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NHS Funding

NHS Funding

The 2021/22 NHS Funding information has not yet been published, therefore the rates below refer to 2020/21. We will update this page once the 2021/22 once the information is published. 

Where can I find information about NHS funding?

Information about the NHS Bursary scheme, for both new and continuing students, is available from a number of sources including:

The NHSBSA website

The NHS Bursary Funding for Medical and Dental Students 2020/21 booklet

The NHSBSA Knowledge Base on Student Bursaries

UK students who were not ordinarily resident in England on the first day of their course.

If you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, your package of funding will be different.

If you were ordinarily resident in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland immediately before the start of your medical or dental degree course, you should apply to your national funding authority for support.

Scotland: Student Awards Agency Scotand (SAAS)

Wales: Student Finance Wales 

Northern Ireland: Student Finance NI

Please note, if you are ordinarily resident in England, as a result of having moved from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for the purpose of undertaking your current course (or a previous course, which, disregarding any intervening vacation, you undertook immediately before undertaking your current course) you will be considered as being ordinarily resident in the place from which you moved.

This section of this advice guide summarises the main points of the scheme and has useful advice to help you apply for NHS Funding.

When do I become eligible for NHS funding?

From year 5 of the 5 year programme, and in years 2-4 of the GEP, part of your funding will come from the NHS, via NHS Student Bursaries on behalf of the Department for Health.

You can still apply for a Student Finance Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan during your NHS funded years.

What NHS Funding will I get? 

NHS Tuition Fee Grant

In your NHS funded years of study, some or all of your tuition fees will be paid for you by NHS Student Bursaries (see overview). The money will be paid directly to Queen Mary University of London. This grant is non-income assessed. You do not have to repay this money. 

NHS Bursary for living costs

In your NHS funded years of study you can apply to NHS Student Bursaries for an income assessed NHS bursary to help pay for living costs such as rent and food. You can apply for this in addition to a Student Finance Reduced Rate Maintenance Loan. The NHS Bursary is non-repayable.

In 2020/21 the maximum NHS bursary amount for students living away from home who started their programme from 2012 onwards is £3,191. If you live at home, the maximum is £2,207.

NHS Grant for living costs:

In your NHS funded years of study you can also apply for a non-income assessed grant of £1,000 to help pay your living costs. This grant is non-repayable. 

Extra Weeks Allowance

You can get an extra amount of NHS Bursary for each week that your academic year is longer than the standard period of 30 weeks and 3 days (excluding university vacation periods). The Extra Weeks Allowance is income assessed and is non-repayable. The maximum amount is £108 a week if you are living away from your parental home and £56 a week if you are living in your parental home. 

If an academic year of your programme lasts for 45 weeks or more, you can get Extra Weeks Allowance to cover all 52 weeks of the year i.e. 22 weeks of Extra Weeks Allowance. 

NHS Student Bursaries will assess your entitlement for the Extra Weeks Allowance using the semester dates that you put on your NHS Bursary application, so it is important that these dates are correct. You can check these dates with the Student Office at Whitechapel.

The Extra Weeks’ Allowance is paid instead of the Student Finance England long courses loan in the NHS funded years of your programme. 

Additional Allowances

In academic years where you are eligible for NHS funding, you will apply for Additional Allowances from the NHS instead of supplementary grants from Student Finance England. These include

  • Dependants Allowance,
  • Parent Learning Allowance,
  • Childcare Allowance,
  • Disabled Students Allowance.
  • Practice Placement Expenses (PPE)

There are also arrangements for students to continue to receive NHS Bursary payments during authorised absences from study for maternity, paternity or adoption reasons. Your entitlement will depend on your personal circumstances. There is more information in the NHS Bursary Funding for Medical and Dental Students 2020/21 booklet and on the webisite

Members of the regular Armed Forces

If you are studying medicine or dentistry and are a member of the regular armed forces, your eligibility for NHS funding depends on whether you are seconded or sponsored.

If you are seconded by the armed forces, where the armed forces pays you a salary whilst you study, you will not be eligible for an NHS tuition fee grant, an NHS bursary for living costs or any additional allowances.

If however you are sponsored and get an armed forces scholarship, bursary or award, you would not be eligible for an NHS tuition fee grant or NHS bursary for living costs if your income after your scholarship, bursary or award in an academic year exceeds the maximum amount of NHS fee grant and NHS bursary that would have been payable had you not been getting the scholarship, bursary or award from the armed forces.  

How do I apply for NHS funding? 

New Students

There is a step by step guide to Completing your NHS Bursary application. You will first need to apply online for your NHS bursary by creating a BOSS (Bursary Online Support System) account and completing the online form. You will then be sent an email containing all of the required evidence you will need to send. 

You must make sure you send your student cover sheet which you can print out from your BOSS account with your application and evidence. You should also include a return addressed envelope with the correct amount of postage paid. It is helpful to use special delivery post if you are expecting original documents to be returned to you as you can track delivery of them.

