Student relaxing at Faculty
Student relaxing at Faculty, University of Oxford, UK
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Equivalent and lower qualification fee

If you are a Home or EU student who has already completed a previous programme of study at an equivalent level to that which you are currently studying, you will be classed as an Equivalent or Lower Qualification (ELQ) student.

The information on this page does not apply to you if you are:

  • classified as Overseas for fee purposes
  • undertaking the Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • are a Graduate Entry Medicine student

ELQ status impact

Undergraduate ELQ students will not be eligible for any financial support from Oxford or the UK government. If you did not complete your course, you might not receive funding for the full length of your studies at Oxford and should contact your funding agency to check your entitlement.

Students undertaking the 6-year medicine degree are eligible to apply for a maintenance loan for living costs, even when they already hold a qualification that is equivalent or higher in level of study.

Graduate ELQ students will not be eligible for some forms of UK government support such as postgraduate masters or doctoral loan funding.

A status of ELQ will not impact on the level of course fees you will be required to pay, unless you are classified as Home/EU for fees purposes and commenced an undergraduate programme of study between 2009/10 and 2011/12 or you are classified as either Home, EU or Islands for fee purposes and commenced a graduate taught programme of study in 2009/10 or 2010/11.

Am I an ELQ student?

You are an ELQ student if you are currently studying for a qualification of an equivalent or lower level to one you already hold.

If you have studied for, but did not complete or were not awarded a qualification you should use your next highest qualification to do your calculations. If you hold an honorary degree (including the Oxbridge MA), this does not count as a relevant qualification when determining whether you are an ELQ student, you should use your other qualifications for your calculations. If you hold an MA from a Scottish institution where for historical reasons an MA is awarded instead of a BA and this is the highest qualification you hold, please use the Bachelor's degree group (Group 1) for your calculations. If you have completed an integrated undergraduate Master's degree (typically four or five years in length), for undergraduate government funding purposes it is considered equivalent to a Bachelor's degree. 

Step 1: Identify the group(s) of your current qualification(s).

Step 2: Identify the group of the qualification you are now studying.

Step 3: Compare the group numbers.

Result: If the group number of the qualification you are now studying is higher than the group number of the qualification(s) you already hold then you are not classified as an ELQ student.

If the group number of the qualification you are studying is the same as or lower than the group number of the qualification you already hold then you are classified as an ELQ student.

Please note the examples of qualifications given in each group are not exhaustive lists of all affected qualifications nor are all the qualifications offered at Oxford. The lists are provided for illustrative purposes only.

Group 1Bachelor's DegreesBA, BEd, BEng, BMBS/BMBCH, BMus, BNurs, BSc, BTh, BVetMed, LLB
Group 2Graduate CertificatesPGCert
Group 3Graduate DiplomasPGDip
Group 4Master's DegreesBPhil, MA, MBA, MBiochem**, MChem**, MEarthSci**, MEng**, MLitt, MMath**, MMus**, MPhil, MPhys**, MSt, MSc, MSci, MTh
Group 5Research DegreePhD, DPhil, MRes, MSc by Research

** note that for government funding purposes these integrated masters courses are considered to be equivalent to Bachelor's degrees.