Before you start each year of university, you will need to log on to the direct.gov website. This website contains all the information you need about applying for loans, grants and bursaries. You may also wish to use the student loan calculator on this site to get a basic idea of the amount of financial help you are likely to receive. In order to receive this financial support by the start of the first term, you will need to sort all of this out and apply for funding by the end of April. However, if you have not applied by April you should still apply for this funding as you will simply receive it later in the academic year.
You may also want to watch this video about student finance, it is quite funny and random but also very informative.
Even if you don't think you will need your student loan, it makes financial sense to take out your student loan and put this money into an ISA providing that the student loan interest rate is lower than the interest rate you would receive from a savings account. For example, if you have to pay your student loan back at 3% interest, but you can get 5% interest in an ISA or saving account, you are making 2% interest on your student loan money - happy days. The rate of interest that you pay your student loan back at changes depending on something called the 'retail price index' (RPI) and the interest rate of an ISA or saving account may change depending on the interest rate set by the Bank of England. This all sounds a bit complicated, but don't worry, keep an eye on this website - Money Saving Expert it will let you know whether it makes financial sense to bank your student loan if you don't need it.