Version 1.0 - Last Updated: 16 Feb 2021

Equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) exceptions

English domiciled students


Full-time courses

According to the student support regulations, only courses in the below subject categories are eligible from AY 2019/20 as a full-time exception:

  • graduate entry medicine and dentistry
  • postgraduate pre-registration healthcare
  • subjects allied to medicine
  • initial teacher training
  • architecture

Part-time courses

According to the student support regulations, only courses in the below subject categories under version 1.2 of the Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) are eligible from AY 2019/20 as a part-time exception:

  • Medicine and Dentistry (CAH01)
  • Subjects allied to medicine (CAH02)
  • Biological and Sport Science (CAH03)
  • Psychology (CAH04)
  • Veterinary Sciences (CAH05)
  • Agriculture, food and related sciences (CAH06)
  • Physical Sciences (CAH07)
  • General and others in sciences (CAH08)
  • Mathematical Sciences (CAH09)
  • Engineering and Technology (CAH10)
  • Computing (CAH11)
  • Geographical and Environmental Studies (CAH12)

From AY 2020/21, version 1.3 of the Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) was implemented and the following rules apply in addition to the above:

  • Medicine and Dentistry (CAH01)
  • Subjects allied to medicine (CAH02)
  • Biological and Sport Science (CAH03)
  • Psychology (CAH04)
  • Veterinary Sciences (CAH05)
  • Agriculture, food and related sciences (CAH06)
  • Physical Sciences (CAH07)
  • Mathematical Sciences (CAH09)
  • Engineering and Technology (CAH10)
  • Computing (CAH11)
  • Geographical and Environmental Studies (CAH26)

Implementation of version 1.3 took place in November 2019 when it replaced version 1.2. This could mean that a course could be classified as CAH08 or CAH26 depending on when the student applied.

To qualify for allied health profession (AHP) disregard the course must fit the definition of 'subjects allied to medicine'. Any courses listed under the 'subjects allied to medicine' definition are considered for the previous study disregard introduced under the AY 2017/18 NHS changes. Any students who already hold an equivalent or higher qualification will not be entitled to further support.

According to the student support regulations, an AHP subject means:

  • chiropody
  • dental profession subjects
  • dietetics
  • dietetics and nutrition
  • occupational therapy
  • orthotics
  • orthotics and prosthetics
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry
  • radiography
  • radiotherapy
  • speech and language therapy

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