There are several types of bursary schemes available as funding for medical students. This guide explains how to apply for NHS bursaries and grants for medicine, dentistry, and healthcare courses.
NHS bursaries do not need to be paid back. But, the course you study (and the date that it starts) will determine how much you can get.
The NHS Bursary Scheme provides an annual payment to students who are studying to be a doctor or dentist.
The money you get from NHS bursaries can help to fund your tuition fees and living expenses.
You may still qualify for student finance if your are studying one of the pre-registration postgraduate healthcare courses.
Did your course start in the 2017 to 2018 academic year? Are you studying to become a doctor, dentist, dental hygienist, or dental therapist? If so, the annual bursary payment from the NHS can help to cover your tuition fees and living expenses.
Did your course start before the 1st of August 2017 and are you studying a dental, medical, or healthcare course in England? If so, the annual bursary payment from the NHS can help with your study and living costs.
Note: You might still qualify for student finance even if you are ineligible for one of the NHS student bursaries.
If you are a full-time NHS student who started a course on or after the 1st of September 2012, and you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to apply for a:
If you are a part-time NHS student who started a course on or after the 1st of September 2012, and you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to apply for a:
Note: The length of your course will determine how much you can get. But, the NHS Award Estimate Calculator provides more information on bursary rates and grants.
Medical students who qualify for NHS bursaries will have their standard tuition fees paid by the National Health Service (directly to the university).
NHS bursary scheme rules change if you will study a graduate-entry accelerated medical or dental programme.
In this case, an NHS bursary will cover some of the tuition costs during years two (2) to four (4) of the programme.
Your household income will be the biggest factor that affects how much you can get. So, they will also take the income of your parents or partner (spouse or civil partner) into consideration.
Did you start a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) Nursing or Operating Department Practitioner course before the 1st of September 2012? If so, the basic bursary that you receive would not be determined by your household income.
Note: Are you studying to become a doctor or dentist? If so, you can apply for an NHS bursary from year two for graduate entry programmes or from year five for undergraduate programmes.
The £1,000 grant is a fixed amount. You must be an eligible full-time NHS student and your course must have started since the 1st of September 2012. A part-time student would get a reduced amount.
Note: You cannot get a grant without completing the NHS bursary application process (further details below).
The amount of reduced Maintenance Loan you get will depend on where you are living and studying and whether you are completing the final year of your course (when the amount reduces again).
The current rates for the Maintenance Loan in the 2019 to 2020 academic year are:
The current rates for the Maintenance Loan in the 2018 to 2019 academic year are:
Money awarded from NHS bursaries goes straight into a secure bank account (paid in twelve (12) equal monthly instalments). As a rule, Maintenance Loans will be paid at the beginning of each term instead.
As a general rule, there are four separate factors that will determine whether you can get student funding in the form of an NHS bursary (or not):
You must have already been living in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man for three (3) years leading up to the start of the academic year to apply for an NHS bursary.
Some exceptions exist if you fail to meet the residency requirements. Check the NHS Business Services Authority website for further advice and detailed information.
The date that your course starts is one of the key factors that will determine whether you are going to meet the eligibility criteria.
Note: NHS bursaries are not available for first level nurses or midwifes who are registering for a second field in nursing or midwifery.
Did your course start on or after the 1st of August 2018? If so, you need to be accepted for a place on a full or part-time NHS-funded course leading to your registration as a doctor or dentist.
You will be able to apply for an NHS bursary from (either):
Did your course start in the 2017 to 2018 academic year? If so, you will need to be accepted for a place on a full or part-time NHS-funded course leading to your registration as:
Did your course start before the 1st of August in 2017? If so, you will need to be accepted for a place on a full or part-time NHS-funded course leading to your registration as:
The income of your household will affect the total bursary amount that you can get. They will consider your own income, that of your parents, or that of your partner (e.g. spouse or civil partner).
NHS bursaries for medical students may still be available even for those who already received public funding for higher education.
In some cases, you may still get extra funding to study after receiving an NHS bursary and then changing your profession.
You will not be able to complete the NHS bursaries application process without having a BOSS account. You can set up and manage your NHS bursary using the Bursary Online Support System (BOSS).
The short YouTube video highlights the facilities and benefits of using the NHS bursaries available in Wales for an adult nursing degree.
Note: You need to reapply for your bursary each academic year. The procedures of applying for NHS bursaries differ in Scotland (e.g. through SAAS), Wales (through NWSSP), and for health professional courses in Northern Ireland.
The NHS Business Services Authority website has further guidance on application deadlines if you are entering (either):
You should not apply for an NHS bursary until you have received an offer of a course place from your chosen university or college. As a rule, the course start date will determine the earliest date that you can apply.
If yours is a first time application, you will need to supply two (2) documents that confirm your identity. One of the documents must include your photograph (e.g. a birth certificate and a valid passport).
Note: They will only accept original documents (they cannot be photocopies). NHS Student Bursaries will return the documentation to you after processing.
It is important to apply within the right application window. Doing so will ensure your payments are set up for the beginning of your new academic year.
Furthermore, they need to receive your bursary application, along with any supporting information, within nine (9) months of the first date of your academic year.
You should get an email invitation from NHS Student Bursaries stating the earliest date that you can reapply for your bursary (depending on when your next academic year begins).
You will get an email from NHS Student Bursaries once they approve your application. It will state when your bursary is available for viewing in your BOSS online account.
NHS Student Bursaries
Telephone: 0300 330 1345
Fax: 01253 774491
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Information on call charges.
Note: You can also apply separately for a reduced rate loan from Student Finance England if your NHS bursary application was successful.
Besides the NHS bursary payment, there are other ways for you to apply for extra financial help, such as if you:
Do you have adults or children financially dependent on you while you are training? If so, you may be able to apply for the Dependants' Allowance through your BOSS account (depending on your household income).
If you get the Dependants' Allowance you may also qualify for the Childcare Allowance as well (e.g. if you have dependent children).
The amount you can get will depend on your household income and personal circumstances. But, you cannot get it unless you are entitled to the NHS bursary (called a 'Fees Only award').
You must be using a registered childcare provider and your children must be under the age of fifteen (15) on the first day of your academic year (under seventeen years old if they have special educational needs).
If you get it, the allowance would pay 85% of the gross actual cost, up to a maximum of:
Note: The NHS Student Bursaries website has a list of bursary forms used for these kinds of applications.
After applying for Dependants' Allowance, you would get an automatic assessment for Parent Learning Allowance if it includes a dependent child.
Depending on your household income you could claim an amount up to £1,204 for each academic year.
The DSA may provide extra financial help if you are paying out extra costs because of a:
Use your BOSS account to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance. You will need to supply current medical evidence (issued by a qualified professional) as to the nature and severity of your disability. But, you could get up to:
As a rule, you can claim travel costs (using the special form on the NHS Student Bursaries website) if you are doing a practice placement, providing:
NHS Bursaries: Funding for Medical Students in United Kingdom