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The NHS bursary and other funding for health courses

What financial help can you get if you're a UK or EU student and fancy a career in nursing, or as an Allied Health Professional, doctor, or dentist? The NHS Bursary originally funded students on healthcare courses, but reforms have led to a patchwork of financial support across the UK. Our guide shows the current situation for prospective students – including graduates.

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Important points on the NHS bursary and related funding

Where you live. In most cases, the funding you can apply for is based on the UK nation where you 'ordinarily live.' In other words, if you've lived there for three consecutive years or more before you start your studies. If you move to a different nation in order to study, this does not count as normally living there – unless you remain after your course. There are some exceptions, covered in detail below. For details of residency requirements, see Are you eligible for student finance.

EU students (for courses starting in 2019–20). EU students who already live in the UK may be eligible for an NHS bursary or other healthcare funding on the same basis as UK students. Undergraduate EU students from outside the UK may be able to apply for a tuition fee loan – contact the student finance body in the nation you intend to study. For details, see our page: Are you eligible for student finance. Variations to this are given below.

Student finance. Even if an NHS bursary is offered, you may also need a maintenance loan. This may be 'reduced' – or in other words, capped at a fixed amount. The amount available in your final year will be lower.

Supplementary grants. You may be able to apply for extra help if you are a parent, financially support another adult, are or are disabled. These allowances are usually applicable whether you have a funded place on a course, or only have a maintenance loan. You won't have to repay this money, unless you are overpaid.

  • Dependents Allowance (means-tested) is for students who financially support another adult or child. The amount will be based on any income your dependent has. Childcare Allowance (means-tested) is for students with childcare costs for children in registered or approved childcare (not with a relative). Up to 85% of the cost may be paid, to a set limit. You cannot receive support if you get funding from any other source for childcare, or your child is eligible for a free early education place. Parents' Learning Allowance. If you are eligible for dependents allowance for a child, you may get a Parents' Learning Allowance – this is not means-tested.
  • Disabled Students Allowance (needs-assessed). If you have a long-term health or mental health condition, learning difference (like Dyslexia) or physical disability, you may get additional support. The amount is based on your needs, not your income.

You can find out more about these grants on our page Other Financial Support for University Students. If you are on a funded course, where you apply for these grants may differ, as may the amount of funding available.

Travel expenses for clinical practice placements. NHS- or government-funded places usually allow students to claim travel expenses for clinical placements, where these are over and above the normal cost of travel to university. This may include accommodation, if approved, up to a daily limit.

  • Students on Nursing, Midwifery or Allied Health Professional Courses in England apply for travel expenses from the Learning Support Fund (see below).
  • Medical or dental students on clinical placements in non-NHS Bursary funded years can apply for a Travel Grant. Note, in NHS bursary funded years, this changes to Practice Placement Expenses, claimed via the NHS.
  • Students who receive Disabled Students Allowances can only apply for the refund of travel costs not met by their DSA support.

Course eligibility. Students should check whether they are being offered an NHS-funded or eligible place with their course provider.

Changes in your circumstances. You must update your funder about any change in your personal circumstances to avoid overpayments, as you will be required to repay these.

Medical Students

Funding and the NHS bursary in England

England: Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professional course funding

If you live in England and study in England

There is no longer an NHS bursary for students on nursing, midwifery or Allied Health Professional courses. Instead you should apply for student finance for your tuition fees and living costs. How much you can apply for will depend on your household income.

Graduates can apply for undergraduate student finance, if they study full-time on an eligible course lasting two years or more (not distance learning).

Students on eligible healthcare courses get extra financial support from the NHS Learning Support Fund. These are in addition to the normal supplementary grants available through student finance. The Learning Support Fund includes Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses, Child Dependents Allowance and an Exceptional Support Fund. These are covered in detail towards the foot of this page.

In England, eligible courses include the following.

