We are still accepting applications for September 2020 starts.

Our campuses remain closed for the foreseeable future 

Easter Closure and return to study

The College will be closed from Saturday 4th April to Tuesday 14th April (inclusive), there will be no work set for classroom based courses over this normal 2 week holiday period, however we will be returning to remote working on Wednesday 15th April for staff to continue to prepare online learning and resources.

UCC students and Apprentices will return to their online remote learning on Monday 20th April.

Further Education students will return to online remote learning on Wednesday 22nd April. This delay is to allow teaching staff to prepare materials for the next few weeks of online learning on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st April.

Adult Learners (19+) – Fees and Finance

Adult Learners (19+) Fee Information

Are you aged 19 or over and interested in further study?

If the answer is yes, then you will need to know about fees and the options that there are out there.

The decision to take on further study as an adult can be a big one, the benefits of further study are huge, with opportunities to have a change of career, improve your job prospects, maybe increase your earning capacity, learn new skills, build up your CV, as well as develop employability and social skills. When making decisions about what and where to study, you will need to know about any costs there might be, how to pay, and any support that may be available.

The fact is that funding is complicated and it depends on a number of things: your age; the programme that you want to study; the qualifications that you already have and in some cases your income or benefit entitlements.

At Colchester Institute we have staff in the Student Finance team who can talk to you individually about your options and signpost you to further information.

Do I have to pay a fee?

Do I have to pay a fee?
Maybe not! Fee exemptions are available, for some students, on all courses which show this symbol:
Do I have to pay a fee?
The fact is that funding is complicated and it depends on a number of things: your age; the programme that you want to study; the qualifications that you already have and in some cases your income or benefit entitlements.

At Colchester Institute we have staff in the Student Finance team who can talk to you individually about your options and signpost you to further information. In general terms the following might be helpful to get you started:

Your programme will be free if you and the course, fall into one of the categories below.

If these do not apply, you may need to pay a fee, and the fee will be shown with the course information, but for some Level 3 programmes, you can apply for a loan to cover all of your tuition fees.

Age 19 – 23Enrolling on some full level 2 or 3 courses and if you do not already have a qualification at this level. (In some cases if you need to enrol on a lower level to be able to progress to Level 2 you may also be eligible for free training)
If you have already achieved a level 2 qualification and wish to undertake another in a different subject, providing you can provide evidence of state benefits that show you are unemployed
Age 19+, employed on a low income, and enrolling on a course up to and including level 2:-If you are employed and earn less than £16,009.50 per annum
You will need to provide supporting evidence at enrolment:

  • Wage slip dated within the last 3 months prior to your course starting


  • An employment contract that states your monthly wage or annual salary
Age 24+, unemployed, and enrolling on courses up to and including Level 2 receiving one or more of these benefits:-In receipt of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in the WRAG group
In receipt of Universal Credit (you need to meet some criteria – please ask for more information)
In receipt of other state benefits, dependant on your earnings – please ask for more information
Students aged 19+ enrolling on either a GCSE or Functional Skills course in English or maths do not have to pay tuition fees if you do not already have a GCSE grade A* – C in that area.
Support Available to help you pay Fees

Support Available to help you pay Fees

Advanced Learner Loans are available on courses showing this symbol

If you are aged 19 or over and planning to study a course at Levels 3 to 6, then you are likely to qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay your tuition fees.

Loans are from the UK government, it is easy to apply, your household income is not taken into account and there is no credit check. You don’t have to start paying it back until you’ve finished your course and you are earning over £25,000 a year.

An Advanced Learner Loan can only be used to pay for tuition fees, however some programmes also have additional charges for equipment, books, trips and so on that you may need to pay for. Some students who take out an Advanced Learner Loan may be able to get support through college bursary funds to assist with these additional costs and other costs such as childcare or Additional Learning Support, please ask a member of the Student Finance team for more information.

Additional information on Advanced Learner Loans is also available at the Government website.

Higher Education Student Loans

For HNCs, HNDs and Degrees, tuition fees are payable regardless of a student’s age or circumstances.  Again, most students, regardless of age, will qualify for a student loan.  For more information visit The Student Loans Company and University Centre Colchester

Paying by Instalments

This option is available for fees that you are paying yourself above £200. You will need to pay at least 40% of the total fee when you enrol (or £500, whichever is the lower).  A monthly payment plan will then be setup for you to pay the remainder.  All fees need to be paid in full within six months of the start of the course.  Please contact our Registry department on 01206 712555 for further details.

Colchester Institute Financial Support

For students with an identified low household income, there may be financial support available. Funds are targeted at course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment.

For enquiries and Further Information

Please feel free to contact one of the Student Finance Team who will be happy to help you, please contact Student Services in either Colchester or Braintree campuses or the Information Centre in Clacton. Alternatively please phone:

  • Colchester Campus: (01206) 712078
  • Braintree Campus: (01206) 814194
  • Clacton Campus: (01206) 712234

Note: This information is for guidance purposes only and is subject to change

Advanced Learner Loans

Advanced Learner Loan

Available to Further Education Students only

19+ Learner Loan Overview

If you are aged 19 or over and are thinking about further education, you may be eligible for a Advanced Learner Loan, for help with your tuition fees.

