Benefits & credits: NHS bursaries

Notes

1. Overview

If you’re studying medicine, dentistry, nursing or a healthcare course in England, you may be eligible for an annual payment from the NHS to help with your study and living costs (known as a ‘bursary’).

You don’t have to pay your NHS bursary back.

2. What you'll get

If you’re a full-time NHS student starting a degree course after 1 September 2012, you can apply for:

  • a bursary from the NHS
  • a £1,000 grant from the NHS
  • a reduced Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England

If you’re an eligible part-time student, you can apply for:

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

The amount you get depends on the length of your course.

Check how much you could get with the NHS Award Estimate Calculator.

Tuition fees

If you’re eligible for an NHS bursary, the NHS pays your standard tuition fees. Your course tuition fees are paid directly to your university.

If you’re doing the graduate-entry accelerated medical or dental programme you can get £3,465 of your tuition costs paid with an NHS bursary in years 2 to 4 of your programme.

Bursary

Your bursary amount depends on your household income. This can be your own income, your parents’ income, or that of your partner, spouse or civil partner.

If you started a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) Nursing or Operating Department Practitioner course before 1 September 2012, you’ll receive a basic bursary which does not depend on your household income.

If you’re studying to become a doctor or dentist, you can apply for an NHS bursary from your second year for graduate entry programmes or from your fifth year for undergraduate programmes.

Grant

You’ll get a fixed amount of £1,000 if you’re an eligible full-time student starting your course on or after 1 September 2012. You’ll get a reduced amount if you’re a part-time student.

You must apply for an NHS bursary to get the grant.

Maintenance Loan

You’ll get a reduced Maintenance Loan. The amount you get depends on:

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

Currents rates are:

  • £3,263 for students studying in London and living away from the parental home
  • £2,324 for students studying outside London and away from the parental home
  • £1,744 for students living at the parental home

How it’s paid

The NHS bursary is paid into your bank account in 12 equal monthly instalments.

The Maintenance Loan is usually paid into your bank account at the beginning of each term.

If you’re disabled or have children

You may 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

Check whether you’re eligible for an NHS bursary with the NHS Personal Eligibility Calculator.

Where you live

To be eligible to apply for an NHS bursary you must have been 
living in the UK, 
the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years up to the start of the academic year.

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 a place on a full or part-time NHS-funded course which will lead to you registering as a:

  • doctor or dentist (you can apply for an NHS bursary from the 5th year on the 5 or 6 year undergraduate course or from your 2nd year on the 4 year accelerated graduate course)
  • chiropodist (including podiatrist), dietician, occupational therapist, orthoptist, physiotherapist, prosthetist, 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 given to:

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

Household income

Your total bursary amount depends on your household income. This can be either your own income, your parents’ income, or that of your partner, spouse or civil partner.

Check the amount of bursary you might be entitled to with the NHS Student Bursary Estimate Calculator.

If you’ve already had funding

You may be eligible for an NHS bursary even if you’ve 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.

4. How to apply

You need to create a Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) account on the NHS Student Bursaries website to apply for an NHS bursary.

You must reapply for your bursary every academic year.

There are different ways to apply if you’re from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

New students

If you’re entering the first year of your NHS-funded course or, for medical and dental students, your first year of NHS bursary funding, read the guidance for new students.

When to apply

You should wait until you have an offer of a course place from your university or college before you apply for an NHS bursary.

The date you can apply from usually depends on when your course starts. Check the NHS Student Bursaries website for the latest application dates.

Documents

If you’re applying for an NHS bursary for the first time you must provide 2 documents to confirm your identity, one of which must include a photograph of yourself, eg a birth certificate and a valid passport.

You must send original documents (not photocopies), which NHS Student Bursaries will return to you.

Continuing students

If you’ve already had an NHS student bursary for your current course and you’re reapplying for another year, read the guidance for continuing students.

When to apply

NHS Student Bursaries will send you an email invitation when you can reapply for your bursary. The date your invitation is sent depends on when your next academic year begins. Check the NHS Student Busaries website for the latest invitation dates.

You must send your application within 6 months of the first day of your academic year.

What happens next

If your application is approved, NHS Student Bursaries will send you an email when your bursary is available for you to view in your BOSS account.

If you get an NHS bursary you can apply separately for a reduced rate loan from Student Finance England.

Contact NHS Student Bursaries

Contact NHS Student Bursaries if you need help with your application.

NHS Student Bursaries
Telephone: 0845 358 6655
Fax: 01253 774491
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 3pm
Find out about call charges

NHS Student Bursaries
Hesketh House
200-220 Broadway
Fleetwood
Lancashire
FY7 8SS

5. Extra financial help

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

  • you have children
  • you have adult dependants
  • you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty
  • you do a practice placement
  • your course runs for more than 30 weeks and 3 days in the academic year

Find out more about extra help on the NHS Student Bursaries website.

Dependants’ Allowance

You may get this if you have adults or children who are financially dependent on you when you’re training.

How much you get depends on your household income.

Apply for Dependants’ Allowance through your BOSS account.

Childcare Allowance

You must apply for Dependants’ Allowance before you can apply for Childcare Allowance.

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

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

You can’t get this if you’re not entitled to the NHS bursary (known as a ‘Fees Only award’).

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:

  • £127.50 a week for 1 child
  • £189.55 a week for 2 or more children

Apply for Childcare Allowance via the form on the NHS Student Bursaries website.

Parent Learning Allowance

You must apply for Dependants’ Allowance first. If this includes a dependent child, you’re automatically assessed for Parent Learning Allowance.

You can claim up to £1,192 per academic year.

How much you get depends on your household income.

Disabled Students’ Allowances

You can get this 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 qualified professional.

You can get up to:

  • £20,725 for a helper
  • £5,214 for specialist equipment for the whole course
  • £1,741 for other costs

Apply for Disabled Students Allowance through your BOSS account.

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

Claim practice placement expenses via the form on the NHS Student Bursaries website.

Extra Weeks Allowance

If your course runs for more than 30 weeks and 3 days in the 2014 to 2015 academic year you may be entitled to Extra Weeks Allowance:

Where you study and live Allowance
In London £107 per week
Outside London £83 per additional week
With your parents £55 per additional week

Your Extra Weeks Allowance is calculated automatically during the application process.