Bursaries and other funding options
If you're experiencing financial difficulties, a variety of bursaries and funds are available to you, either directly through the University of Plymouth or, if you are a partner college or UPIC student, please contact the partner organisation.
You'll find information on this page about the following bursaries and funds:
  • Financial Support Fund 2022/23
  • EU Hardship Fund 2021/22
  • What Just Happened Fund
  • Helena Kennedy Foundation
  • Mayflower Award
  • Care Leavers Bursary
  • Summer Support Fund 2021/22
  • Ukrainian Hardship Grant 2022/2023
Eligible students can only receive one bursary in any given academic year; should you qualify for two or more, you will only be entitled to receive whichever has the highest value. This may mean an adjustment is needed to payment amounts during the year, but you will be advised if this is the case.
Please note that if you are re-assessed at any point during the year, either by Student Finance or by the University, and you are deemed to no longer meet the criteria for the bursary that you have been receiving, no further payments can be made.
For full terms and conditions please email the Student Funding Unit at studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk stating which award you are enquiring about.
Financial Support Fund 2022/23

Are you a home student in significant hardship, either because of extra costs you have to meet or due to an overall shortfall of income?

You may be able to receive help from the Financial Support Fund. This fund provides discretionary financial assistance to help you to access and remain in higher education, particularly if you need financial help to meet additional costs that cannot be met using other sources of support.

The fund can help to alleviate unexpected financial hardship for home students. We particularly encourage students who may be considering leaving higher education because of financial problems to apply.

Students studying at Partner Colleges including UPIC and students on Degree Apprenticeships are not eligible for the Financial Support Fund. The University’s Academic Partnerships have their own allocations, so students should apply directly to the college they attend.

Opening period for 2022–2023: 3 October 2022 – 2 June 2023 (final-year students must submit their application and all supporting evidence by 12 May 2023).

Please note that you must be registered on your course and must have received statutory funding before you can apply.

Our Financial Support Fund guidance notes contain more information on conditions and criteria, as well as answers to your FAQs. 

Please complete the Financial Support Fund application form.

Need more advice? Visit our support and advice pages.

EU Hardship Fund

The EU Hardship Fund opens on 3 October 2022.

This fund provides discretionary financial assistance to help you to access and remain in higher education, particularly if you need financial help to meet additional costs that cannot be met using other sources of support. The fund can help to alleviate unexpected financial hardship. However, if you are an EU student, you need to have income that covers your living and housing costs in the first instance before we can consider you for an award.

To reflect this, a Minimum Required Provision (MRP) of £201 per week will be applied to full-time EU applications (£161 to those with dependents or who have a disability).

The EU Hardship Fund is open from 3 October 2022 to 1 June 2023. Please note that final year students must submit their completed and fully documented applications by 12 May 2023, otherwise we will be unable to consider your request for financial assistance. The University will only consider one application per person to this fund in each academic year.

Although some EU students may receive some support from the EU Hardship Fund, it will not be sufficient as an income in its own right and can only be seen as a supplement to funding from other sources. The fund cannot pay tuition fees.

Awards to successful applicants are capped as follows:

  • Those with dependants/disabilities may receive up to £500.
  • Final year students without dependants may receive up to £400.
  • Non-final year students without dependants may receive up to £300.

For an application form, please contact the Student Funding Unit by calling +44 1752 587676, or by email at studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk.

If you are a home student, please complete the Financial Support Fund application form.

What Just Happened Fund

The What Just Happened Fund provides help for you and your family if you’re receiving emergency hospital care. It was established in 2013 thanks to Plymouth graduate April Watkins and matched funding from the University.

The fund provides limited financial support for you and/or your close family or friends for costs incurred at short notice if you unexpectedly require treatment for a serious injury or illness while you’re studying at the University. The available financial help can be used toward the cost of travel, accommodation, and food and drink during the stay.

April had the idea for the fund while recovering from emergency surgery and chemotherapy to treat a brain tumour. Fortunately, her father was able to stay with family in Cornwall while visiting her in hospital, but the situation got April thinking about those whose families might struggle to afford the costs of visiting their loved one.

Determined to make a difference, April set about fundraising through events such as masked balls, pub quizzes and cake sales, and was overwhelmed by the level of support she received.

April, who graduated in September 2013 with a 2:1 in Sociology, donated the money raised to the University to establish the fund.

"It is my hope that this money will mean that someone else in my position – in hospital, hundreds of miles from home – can have the support of their loved ones by their bedside." she says.

