Social Work Bursaries




Social Work Bursaries is a service supplied by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) but it is not part of the NHS Bursary.  If you would like to apply for an NHS Bursary or if you are a Social Work student attending a joint discipline course e.g. combined with Nursing, please visit our NHS Student Bursaries web pages and apply through the Bursary Online Support System (BOSS).

The NHSBSA administer bursaries for social work students on behalf of the Department of Health (DH) who introduced the social work bursary as an incentive to train in social work.

The DH and the NHSBSA are committed to identifying and tackling all bursary fraud. Read more here.

Will I be funded? 2015 arrangements

The Department of Health is responsible for setting the national number of Social Work Bursaries (SWB) and allocating the bursaries to individual universities and also for setting the Education Support Grant (ESG) rates. The Department has informed the NHSBSA that, as expenditure on the SWB and ESG in the 2015 academic year will fall in the next parliament, decisions on these areas will be made by the new Government. The Department, therefore, hope to be able to provide this information by the end of May/early June 2015.

How will I be funded?

The DH changed the way social work students are funded from the 2013/14 academic year. You can view the consultation response here:

In summary the new arrangements are:

  • retaining the postgraduate bursary as is
  • retaining the undergraduate bursary in years 2 and 3
  • restricting the number of bursary recipients at both postgraduate and undergraduate level.

This meant that no new undergraduates in 2013 would receive a bursary until their second year (if they were within the cap). For the 2013 academic year there were 1500 new postgraduate bursaries available. For the 2014 and 2015 academic years the cap was set at 2500 undergraduate and 1500 postgraduate bursaries.

The DH worked with the advisory group on the capping methodology and information packs for students and universities for the 2015 academic year can be found here:

What could I be entitled to?

Students who have received a bursary in a previous academic year and have not interrupted their studies will continue to be funded under the previous arrangements.

Undergraduate students will not receive funding in the first year of their studies.

All eligible postgraduate students will be entitled to a Placement Travel Allowance (PTA). In addition to this they may also be entitled to a bursary if they are included on the list of eligible students provided by their university.

Main application forms and all additional forms for the Social Work Bursary for the 2015/16 academic year

Guidance booklets for the 2015/16 academic year