Benefits & credits: NHS bursaries

Notes

1. Overview

If you’re training for medicine, dentistry or healthcare you may get an NHS bursary.

Bursaries help with living costs and tuition fees and don’t have to be paid back.

2. What you'll get

NHS students

Full-time NHS students starting a course from 1 September 2012 can apply for:

  • a bursary from the NHS
  • a grant from the NHS
  • a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England

Eligible part-time students can apply for:

  • a reduced bursary from the NHS
  • a reduced grant from the NHS

The reduced rate depends on your course attendance.

If you choose a means tested NHS bursary the amount you get depends on your household income.

The grant and the maintenance loan are independent of your household income.

How much Maintenance Loan full-time students get depends on:

  • where you live
  • whether you’re in the final year of your course (when you get less)

If you study up to 30 weeks a year, you’ll get:

Where you study and live Grant Bursary Maintenance Loan
In London £1,000 Up to £3,128 Up to £3,263
Outside London £1,000 Up to £2,591 Up to £2,324
With your parents £1,000 Up to £2,163 Up to £1,744

If you study up to 45 weeks a year, you’ll get:

Where you study and live Grant Bursary Maintenance Loan
In London £1,000 Up to £5,460 Up to £3,263
Outside London £1,000 Up to £4,395 Up to £2,324
With your parents £1,000 Up to £3,351 Up to £1,744

In the final year of study the Maintenance Loan is reduced to:

  • £2,498 if you study in London
  • £1,811 if you study outside London
  • £1,324 if you live with your parents

The grant and the Maintenance Loan are not dependent on your household income but the bursary is.

Medical and dental courses

The first 4 years of your undergraduate course are funded in the same way as other eligible full-time higher education courses.

After the 4th year of your course you can get:

  • an NHS bursary based on your income
  • your tuition fees paid in full by the NHS
  • a reduced rate Maintenance Loan (not based on your income) from Student Finance England

Healthcare professional courses

NHS bursaries are available for certain healthcare professions - see Eligibility for the professions covered.

Eligible students on these courses may get:

  • a bursary based on their household income
  • their tuition fees paid in full by the NHS
  • a reduced rate Maintenance Loan, not based on their income if they’re studying for a degree

Graduate-entry accelerated medical and dental programmes

If you’re studying an accelerated medical or dental programme:

  • in year 1 you pay £3,465 of your tuition costs yourself
  • in years 2 to 4 £3,465 of your tuition costs is paid with an NHS bursary
  • you can get a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £5,535 from Student Finance England to pay for the remaining tuition costs each year

How it’s paid

The NHS bursary is paid monthly.

If you’re disabled or have children

You may also get extra help if you:

  • have a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty
  • have dependants

Find out what extra help you could get.

3. Eligibility

Whether you can get an NHS bursary depends on:

  • where you live
  • your course
  • your household income
  • whether you’ve already had funding

Where you live

To get an NHS bursary you must:

  • have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years until the first day of the academic year
  • be ordinarily resident in England if you’re a medical or dental student
  • have ‘settled status’ in the UK

You may still be eligible if you don’t meet the residency requirements - find out more from the NHS Business Services Authority.

Your course

You must also be accepted for an NHS funded place on a full or part-time course which leads to professional registration as a:

  • doctor or dentist (you will be eligible for an NHS bursary after the 4th year of your course)
  • chiropodist (including podiatrist), dietician, occupational therapist, orthoptist, physiotherapist, prosthetist, and orthotist, radiographer, radiotherapist, audiologist or a speech and language therapist
  • dental hygienist or dental therapist
  • nurse, midwife or operating department practitioner (degree or diploma course)

NHS bursaries are not intended for:

  • registered first level nurses seeking a second registration in nursing
  • registered midwives seeking a second registration in midwifery

Household income

The total amount you can get depends on your household income.

If you’ve already had funding

You may be eligible for an NHS bursary even if you have already had public funding for higher education.

If you’ve had an NHS bursary and want to change professions, you may also be eligible.

Find out more from the NHS Business Services Authority.

Medical and dental courses

If you’re doing a standard 5 or 6-year medical or dental course, to qualify for a bursary you must:

  • have started your course in September 1998 or later
  • normally live in England
  • be studying in the UK

The size of the bursary depends on your household income but the grant and the maintenance loan don’t.

Graduate-entry accelerated medical and dental programmes

If you’re doing the graduate-entry accelerated medical or dental programme you may get an NHS bursary.

4. How to apply

NHS bursaries

Applications for NHS bursaries are dealt with by NHS Student Bursaries.

An application has to be made each year.

Once you’ve been offered an NHS-commissioned training place NHS Student Bursaries will write to tell you how to apply.

If you get an income-assessed NHS bursary you may still get help through the standard student finance package. You need to apply for this separately through Student Finance England.

Applications have to be received within 6 months of the first day of the academic year.

5. Further information

Further financial help

In addition to the NHS bursary you may also be able to apply for extra help if you:

  • have children
  • have adult dependants
  • have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty
  • if you do a practice placement

To find out more about extra help contact the NHS Business Services Authority.

Childcare costs

You may be able to get the NHS Bursary Childcare Allowance if you have dependent children.

You can’t get this if you’re only entitled to a fees award.

How much you get depends on your circumstances and your household income.

To qualify:

  • you must use a registered childcare provider
  • your children must be under 15 on the first day of the academic year (or under 17 if they have special educational needs)

The allowance pays up to:

  • £126.65 a week for 1 child
  • £187.85 a week for 2 or more children

Parent Learning Allowance

You can claim this allowance if you have a dependent child.

How much you get depends on your household income.

You can claim up to:

  • £1,303 if you’re a degree-level student
  • £1,104 if you’re a Diploma-level student

Adult dependants

You may get the Dependants Allowance if an adult is financially dependent on you when you’re training.

How much you get depends on your household income.

Disabled Students’ Allowances

You can get Disabled Students’ Allowances if you have to pay extra costs because of a:

  • physical disability
  • long-term health condition
  • mental-health difficulty
  • specific learning difficulty like dyslexia

You need to give up-to-date medical evidence of the nature and severity of your disability from a suitably qualified professional.

You can get up to:

  • £20,520 for a helper
  • £5,162 for specialist equipment for the whole course
  • £1,724 for other costs

Practice placement expenses

If you do a practice placement you may be able to claim travel costs if:

  • your practice placement is in a hospital or community health centre and not at your university
  • it costs you more to travel to your placement than it costs to travel to university

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