Funding for students on NHS and Social Work programmes

A pile of coins, a stethoscope, and a calculator.

In addition to potentially receiving statutory support from the government, medical, dental or social work programmes may also be eligible for support from the NHS.

Nursing and Physiotherapy (including postgraduate programmes) 

From 2017, all 'Home' Nursing and Physiotherapy programmes no longer attract financial support from the NHS.  Students on these courses will be able to apply for tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and other support from the Student Loans Company.  However, they may also be eligible to apply to the NHS's Learning Support Fund in certain circumstances for other limited financial support.

Transitional arrangements for UG Dental Hygiene and Therapy courses

In 2018, transitional arrangements will be in place for students on the above course to enable them to receive a transitional NHS bursary.

Medical and Dental programmes

If you are a 'Home' student studying on a Medicine or Dentistry programme your funding arrangements will be somewhat different to standard undergraduate programmes.

Will I be eligible for support from the government?

In the first, second, third or fourth year of your degree (unless you are a graduate entry student - in which case it will be the first year only), you will be funded by the standard student support package that is available from the government. Depending on the length of your term dates, you may be eligible for an extended sum of Maintenance Loan.

What is the NHS Bursary, and how do I apply?

Once you enter your fifth year of study (or second year for graduate entry courses), you will become eligible for NHS funding. This means that you will be eligible for a means-tested NHS Bursary. You will also be able to take a reduced-rate Maintenance Loan.

You should create an online bursary application account using the NHS's Bursary Online Support System (BOSS) before you begin your NHS-funded year(s). All students are expected to apply for at least an award that covers the payment of their tuition fees. 

Payments will normally be within 10 working days of the University confirming your enrolment, providing your application and supporting evidence have been submitted to the NHS on time. Monthly payments are made on the third Friday of every month, apart from new students who may receive a double payment in the first month, then standard payments from the third month onwards.

How will my tuition fees be covered?

During the first four years of your degree, you will be able to take out a Tuition Fee Loan from the government to cover your tuition fee costs.  In your fifth year, the NHS will pay your tuition fees for you.

What other support is available? 

Students studying in Years 1-4 of a medical or dentistry degree (or Year 1 of a Graduate Entry programme) may also qualify for a Chamberlain Award from the University. Funding ceases in Year 5 onwards (or Year 2 onwards for the Graduate Entry programmes) when the degrees become NHS-funded.

If you are a Medical or Dental student who has exhausted all other sources of financial help, and you are still experiencing financial difficulties, you may, exceptionally, be eligible to apply to the University's Student Hardship Fund.

The RMBF also runs Money4Medstudents, a website featuring tips on managing your money, how to borrow sensibly and where to find other sources of funding.


Social Work programmes

Home students studying towards an approved social work degree course may also be able to receive support from the NHS. 

What financial support is available? 

If you are studying on an undergraduate Social Work degree, in your first year you will be eligible for the normal statutory support from Student Finance England (SFE).  Such students may also qualify for a Chamberlain Award from the University.

In subsequent years, it is understood that those students who are performing well on their course may be eligible for a non-repayable bursary from the NHS. Full details regarding this can be found on the NHSBSA website. This bursary will be in addition to any other continuing funding from SFE. As you have the potential to be NHS-funded from this point onwards, no Chamberlain Award will be payable from the University, regardless if you are in receipt of the bursary or not. 

Please note that where there are additional costs associated with attending placements in relation to this course, it is expected that the agency offering the placement will make a contribution towards these.

How do I apply?

You will initially need to apply to Student Finance England (SFE) in order to assess your eligibility for statutory support. In subsequent years, when re-applying to SFE for funding, you should not declare that you are receiving an NHS Bursary as this does not relate to the Social Work Bursary.

Is there any support available for postgraduates?

As a postgraduate, you will not receive any statutory support from SFE. However, you may receive a Social Work Bursary. The bursary is split into means-tested (up to £2,721 on 2016/17) and non means-tested (£3,362.50 in 2016/17)  parts which are paid in three termly instalments.

You will also get at least £4,052 (in 2016/17) towards your tuition fees, which is paid directly to the University. Furthermore, a contribution of around £862.50 (to help with expenses for attending placements) has been built into the bursary. You will also be able to apply for a Parents’ Learning Allowance, Adult Dependants Allowance, Childcare Allowance and Disabled Students’ Allowances from NHSBSA, depending upon your circumstances.

Please note that the number of Social Work bursaries is restricted. If you do not qualify for a bursary towards your living costs, you will not be assisted with tuition fee support or any other type of allowance (except your travel allowance of £862.50).  Therefore you will need to secure substantial funding from elsewhere.  

 Find out more

Contact the NHS Business Services Authority