  • Dietetics
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Operating Department Practitioner
  • Orthoptics
  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry/Chiropody
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • plus most Dental Hygiene or Dental Therapy courses (currently there are some exceptions but these are expected to come under the same system by August 2019).

Note, paramedics are not covered by the above list. Undergraduate paramedics in England can apply for student finance, but not if you are a graduate – and you won't be eligible for the Learning Support Fund. This is because at the time of the 2017 NHS bursary review, paramedic training included a variety of alternative education and funding options. Some paramedic degrees are funded by Ambulance services or health authorities: places are highly competitive. There are also paramedic degree apprenticeships in development – see our section on Healthcare degree apprenticeships.

Applying for student finance

Application deadlines are as for student finance in England; see Tuition fee loans and financial support if you come from England.

If you live in England but want to study elsewhere in the UK

English-resident students who wish to study nursing, midwifery or an Allied Health Professional course elsewhere in the UK can apply to Student Finance England for a student loan. The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

If you study in Wales, you can access the NHS Wales bursary so long as you commit to working for NHS Wales for two years after the end of your course. Note, the list of Allied Health Professional courses funded in Wales differs from that listed above. In Northern Ireland, places are reserved for students who have lived in Northern Ireland the three years prior to the start of their course. Some Allied Health Professional courses accept applications from elsewhere in the UK but cannot offer additional funding.

England: Medical or Dental degree funding

Medicine and dentistry students from England can study anywhere in the UK, and still be eligible for an NHS bursary from England for part of their course. Dentistry students who study in Scotland may be eligible to apply for Scotland's Dental Student Support Grant.

  • Undergraduates can apply for an NHS bursary from the fifth year of study on a five- or six-year course. Before then, apply to Student Finance England each year for a student loan for your tuition fees and living costs.
  • Graduates can apply for an NHS bursary from the second year of a three- or four-year accelerated degree. In the first year, students must pay some of the tuition fee themselves (in 2018–19, the first £3,715 – or £3,925 if studying in Northern Ireland). They may apply for a tuition fee loan towards the remaining tuition fees, and for a means-tested maintenance loan for their living costs.
  • Graduates on a standard undergraduate medical or dental course may be eligible for an NHS bursary from year five of study. For the previous years, students aren't normally eligible for any tuition fee loans, but can apply for a maintenance loan and any associated allowances.

What financial support does England's NHS bursary give Medical and Dental students?

In the years you are eligible for an NHS bursary, you may receive the following: payment of your tuition fees, a means-tested bursary, and a non-means tested grant of £1,000.

  • Tuition fees. The NHS will pay the tuition fees of undergraduates. If your university tuition fees are higher than the standard level, you'll need to pay the difference or apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England. For graduate students on an accelerated course, in NHS-funded years the NHS will pay the first £3,715 of tuition. Students can apply to Student Finance England for a loan to cover the difference.
  • Bursary (means-tested). In 2018–19, students living in London could get up to £3,191; outside London, up to £2,643; or living in their parental home, £2,207. What you can get will reduce for household incomes above £24,279. These amounts are for the standard academic year; additional weeks are awarded at £108 (London), £84 (outside London) and £56 (living with your parents) per week.
  • Grant (non-means tested). In 2018–19, the grant was £1,000 per year.

Additional help. As well the supplementary grants listed at the top of this page (Dependents Allowances, Disabled Students Allowances and travel to clinical placements), NHS bursary students can also apply for the following.

  • NHS Hardship Grant for Medical and Dental Students. A grant of £100–£3,000 may be awarded to students eligible for a means-tested bursary, who are facing financial hardship. Students will need to show how they have been managing their finances; they must first have applied for all possible sources of financial support, including student loans and university hardship funds.

Maintenance Loan. In the years you have an NHS-bursary you can apply for a reduced student maintenance loan to supplement your income. Contact Student Finance England for details. There is an assumption that your parents (or partner, if applicable) will contribute to your university costs, depending on their income. In 2018–19, the maximum maintenance loan for NHS bursary students was £3,263 (London), £2,324 (outside London) and £1,744 (home). For students studying abroad for part of their course, £2,324.

