Funding for Nursing Students 2020/2021
Am I entitled to a bursary?
For most nursing students a bursary will be the main source of funding.
In general, to be eligible to apply for full support from Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), an applicant must meet the following conditions:
- Be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of the course.
- If the applicant is not a UK or other EU national, they must also have ‘settled status’ in the UK (as set out in the Immigration Act 1971).
- They must also be ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date and an applicant will not normally be treated as being ordinarily resident in Scotland if their main purpose in being here has been to receive full-time education and that they would have otherwise been living elsewhere.
Students from the rest of the UK and beyond who do not meet the residency requirements will have to apply to their own funding body or local authority.
How much will I get from SAAS if I fulfil the eligibility criteria?
For session 2020/21, eligible students will be entitled to the following allowances:
Standard Bursary – currently £10,000 (not means tested)
Initial Expenses Allowance - £60 (for first year students, paid with the first bursary instalment)
Dependants’ Allowance - £3640 if you:
- have a partner who has low income
- are registered as a carer for an adult dependant (spouse, partner or any other adult)
- have a child who is dependent on you
if the person you care for has an income of over £1,160 during your academic year, that amount will be deducted
Single Parents Allowance - £2303
Written evidence must be supplied when applying to prove you are a single parent. This could be:
- a copy of your tax credit award,
- have at least one dependent child
- are lone parents
- are care experienced or
- are carers
- evidence from the Department for Work and Pensions to show you receive benefit as a single parent,
- a letter from a professional person who knows your personal circumstances. This must be on company headed paper. A professional person can include a doctor, lawyer, teacher, police officer or minister of religion.
Childcare Allowance - £2466
To help towards the cost of formal childcare – registered childminder, nursery, after school club.
What about funding when I am on placement?
Students who are in receipt of a bursary from SAAS, will be entitled to excess travelling expenses for placements and accommodation costs on an away placement.
These are dealt with by Nursing Support staff on campus.
The bursary includes £5 for travel for each day of the course so students will only be reimbursed for excess travelling expenses. It should be by the cheapest method so it will normally be the cost of public transport even if they opt to use their own transport. The exception to this is, if there is no public transport available because of location or shift patterns.
Claims for accommodation costs must be reasonable - normally up to around £35 per night although exceptions may be made with prior agreement from SAAS e.g. in a tourist area in the summer where costs will be higher.
Students may claim £15 per night if staying with friends or relatives.
Students have to pay the costs and put in regular claims to SAAS (through Nursing Student Support) for reimbursement.
Students who choose to do a placement abroad will not be entitled to expenses from SAAS.
Students who are not in receipt of a bursary from SAAS will not be entitled to any placement expenses.
Can I apply for a Student Loan?
If you are in receipt of a bursary from SAAS you are not able to apply for a Student Loan.
Students from elsewhere in the UK who have been given an income assessed bursary may be eligible to apply for a Student Loan.
Can I apply for additional funding from the university?
Nursing and Midwifery students can apply to the UHI Nursing Assistance Fund.
This fund is the main source of extra funding for nursing students. It looks at all household income and expenditure and if there is a significant deficit you may be awarded a grant.
The standard maximum award is £500 with discretion for the Student Support Officer to add on up to £400 depending on circumstances.
Are there any other discretionary funds?
The Scottish Government has introduced the Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund.
As with the UHI Nursing Assistance Fund all household income and expenditure will be assessed.
Students must normally be in receipt of a bursary in order to qualify for an award from this fund.
The standard maximum award is £500 with discretion for the Student Support Officer to add on up to £500 depending on circumstances.
There is a single application form for both funds: Application Form
Completed application forms, along with copies of all the relevant information as indicated on the form, should be returned to:
Alexandra Stewart, Student Support Officer
Care Experienced Students?
Any students who are care experienced will be considered a priority and will be entitled to an additional award from the discretionary funds.
Is there a specific fund for help with childcare?
No, there is no specific fund for this although all childcare costs will be taken into account when awarding any discretionary funding.
Are there any trusts and charities to which I could apply?
Students who live in the area covered by the present Highland Council may apply to The Highland Children’s Trust:
Applicants must be under 25 years.
It is a small fund with a limited amount of money. Students in difficult circumstances may be awarded a few hundred pounds.
Students may also wish to consider other small charitable trusts or charities.
They can search using directories at the local libraries or websites, such as,
Can I apply for a loan from the university?
Yes, you can speak to the Student Adviser about applying for a Short-term Loan of up to £400.
A repayment date would be agreed and this would normally be within 6 weeks.
You would repay the loan directly to the university.
There is also a small Emergency Fund on each campus which offers you the chance of borrowing up to £50 in cash with an agreed repayment date of up to 2 weeks.
Can I apply for any state benefits?
Depending on your personal circumstances you may be entitled to Tax Credits/Universal Credit.
Single nursing and midwifery students would be unlikely to be able to meet the requirements for Working Tax Credits - working 16 hours paid work each week - without it impacting on their studies.
Nursing students are also eligible for the RUK Bursary if normally domiciled in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland and with a term-time address in Scotland. Find out more here.
Alexandra Stewart, Student Support Officer, Room W/002, Centre for Health Science, Inverness. Tel: 01463 279802