Applicants must be studying further education at level 3 to level 6.

Most learners that fall into this bracket will be eligible, it doesn’t depend on your household income and there’s no credit check!

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this loan you must be:

  • 19 years old or over on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age limit)
  • Living in the UK on the first day of your course, and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this
  • Taking an eligible course that’s level 3 to level 6

What can I get?

The Advanced Learner Loan, to help pay your tuition fees. The minimum loan you can get is £300 but the maximum will depend on how much the fees are and the type of course you take.

You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course – if you wish to pay some of it yourself, and take the rest as a loan, you can choose to do that.

How is the loan paid?

The money is paid directly to the College.

How many loans can I apply for?

You are entitled to access up to 4 loans, which you can take out one after the other or at the same time.

  • You will need to complete an application form for each course.
  • You are restricted to only one loan for the completion of an Access to Higher Education Diploma Course.


Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrow.

  • You will start to repay your loan in the year after you finish studying or after three years from the start of your course, whichever is earlier, if you are earning more than £25,000.
  • Repayments will automatically be deducted from your earnings through the tax system, once you have left the course and your income is £25,000 a year.
  • If your income falls below £25,000, your repayments will stop.
  • The repayment rate is 9% of your income, above the first £25,000 before tax, so for example, if you were earning £30,000 a year your monthly repayment would be £37.50
  • You can pay some, or all of your loan at any time without an extra charge.
  • Any outstanding balance is written off after 30 years.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

If you get a loan to cover tuition fees for the Access to HE course and then complete a higher education (degree) course, you won’t have to repay the remaining loan for the Access course.

Further Information

If you would like further information you can contact our Student Finance Advice Team on (01206) 712078 or visit


Adult Learners (19+) – Financial Support

Colchester Institute Financial Support

For students with an identified low household income, there may be financial support available. Funds are targeted at course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment.

Adult Learners (19+) Financial Support Documents

These guidelines apply if you are 19+ and taking a Level 1 or 2 course or 19-23 year old and taking your 1st Level 3 course:

Advanced Learner Loan Financial Support Documents

Please note that an offer of an award from our funds does not guarantee or confirm your place on your chosen course. You can apply to the college support fund for an award prior to you accepting a place on your chosen course, enabling you to make an informed decision on whether or not to accept your place. All awards from the college support fund are dependent on you enrolling on your chosen course.

For queries and further information

Contact Student Services on (01206) 712078 or visit any campus for Student Finance information and advice.

  • Colchester Campus: (01206) 712078
  • Braintree Campus: (01206) 814194
  • Clacton Campus: (01206) 712234
Adult Learners (19+) – Further Education Fee Payment Options

Payment Options for all Further Education Fee Payers

The College is delighted to be able to offer a choice of how you pay your course fees.

Course fees are payable in advance so that the services which we provide shall have been paid for prior to the provision of those services. All students are advised to read the Colchester Institute Further Education Fee Policy prior to enrolment for full guidance regarding fees, payment methods and the refund criteria.

The 2019/2020 Further Education Fee policy can be found at www.colchester.ac.uk/policies/.

Payment in full in advance

Payment should be made in full at the time of enrolment. Acceptable payment methods include, Debit Card, Credit Card (excluding American Express), Cash or Cheque. 


If your total course fees exceed £200 you may choose to pay your fees on a monthly payment plan basis. You must sign an official agreement with Colchester Institute to arrange a monthly payment plan, with a clearly stipulated timetable ensuring all fees are paid in full within six months of the start of your course. If the duration of the course is less than six months all fees are to be paid prior to the planned end date.

In order to set up a monthly payment plan, you will be required to pay 40% of the course fee at the time of enrolment or £500, whichever is the lower. The monthly instalment payments will also be set up at the point of enrolment.

Failure to fulfil any terms and conditions of an instalment agreement shall result in you becoming immediately liable for the full outstanding balance and you may not be entitled to pay any future fees by instalments.

Advanced Learner Loan (Students aged 19+ and studying a Level 3 or 4 qualification) 

If your chosen course is eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan, we will provide you with a Funding and Information letter, with all of the details on how to apply.

Further details are available at www.colchester.ac.uk/adults/fees-and-finance/

If you have already applied for an Advanced Learner Loan and received confirmation from the Student Loan Company that the loan has been approved, please bring this with you to enrolment.

If you have not received confirmation of your approved loan by enrolment, you will be required to pay a non-refundable £50 deposit to secure your place on the course. Once your loan is approved, the £50 will be offset against your loan amount (excluding learners studying Access to Higher Education courses).

Employer paying

If your Employer is paying your course fees, 40% of the fee or £500 (whichever is lower) will be payable at enrolment, or prior to enrolment via the Online Store.

This can be paid by clicking on the following link and selecting Employer Deposit. Please note that your employer will be required to enter your student number (which can be found on your enrolment information letter) or your name and date of birth.


On your enrolment day, you must bring with you an Employer Authorisation Form and Terms & Conditions completed by your Employer, along with the Deposit Payment, or receipt of an online deposit payment in order for your enrolment to be processed.