Please refer to the NHS Business Services Authority for detailed guidance, where you will also find eligibility calculators. The three calculators are a guide as to your 'personal eligibility' (residency criteria), your student status (as a dependent or independent student), and an award estimate, based on your household income.

Applying for an NHS bursary from England

Apply only for the years you are eligible to receive an NHS bursary. Applications open from March and close two months before courses begin. You need to create an account on the Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) system on the NHS Student Bursaries website. When applying for the first time, you'll need documents confirming your identity, including photographic ID.

Part of the bursary is means-tested, requiring details of your household income. 'Household' means your parents, if you are a dependent student, or your partner or spouse (if applicable) for independent students. If you prefer not to give your household income, you can apply for the grant and to have your tuition fee contribution paid – but you won't be eligible for additional help. If you are studying part-time, income from employment will be part of your means-testing.

After submitting your application, you'll be informed by email what further supporting evidence is required. These will need to be original documents, not copies.

The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Doctor On Ward With Patient

Funding and the NHS bursary in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Nursing or Midwifery Course funding

If you live in Northern Ireland and study in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, rather than the NHS bursary there are 'Commissioned places' on nursing or midwifery first degree courses. These are reserved for undergraduate students who normally live in Northern Ireland, or are from the EU. Students from England, Scotland or Wales are not eligible for a commissioned place, unless they have lived in Northern Ireland for three consecutive years prior to the start of the course. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of commissioned places available.

What financial support do Nursing and Midwifery students get in Northern Ireland?

  • Tuition fees. These will be paid by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.
  • Bursary (non-means tested). The 'personal element' of the bursary is not means-tested. In 2018–19, this was £5,165. There is also a dependents' element (below), which may be means-tested.

Additional help. As well the supplementary grants listed at the top of this page (Dependents Allowances, Disabled Students Allowances and travel to clinical placements), you can apply for the following financial support.

  • The Student Support Fund provides emergency support for students in severe financial hardship; these funds are administrated by universities. See Other Financial Support for Students.

Maintenance loan. Students on a commissioned place are not eligible for a maintenance loan.

Applying for financial support for a commissioned Nursing or Midwifery place

After you have taken up a commissioned place, your university will link you with the Bursary Administration Unit. You'll be sent an application pack two weeks before the start of your course, depending on whether it has a September or February intake.

If you live in Northern Ireland but want to study elsewhere in the UK

Students from Northern Ireland studying elsewhere in the UK can apply for a student loan from Student Finance Northern Ireland. For details, see our page on Tuition fee loans and financial support if you come from Northern Ireland. If you study in Wales and commit to working for NHS Wales for two years after your course, you can access the NHS Wales bursary. If you study in England, you may be eligible for support from the Learning Support Fund. The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Northern Ireland: Allied Health Professional course funding

If you live in Northern Ireland and study in Northern Ireland

Students on an eligible Allied Health Professional first degree in Northern Ireland can get support from the Department of Health (DoH). Approved courses include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, radiography, speech and language therapy, podiatry or dietetics. As with nursing and midwifery, students from EU countries can apply for commissioned places, but not students from England, Scotland or Wales.

What financial support do Allied Health Professional students get in Northern Ireland?

  • Tuition fees. These will be paid by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.
  • Bursary (means tested). The DoH bursary is based on your household income. In 2018–19, students could get up to £1,920 if living at home with parents (plus £55 per extra week over the standard academic course length). Students living in lodgings were eligible for £2,355 (plus £84 per extra week).

Maintenance loan. You may also apply for a reduced amount of maintenance loan; this is not income-assessed. In 2018–19, the reduced rate of maintenance loan was £1,780 for students living at home, or £2,370 for students in lodgings.

Applying for financial support on a commissioned Allied Health Professional place

Apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI), who administer the bursaries for the Department of Health. Contact them for further information on the level of bursaries available.

