The UK is one of the best countries for further education when it comes to the Science field. Many students are studying medicine in the UK or wishing to study in the UK but can’t afford it for many reasons. Studying abroad ought to burn some holes in your pocket. But don't you worry; we got your back. The UK provides multiple scholarships and bursaries, one of which is the NHS bursary. What is an NHS bursary? If you wonder what that means, this blog will come in handy.
What is an NHS Bursary?
The NHS bursary, also known as the National Health Service bursary, is a non-repayable grant programme for English medical students in their fifth and sixth years of study. Students receive a yearly payment from the NHS to help them with their studies and living costs if they are studying to become a doctor or a dentist. Now, doesn’t that sound interesting? This bursary is also eligible for students in their foundation year. Before applying for the NHS bursary, students must apply for a means-tested tuition price and maintenance loan through Student Finance England. If you don't know the meaning of means-tested, don't worry; we will explain it in simple words. Means-test simply determines if a student or their household is eligible to receive a sort of benefit or scholarship.
What will I get if I apply for an NHS Bursary?
Your household's income determines the amount of bursary you receive. This can be your own income, the income of your parents, the income of your spouse, your civil partner, or your partner. Students receive many benefits from this bursary; here are some examples:
- If you qualify for an NHS bursary for students, the NHS will cover your regular tuition costs. Your tuition expenses for your course are paid directly to your university.
- The grant mainly depends on your NHS bursary eligibility. If you are an eligible full-time NHS student, you'll get an amount of £1,000; if you're a part-time student, you'll receive a smaller amount.
- The Maintenance Loan amount you receive is determined by where you stay and study and whether you are in your final course year.
These were the Maintenance Loan rates for the 2019 to 2020 academic year:
- £3,354 for students living far from home while attending school in London
- £3,354 is offered for college students studying in London who live far from home.
- £1,793 for college students at home
Now that we know what you will get if you apply for the NHS bursary, let's understand what you should apply for. Suppose you are an eligible full-time NHS student beginning a course on or after September 1, 2022. In that case, you may apply for the following financial aid:
- The NHS bursary for students
- a grant from the NHS worth £1,000
- a decreased Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England
The fund rates for full-time students for the 2022-23 academic year are:
- £2,2907, if you are residing with their parents
- £3,191 if you are studying in London
- £2,643 if you are studying outside of London
If you are an eligible part-time student beginning your course on or after September 1, 2022, you may apply for the following:
- a lower NHS bursary
- a reduced grant from the NHS
If you qualify for the bursary, the NHS Bursary will be deposited in your account in 12 equal monthly instalments throughout the year. Remember, though, that this doesn't include the Maintenance Loan part of the bursary, as this is generally paid at the beginning of each term.
The amounts of the means-tested grant and non-means-tested bursary for 2022–2023 are shown in the table above.
However, regardless of household income, all qualified students will get the full £1,000 per year for the non-means-tested grant.
Are you eligible for an NHS bursary?
While additional criteria apply, here is an overview of the students that are eligible for the NHS Bursary for students in England in 2022/23:
- Students who are studying medicine and dentistry who are nearing the end of their courses
- Students who received an NHS Bursary during the previous academic year and who are continuing their undergraduate or graduate studies in medicine or dentistry.
Other than that, here are some other factors that affect your eligibility:
For a student to be eligible for an NHS bursary, you must be resident in the UK, the Isle of Manthe or the Channel Islands for the previous three years before the start of your academic year. You can still be eligible if you don't match the residency requirements.
Your eligibility will depend on the start date of your course. You must be granted admission to a full- or part-time, NHS-funded programme that will prepare you to become a physician or dentist. You can apply for an NHS bursary in the fifth or sixth year of your undergraduate degree, or if you opt for a four-year accelerated degree, you can apply for the bursary in your second year.
The entire amount of your bursary is determined by your household income. This may be your personal income, your parent's income, or the income of your spouse, civil partner, or partner.
Even if you have previously received public funding for further education, you can still be qualified for an NHS bursary. This bursary is also applicable if you want to switch careers.
You are also qualified if you previously received an NHS bursary and want to switch careers.
When to apply?
Before applying for an NHS bursary for students, you should wait until your university or institution has offered you a course spot. Your course's start date typically determines the day you can apply. It is generally suggested by the NHS to complete and submit applications within nine months of the start of the academic year. For the most recent application deadlines, see the NHS Student Bursaries website.
How to apply for the NHS Bursary?
It's rather simple to apply for the NHS Bursary via NHSBSA. You must submit a Bursary Online Support System application each year you are eligible (BOSS). The application form should take you between 30 and 45 minutes to complete; if you find that you can't do it all at once, you can save it and come back to it later.
Every academic year, you must reapply for your bursary. There are several ways to apply if you are from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
First-time applicants for NHS bursaries must submit two proofs of identity, one of which must contain a photo of themselves, such as a birth certificate and a current passport. The documents you send must be originals (not photocopies), and NHS Student Bursaries will return them to you.
How is it paid?
The NHS bursary is sent into your account in 12 equal monthly instalments.
Normally, the Maintenance Loan is deposited into your bank account at the start of each term.
You may receive extra help if you:
- Possess a physical disability, ongoing health issue, mental health issue, or particular learning difficulty.
- Have dependants like children or family members
What happens next?
NHS Student Bursaries will notify you through email if your application is accepted and when your bursary is ready for viewing in your BOSS account. You can apply separately for a Student Finance England loan with a reduced interest rate if you receive an NHS bursary.
NHS Learning support fund
Some students studying nursing, midwifery and allied health professional (AHP) courses may not be eligible for the NHS Bursary. But the UK provides another form of NHS funding you could receive: the NHS Learning Support Fund. A few courses that qualify for the NHS Learning Support Fund are Dental therapy/dental hygiene, Dietetics, Midwifery, Nursing, Occupational therapy, Operating department practitioner, Orthoptics, Physiotherapy and others.
NHS bursary for students is one of the best student finance bursaries in the UK, and students opting for dentistry and medicine must take complete advantage of this opportunity. The NHS also provides students with multiple student services. Coming towards the end of this blog all we can say is, studying medicine in the UK literally pays off.