Social Work Bursaries

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Social Work Bursaries is a service supplied by The NHS Business Services Authority.  We administer bursaries for social work students on behalf of the Department of Health. Our most recent end of year report is available to view here.

Please note:

Applications for undergraduate and postgraduate Social Work Bursaries will be available from 1 May 2014.

Applications for the Childcare Allowance and Disabled Students' Allowances are still available here.

31 May 2013 - Department of Health publish guidance on the capping methodology and information packs for students and Higher Education Institutions

There have been changes to the social work bursary (which although administered by the NHS Business Services Authority is NOT part of the NHS bursary). Following a consultation last year, changes are being introduced from the 2013 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 means that no new undergraduates in 2013 will receive a bursary until their second year (if they are within the cap). For the 2013 academic year there will be 1500 new postgraduate bursaries available. For the 2014 academic year the cap has been set indicatively at 2500 undergraduate and 1500 postgraduate bursaries. The Department of Health (DH) will be reviewing (with the advisory group) the application of the cap in 2013 and the figures may change.
This was the option that most respondents to the consultation favoured and recognises the need to support students through study while they are on placements. While the bursary will support fewer students, the aim is for them to be of high quality. The DH recognised the bursary would work in combination with the Social Work Reform Board (SWRB) reforms on education to improve quality. A Social Work Bursary Prioritisation Advisory Group has been set up to advise on the capping arrangements and there will also be a Monitoring Group with wider membership.
The DH have been working with the advisory group on the capping methodology and information packs for students and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can be found here:

The DH have confirmed that no changes will be made to the social work bursary for the 2012 academic year.  Existing students, including those starting in the 2012 academic year, will continue to receive the bursary at the existing rates.  

  • Bursary Fraud
    The Department of Health and the NHSBSA are committed to identifying and tackling all bursary fraud. Read more here.....