Bursaries and Support

Bursaries and Financial Support for Students

The decision to undertake degree level study can create significant financial challenges for some students. To help students deal with these challenges, so that they can study with confidence, a range of financial support packages are available.  Each of the financial packages offered by the College are awarded based on a set of clearly defined criteria.  A full list of the different financial awards available to students are listed below. Information about each of these can be viewed by clicking on the relevant drop-down arrow on the right of each award.

Support and Hardship Fund

Support and Hardship Fund

The Department for the Economy, who fund the Student Support and Hardship Fund, are currently providing a limited amount of additional funding to support students experiencing financial hardship.

Awards from the fund are approved by the Student Support Fund Committee based on assessment of applications made.  Awards can only be considered on the basis of fully completed applications with the provision of the required supporting documentary evidence.

Awards will only be made where an applicant can clearly demonstrate that they are experiencing financial hardship.

Criteria for Support and Hardship Funds

Any eligible student with a particular financial need can apply but priority will be given to the following groups:

  • Mature students
  • Students with children (especially lone parents) or with adult dependents/caring responsibilities
  • Students with physical disabilities/special medical conditions, necessitating additional costs not covered by Disabled Student Allowances.
  • Students who have entered higher education from care.
  • Students with high housing costs

Who can apply?

  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (including PGCE)
  • Full-time/Part-Time/Distance Learners (part-time students must be engaged in at least 25% of the full-time equivalent study – dependent on the programme undertaken – see below)
  • Students on a recognised course leading to a qualification
  • Students studying on the Stranmillis campus

Eligible students on part-time courses are those studying at least 25% of a full-time equivalent course.  Therefore part-time postgraduate and undergraduate students who are studying at least 30 CAT points, in the year of application, for courses for which the normal full-time equivalent is 120 CAT Points are eligible.  For Master’s courses, the normal full-time equivalent is 180 CAT points and therefore such students must be taking at least 45 CAT points, in the year of application, to be eligible to apply for Support and Hardship Funds.

To be eligible for an award from the Support and Hardship Fund, students must have applied for and agreed to take the full amount offered to them by the Student Loans Company (SLC), or have already received their maximum student loan entitlement.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate genuine financial hardship

Support Fund awards are not repayable by the student.

Emergency Loans

Emergency Loans

In exceptional circumstances the College may consider providing an emergency loan. Emergency loans are repayable to the University College.

Stranmillis University College Bursary

Stranmillis University College Bursary

The University College offers a means tested Bursary for full-time UK students paying full fees. This is in addition to other grants and loans available to students such as those administered via Student Loans Company (SLC). Your eligibility for this bursary is assessed by you local Student Finance Authority using the application process that you submit for SLC funding on your PN1/PR1 form and is based on the student’s household income as detailed in the table below:

Household IncomeBursary Award
Up to £19,203 £500 bursary
Over £19,204 No bursary

The Bursary is not repayable; however students will be required to repay all or part of the bursary if they do not complete the academic year.

You do not need to make a separate application for the Bursary. Please ensure that you have given approval to have your details and your parents’ details shared with the University College and your local Student Finance Authority to allow assessment of your eligibility for this award. The University College will approve the payment of the Bursary if the EA/local Student Finance Authority assessment, on which the University College relies, shows that the student is entitled to the Bursary. This process normally happens at the start of January after which a letter will be issued to eligible students.

Students assessed as eligible by the local Student Finance Authority will receive their Bursary payment in two equal instalments (normally January and March). This is paid on behalf of the University College via the Student Loans Company. Payments are made subject to the eligibility assessment by your local Student Finance Authority.

Your local Student Finance Authority will request information from each student to support their bursary assessment (e.g. P60s) – please note that this information should not be sent to the University College.

Halls Accommodation Bursary

Halls Accommodation Bursary

Stranmillis University College offers a limited number of ‘Halls Accommodation Bursaries’ for eligible students from certain priority groups as detailed below. All applicants must be eligible to receive the Stranmillis University College Bursary and will need to outline how their educational progress would be enhanced by receiving 50% contribution to the cost of a standard room in our Halls of Residence rather than e.g. continuing to study whilst based at home. The scheme would be open to all full-time students (students taking the equivalent of a minimum of 120 CAT points) and studying on the Stranmillis campus.

In the event of more applications being received than places available some, or all, of the following additional criteria will be applied:

• Be in receipt of the Disabled Students’ Allowance
• Have a mobility disability (not a learning disability) but not in receipt of the Disabled Students’ Allowance.
• Students living furthest away from College (using Google Maps) will be given highest priority.
• First person in their immediate family (i.e. parent/guardian/sibling) to go into Higher Education;
• The postcode of the areas of socio-economic deprivation would be ranked from neediest to least needy using the NISRA Super Output Area (SOA) and Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure (NIMDM) and students in ‘most needy’ areas given priority

To apply please complete and return the HALLS ACCOMMODATION BURSARY APPLICATION FORM or for further information,  please contact Hallsbursary@stran.ac.uk

Care Leaver Support Bursary

Care Leaver Support Bursary

Verified Care Experienced students are eligible for a free Halls of Residence place for the duration of their course (no means testing applies to this priority group i.e. they do not also need to be entitled to a Stranmillis University College Bursary). Students must apply each year for a free Halls of Residence place via the Care Leaver Co-ordinator at Stranmillis University College.

A Care Leaver Study Support Bursary is available for verified Care Experienced students at the following rates:
• £600 in first year
• £800 in second year
• £1,000 in third year
• £1,000 in final year for those enrolled on a four year degree

A Care Leaver Graduation Bursary of £500 is provided to any ‘Care Experienced’ student upon graduation to assist with transition into employment or post-graduate study.

For further information on our Care Leaver Support package please contact Student Support.

Other financial support available

The following table identifies some of the help available from Student Finance.  Please ensure you contact your local Student Finance Authority for full information as the table below is intended for guidance only and the support available may change or may not be available to all students dependent on the students’ circumstances.

Maintenance Grants (non-repayable)Help with living costsLocal Student Finance Authority
Maintenance Loans (repayable)Help with living costsLocal Student Finance Authority
Childcare GrantAssistance is available where students have dependent children. Local Student Finance Authority
Parents Learning AllowanceHelp with course related costs for students with dependent children.Local Student Finance Authority
Adult Dependants GrantIf you have partner, or other family member (but not any of your children) who is financially dependent on you. Local Student Finance Authority
Disabled Students Allowances (DSA’s)These are available if you have a disability, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. Local Student Finance Authority





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