Claims to the fund can be made retrospectively all year round by completing and returning the application form to the Student Funding Unit (see our contact details on this page).

Helena Kennedy Foundation

The Helena Kennedy Foundation offers support to disadvantaged students who have overcome significant barriers in order to continue with their education at university level. Each year, the Helena Kennedy Foundation invites further education colleges, adult education centres and sixth form colleges to nominate a student to receive a £1,500 bursary sponsored by the University of Plymouth to support their progression to higher education.

Application forms and eligibility criteria are available online.

The University does not administer the Helena Kennedy awards. For further information, please contact the foundation by email: admin@hkf.org.uk

Mayflower Award, 2022 entry

The University of Plymouth is proud to offer students a life-changing, transformative experience while they learn and research. We also know that embarking on such an exciting experience can be daunting and that students from particular groups may face additional difficulty in accessing higher education.

To support the University’s ambitions around widening participation, we are pleased to offer financial support in the form of a bursary (The Mayflower Award) to undergraduate students from the following groups:

  • Students whose household income is between £0 and £35,000 per year
  • Care leavers
  • Students who are estranged from their families
  • Young adult carers

Students from a household where the annual income is less than £35,000 per year will have their eligibility checked for the award automatically once a full funding application has been assessed and finalised with Student Finance England. The award is paid in two instalments in the student’s first year of study. All eligible recipients will be automatically identified from the systems of the University and Student Finance England, no separate application is needed. This award is available to students who are entering their first year of study on their first course in September 2022, who are identified as being domiciled in England and whose household income is between £0 and £35,000. Please note that this award is payable only in the first year of study and will not be repeated in subsequent years.

Students from one of the other above groups must contact the Student Funding Team as soon as they have enrolled at the University of Plymouth so that we can assess eligibility and organise for any bursary to be paid. The award is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and if you are eligible you will receive the bursary for the duration of your undergraduate studies, subject to T & C’s.

For all Mayflower Award recipients you must be paying the full tuition fee for the year and have received the full funding package from Student Finance England (if applying for an award under household income) or received the full funding package from your funding body if you are a Care Leaver, Estranged Student or Young Adult Carer.

Please note that payment is dependent on satisfactory attendance and withdrawal or interruption will result in the award being cancelled.

If you have been engaged in any previous higher education study on any course, you will not be entitled to this award. This includes not completing all or part of a course or not gaining a qualification on it.

It is students’ responsibility to declare whether they have had any previous higher education study, particularly if undertaken at a different institution or in previous years at the University of Plymouth, as we may not be able to identify this from our record systems. If you have been earmarked or contacted for the Mayflower Award but fall into the previous study category, you should contact studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk as soon as possible, as your eligibility may change or be cancelled and you could be asked to repay part or all of the award.

Please note that if you are re-assessed at any point during the year by Student Finance or by the University, your award could be amended or cancelled.

Partner College students, including UPIC students, whose fees are paid directly to the college at which they are studying, are NOT eligible for this award.

See the full terms and conditions for further details.

Care Leavers Bursary

The Care Leaver Bursary is part of the Mayflower Award, please see full Terms and Conditions.

Students who begin a course at the university from September 2019 can be considered for an award provided that they have taken out the full student funding package from Student Finance England/Wales/Norther Ireland and have been given Care Leaver Status by one of these funding bodies.

Please note:

  • Care Leavers should contact Student Funding Unit by studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk to enquire of their eligibility.
  • Partner college including UPIC students are not eligible for this award from the University of Plymouth and should instead enquire about any available support from their college.
  • Students who are not funded by Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland but instead receive a grant/grants for their studies or tuition fees are not entitled to the award.
  • Students who have already gained a degree are not eligible to receive the Care Leavers Bursary.

Summer Support Fund 2021/22

The Summer Support Fund 2021/22 is now closed.

The Summer Support Fund can provide basic assistance for students who are unable to work during the summer period (up until the end of August) for personal or health reasons, or due to course-related restrictions, and forms part of the University of Plymouth Financial Support Fund.  

A finite amount of money is available in the Summer Support Fund budget and awards are intended to form a contribution toward costs; therefore, they should neither be considered as a main source of income nor relied upon or anticipated in advance. Once available funds have been exhausted, no further applications can be considered.

Who can apply? 

Essential criteria – you must meet all of these: 

  • You are a full-time undergraduate
  • You have ‘home’ status
  • Your tuition fees for the year have been paid in full
  • You have received the full entitlement of a maintenance loan
  • You have used up all available credit (this includes your overdraft) and this must be visible on your bank statement.

