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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 of £4,052 towards your tuition fees per academic year.

A postgraduate social work bursary is:

  • awarded to eligible students
  • available to both part-time and full-time students
  • a grant not a loan
  • made up of a non-means tested basic grant and a means-tested maintenance grant

Bursary rates

The basic grant rate is:

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

The means-tested maintenance grant 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 within the London area

This is paid on a pro rata basis for eligible part-time students.

Travel costs

The social work bursary includes a contribution towards your placement travel costs of £862.50 for full time students.  If your placement provider also contributes towards your travel costs, this will not affect your bursary entitlement.

Before you apply

View the guidance booklet.

Your guide to social work bursaries 2021/22 (PDF: 3.28 MB)

When to apply

If your academic year starts in the Autumn (from 1 September to 31 December), you must submit your application by 1 November. 

If your academic year starts in the Winter (from 1 January onwards), you must submit your application by 14 February.

Applications received after the relevant date will not be accepted.

How to apply

  1. Log onto our online student portal MyFunding.
  2. From your account you can access the bursary application form. 
  3. Complete the form online.
  4.  Upload the form to your MyFunding account, along with all requested supporting documentation.

Uploading a document to your MyFunding account

The selected file must be:

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

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

You can view our MyFunding guide for students (PDF 1.04MB).

If you're receiving or applying for a retainer

You must complete the Bursary Retainer Declaration form and include it with your main bursary application. This is available from your MyFunding account.

Evidence of income

You may need to complete additional Confirmation of Earnings or Confirmation of Benefits forms if you cannot provide evidence of a spouse, partner or civil partner’s income or benefits. These are available from your MyFunding account if you need them.

What happens next

We aim to process your application within 20 working days from the day we receive the form and all supporting evidence.

You can track the progress of your application by logging in to your MyFunding account

Extra help

You may be able to apply for:

  • The Adult Dependants Allowance
  • Childcare Allowance
  • Parents Learning Allowance
  • Disabled Students Allowances

Adult Dependants Allowance (ADA)

This is payable if you have an adult who is wholly or mainly financially dependent on you.

This may include your spouse, partner or civil partner but not your child or step-child.

ADA is assessed using your adult dependant’s income, if they have any, during the academic year. The maximum ADA available is £2,757 per academic year.

You can apply for ADA on the main Social Work Bursary application form.

Childcare Allowance (CCA)

This provides additional help with registered childcare costs whilst you are attending your course. You will need to complete a separate application form for CCA, this is available from your MyFunding account.

Reconciling your childcare costs

If you're awarded CCA, we will reconcile your childcare costs quarterly to ensure you are receiving the correct amounts. Your childcare provider will be asked to complete a separate form each quarter.

Parents Learning Allowance

This is payable if you have a dependant child or children aged under 19. We will automatically assess your entitlement based on your dependant’s income (if they have any).

The maximum PLA is £1,573 per academic year.

You can apply for PLA on the main Social Work Bursary application form.

Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs)

DSAs are available for postgraduate social work students to help pay towards the extra costs they may incur as a direct result of a disability, long-term health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.

You will need to complete a separate form if you wish to apply for DSAs.


All application forms are available from your MyFunding account.