If you live in Northern Ireland but want to study elsewhere in the UK

Students from Northern Ireland studying elsewhere in the UK can apply for a student loan from SFNI. If you study in Wales, you can access the NHS Wales bursary so long as you commit to working for NHS Wales for two years after the end of your course. If you study in England, you may be eligible for support from the Learning Support Fund. The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Northern Ireland: Medical or Dental degree funding

Instead of an NHS bursary, financial support for medical or dental students from Northern Ireland comes from the Department of Health (DoH), who will fund part of the course. This applies to students studying anywhere in the UK, but not for those studying a degree in the Republic of Ireland (RoI). Students studying in the RoI should apply for student finance, including a student contribution fee loan for each year of their course.

Dentistry students who study in Scotland may be eligible to apply for Scotland's Dental Student Support Grant.

  • Students on a first degree apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI) for student finance for the first years of their course. A DoH bursary is normally paid from year five of your studies. If you choose to complete an Intercalated degree (where you suspend your main course for a year to complete a second qualification), the funding for that year will depend on when you do this and the level of Intercalated degree.
  • Graduates starting a second primary degree in medicine or dentistry are not eligible for a DoH bursary, but can apply for student finance – i.e. a means-tested maintenance loan and supplementary grants for travel or dependents. If applicable, students can also receive Disabled Students' Allowance, which is not means-tested. Students will need to self-fund their tuition fees (or student contribution fee in the Republic of Ireland) for the duration of their course.

What financial support does Northern Ireland's DoH bursary give Medical and Dental students?

  • Tuition fees. In a bursary-funded year, your tuition fees are paid in full by the Department of Health.
  • Bursary (means-tested). In 2018–19, students could receive up to £1,920 if living at home, or up to £2,355 if living in lodgings – reducing for households with an income above £24,770. The bursary is means-tested and depends on your household income – including your parents, or partner if applicable.

Additional help. Students can also apply for the supplementary grants listed at the top of this page (Dependents Allowances, Disabled Students Allowances and travel to clinical placements).

Maintenance Loan. In a bursary-funded year, you can also apply for a reduced amount maintenance loan. The amount you get will not be based on your household income. In 2018–19, the reduced rate of maintenance loan was £1,780 for students living with parents, £2,370 for students in lodgings, and £3,330 for those in London. The amount is lower for final-year students.

Applying for a DoH bursary from Northern Ireland

Applications for funding are all made to SFNI for all years. They administrate the DoH bursary. The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Speech Therapist And Boy

Funding and the NHS bursary in Scotland

Scotland: Nursing or Midwifery course funding

If you live in Scotland and study in Scotland

Rather than the NHS Bursary, Scottish-resident students studying nursing or midwifery full-time at a Scottish university are eligible for the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary scheme (NMSB). This is administrated by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). Eligible courses include degree, honours and masters' level study leading to registration as a nurse or midwife. Graduates may also be eligible for the NMSB, unless their previous course was in nursing or midwifery. The funding is not for top-up qualifications.

What financial support do Nursing and Midwifery students get in Scotland?

  • Tuition fees. Scottish students studying a first degree in Scotland should apply to SAAS to have their tuition fees paid. Graduates will have to self-fund their tuition fees.
  • Bursary (non-means tested). For 2018–19 the annual personal allowance is £6,578. This figure is due to increase to £8,100 in 2019–20, and to £10,000 by 2020. The funding helps provide for accommodation and living expenses during your studies, and covers the whole year (52 weeks). If you are taking an honours degree, you will get 75% of the bursary in your fourth year.
  • Care-experienced students under 26 years old can also receive additional funding as part of the NMSB grant.
  • In addition, in your first year there is a £60 Initial Expenses Allowance.

