Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards

Three female studens wearing caps and gownsThe University provides bursaries to help students during their degree programmes.  In addition to these the School of Physics and Astronomy offers a number of bursaries and scholarships to help with the finances of our students. Click on a heading below for more details. If you have any queries that are not addressed here, please contact the admissions office.


BP STEM scholarships

Launched in 2012, the BP STEM Scholarships are intended to encourage and support students with a passion for certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects. 

Each year BP will offer scholarships to up to 10 students from the University of Birmingham. Each scholarship is worth up to £20 000 with scholars receiving £5000 per year for the duration of their degree (up to four years). The scholarship is not intended to cover fees but offer students support with the costs of resources and living. Learn more about the BP STEM scholarships.


Scholarships Based on Academic Achievement

To help physics students financially upon entry to the University of Birmingham, the School of Physics and Astronomy provides substantial scholarships for all firm students who exceed our MSci entry requirements. 

A range of scholarships apply according to A-level grades achieved in the eligible subjects listed below. Details on the scholarships for a given year are provided to applicants during open days and Applicant Days.  

  • For 2014 entry, there are a number of Physics Entry Scholarships available  to all applicants who put us as their firm institution.
     The available Scholarships are:
      - £500 for A*A*A (with A* in Mathematics and Physics and A in the third subject of your offer)
     -  £1,000 for A*A*A* (with A* in Mathematics, Physics and third subject of your offer)
      - Each additional A* to the A*A*A*  will be rewarded  an extra £ 500.
  • There are also number of *Nuclear Science and Engineering Scholarships* of between £1000 and £2500. These require three A Levels of at least AAA to include Mathematics and Physics, and additional subjects from the list of approved subjects below.
  • Please note that no formal application is required, as eligibility is determined by the University; the scholarships are not means tested.There is also no deadline for these scholarships. Please note that if you are awarded an Excellence Scholarship, this would replace any School Scholarship for which you would be eligible, as the Excellence Scholarship has a higher value.

Eligible A level subjects 

* Further Mathematics
* Physics
* Chemistry
* Biology
* Art
* History
* Art History
* Irish
* Chinese
* Italian
* Classical Civilisation
* Japanese
* Economics
* Latin
* English Literature
* Music
* French
* Philosophy
* Geography
* Russian
* German
* Spanish
* Greek
* Welsh 

We may consider other subjects on a case-by-case basis.

If you would like to check before accepting an offer at Birmingham, please contact the Admissions Tutor by the end of August.


Music/Performing Arts Scholarships

The School offers a number of scholarships for students who have reached grade 8 (or equivalent) in instrument, dance or voice, so that they may continue their musical studies throughout their degree programmes.

There is no formal application. Details of your musical/dance activities should be provided in the personal statement on your UCAS application form.

All students who are at the required level and firm with us automatically receive this scholarship, which at present is in the form of 10 lessons, worth approximately £600 per year, with a tutor from either the Birmingham Conservatoire or the Birmingham School of Music

Please contact the Admissions Tutor for more details. 


Physics Sports Bursaries

The Physics Sports Bursary (PSB) is open to all sports people who have applied to study an undergraduate degree programme within this school.
It is funded up to £800 per annum, and is awarded for the duration of undergraduate study, subject to the recipient maintaining predetermined academic and sporting standards. This funding can be put towards any sports or training related costs (e.g. gym membership, tournament expenses, coaching, or equipment). Interested applicants should contact the Admissions Tutor.

This Bursary is by application only.

University of Birmingham Sport (UBS) has a comprehensive programme of scholarships and bursaries offered to talented sports people studying at the University. It is possible to apply for both the UBS Sports Scholarships and the PSB, though the PSB will not be awarded to someone already receiving a UBS or TASS scholarship.


Poynting Scholarship for International Students

For international students we offer a Poynting Scholarship of £1000 for each academic year of their studies.


Additional awards

In addition to the above we provide a number of awards to our students throughout the degree programme reflecting achievement:

  • MSci Smith Prize for top student (£350)
  • MSci Moreton Prize for second student(£280)
  • BSc Smith Prize for top student (£350)
  • BSci Moreton Prize for second student(£280)
  • Nolan Merrill Prize for best Y4 project (£250) (endowed by Cavendish Nuclear)
  • Tessella Prize for most innovative use of software in a Y4 project (£250) (endowed by Tessella plc)
  • Martin Johnson Prize for best Y2 essay on an Astrophysical Topic Best Astro/Space Research Essay Prize
  • Best non-Astro Student Essay Prize
  • The George Isaak Prize: for the best performance in a year 2 project, taking into account all aspects of project work. The prize will normally be awarded to one student.
  • The Richard Knight Prize: for the best performance in Year 1 laboratory, taking into account all aspects of experimental and project work. The prize will normally be awarded to one student
  • Two university Scholarships
  • University Science Prizes -
  • A number of School Prizes are also awarded each year to students demonstrating Excellence. In addition, the school (in collaboration with the School of Mathematics) may award an additional Smith or Moreton prize to a TPAM student when the marks of the top or second joint honours student are higher than those of the relevant single honours students.
  • The state Bursar's prize: awarded for the best essay on the topic of Physics and European Culture and is open to all undergraduates in the school. All students will be emailed with details of this.
  • The Physics European Bursary is offered to any student spending an academic year in an EU University under the Erasmus/Socrates programme.