Departmental bursaries for undergraduate and postgraduate study
Overview of the scheme
We award around 25 to 30 Departmental bursaries each year, thanks to the generous support of the Friends of lifelong learning, donors and others. These help towards the cost of course fees.
The bursaries are for UK-based students who receive benefits because they are on a low income, and are available for certain undergraduate or postgraduate courses (see Eligibility and criteria below).
Bursary applications are reviewed between 1 April and 31 August for courses starting or continuing in the following autumn. Applications for the 2022/23 academic year are now closed. Applications for 2023/24 will be open from 1 April 2023.
Awards are made for one year at a time, so longer courses would require a new application in the following year.
Eligibility and criteria
Eligible Continuing Education courses
- Foundation Certificates.
- Undergraduate Certificates and Undergraduate Diplomas, except for Theological Studies.
- Undergraduate Advanced Diplomas.
- Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas.
Note: Master’s and DPhil courses are not eligible—see University’s funding information instead.
You must meet all three of the following conditions:
1. Have an offer of a place on an eligible course (see above).
2. Be (a) a UK resident, or (b) a Republic of Ireland national living in the UK or Ireland, or (c) have 'settled' or ‘pre-settled’ status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme (see https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/immigration/staying-in-the-uk-if-youre-from-the-eu/).
3. Be in receipt of any of the following UK benefits (these may change over time):
- Universal Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers' Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- A reduction under the Council Tax Scheme (students in Wales only)
- Pension Credit
- Carer's Allowance
After 1 April, completed applications will be reviewed and awarded on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis (an application must include the required supporting documentation to be considered).
Outcomes will be communicated to applicants individually during the bursary scheme window. If funds are fully exhausted, before the deadline, a waiting list will operate (in case an awardee should withdraw).
Duration and future applications
Bursaries are awarded for one year at a time. If your course is longer than one year, you may re-apply in subsequent years. A bursary awarded in one year does not imply future awards under this scheme—this will depend on your financial circumstances, as well as scheme’s level of funds, when you apply.
Bursary awards cannot be carried over into a future year if your studies are interrupted (involving suspension of status for one or more terms, for example). In such cases bursaries will normally be reduced in proportion to your period of registration during that year; while you may re-apply for a bursary in the following year, this will be treated as a new application.
Bursaries are calculated as a percentage of course fees, and the amount awarded depends on your course category (see below).
The annual maximum that can be awarded per student is capped at £2000 (regardless of how many courses you attend). Bursary funds are applied directly to your course fees (they are not paid to you directly).
Course categories and bursary scales:
Foundation Certificates in English Literature and History:
- A bursary of up to 80% of course fees
Undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education:
- A bursary of up to 100% of the annual programme fee
- Certificate of Higher Education students may also be eligible for additional concessionary fees on their individual courses.
All other eligible courses (see above):
- A bursary of up to 50% of the course fees
How to apply
Application forms for the 2023/24 academic year will be available in due course.
Applications can be submitted between 1 April and 31 August 2023 for courses commencing or continuing in the following academic year (2023/24).
You should apply as soon as you can, as the fund could be exhausted well before the closing date (this may be indicated at the top of this page).
If you have any questions, please contact our Student Support Administrator.
Ask us about student funding