Additional help. Scotland differs slightly in the way supplementary grants are handled. You can still claim Dependents Allowances for a partner, spouse or child who is financially dependent on you (assessed on their income). There is also a Single Parent Allowance and Childcare Allowance. For Travel Expenses, the bursary includes £5 for daily travel; placement expenses in excess of this may be claimed. You're expected to use the cheapest public transport. If travel costs are over £35 per day you may use temporary accommodation, with the approval of your university. Disabled Students Allowance is payable via SAAS. The Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund is available for students in severe financial hardship. This is applied for via your university.

Maintenance loan. students are not eligible to apply for a maintenance loan.

Applying for financial support on a Nursing or Midwifery course in Scotland

Applications are made via SAAS. Apply for the NMSB bursary online in spring each year – and no later than the end of June, to receive funding in time for the start of your course. For some of the additional support funding, evidence may be required annually of your continuing eligibility. The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

If you live in Scotland but want to study elsewhere in the UK

If you wish to study nursing elsewhere in the UK, you can apply to SAAS for student finance, including a tuition fee loan. If you study in Wales, you can also consider the NHS Wales bursary if you are willing to work for NHS Wales on two years after graduation. If you study in England, you may be eligible for extra financial help from the Learning Support Fund. In Northern Ireland, nursing and midwifery places are reserved for students resident in Northern Ireland or the EU.

Scotland: Allied Health Professional course funding

If you live in Scotland and study in Scotland

There is no NHS bursary for Allied Health Professional students from Scotland. However if you already have a degree, you may be able to apply for student finance (i.e. a student loan).

  • Undergraduates are eligible for the normal student finance. Apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid, and for a maintenance loan for living costs.
  • Graduates following a full undergraduate course can apply for undergraduate funding for the first two years of an AHP course in Scotland. This still applies if you start in the second year of a course because you completed a related degree. After this you are eligible for a means-tested maintenance loan and grants only; you would need to pay your tuition fees. Graduates on accelerated courses have to self-fund their tuition fees.

Eligible AHP courses include:

  • Diagnostic Imaging (degree only)
  • Dietetics, or Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Orthoptics
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry (chiropody)
  • Orthotics, Prosthetics, or Prosthetics and Orthotics
  • Radiography, or Radiography and Oncology
  • Speech and Language Therapy, or Speech and Language Pathology
  • Therapeutic or Diagnostic Radiography.

What other financial support do Allied Health Professional students get in Scotland?

  • Travel. students whose household income is below £34,000 can claim towards the cost of extra travel and accommodation for clinical practice placements taken in Scotland. Students should use public transport (unless by prior arrangement with SAAS), and claims for accommodation expenses are capped at around £10 per day.

If you live in Scotland but want to study elsewhere in the UK

Scottish undergraduates taking a first Allied Health Professional degree elsewhere in the UK can apply to SAAS for a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and living-cost grants if applicable. Graduates can only apply for a means-tested living cost loan and grants: you will need to self-fund your tuition fees.

If you study in Wales, you can access the NHS Wales bursary so long as you commit to working for NHS Wales for two years after the end of your course. If you study in England, you may be eligible for support from the Learning Support Fund. There are few Allied Health Professional courses in Northern Ireland open to students from the rest of the UK; these do not provide any additional funding. The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Scotland: Medical or Dental degree funding

Scottish-resident medical or dental students are only eligible for the normal student finance from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS): there is no NHS bursary. Funding for your tuition fees will depend on where you study your course.

  • If you study in Scotland, SAAS will pay all tuition fees for a standard five-year course. You must complete an application form for SAAS to do this. Note, medicine at the University of St Andrews is a three-year course, requiring students to change university to complete their clinical years. If you move to a partner UK university outside Scotland, you will need to apply for a tuition fee loan for year four of your studies. In years five and six, apply to SAAS to have your tuition fees paid in full.
  • If you study elsewhere in the UK, you need to apply to SAAS for a tuition fee loan to cover the fees (currently up to £9,250 per year). This applies for the first four years of your course. From year five, you can apply to SAAS for full payment of your tuition fees.
  • Graduates taking medicine or dentistry as a second degree may be eligible for some support, under 'previous study' rules. They may apply for full support from the fifth year of their course; this includes payment of tuition fees.
  • Graduates on an accelerated course will have to self-fund their tuition fees. You can apply for a loan and living-costs grants for all years of your course.
  • The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Scotland's Dental Student Support Grant (DSSG)