The NHS guidance states that many applications for NHS funding arrive in envelopes which are torn or which have not been correctly sealed. This results in delays in processing applications as well as lost original documents. The advice given on the NHS website is to use an envelope which is large enough and strong enough to hold all your documents and evidence and that all edges are taped to minimise the risk of the envelope tearing or being tampered with.

When posting anything to the NHSBSA, please also write your SBA reference number (you can obtain this from your student coversheet) in the first line of the postal address and your preferred return address on the back of the envelope that you are sending your documents in.

The deadline for applying and submitting all evidence depends on your course start date as detailed in the table in the Medical and Dental Student section of the NHS student bursaries website. For example, for students starting their NHS funded years in August 2020, the application deadline is 26 June 2020. However you are advised to apply well before the deadline to ensure that your money is paid at the start of the academic year. You must apply within nine months of the first date of your academic year. 

Continuing Students

If you have previously received NHS funding and are applying for a subsequent year of NHS funding, you should use your existing BOSS log in details to reapply for your funding and not create a new BOSS account. 

How is my application for NHS funding financially assessed?

Your ‘residual income’ is used to assess your NHS Bursary entitlement. This is the gross taxable income of your parent(s)/spouse/partner/civil partner for the previous financial year, minus certain allowable expenses. These expenses are listed in the NHS Bursary funding booklet.

For the 2020/21 academic year, the applicable financial year is 6 April 2019 to 5 April 2020. Any income that you get personally from part time and vacation work during your studies is ignored.

Students with a residual income of below £24,279, are eligible to receive the maximum amount of income assessed NHS Bursary. If the residual income is above £24,279, the Bursary is reduced by £45 plus £1 for every £9.50 of household income above £24,279. Detailed information about the financial income assessment is available through the 2020/21 NHS Bursary funding booklet.

Current Year Income Assessment

A Current Income Assessment form (PSM CI) should be completed if your parent(s) or civil partner/partner income has dropped by 15% or more compared to the previous tax year. Click here to download a Current Income Assessment form

The form needs to be completed by the parent(s)or civil partner/partner and most recent income evidence provided such as payslips, P45s, benefit evidence etc for consideration. The NHS BSA would usually check at the end of the year if the income had actually been what was estimated. If the income was higher you would usually be reassessed and may have to repay some of your NHS Bursary if you were overpaid. 

Independent status

If you are assessed as being eligible for independent status for NHS funding, this means that you will not be required to provide parental income information for the NHS income assessment. If you meet one of the below criteria you should be treated as an independent student for NHS funding:

  • You have the care of a dependent child or children (under 18 years of age) on the first day (1st September) of the academic year in which you are applying for a bursary; or
  • You are or have been married or have entered into a civil partnership before the start of the academic year for which you are applying for a bursary; or
  • You have no living parents; or
  • Your parents cannot be traced or it is not practical or possible to contact them or;
  • Your parents live abroad and the assessment of a parental contribution would put them in danger; or
  • You are permanently and irreconcilably estranged from both of your parents (For advice on how to prove estrangement, see the earlier section of this guide ‘The Student Finance Income Assessment’ and then Students who have no contact with their parents’ – similar documentation should be acceptable for the NHS); or
  • You are in the care of a local authority or voluntary organisation, or are under a custodianship order on your 18th birthday or immediately before your course if you are not 18 when it begins; or
  • You have supported yourself from your own earnings for a total of at least 36 months before the start of the first academic year of your course. This can include; Periods of employment (either part or full time); periods where you were unemployed and/or in receipt of benefits or on a relevant training course for unemployed people; periods for which you were receiving a pension, allowance or other benefit paid because of a disability or by reason of confinement, injury or sickness

‘Earnings’ cannot include undergraduate student loans or grants but may include periods when you were in receipt of a state studentship, for example research council funding to undertake a PhD.

For NHS Funding you will not be assessed as independent simply on the basis that you are aged 25 or over. This is a key difference to the Student Finance rules on independent status. If you have been treated as independent for the purposes of Student Finance in the earlier years of your course, you might find that you are no longer eligible for independent status once you enter your NHS funded years if you cannot meet one of the specific NHS requirements set out above. A Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service can advise you whether you are likely to meet the requirements to be treated as independent for NHS funding.

How is the NHS Bursary paid?

You should receive your first NHS Bursary payment within ten working days of enrolling on the relevant academic year of your course once your BOSS forms and supporting evidence have been received by NHS Student Bursaries. The School of Medicine and Dentistry will notify NHS Student Bursaries that you have formally enrolled.

Your NHS Bursary is normally paid in 12 equal monthly instalments, regardless of your actual days in attendance on your programme of study. Your payments will be paid directly into your bank account. 

How can I contact NHS Student Bursaries?

You can contact NHS Student Bursaries about your student funding online or by phone or post.

Online: using the online form
Telephone: 0300 330 1345
Textphone: 18001 0300 330 1345
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturday, 9am to 3pm.Find out about call charges
Twitter: @NHSBSA_Students

Facebook: /NHSstudentbursaries

Or you can write to:
NHS Student Bursaries
Ridgway House
Northgate Close

Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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