The NHS student bursaries are a national service provided by NHS Business Services Authority. They assess, award and pay bursaries to eligible students on pre-registration health professional education programmes on behalf of the Department of Health. They currently pay bursaries worth over £450 million to more than 80,000 students each year.

What is the NHS Bursary?

For eligible courses, the NHS will pay an annual income assessed bursary directly to you to help with day-to-day living costs and expenses. The bursary will consist of:

  • A non-means tested grant of £1000 (pro-rata for part time students) for those who started their course on or after 1st September 2012.
  • A means tested bursary based on parent’s household income if you are a dependant student or your partner, spouse, civil partner if you are classified as independent and on your own income if you are single.
  • Extra week’s allowance of your means tested bursary if your course runs for more than 30 weeks and 3 days.
  • Dependants’ allowance if you have children, spouse, civil partner or partner who are wholly financially dependent on you. This will be means tested on your dependant’s income.
  • Parent Learning Allowance if you have a dependent child or children aged under 19. To be eligible, you must apply for Dependants’ Allowance and if this includes a dependent child you are automatically assessed for Parent Learning Allowance.
  • Childcare Allowance if you have dependent children aged under 15 (17 if they have special educational needs) and they are cared for by an Ofsted registered provider who is not directly related to you. You must apply for Dependants Allowance and your eligibility for Childcare Allowance will be based on that. Your allowance will be checked against receipts you submit from the childcare providers so it is important to keep all documentation.
  • Practice placement costs such as training and travelling to and from hospitals, community and other relevant services can be reimbursed. You can also have accommodation expenses paid back to you.

You will also be able to apply for additional loan support from Student Finance.

Part time students

If you are studying a part time NHS funded course, your bursary will be paid at a proportion of the amount payable for a full-time course as follow:

  • 4 year part time = 75%
  • 5 year part time = 60%
  • 6 year part time = 50%

All elements of your bursary are paid at this rate except for the following which will be paid at a full time rate:

  • Disabled students allowance
  • Childcare allowance
  • Practice placement expenses

How is my bursary paid?

Your bursary will be paid in 12 equal instalments except for your last year where it will be paid over the number of months you have remaining in study. New students receive a double bursary instalment in their first month and the instalments continue monthly from month 3. You will need to supply the NHS bursary team with your bank account details and payments will be made directly to that account.

It is worth remembering that if you are living in halls, rent instalments are due termly so you will need to budget in order to pay your accommodation fees promptly.

Disabled Students Allowance

If you have a disability which means you require more assistance or equipment to help with your course, you may be able to apply for Disabled Students Allowance. Please click here for more information.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for financial support from the NHS, you must be enrolled on an NHS funded full or part-time course which leads to a professional registration.

If you are studying BM4 (graduate entry) NHS will pay your fees and bursary from year 2 onwards. For those enrolled on the BM5 and BM6 course (undergraduate entry), the NHS will pay for years 5 onwards. You can apply for Student Finance for the other four years to help with tuition fees and living costs. Please see the Tuition, Loans and Grants factsheet.

You must also:

  • Have been resident in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for three years preceding the start date of your course.
  • Have settled within the UK within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971.
  • Be ordinarily a resident in any UK Country (England for medical students).

You may be entitled to an NHS bursary even if you have previously had statutory funding for higher education. You may also be eligible if you have previously been in receipt of an NHS bursary and wish to change professions.

Further information on personal eligibility can be found here.

Bursary Online Support System (BOSS Account)

In order to apply for the NHS bursary, you will need to create a BOSS account here.

You should apply even if you do not believe you are eligible for the means tested bursary as you will be entitled to the non means tested grant which can only be accessed via an application through BOSS.

If you are a returning student, there is no need to create a new BOSS account, simply log in and click on ‘apply/re-apply.’ You must re-apply each year or you will not receive funding for that academic year.

Your BOSS account also allows you to:

  • Notify NHS of any changes in circumstances
  • Monitor the status of your application
  • Change your bank details, address, telephone number and email address
  • View entitlement and payment dates
  • View what supporting evidence the NHS need from you to assess your application
  • Download the student cover sheet which you must attach to supporting evidence
  • View previous years’ applications.