  • This is for any student studying a Bachelor of Dental Surgery at Aberdeen, Dundee or Glasgow University. UK and international students can apply, so long as they are eligible to live and work in Scotland after graduation.
  • You must have an annual household income below £34,000, and be able to work for NHS Scotland after graduation for as many years as you have received funding.
  • UK-resident students can also apply for student finance from their nation's student finance body.
  • The grant is for £4,000 per year – so if you get a grant for four years, you'll need to work for NHS Scotland for four years after graduation. If you fail to do this, or withdraw from your course, you must repay your grant.
  • Apply for your grant via your university before the end of December each year. Students at Aberdeen can apply from their first year, while students at Glasgow or Dundee can apply from their second year.

Nurse

Funding and the NHS bursary in Wales

Wales: Nursing, Midwifery or Allied Health Professional course funding

The NHS Wales Bursary is for all UK-resident students studying an eligible healthcare course in Wales. This includes graduates who already have a degree. They must commit to working with NHS Wales for two years after their course (or less, if on a two-year course).

Eligible courses include:

  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Chiropodists
  • Dieticians
  • Healthcare Scientists
  • Dental Hygiene Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Podiatrists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Radiographers
  • Speech and Language Therapists

All UK-resident students taking a health education course in Wales must register on the Welsh Health Education Registration System. This includes undergraduates who do not want to commit to working for NHS Wales: if they do not register, they won't be able to apply for a full student loan, as these courses are normally only eligible for a reduced student loan in addition to the NHS bursary.

EU nationals from outside the UK may apply to have their tuition fees funded, if they commit to working for NHS Wales for two years after their course. They will need to pay for all other costs.

What financial support do Nursing, Midwifery or Allied Health Professional students get in Wales?

  • Tuition fees. Your tuition fees will be paid by NHS Wales.
  • Bursary (means-tested). In 2018–19 this was £2,643.
  • Grant (non means-tested). In 2018–19, this was £1,000.

Additional help. If applicable, students can claim the supplementary grants listed at the top of this page (Dependents Allowances, Disabled Students Allowance and travel to clinical placements).

Maintenance Loan. Undergraduates with an NHS Wales bursary will also be able to apply for a reduced student loan. Apply via the Student Finance body for your nation before the start of your course to see if you are eligible for this loan. Graduate students who already have a first degree cannot apply for a student loan, even if they get the NHS Wales bursary

Applying for financial support on a Nursing, Midwifery or Allied Health Professional course in Wales

You should apply for funding from the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme as soon as you have firmly accepted an offer of a place at a university, as there are a set number of training places. The last date for application is ten weeks after starting the course. No applications will be accepted after this time.

If you agree to work for NHS Wales after your course and fail to do so, you must repay all or part of the bursary. You will also need to repay if you choose not to continue the course, unless you've arranged to transfer to another NHS-Wales funded course.

If you live in Wales but want to study elsewhere in the UK

Welsh-resident students who wish to study a nursing, midwifery or Allied Health Professional course elsewhere in the UK should apply for student finance from Student Finance Wales. Those studying in England may be eligible for support from the Learning Support Fund. Places on courses in Northern Ireland are reserved for students resident Northern Ireland, with a few exceptions for Allied Health Professional courses (and these do not confer any additional funding). The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Wales: Medical or Dental degree funding

Welsh-resident students on medical or dental courses in the UK are also eligible for an NHS bursary for part of their course. They do not need to work for NHS Wales after the completion of their course.

Dentistry students who study in Scotland may be eligible to apply for Scotland's Dental Student Support Grant.

