Hardship Fund

The Hardship Fund for 2021-2022 is now open.

The Hardship Fund can support you if you are experiencing unexpected or unforeseen financial difficulty and are from a low-income household.

We’ll give you a grant of up to £1,000 to enable you to continue your studies at the University of Essex. You don’t need to pay this money back and you can use it to support:

  • Living costs – to assist with core living costs
  • Residential costs – to assist with the cost of rent/accommodation
  • Equipment/digital support – to assist with digital, IT equipment or to secure access to internet
  • Childcare costs – provides additional financial support towards childcare costs


To be eligible for the Hardship Fund, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • you have a low household income (up to £35,000)*
  • you are a fully registered UK, EU or International** undergraduate or postgraduate student studying at the University of Essex for academic year 2021-2022
  • you are studying a full-time course or substantial part time course (at least 50% of full-time equivalent)
  • you had previously made adequate arrangements to cover all of your fees and living costs, but are now in demonstrable need or financial support as a result of unexpected exceptional changes in financial circumstances
  • if you are requesting support for childcare, your child/children must be aged 11 years or younger and you may apply for a maximum of up to three children
  • final year undergraduate students must apply for funding at least four weeks before the closing date of the Hardship Fund as detailed on the Hardship Fund Terms and Conditions 2021/2022, section 9

*Students who are from households of over £35,000, can apply if they are experiencing significant and exceptional unforeseen financial difficulty.

** International students who are on a Tier 4 visa or student visa are expected to have demonstrated that they have adequate financial provision for their studies as part of their visa arrangements (i.e. having enough funds to cover the course fees and living costs). However, they are eligible for the Hardship Fund if they can demonstrate that an unexpected exceptional change in financial situation outside their control has led them be in significant hardship and require financial support.

Full details

Please read the full terms and conditions carefully before applying.

2021-2022 entry

How to apply

The Hardship Fund 2021-22 is now closed to undergraduate students studying on standard length courses.

Postgraduate students or undergraduate students on the following courses may apply up to 4 weeks prior to the end of their course, as outlined in the Hardship Fund Terms and Conditions.

  • Acting And Community Theatre
  • Acting And Contemporary Theatre
  • Acting And Stage Combat
  • Acting International
  • Acting
  • Events Management   
  • Events Management with Hospitality
  • Hotel Management
  • Nursing (Adult) – Pre-Registration
  • Nursing (Adult)
  • Nursing (Mental Health) – Pre-Registration
  • Nursing (Mental Health)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Theatre
  • Speech And Language Therapy Preregistration
  • Speech And Language Therapy
  • Stage And Production Management
  • World Performance 

Students on standard length undergraduate courses may apply to the Hardship Fund only if they have exceptional circumstances that prevented them applying before the deadline.

All funding applications for 2021-2022 must be submitted via Blackbullion, please see instructions below:

  1. Create an account with Blackbullion using your Essex email account or login if you already have an account. (Note: Make sure you select the ‘University student’ option, rather than ‘applicant’ when you register) Don’t worry if your course is not listed on the application form. You can still register and apply without selecting a course
  2. Click the ‘Funds’ tab and select ‘Hardship Fund’ button
  3. Read the guidance and follow the instructions to complete the online application form and submit all the required evidence as outlined on the guidance document
  4. Submit your application and evidence

Other Support

The University and other external organisations offer financial support to get you through your studies, check out other ways of funding your University for current students at the links below:

UoE offers a range of additional welfare support and guidance.