School of Health and Social Care

Scholarships and funding

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Supporting your studies

We offer many opportunities to fund your studies, including a broad range of University of Essex scholarships. We also offer a number of scholarships linked to our courses and our department.

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries are sources of funding for students across all degrees and disciplines.


The University has a range of scholarships and bursaries to support talented students, ensuring that we remain accessible to all with the potential to succeed, regardless of financial circumstances.

Some scholarships span different levels of degrees, for example, our Care Leaver and Estranged Bursary is open to any undergraduate or postgraduate student who meet the criteria, and closes in July 2023 (subject to changes).  Search our scholarship finder to see the funding we have for you.


There are charities, trusts and other organisations that offer financial support and support-in-kind to students on both Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught courses. These may change on a regular basis, so we recommend going directly to their websites.

If you are interested in training as a nurse, midwife or healthcare assistant, or are already working in one of these roles, you may be eligible for support through the RCN Foundation.

NHS Learning Support Fund

Students undertaking eligible healthcare courses in Autumn 2023 can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) within six months of the start of the academic year. LSF is independent from all other student funding you may receive and needs to be applied for separately.

Learning Support Fund FAQ’s

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this funding you must:

  • Be applying for an eligible course in England
  • Still be enrolled and attending your course on 1 November 2023
  • Be able to prove your identity (photo ID) and residency status.

The Essex courses that meet the current eligibility criteria include Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Oral Health Science Occupational therapy, Speech and language therapy and Physiotherapy.

How much will I get?

The minimum amount you will receive is £5000 each academic year and you do not need to pay this back unless you withdraw from the course or have received an over payment. An additional payment of up to £2000 may be awarded to students who need assistance for childcare costs.  If you intend on applying for support with childcare costs you must do this separately after you have completed your initial funding application.

When will I get paid?

Payments are broken down into three instalments. The first instalment will be paid in November 2023 after LSF have confirmation that you are still in attendance on 1 November 2023. All further payment schedules can be accessed on your online account.

How do I apply?

You can’t apply until the start of your academic year but there are a few things you can do to prepare for your application to help things run as smoothly as possible. If you are intending to apply for a student loan and have not yet done so, do this immediately as you can use your award notice as evidence of your identity and residency status. If you are not intending on applying for a student loan, you will need to provide photo ID and proof of your residency status so it’s a good idea to start getting those documents together. You will not need to post your documents as the new LSF system allows you to upload your documents as images from your phone. 

At the start of your academic year, you should visit the LSF web page to create an account. You will be issued with an activation code that is valid for 72 hours. If you do not activate your account in this time, your account will be suspended. 

Once you have created an account, you will be asked to create an ‘academic year’ where you will enter your course and university details. It is essential that you input the correct information as this will be used to verify your attendance. Incorrect information may result in delayed payments. 

To avoid delays in processing your application and payment it is important that:

  • Your personal details in the application EXACTLY MATCH the details you have written on your application to the University of Essex
  • You write the correct name of your course and the University of Essex eg. BSc Occupational Therapy University of Essex.
  • You state the correct start date.  This information will be in your offer letter.

Once you have submitted your application, you can track the progress and respond to any requests from LSF from your online account. 

Most questions can be answered by looking on the LSF web page, but LSF advisers are typically available for live chat on Facebook and Twitter between 10am-4pm Monday-Friday to assist you.

Social Work Bursaries

The answers to most undergraduate and postgraduate social work bursary questions can be found in the NHSBSA guidance document (.PDF). If you require further assistance you can email and one of our administrators will be able to help. 

 Undergraduate Students

Social Work students entering the second year of their undergraduate programme may be eligible for either the Social Work bursary or the Placement Travel Allowance. 

The Social Work Bursary

Every year we are allocated a number of Social Work bursaries from the NHSBSA. As there is a cap on the number of bursaries available we cannot guarantee that you will be nominated for, or awarded one of these bursaries, so it is important that you make additional plans to cover the cost of your tuition fees and living expenses. We nominate students based on their overall attendance, engagement with online resources, and average mark at the end of the academic year.

The full amount is £4862.50 and includes the Placement Travel Allowance. Whilst we cannot guarantee that you will be nominated for this bursary, we recommend that you make an application to the NHSBSA before the end of your first year to ensure that there is no delay in payment should you be nominated.

Placement Travel Allowance

Social Work students entering their second year who are not nominated for the Social Work bursary may be able to apply to NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) for help with costs related to placement. This allowance is called the Placement Travel Allowance, which is paid into your account during the first term of your second year. There is strict eligibility criteria, so it is important that you check that you are eligible before applying.

Postgraduate Students

The Social Work Bursary

Every year, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) provides us with a limited number of Social Work bursaries for us to allocate.  We cannot guarantee that you will be nominated for, or awarded one of these bursaries, so it is important that you make alternative plans to cover the cost of your tuition fees and living expenses.

Eligible to be nominated for the Bursary?

There are strict criteria set by the NHSBSA around who is eligible for the bursary.  Further information is available in the NHSBSA's guide (.PDF), and it is your responsibility to check your eligibility.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, we will consider you when deciding who to nominate for the bursary.  We will take into account your interview performance when making nominations.

