New Students




Am I a new student?




The Health Education Funding Reforms consultation is resulting in significant changes to how some healthcare courses are funded from 1 August 2017. You can find important information for new students on the government’s web page.

Click here for the latest Q&A document regarding the changes to healthcare education funding for courses starting on or after 1 August 2017.

If your course starts before 1 August 2017, please see the application windows below for details on when you can apply for your funding.

If you are not going into your first year of an NHS funded course/bursary funding and have already provided the required evidence and information you will be classed as a continuing student.

What are the changes?

New students starting certain undergraduate pre-registration healthcare programmes in England on or after 1 August 2017 will receive funding support primarily through the Student Loans Company. The professional groups affected are:

• Nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work)
• Midwifery
• Dietetics
• Occupational therapy
• Orthoptics
• Orthotics and prosthetics
• Physiotherapy
• Podiatry/chiropody
• Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
• Speech and language therapy
• Operating department practitioner

New students are defined as those starting a course:

• for the first time on 1 August 2017 or later
• on 1 August 2017 or later, having withdrawn from or abandoned a previous higher education course in the 2016/17 academic year or an earlier academic year
• on 1 August 2017 or later, as a full time student, having transferred from a previous part-time course or full-time distance learning course which started before 1 August 2017

Applying for a student loan

Information about applying for a student loan can be found at To find out more about the Student Loans Company please visit their website at
If you are a student continuing on a healthcare course that commenced prior to 1 August 2017 and have not changed your study pattern in any way, you are classed as a continuing student. Please check this page for advice on your funding and help and guidance.

If you started a course prior to 1 August 2017 but have changed your study pattern in any way and are returning to a different programme, study year or any other form of variation to study, you will need to check with your university on your funding support entitlement.

For new full-time undergraduate pre-registration students who are studying on one of the professional programmes listed above, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) may be able to provide eligible students with additional funds under the new Learning Support Fund.

About the Learning Support Fund

The Learning Support Fund has been set up to provide financial assistance to students in three areas listed below.

Please do not apply for any of these funding streams using the Bursary Online Support System (BOSS). We will be providing more information on how to apply for elements of the Learning Support Fund in due course together with details on when you can apply for help through the Learning Support Fund. 

Eligibility for the Learning Support Fund

Students who wish to apply for one or more elements of the Learning Support Fund need to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria set out below:

• Must be ordinarily resident in England
• Must be studying on an eligible programme at a university in England
• Be in receipt, or accepted for, a student loan under the Student Finance England provisions
• Be actively involved in training, whether academic or practice

Child Dependants Allowance

Eligible students who undertake a full time course will be able to claim a set amount of £1,000.00 per year. This is available to new students who have parental responsibility for a child under the age of 15 years, or under 17 years if the child is registered with special educational needs.

This grant will not affect your access to child support or other means of funding through your higher education provider or other sources.

Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses

Similar to the Practice Placement Expenses detailed in the NHS Bursary Scheme, the new Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses will be available to reimburse excess costs incurred when undertaking practical training on placements. Eligible students will need to complete a claim form which will need to be approved by your university and this will then come through to the NHSBSA who will process for payment.

Please note that this model is currently available for 2017/18 and further work is being done to clarify what will happen in 2018/19 and beyond.

Exceptional Support Fund

It is acknowledged that time at university can bring with it financial challenges. The Exceptional Support Fund is available to eligible students in extreme hardship who have exhausted all other means of funding. A grant of up to £3,000 will be available to help students who are eligible for this.

Transitional Arrangements

For some healthcare programmes commencing between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018,  there are transitional arrangements in place in terms of funding. These are as follows:

• Postgraduate pre-registration healthcare programmes
• Dental hygiene/dental therapy programmes
• Certain part-time programmes

Please note that work is currently underway to determine the funding arrangements for students who will fall into these categories for the 2018/19 and beyond. We will update this page with further information in due course.

For certain part-time undergraduate pre-registration healthcare programmes commencing between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018, maintenance bursaries are being made available. As part of the transitional arrangements for these types of programmes, a capping arrangement has been established. The following universities and programmes have a capped allocation for places that will attract a maintenance bursary.

New undergraduate students starting a part-time university course

The table below provides details of the part-time courses offering a capped number of places for students who will, if eligible, be able to apply for a maintenance bursary for 2017/18. 




University of Brighton

Occupational Therapy

University of Cumbria

Occupational Therapy

University of Salford

Occupational Therapy


University of Huddersfield


Birmingham City University

Speech & Language Therapy

Coventry University

Occupational Therapy

Oxford Brookes University

Adult Nursing

Operating Department Practice

London South Bank University

Occupational Therapy

Students who are awarded a capped place will be eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England. In order to receive a maintenance bursary, students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

• Awarded a capped place on an eligible programme
• Ordinarily resident in England
• In receipt of a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England

If you are studying on one of these courses, you will need to create a new account on the Bursary Online Support System (BOSS).

Any part-time students in receipt of a maintenance bursary from NHSBSA who wish to apply for Disabled Students Allowances will need to claim these through Student Loans Company.

Postgraduate students and Dental Hygiene/Dental Therapy students

Students studying on a dental therapy, dental hygiene or postgraduate pre-registration healthcare course will be able to apply for funding support from NHSBSA if studying on a place commissioned by Health Education England. For information on how to apply through BOSS including a handy step-by step guide please see the 'When can I apply' section below.

If you are eligible to apply for funding from us please make sure you have read through the guidance on this page. We do not send out personal invites to students to apply for a bursary. You should read the information below to ensure you apply at the right time for when your course starts.  

Application process for new students under the transitional arrangements

What should I know before I apply for my funding?

You must apply within your application window (see tables below) in order to have payments set up ready for the start of your academic year. If you miss your deadline, your payments will be delayed. In all cases, we must receive your funding application, which includes all supporting evidence, within six  months of the first date of your academic year. Any back payments you are due will be made to you on the next available payment run after your application has been approved.

When can I apply?

All new students should check the tables below for when to submit applications and all requested supporting evidence.

If you meet your application window deadline you will have your application assessed and your first payment released to your bank account within 10 working days after we receive and process the notification from your university that you have enrolled on your course and attended your first day.

Once your application is approved, your funding entitlement for the forthcoming academic year will be available to view in the Payment Schedule of your BOSS account.

If you do miss your application window deadline or you are a student who goes through the clearing process, we will assess your application as quickly as possible (within 35 working days) but there may be a delay to your payments. Any back payments that you are owed will be made on the next available payment run so your overall annual funding entitlement will not be affected. You must still make your application, and we must receive all your supporting evidence, before the six month deadline though (see above).

How do I create a BOSS account and make a funding application?

Guidance on how to create your own BOSS account and submit an application can be found on our web page 'My Account - BOSS (Bursary Online Support System)'.

How do I apply for Additional Allowances?

Information about additional allowances is available at:

My Account - BOSS (Bursary Online Support System)

Student Forms