Qualifying categories – you must be in at least one of these: 

  • A student who has dependents under the age of 14 and who has applied for all benefit entitlements. Before contacting us, please liaise with UPSU Advice for a benefit check to ensure that you are getting your full entitlement and provide evidence of this outcome. UPSU Advice contact details: +44 1752 588373, advice@su.plymouth.ac.uk 
  • A student who is ill or has a disability and is, therefore, unable to undertake work, and for whom other benefits are not available. You will need to provide documentary evidence from your doctor or the hospital that states that you are unfit to work for a specified period
  • A student who is the primary and recognised carer of a disabled or seriously ill person
  • A student on an integral (not voluntary) placement throughout the summer vacation, who has no other income source once the maintenance loan has been exhausted. Applications for the 2020/21 Financial Support Fund will be taken into account and included in our calculation
  • A student who is unexpectedly required to resubmit elements of their course, either in or out of attendance across the summer, where this prevents them from seeking work. Please note that assistance may be limited to four weeks
  • A care leaver or estranged student. You must provide evidence of any housing or living cost support from a local authority and outline why you are unable to support yourself, as it is expected that you will have secured work during the vacation

You are not eligible to apply for the Fund if you meet one of these criteria: 

  • You are a final-year student (unless you are required to resubmit elements of your course during the summer)
  • You are a non-final-year student who is simply unable to find work and does not fall within one of the above categories. You are a postgraduate student. It is assumed that postgraduate students have made realistic provision for their studies and the cost of living throughout the summer period and are, therefore, not expected to apply other than in an emergency situation
  • You are a postgraduate, EU or international student.

For an application form, please email studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk or phone +44 1752 587676.

Sanctuary scholarships

Sanctuary scholarships are a financial support package for students who may have difficulty accessing home fees due to their immigration status. They are for any students living in the UK (however, priority is given to individuals living in the Plymouth area). Each Faculty offers one scholarship per year, meaning there are three scholarships available annually. Each scholarship includes:

  • a full fee-waiver for the entirety of the undergraduate course
  • £1000 per year toward study costs (for the first three years)
  • a fully-funded pre-sessional English course (to ensure scholars meet IELTS 6.0 requirements).

Find out more about the Sanctuary scholarships

Ukrainian Hardship Grant 2022/2023

The Government have allocated additional funds to universities to support Ukrainian students studying at English higher education providers. The funding is to help Ukrainian nationals and Ukrainian-domiciled students who have been financially affected by the events in Ukraine.

The University of Plymouth will distribute this funding through the Ukrainian Hardship Grant 2022/23.

If you have any questions, or if you are struggling to access or complete the form, please contact studentservices@plymouth.ac.uk or call 01752 587676.


All Ukrainian nationals or Ukrainian-domiciled students studying higher education courses (level 4 or above) at the University of Plymouth (the University) who are facing financial hardship as a result of the current situation in Ukraine are eligible to apply. This includes undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students. Students at partner colleges of the University are not eligible for this hardship fund and should contact their college for financial hardship advice and support.

If you are not a Ukrainian national or Ukrainian domiciled student, but have been financially impacted by the events in Ukraine, please contact the Student Services Hub

We will consider awards based on the following reasons:

  • Changes in existing financial support
  • Difficulty in accessing a foreign bank account
  • Accommodation and living costs
  • Any other unexpected costs as a result of the situation in Ukraine

How to apply:

You will be required to complete the application form below which includes a supporting statement. 

You must also submit an up to date one month online bank statement for all accounts you currently use (we use this to check for funds available). Please note that we will not be able to process your application without this information.

Please complete the Ukrainian Hardship Fund application form.

Processing your application:

We aim to process applications for eligibility for awards within 10 working days of receiving your application and all supporting documents. When assessing your application, we will look for the following detail, so please ensure you include this in your supporting statement or evidence:

  • A detailed description of your reasons for applying
  • How and why your finances have been impacted by the situation in Ukraine
  • Details of other funding you have explored and/or accessed
  • When you are expecting your next source of income

 his is to ensure all students are assessed fairly and to assist those in greatest financial need. Awards will be made on a case-by-case basis on severity of need and the decision made by the University is final.


We aim to process applications for eligibility for award within 10 working days of receiving your application and all supporting documents. If your application is successful, our Payments team will aim to make the payment by BACS within 5 working days. The whole process could take up to 15 working days unless we need to contact you to request further information. Unfortunately, we are only able to make payments to UK bank accounts.

Fees and funding advice