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Hardship fund - Standard Award

For UK/Home students who are in Financial Hardship.

Key Facts

Type of award: Fund
Value: up to £2,500
Application deadline/process: 31st March 2021  (see below for details)


The Hardship Fund (formerly known as the Access to Learning Fund) is a grant distributed by the University specifically for students who are in Financial Hardship. This could be because your student maintenance loan doesn’t cover your essential day to day living costs, or due to a one-off cost in exceptional circumstances.

How is the value received?

Payments are usually made as a lump sum by bank transfer into your nominated bank account.

The value of the fund awarded is dependent on your specific circumstances. You will need to detail a shortfall between income and expenditure. Minimum award is £100, maximum award £2500.


The Hardship Fund is for UK/Home students registered on a course

The criteria detailed below defines the UK/Home students that can apply to the Hardship Fund:

  • Undergraduate students, either full time or part time, including part time distance learners, following a higher education course, including sandwich courses and any period of placement. All students who study part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 are required to study at least 25 per cent (30 credits) FTE in each year.
  • Full-time and part-time students on a postgraduate course (including distance learners) following a course that is a minimum of 1 year, and providing that part-time postgraduate students are studying at least 50% per academic year for courses starting before 1 September 2012 and 25% per each academic year for courses starting on or after 1 September 2012 of a full-time equivalent course.
  • NHS students eligible to apply for an NHS bursary or training grant.- Not all students that are eligible to apply to the Hardship Fund will be eligible for an award.

Students in financial hardship that fall into one or more of our agreed ‘priority groups’ may be more likely to receive an award. These are as follows:

  • Students with children, especially lone parents.
  • Students that can demonstrate that they have existing financial commitments, including priority debts (if you are unsure whether your debts are ‘priority debts’, please see the Student Union Advice and Representation Centre Money webpages for more information and support or contact them for further guidance.
  • Students who are homeless.
  • Students with caring responsibilities.
  • Students receiving the final year maintenance loan rate who are in financial difficulty.
  • Students with compulsory placements.

Students must complete the Budgeting module on Blackbullion before they will be eligible to apply for support from the Standard Hardship Fund.

Eligibility criteria and way that we assess students is subject to change each academic year, once you have commenced your studies with us you can refer to the latest information on the student intranet. Degree Apprenticeship students are not eligible to apply for the Hardship Fund.

How to apply

Once you have commenced your studies with us you can apply through the university student portal.  

For more information

Please email us at:

Student Criteria

This scholarship / bursary is available to the following :

Eligible study levels

Postgraduate, Postgraduate Research, Undergraduate

Eligible countries

United Kingdom (UK)