The bursary is an excellent source of funding for nominated students as it is non-repayable.  It is made up of two parts: a contribution of £4052 towards your tuition fee, and a grant towards your living costs.  The bursary will only cover part of your tuition fees, so you will be required to pay the remaining part of your tuition fees either in instalments, or in full.  Your fees for term one should be paid at the earliest opportunity, as until you have done this, you will not be able to access any online resources, or attend timetabled teaching sessions.  When making your application for the bursary, you can choose between applying for income assessed or a non-income assessed grant for your living costs. Further information about how much you may be able to receive towards your living costs are available in the NHSBSA guide (.PDF).

As your learning provider, we are required to submit a list of registered students for the course in mid-October.  This list triggers the first bursary payment to the nominated students in the first term of the first academic year.  It therefore may not be possible to use this first payment for your tuition fees for the first term, and you may need to have alternative funding in place.

Whilst we cannot guarantee that you will be nominated for this bursary, we recommend that you make an application to the NHSBSA in advance to ensure that there is no delay in payment should you be nominated.

Please note that is is not possible to have the Postgraduate Student Loan as well as the bursary, and you cannot opt out of the bursary in favour of the loan, should you meet the eligibility criteria.

Not for you?

If you are not eligible for the bursary or have been unsuccessful in applying for it, you may be eligible for the Postgraduate Student Loan instead.  This loan has separate eligibility requirements and a separate application process  - more information is available on

For some students, the Postgraduate Student Loan is an excellent option to fund the course as it covers the full cost of the tuition fees.  However, unlike the Bursary, the Postgraduate Loan does have to be repaid once you are in employment after the course.  Further information about repayment of this loan is available on

You should apply for the Postgraduate Student Loan as early as possible, as it can take some time to be processed.  In order to register for the course, if you are not paying your fees in full,  you will need to have proof of how you will fund the course (i.e. confirmation of the loan).  Once you have registered, you will be able to access online resources and attend timetabled teaching sessions.  There is a limited window of time for registration in October.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for the bursary and will be using either a the Postgraduate Student Loan or alternative funding, we would appreciate you letting us know, so we can can discount you from the bursary allocation process.

Placement Travel Allowance and other allowances

Social Work students entering the first year of their postgraduate programme may be eligible to apply to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) for help with costs related to placement. This allowance is called the Placement Travel Allowance, and is a one-off payment that is paid into your account during the first term of each year of your course. There are strict eligibility criteria, so it is important that you check that you are eligible before applying.  The Placement Travel Allowance is available to students who meet the eligibility criteria but who were not nominated for a bursary.  In order to receive the Placement Travel Allowance, you will need to submit an application to NHSBSA for this.

Other additional allowances may be available depending on your personal circumstances, these include an Adult Dependants Allowance, Childcare Allowance, Parent's Learning Allowance and Disabled Student Allowance. These additional grants are means-tested, and do not impact upon your eligibility for the Social Work bursary.

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Sports scholarships and bursaries

The University of Essex is committed to supporting and developing high performance athletes. Find out whether you could be eligible for a sports scholarship or bursary, plus a range of additional benefits too when you join the University of Essex.

Explore the full offer

Postgraduate (taught) funding and scholarships 

Funding from the Student Loan Company

From August 2018 new postgraduate pre-registration nursing and allied health professional students are able to access loans from the Student Loan Company. 

Courses which are eligible include

Students studying a pre-registration, postgraduate healthcare course which starts after 1 August 2018 can apply for the same package of support as undergraduate students. In other words, these students will be able to access loans to cover tuition fees of up to £9,250 per year (our course fee per year) and to support living costs.

Please note there will be eligibility criteria which must be met to receive this financial support. Students who are already registered in nursing, midwifery, or an allied health profession will not be eligible for support for a second full-time or part-time pre-registration course, or a second full-time postgraduate pre-registration course leading to registration in the same profession.

Additional support

Like undergraduates, postgraduate pre-registration students will be eligible for additional support through the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority including:

  • Parental Support
  • Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses
  • Exceptional Support Fund

Hardship Fund

Applications for the Hardship Fund are open until the end of June 2023 (Subject to change). Read more about the fund and how it supports students in need.

Disabled students allowance

Students who are obliged to incur essential additional expenditure while undertaking a course of higher education as a result of a disability may qualify for disabled students' allowances.

PhD studentships


Our studentships are co-supervised by at least two academics from different departments. We do not currently have any Health and Social Care studentships. However, please see our most recent studentship advertised recently below.

PhD: Dementia - Fundamentals of care

This funded PhD studentship will nurse and allied health professionals providing fundamental care within the wider system with a focus on care and factors influencing delivery focusing on nutrition and hydration, positive relationships, and activities of daily living affecting patient safety in the acute sector.

We welcome applications from candidates with a background in health or social care, and an interest in primary or acute health care research relevant to issues of socio-economic inequality, access, and health and well-being.

Title: Dementia - Fundamentals of care

Based in: School of Health and Social Care

Deadline: 20th January 2023.

Find out more about this studentship

Continuing Professional Development funding and scholarships

Bursaries available from other organisations

The RCN Foundation offers a range of grants and support for nurses, midwives, and nursing support workers.

RCN Foundation education grants are awarded for professional development or to students. These grants are open at different points throughout the year, so check regularly to see when they are taking applications.