  • Undergraduates can apply for an NHS bursary for the fifth year of a five- or six-year undergraduate course. Before this, they should apply to Student Finance Wales (SFW) each year for a student loan for their tuition fees and living costs. Note, in Wales, students also get the Welsh Government Learning Grant.
  • Graduates on a graduate-entry course can apply for an NHS bursary from the second year of a three- or four-year accelerated degree. In their first year, some tuition fee costs must be met by the student (the first £3,465 for 2018–19). Students in their first year may also be apply for a tuition fee loan of up to £5,785 towards the remaining tuition fees, and for a means-tested maintenance loan for their living costs.
  • A graduate on a standard undergraduate medical or dental course may be eligible for an NHS bursary from year five. For the previous years, they are not normally eligible for any tuition fee loans, but can apply for a maintenance loan and any associated allowances.

What financial support does the NHS bursary give Medical and Dental students from Wales?

For the years of your course where you are eligible for a bursary, you may receive the following support: payment of your tuition fees (up to the standard level), a means-tested bursary, and a non-means tested grant of £1,000.

  • Tuition fees. For undergraduates, in the years you receive NHS funding your tuition fees will be paid by NHS Wales. Students on graduate-entry courses must pay the first £3,465 of their first-year tuition fees (2018–19); a loan from Student Finance Wales is available for the remainder. In NHS funded years, the NHS will pay the first £3,465 of tuition; students can apply to Student Finance Wales for a loan of up to £5,785 to cover the difference.
  • Bursary (means-tested). In 2018–19 this was £2,643.
  • Grant (non-means tested). In 2018–19, the grant was £1,000 per year.

Additional help. If applicable, students can claim the supplementary grants listed at the top of this page (Dependents Allowances, Disabled Students Allowance and travel to clinical placements).

Maintenance Loan. If eligible for an NHS bursary, students can apply for a reduced amount of maintenance loan. In 2018–19 the reduced amount of maintenance loan was £3,325 if living with parents, £4,000 if living elsewhere but outside of London, or £5,125 if living in London.

Applying for an NHS bursary from Wales

Medical and dental students from Wales should only apply for an NHS bursary in the year they are eligible for this funding. You should apply for funding from the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme. The Complete University Guide subject tables can help you with choosing a university.

Five Pound Queen

NHS Learning Support Fund (England)

The Learning Support Fund gives extra financial support to UK-resident students on an eligible nursing, midwifery or Allied Health Professional university course in England. This includes full- or part-time undergraduates, or full-time postgraduate students on courses of two year or more (not distance-learning). Students must be eligible for both tuition fee and maintenance support loans. Students who choose not to get a loan for personal reasons may still be eligible.

EU students who meet the criteria required for UK-resident students, including having a maintenance loan, may apply to the Learning Support Fund.

Applying to the Learning Support Fund

First register on the Learning Support Fund Application System to create an online account; there is a nine-month deadline for doing this. You can then apply to one of three funds: Child Dependents Allowance, Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses and the Exceptional Support Fund. When you first apply to a specific fund you need to send a copy of your full student loan notification letter, along with any other evidence required. With any LSF fund, you may need to repay overpayments if your circumstances change. You must notify the NHS Business Services Authority within one month of a change happening.

Child Dependents Allowance is a grant of £1,000 per academic year, for parents with a child under 15, or under 17 with special educational needs. It is not related to the number of dependents.

  • It is paid in three instalments of £250, £250 and £500 (for full-time students) once attendance on your course is confirmed. For part-time students, the grant is awarded pro rata based on course intensity.
  • It does not affect your entitlement for help with childcare costs (see Other Financial Support for Students: Dependents Allowances).
  • Application is from the first month of your academic year, closing nine months later. Apply via the Learning Support Fund Application System. You will need to reapply for each year of your training.

Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses (TDAE) help towards the cost of attending a clinical practice placement. Expenses must be agreed and authorised by your university. Keep receipts!

