Bursaries and NHS funding

Many students do not know what a bursary is never mind that they are even eligible for this extra non-repayable money! Constant changes in Healthcare and other bursaries can lead to frustration from both parents and students alike.

So here is some information you need to know about bursaries when applying to Student Finance 2021 entry.

Leaving local authority care

If you’ve been in local authority care, you can apply for:

  • a one-off bursary of £2,000 from your local authority
  • a bursary from your university or college


NHS Bursaries & Learning Support Fund

The NHS have some of the most generous bursary schemes which are available for a range of courses.


NHS Bursaries– mainly available to Dentistry and Medicine courses – you could get up to £4000 in support alongside potentially a year of your tuition fees being paid ( depending on type of course/start date)


NHS Learning Support fund –  All eligible full-time students can get £5,000 per academic year.

Courses that qualify for the NHS Learning Support Fund:

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

Level 5 and 6 courses.  ** Bachelor’s and master’s students are eligible, DipHE and FD students are not.

Be careful – NHS funding is subject to change so do double check your year of entry and do not make a decision based purely on this financial support alone.


Access to Exeter bursary (ATE)


The University of Exeter provides additional funding to certain undergraduate part time and full time Home or European Union students in the form of the Access to Exeter Bursary.

We will automatically assess your entitlement for an award based on your household income information provided by the relevant UK Funding Body. However, we can only do this if you, and your parent(s), do not opt out of consenting to share your financial details when you complete your Application for Student Finance.

Household income of £16,000 and below

If you have started, or are due to start, your studies after September 2015 and have a household income* £16,000 or below, you are eligible for the Access to Exeter (ATE) Bursary.

For the first year of your studies you are eligible to receive a £2,100 Bursary and from the second year onwards, for the duration of your undergraduate studies, a £1,550 Bursary, providing you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

Payment of the ATE Bursary

Payments are made in 3 instalments and will be made direct to a nominated bank account, with each instalment weighted according to the number of weeks in each term. The table below shows the dates of each instalment and how your payments will be weighted according to your total bursary:

Payment Date £2,100

(Year 1)


(Year 2 onwards)

30th October 2020 £840 £620
22nd January 2021 £840 £620
30th April 2021 £420 £310

Household income between £16,001-£25,000

If you have started, or are due to start, your studies after September 2015 and have a household income* of between £16,001-£25,000, you are eligible for an Access to Exeter (ATE) Bursary award of £1,050 for all years of study.

* for further details on how your household income is assessed, please visit the Direct Gov website.

Finally times are tough

Please make students aware that universities do understand that the challenging circumstances of the pandemic can quickly alter the situation and income support a student receives which is out of their control. This is why hardship and retention funds now exist for most universities. At Exeter we have a means tested Success for all fund.

The fund aims to provide financial help to meet particular costs which are not already being met from statutory (or other) sources of funding such as:

  • Meeting special course and living costs, other than tuition fee costs, which are not already met from other sources
  • Providing emergency payments for unexpected one-off costs e.g. flight home, repairs and essential maintenance
  • Providing extra support if you are considering leaving higher education because of financial problems
  • Providing access to essential IT to enable you to meet the requirements of your course
  • Contributing to the cost of diagnostic assessments or specialist equipment
  • Additional support for Care Leavers with accommodation and other costs including bridging support after graduating
  • Enabling you to participate in graduation
  • Alleviating hardship during the summer vacation
  • Contributing to the cost of travel or insurance for study abroad


If you would like more information or support on bursaries or finance then please do contact us at outreach@exeter.ac.uk











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