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Apply for a postgraduate bursary

Postgraduate social work students can apply for a bursary to help them with their living costs. If you’re eligible for a bursary we’ll also pay a contribution towards your tuition fees.

Postgraduate bursaries are:

  • given to eligible students
  • available to both part time and full time students
  • made up of a basic grant (non means tested) and  a maintenance grant (means tested so the amount you get will depend on your circumstances)

You may be able to apply for the following additional help:

  • The Adult Dependants Allowance (ADA)
  • Childcare Allowance
  • Parents Learning Allowance (PLA)
  • Disabled Students Allowances

What you’ll get

For 2018/19 the basic grant is:

  • up to £3,362.50 a year  if you attend a university outside of London
  • up to £3,762.50 if you attend a university inside of London

For 2018/19 the maintenance grant (means tested) rate is:

  • up to £2,721 a year if you attend a university outside of London
  • up to £4,201 a year if you attend a university inside of London

Grant rates are pro rata for part time students.

Additional allowances you can apply for

Placement Travel Allowance (PTA)

If you aren’t allocated a bursary place, but meet the eligibility criteria, you’ll receive a PTA of £862.50 towards your travel expenses at the beginning of your academic year.

If you’re allocated a bursary, your PTA will be included as part of your bursary so you won’t receive any further help for travel.

 Adult Dependants Allowance (ADA)

You can apply for ADA if you have an adult who is wholly or mainly financially dependent on you. This could include your spouse, partner or civil partner.

Your entitlement is assessed using your dependant’s income.

Parent’s Learning Allowance

This is payable if you have a dependent child or children aged under 19. We’ll automatically assess your entitlement based on your dependant’s income if they have one.

This allowance is income assessed. The maximum amount available during 2018/19 is £1,573.

Childcare allowance

You can apply for this if you have dependent children aged under 15 (or aged under 17 for children with special educational needs) who are attending registered childcare.

  • You can’t claim if you are getting the childcare element of working tax credit.
  • Your entitlement is assessed using your dependants’ income if they have any.
  • Your allowance is reconciled with your childcare provider at the end of each term.
  • We can contribute a maximum of 85% of your costs per week.

The maximum amounts payable during 2018/19 is:

  • Up to £155.24 per week for one child in childcare
  • Up to £266.15 per week for two or more children in childcare

Childcare allowance application form 2017/18 (PDF: 726KB)

Childcare allowance application form 2018/19 (PDF: 633KB)

Reconciling your childcare costs

If you've been awarded Childcare Allowance, we reconcile your childcare costs quarterly. Please complete and send us the correct form along with your student coversheet.

Social work bursary childcare reconciliation form - May 2017 to August 2017 (PDF: 220KB)

Social work bursary childcare reconciliation form - August 2017 to December 2017 (PDF: 220KB)

Social work bursary childcare reconciliation form - December 2017 to May 2018 (PDF: 225KB)

Social work bursary childcare reconciliation form - May to August 2018 (PDF: 285KB)

Social work bursary childcare reconciliation form - August to December 2018 (PDF: 287KB)

Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs)

You can apply for DSAs if you have a disability and need additional help or equipment to complete your course.

The amount of DSA you could get is based on the recommendations in your Needs Assessment Report. The maximum possible full time rates for 2018/19 are:

  • Non-Medical Helpers Allowance - £20,725 per year
  • Specialist Equipment Allowance - £5,212 for the duration of the course
  • General Allowance - £1,741 per year
  • Travel Allowance – actual costs incurred

Disabled Student Allowances (DSAs) application form (PDF: 558KB)


Calculating your bursary

To calculate the maintenance grant you are entitled to, we look at:

  • your net unearned taxable income during the current academic year
  • your partner’s residual taxable income from the 2016/17 tax year (if you have a partner).

When we calculate your maintenance grant, we may take other dependants in your family into consideration. 

Calculating your entitlement is complex, so you should not base your entitlement on your own calculations.

Before you apply 

Our student booklets will help you with the application process and provide useful information that you might need during the year.

Your guide to social work bursaries 2018/19 (PDF: 920KB)

How to apply

We are working on a new and exciting way for you to apply for your social work bursary. In early Summer 2019 we will be launching a new online student portal called MyFunding. Stay tuned for more information. 

Application deadlines

Application deadlines:

  • For courses starting in September 2019 you will be able to apply in early Summer 2019. 

If you don’t apply for your main bursary before the closing date, you can’t apply for allowances.

You can make an application for Childcare Allowance and Disabled Allowance at any time from 1 March until the end of your academic year if you submitted your main bursary by the deadline.

Forms you might need

Evidence of income

Postgraduate students may also need to complete the following forms if they can’t provide evidence of a spouse, partner or civil partner’s income or benefits.

Confirmation of earnings form (PDF: 852KB)

Confirmation of benefits form (PDF: 628KB)

If you’re receiving or applying for a retainer:

Bursary retainer declaration form (PDF: 277KB)


What happens next

Once we have all your application and supporting evidence, we’ll write to you to let you know your bursary entitlement and if you’re entitled to Placement Travel Allowance.

We aim to:

  • deal with your application within 20 working days of the day we receive your form and supporting evidence
  • process and pay Childcare Allowance claims within 20 working days of receipt
  • process initial Disabled Student Allowance applications within 10 working days of receipt
  • respond to email enquiries within 5 working days of receipt
  • respond to written correspondence within 5 working days of receipt