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Courses starting after 1 August 2017

Learning Support Fund Update

We are pleased to confirm new healthcare students will be able to apply for elements of the Learning Support Fund from 1 November 2017. In the meantime, we're putting together a range of materials to explain the funding support available and these will be available online in due course.


The Health Education Funding Reforms consultation resulted in significant changes to how some healthcare courses will be funded from 1 August 2017. You can find out information about the funding changes on our page 'About the Healthcare Education Funding Reforms'.

If you're studying on a Postgraduate course, Dental Therapy or Dental Hygiene course or a Part-time course please go to the Transitional Arrangements section.

Please note that the information contained within these pages is correct at the time of publishing however there may be some changes as the policies are finalised. We will keep these pages updated as and when more information is available.

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:

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

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  • on 1 August 2017 or later, having withdrawn from or abandoned a previous higher education course in the 2016/17 academic year or an earlier academic year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

Information about applying for a student loan can be found on 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

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.

The Learning Support Fund has been set up to provide financial assistance to students in three areas - child dependants allowance, travel and dual accomodation expenses and the exceptional support fund.

Please do not apply for any of these funding streams using the Bursary Online Support System (BOSS). We will be publishing information on how you can apply for the different elements of the Learning Support Fund, together with guidance, in due course so please keep an eye out for the updates.

Eligibility for the Learning Support Fund

Students who wish to apply for one or more elements of the Learning Support Fund need to be:

  • ordinarily resident in England
  • studying on an eligible programme at a university in England
  • in receipt, or accepted for, a student loan under the Student Finance England provisions; alternative arrangements are in place for students who may not apply for a loan due to personal reasons, such as their religion or belief
  • 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.

Payments will be made in three termly instalments.

Information regarding the Child Dependants Allowance including how to apply will be available in due course.

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.

Information regarding Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses including how to apply will be available in due course.

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.

Information regarding the Exceptional Support Fund including how to apply will be available in due course.

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.

Postgraduate courses and Dental Therapy/Dental Hygiene students

Students studying on a dental therapy, dental hygiene or postgraduate pre-registration healthcare course will be able to apply for an NHS Bursary for 2017/18 if studying on a place commissioned by Health Education England. For information on how to apply through BOSS please see the 'Applying for funding under the transitional arrangements' section.

If you are eligible to apply for support through NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) (or equivalent maintenance bursary for part-time programmes) 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 contained in 'Check the application deadline windows' section to ensure you apply at the right time for when your course starts.

Please note that Health Education England will only commission courses that were already in place prior to the 2017/18 academic year. New courses that were not running prior to this academic year will not be considered.

New undergraduate students starting part-time university courses

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.

Part-time courses 2017/18
University Programme(s)
University of Brighton Occupational Therapy
University of Cumbria Occupational Therapy
University of Salford

Occupational Therapy


University of Huddersfield Podiatry
Birmingham City University Speech and Language 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).

Check the application deadline windows

All new eligible students who fall into the transitional arrangements category 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 NHS Bursary 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 bursary 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 bursary 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).

Application windows - Autumn 2017, Non-medical/dental new students

First year course starts Date you can apply (if in receipt of an offer of an NHS funded place) Make your application and post us all your supporting evidence by
September 2017 6 March 2017 21 August 2017
October 2017 6 March 2017 21 August 2017


Applying for funding under the transitional arrangements

Before you apply for a bursary, take a look at our three calculators which will give you an idea of what you may be eligible for. We have three different bursary calculators:

  1.  Personal Eligibility Calculator lets you know if you're eligible
  2.  Student Status Calculator tells you if your status will be independent or dependent (you need to know this when you apply).
  3. Award Estimate Calculator gives an estimate of how much you're entitled to.

The calculators should only be used as a guide. Until we have your application form and supporting documents, we can't confirm your eligibility or how much help you'll get.

To apply for a bursary you need to complete an application form on the Bursary Online Support System (BOSS):

The application form:

  • will take about 30-45 minutes to complete
  • doesn’t need to be completed in one session

We’ll let you know what supporting evidence you may need to submit once you’ve completed your application.

Start your application

New students - create a BOSS account

Our guide to completing your application should help you:

Completing your NHS bursary application: a step by step guide to BOSS (1.02MB)

Don’t apply on BOSS if:

  • you’re studying on a Social Work course – go to Social Work Bursaries to apply. However, Social work students on a joint discipline course for example, combined with Nursing, can still apply through BOSS.
  • you’re applying for a bursary for a nursing, midwifery or allied professional course outside of England.
  • you haven’t checked your eligibility. Different rules apply to medical / dental students depending on where you're studying.

Sending your supporting evidence

After you have submitted your application on BOSS, we’ll email you to tell you what supporting evidence you need to send us.

Please send us everything via post in one envelope if possible. We don’t accept walk-ins at the scanning office.

You must:

  • send us original documents only
  • make sure your student coversheet is included
  • include a pre-paid SAE envelope (so we can return your documents to you – even if this is outside of the UK )
  • write your unique SBA number above the address

Delays in scanning your documents and assessing your application will happen if you don’t.

Consider using Special Delivery so you can track your documents.

Send all your supporting documents to:

NHS Student Bursaries
Ridgway House
Northgate Close

Protecting your documents

  • Always strengthen the seal of your envelope with tape so none of the documents are damaged or lost
  • Make sure your return envelope is large enough to comfortably fit all your documents in.

Submitting another person's evidence

  • If the person would prefer their information remains confidential, they can put the document in a sealed envelope inside the envelope you send.
  • Please avoid sending another person’s evidence separately to your own.
  • If their document needs to be returned to a different address, they must include a covering letter to state this, and a return envelope with the correct postage paid.

Returning to a non –UK address

  • You must include a prepaid envelope to cover the costs of returning your documents to you.
  • We cannot accept cheques or cash to cover any postage costs.