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Bursary Funding for Social Work Students

Are you a student on one of the approved undergraduate or postgraduate social work courses? If so, this social work bursaries guide is for you.

A social work bursary, available from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), can help cover your tuition fees and living expenses while you study.

Social Work Bursaries from NHSBSA

  • Are available to students who are ‘ordinarily resident’ in England.
  • Are not dependent on household income (but only available to students who can prove they are eligible).
  • Are capped (so there is a limited number available each year).
  • Can be used to pay for living costs and tuition fees.
  • Go into a chosen bank account at the start of each term and do not need to be repaid.
  • Need to be applied for (at the start of each academic year).

How Much is a Social Work Bursary 2022?

Social work bursary allowances vary. But, getting a grant does not depend on your household income and there would be no requirement to pay it back.

As a rule, the total amount that you can get will depend on:

  • Where you are studying (inside or outside the London area).
  • Whether you are studying full-time or part-time (and the cost of your tuition).

For example:

If you meet the eligible criteria for funding, your university will grant you a bursary place. If so, the standard rate of basic non-income assessed bursary will include a fixed amount of Placement Travel Allowance (PTA).

  • Inside London: £5,262.50 (includes PTA)
  • Outside London: £4,862.50 (includes PTA)

As a graduate doing an undergraduate social work course, you would be able to apply for the Maintenance Loan part of the main student finance package.

Social Work Bursary Payment Frequency

NHSBSA will need to receive confirmation from the university that you are attending the course. Following that, social work bursaries will be paid directly to the student as three (3) separate termly instalments during each academic year.

Note: Disabled postgraduate students may qualify for extra financial help through NHSBSA Student Services.

Social Work Bursary Eligibility Criteria

These types of bursaries are only available for social work students who are not already getting funding from an employer, and:

  • Do not already have one of the higher education social work qualifications.
  • Are studying (or intend to) one of the approved undergraduate or postgraduate courses in social work.

A list of approved Higher Education Institution (HEI) based social work courses, includes:

  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
  • Care Council for Wales
  • Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)

Note: If you are unsure, your university or college will be able to confirm whether your course qualifies (or not).

The student finance application guide contains further information on how undergraduate students may also be eligible for extra help from the main student finance package.

But, studying any of the employment-based courses (including direct Open University courses) means you would be ineligible for a social work bursary.

How to Apply for Social Work Bursary

The NHS Business Services Authority guidance notes for social work students contains the application form and the address to send it.

The deadline for 2017 to 2018 bursary applications will depend on when you started your course:

  • Autumn term course start date: Application deadline is the 1st of November 2017
  • Winter term course start date: Application deadline is the 14th of February 2018

Important: The evidence needed to support a social work bursary application might include a proof of identity (e.g. your birth certificate or valid passport)

Social Work Bursaries Guide for United Kingdom