Specific course designation is the process for alternative providers to access the following for eligible students:
- undergraduate student support
- postgraduate master’s loans
- disabled students’ allowances (DSA)
DfE grants specific course designation on an annual basis.
This guidance explains:
- who is eligible to apply for designation
- the criteria DfE uses to grant designation
- how to apply for designation
- the assessment process
- the conditions designated providers must meet
- the process for seeking annual re-designation
- how DfE applies student number controls
- the sanctions DfE may take if a provider no longer meets the criteria and conditions of designation
An alternative higher education provider is a provider of higher education courses that doesn’t receive recurrent funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) or any other public body, and isn’t a further education college.