  • Only travel expenses above your normal cost of getting to university will be reimbursed; you are expected to use the cheapest form of transport feasible. If you are driving, this can include toll roads and parking. If you get a lift, you can't claim expenses – but you can if you cycle!
  • You may arrange temporary accommodation if it's not practical for you to travel from your normal term-time residence to your placement. There are capped daily rates for accommodation – you won't get this if staying with your parents.
  • If you are required to study abroad for part of your course, you may be able to apply for the cost of medical insurance, tests and visa fees to be reimbursed.
  • Applications are submitted after the expenses have been incurred (normally after the end of your placement), and receipts are required. Your university must approve your claim.

The Exceptional Support Fund provides up to £3,000 for eligible students facing severe hardship.

  • This fund is means-tested, based on evidence of your income and outgoings. It is to support students whose income is not enough to meet their expenses, despite careful budgeting and accessing all available income.
  • Students are expected to supplement their income from savings, part-time or holiday work, or additional household support. You should also first apply to university hardship funds or other income sources; if you are rejected by these sources, you can still apply to the Exceptional Support Fund.
  • The fund does not cover unexpected emergency costs such as repairs or stolen items.
  • Applications may be made at any time in the academic year, if you are in financial hardship. Evidence is required, such as bank statements for yourself and for your partner if you have one, and your application must be authorised by your university. Students can apply more than once within the academic year.

Nursing degree apprenticeships

Healthcare Degree Apprenticeships

In England, a Degree Apprenticeship is a level 6 or 7 qualification – the equivalent to a degree or masters. While in theory degree apprenticeships could be offered in all of the UK's four nations, there are currently more subjects available in England. Each subject has approved standards, set by the government, training and professional bodies. Degree apprenticeships are run by an employer in partnership with university or college. You would be working for the employer sponsoring the apprenticeship, and studying part-time at university. You also get paid! Competition for places may be tough.

In England, vacancies will usually be advertised on the NHS Jobs website, or you can search via the government's Find an apprenticeship website.

Nursing Degree Apprenticeships are already offered by some health boards. To apply, you may already need to be employed full-time in a relevant role – check the situation for your local health board. Those who have completed a lower level nursing apprenticeship (such as Assistant Practitioner) may be able to progress onto a higher or degree level programme, to 'top up' their qualification.

Nursing degree apprenticeships were the first of a series of healthcare subjects to have training standards approved and signed off. In the past year, these have been joined by other degree apprenticeships:

  • Podiatrist
  • Operating department practitioner
  • Paramedic
  • Prosthetist / orthotist
  • Midwife
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physiotherapist

While the standards for these have been recently approved, it may take some time for employers to offer the programmes. In development are degree apprenticeship standards for Dietitians, Speech and language therapists, Radiographers (both diagnostic and therapeutic) and Arts therapists.

You can find out more about healthcare apprenticeships on the website Healthcareers.nhs.uk.

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Other financial support for students on healthcare courses

See our pages on university bursaries and scholarships, and also other bursaries and scholarships for how to track down potential sources of financial help. In addition, consider the following.

  • The Royal College of Nursing produces The Student Money Guide for nursing and midwifery students anywhere in the UK; this lists some charitable funds, such as the Cavell Nurses Trust, and RCN Lamplight Support Services Organisation.
  • The British Medical Association and British Dental Association publish information for students, including charitable funding sources.
  • If you are taking an Allied Health Professional degree, check to see if professional bodies recommend sources of funding for students starting their career.
  • For medics and nurses, an army career may be an option if you are willing to work in the Armed Forces for a number of years. Competition for places is fierce – and first and foremost, you are a member of the Armed Forces. You'll need to do physical training, and there's no skipping lectures!
  • There are also awards and competitions, and universities may offer bursaries to those on low incomes.

Choosing a university

The Complete University Guide helps students to research their degree choices: we show you how universities measure up in delivering different subjects. To help you decide where to study, you may want to see our Subject Tables. You can select results by region, and compare universities on the aspects that matter most to you – Student Satisfaction, Graduate Prospects, or the average UCAS score for entry.