you meet all eligibility criteria, you will only be eligible for 6 payments instead of the full 9 payments and will need to complete an equivalent period of study of 3 months before you can receive your first payment.

Second Chance Student

You may be considered eligible for funding as a second chance student where you are a mature student and:

  • have previously attended but not completed a course,
  • have had a three year break in studies at since leaving that course and
  • are returning to attend an approved course at PLC, undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Studying at a level below undergraduate level, within the three year period, does not affect a student’s eligibility to be considered as a second chance student.

Maximum Periods of Grant Funding

The maximum periods of grant funding available to you at each level of study are outlined in the table below.

Further/Higher Education



Maximum Periods of Grant Funding

Further Education

PLC Level 5



- Maximum 3 years funding total at PLC level

Further Education

PLC Level 6

Advanced Certificate

Higher Education

UG Level 6

Higher Certificate

- Maximum 2 years funding at undergraduate level 6

- Maximum 3 years funding at undergraduate level 7

- Maximum 4 years funding in total at undergraduate level 6 & 7


- Maximum 4 years funding at undergraduate level 8 (except where normal duration of course exceeds 4 years)

Higher Education

UG Level 7

Ordinary Bachelor Degree

Higher Education

UG Level 8

Honours Bachelor Degree

Higher Education

PG Level 8

Higher Diploma


- Maximum 4 years funding in total at postgraduate level

All previous attendance and attainment at postgraduate level are considered regardless of whether a grant was received previously or not.

Higher Education

PG Level 9


Higher Education

PG Level 9

Masters Degree

Higher Education

PG Level 10