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NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF)

If you're starting and continuing your course from 1 September 2020 onwards, you can apply for NHS LSF if you're on one of the following pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate courses:

  • dental therapy or dental hygiene (level 5 and 6 qualifications)
  • dietetics
  • midwifery
  • nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing, and social work)
  • occupational therapy
  • operating department practitioner (level 5 and 6 qualifications)
  • orthoptics
  • orthotics and prosthetics
  • paramedics (DipHE and FD courses are not eligible for NHS LSF)
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry or chiropody
  • radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • speech and language therapy

If you're eligible, you can get:

  • a training grant of £5,000 per academic year
  • parental support of £2,000, if you have at least one dependent child under 15 years, or under 17 years if registered with special educational needs 
  • money back for excess travel and temporary accommodation costs (Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses) while you're on your practice placement
  • students experiencing financial hardship (Exceptional Support Fund)

Guidance 

NHS LSF guidance booklet 2023-24 (PDF: 609KB)

You can watch a short video with information about NHS LSF

Accessing your NHS LSF account

You can sign into your NHS LSF account to:

  • apply for funding
  • upload your evidence
  • manage your personal details

Sign in to your NHS LSF account

Eligibility for NHS LSF

To apply for support, you need to be:

Other arrangements are in place for those who may not apply for a loan due to personal reasons.

Those students must still show that they meet the eligibility criteria as defined by SFE, SFW, SFNI or SAAS, as applicable.

If you started or continued your course between January and August 2020, you will be able to apply for additional funding from the start of your next academic year.

For example, if you started your course in January 2021, you'll be able to apply for extra funding when you start your second year in January 2022.

Part-time students will receive pro-rata payments of the Training Grant and Parental Support.

If you're in receipt of an NHS Bursary, visit our NHS Bursary students section. NHS Bursary students are not eligible for NHS Learning Support Fund. ​

How and when to apply

New students

If you're a new healthcare student starting from September or October 2024, you can apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund from 1 March 2024.

You should not apply on any other systems as your application will be rejected. 

Continuing students

If you're continuing your studies from September 2024 onwards, we will start to send out email invites from March 2024 asking you to apply for the 2024 to 2025 academic year.

Invites will be sent out in batches on a weekly basis from March to September to make sure we process all of your applications for the start of 2024/25. 

Interrupting or withdrawing from your course

Your university will update your NHS LSF account with your last date of attendance and your reason for interruption or withdrawal. We'll then calculate your entitlement for the period of your enrolment.

If you return to your studies in the same academic year, you do not need to reapply for NHS LSF. Your university will log your return on their portal.

If you return to your studies in a new academic year, you'll need to reapply for NHS LSF. Your university can then log your return on their portal.

Application closing date

All NHS LSF applications must be submitted within 6 months of the start of the academic year.

When you will receive your payments for 2024 to 2025

Funding will be scheduled over the academic year and will be paid in 3 instalments. 

Payment will be made once we've received confirmation of your attendance from your university. If you start or continue between September and October 2024, you must be in attendance on 1 November to receive your first instalment. This process is the same for those who start after September 2024. 

For example, a student who starts or continues studying in:

  • January or February 2025 needs to be in attendance on 1 March 2025
  • March or April 2025 needs to be in attendance on 1 May 2025

Payment dates for the 2024 to 2025 academic year

Full details will be availible soon. The following is a list of main payment months. Depending on when your university confirms your attendance, you may receive payment earlier or later than the dates stated. This should be used as a guide only, your NHS LSF account will always set out your actual payment dates.  

Academic year starting September or October 2024 

  • Term 1 - 19 November 2024
  • Term 2 - 18 March 2025
  • Term 3 - 22 July 2025

Academic year starting January or February 2025 

  • Term 1 - 18 March 2025 
  • Term 2 - 22 July 2025 
  • Term 3 - November 2025 (date to be confirmed)

Academic year starting March or April 2025 (all dates to be confirmed)

  • Term 1 - May 2025 
  • Term 2 - September 2025 
  • Term 3 - January 2026 

Academic year starting July or August 2025 (all dates to be confirmed)

  • Term 1 - September 2025 
  • Term 2 - January 2026
  • Term 3 - May 2026

Confirmation of attendance and payment dates for 2024 to 2025

Funding will be scheduled over the academic year and will be paid in 3 instalments. 

Term 1

Your term 1 payments will be made once we have received confirmation of your attendance from your university. If you start or continue between September and October 2024, your attendance cannot be confirmed until 1 November. Your university will have until mid-November to guarantee you receive your first payment on 19 November 2024.

For winter and spring cohorts, a student who starts or continues studying in:

  • January or February 2025 needs to be in attendance on 1 March 2025
  • March or April 2025 needs to be in attendance on 1 May 2025

Term 2 and 3

You’ll need to confirm your attendance for term 2 and term 3. You’ll be prompted to do this via email, using the email address on your Learning Support Fund account. Once you have confirmed your attendance status, your university will be able to match you in attendance as they do for term 1.

You can download an Excel file of COSA dates which shows you the student and university windows for each term and cohort, as well as the payment dates.

2024 to 2025 information coming soon.

COSA termly windows and payments (Excel: 11.4KB)

If a student or university misses the last university deadline window, the student will not receive payment on the payment date detailed.

Payment dates for the 2023 to 2024 academic year

These are the main payment dates for the current academic year, 2023 to 2024. This should be used as a guide only, your NHS LSF account will always set out your actual payment dates.  

Academic year starting September or October 2023 

  • Term 1 - 21 November 2023
  • Term 2 - 19 March 2024
  • Term 3 - 23 July 2024

 

Manage your NHS LSF account

The first time you apply for any element of NHS LSF in each year of study, you'll need to upload a copy of your student finance letter to your online account.

Uploading a document to your NHS LSF account

The selected file must be:

  • a JPG, BMP, PNG, TIF or PDF
  • an original copy ​​​​that displays the document in full
  • clear and in focus
  • in colour
  • unaltered by computer software
  • at least 50KB and no more than 5MB

If the document does not meet these criteria, your application will be rejected.

Your NHS LSF account

When you first sign-up, you’ll need to set-up two-factor authentication. This is to help keep you safe online. Simply add your phone number and we’ll text you a single-use code every time you log on.

Once you’ve registered for an NHS LSF account, you’ll be able to:

  • apply for funding elements of NHS LSF
  • update your personal details including your bank account
  • check your scheduled payments

Once you’ve registered for an account, you'll keep it throughout your studies and will not need to create a new one.

If you’re in receipt of LSF and are in training before September 2020, you’ll continue to use your current online account until you start your next academic year.