Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards

The University provides scholarships and 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.

Scholarships detailed below are correct for 2020 entry. Please check back for updates for 2021 entry.

Scholarships Based on Academic Achievement (UK students)

Academic Achievement Scholarships

To help physics students financially upon entry to the University of Birmingham, the School of Physics and Astronomy provides scholarships based on A Level (or equivalent) grades for those who place Birmingham as their firm choice of University. 

We award £1000 to firm offer holders who achieve A*A*A (with A* in Mathematics and Physics and A in the third subject of your offer). Equivalency in other qualification systems is automatically calculated by the School. Please note that no formal application is required, as eligibility is determined by the University. The scholarships are not means tested. You will receive the scholarship in your first term at the university

Other scholarships

Please see the University's funding database for details of other University-administered scholarships.

Poynting Scholarship for International Students

We offer a scholarship named after the first Birmingham Professor of Physics, Professor Poynting. The following awards are available to all privately funded international students applying for undergraduate programmes in the School.

In year 1, all students meeting the below eligibility criteria will receive an Achievement Scholarship or Excellence Scholarship of £1,500 or £3,000, respectively. 

During the degree programme, those whose performance is judged to be excellent will also be eligible for the First Class Scholarship which is worth £1,500 per year, providing the student proceeds normally to each year with an average of 70% or higher. Students who achieve less than 70% become ineligible for future years. Therefore, the best students could receive a total of £7,500 over a four year degree.

table to hold scholarship data
ScholarshipCriteria
Achievement Scholarship
£1,500

All students who enter the first year of the course who have placed Physics at Birmingham as their firm choice in UCAS. 

Excellence Scholarship
£3,000

All students who enter the first year of the course who have placed Physics at Birmingham as their firm choice in UCAS and achieved the following grades:

A Levels: A*A*A*

IB: 7, 7, 7 from Higher Levels

HKDSE: 5*, 5*, 5*

Indian Standard XII: Overall: 90% ISC, CBSE, Maharashtra; or 85% West Bengal; or 95% Other State board

Malaysia - One of the following:

  • STPM: Grades equivalent to A level grades above
  • UEC: Overall grade A1 
  • Malaysian Ministry of Education Matriculation programme: Students with a GPA 3.5 and above will be considered

American system: Please see our USA undergraduate entry requirements for A Level equivalencies.

First Class Scholarship
£1,500/year 

Students attaining >70% at the end of each of years 1 and 2 of 3 year programmes.

Students attaining >70% at the end of each of years 1, 2 and 3 of 4 year programmes.

Students who don’t achieve >70% become ineligible for future years.

For other equivalencies, please see our web pages specific to your country.

A wide range of international qualifications will be considered - please us the School to find out the criteria that would apply in each case.

Other scholarships

You may also be interested in the University's funding database for details of other University-administered scholarships.

Music/Performing Arts Scholarships (UK and International students)

The School of Physics and Astronomy offers a number of scholarships for students who have reached grade 8 (or equivalent) in music or performing arts and have placed Birmingham as their firm UCAS choice, so that they may continue their studies throughout their degree programmes. Students will be contacted in the August prior to starting their course to provide evidence of their qualifications.

All students who are at the required level, place us as firm UCAS choice and apply by the deadline (Welcome Week of first year), automatically receive this scholarship, which is in the form of 10 lessons, worth approximately £600 per year. For music this is delivered by a tutor from either the Birmingham Conservatoire or the University of Birmingham School of Music. Additionally, you will receive access to the School of Music's practice rooms. For other performing arts, the student must source their own tutor and the lessons are reimbursed up to the value of £600 per year.  The scholarship is awarded for the duration of undergraduate study, subject to the recipient maintaining predetermined academic and musical standards.  Students receiving university level music scholarship, details below, are ineligible for the Physics based award. 

Please contact the Admissions Tutor for more details. 

Birmingham's musical heritage reaches back to our first Professor of Music, Edward Elgar.  Today, both the Bramall Music Building and the Barber Institute host regular public performances from our orchestras, choirs, bands and other music ensembles. Learn more about our music scholarships here.

Physics Sport Bursaries (UK and International students)

The Physics Sport Bursary is awarded to a limited number of top sports people who have applied to study an undergraduate degree programme within this School and placed Birmingham as their firm UCAS choice. Students will be contacted in the August prior to starting their course, to provide evidence of their sporting achievements and to be considered, they must apply by the deadline (Welcome Week of first year). 

It is funded up to £800 per annum, in the form of training expenses and is awarded for the duration of undergraduate study, subject to the recipient maintaining predetermined academic and sporting standards. Students receiving University level sports scholarships, details below, are ineligible for the Physics based award. 

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 Physics Sport Bursary, but if you are successful in receiving a UBS or TASS scholarship, you will not be eligible to receive the Physics scholarship in addition. 

Lloyds Scholars programme (UK students currently residing in the UK)

The University of Birmingham is proud to announce its continuing involvement in the award-winning Lloyds Scholars programme.

Along with other leading universities across the UK, the University of Birmingham will partner with the Lloyds Banking Group to offer students from lower household incomes a complete package of financial support, paid internships and the opportunity to develop their employability skills.

Chamberlain Award (UK students)

If your household income is below a set level, you may be entitled to additional financial support from the University in the form of a Chamberlain Award

Additional awards during your studies (UK and International students)

In addition to the above we provide a number of awards to our students throughout the degree programme reflecting achievement. Some examples are listed here, but this list is not exhaustive and is subject to change each year:

Example awards

SWJ Smith Prizes - Awarded to the final year students whose performance is the highest scoring result overall, one in the BSc and one in the MSci course.

Moreton Prize - Awarded to the final year students whose performance is the second highest scoring result overall, one in the BSc and one in the MSci course.

Nolan Merrill Prize - Awarded to the 4th year student who has achieved the highest scoring project.

Tessella Prize - Awarded to the student who demonstrates the best and the most imaginative use of software in a year 4 project. 

Martin Johnson Prizes - One awarded to a year 2 Astrophysics student for the highest scoring essay and one to a year 3 non-Astrophysics student for the highest scoring essay on an astrophysics topic.

George Isaak Prize - Awarded to one or more students submitting the highest scoring year 2 project.

Richard Knight Prize - Awarded to the highest scoring overall student in year 1 laboratory.

State Bursar's prize - Awarded for the highest scoring essay on the topic of Physics and European Culture.