Lady Nancy Langhorne Astor
Lady Nancy Langhorne Astor
The application deadline for the 2022–23 academic year is 6 March 2023.

Nancy Langhorne Astor Scholarships Trust Bursaries

The Nancy Langhorne Astor Scholarships Trust is providing generous financial support for students each academic year relating to their interests in the care and education of young children (0–8 years). The trustees are particularly interested in supporting students to access experiences abroad that they would not otherwise be able to do.
Successful applications in previous years have funded study trips abroad to The Gambia and Prague as well as Forest School and Beach School Training, and Introductory Courses in Play Therapy as well as Makaton, and Pediatric First Aid courses, and costs associated with research activity. 
Nancy Astor
Lady Nancy Langhorne Astor
The Nancy Langhorne Astor Trust
Lady Nancy Langhorne Astor

The Nancy Langhorne Astor Trust 

The trust was set up by her children following her death in 1964 and has been used to support the higher education aspirations of Plymouth citizens ever since. The current trustees are pleased to be working in partnership with the University of Plymouth and wish to encourage and support students wanting to work as professionals within the early years.

Nancy Langhorne Astor

Nancy Langhorne Astor entered politics in 1919 and was the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons serving as MP for Plymouth Sutton until her retirement from politics in 1945. In 1939 her husband Waldorf was elected Lord Mayor of Plymouth and supported by Nancy they served the city for five years during the second world war.

During Nancy’s parliamentary career she gained attention as someone who championed temperance, women's rights and benefits for children. Nancy supported the development of nursery schools for London's poor children, a project organised by Margaret McMillan. In addition to her usual philanthropic fundraising, she led ministerial delegations for the Nursery School Association, made speeches in parliament and in 1934 published a memorandum calling for the universal provision of nursery schools.

At the heart of her ‘women’s’ politics was a concern with poor households, a subject on which she was far more radical than most in her party at the time. She was passionate about housing and with Waldorf’s capital, built model homes for the poor of Plymouth (Mount Gould). She was also preoccupied with the education of the poor, sharing the McMillan sisters’ vision of nursery schools as a route out of ill-health and poverty. As well as founding some nurseries, she helped the McMillan sisters to establish a training college for nursery school teachers.  

Nancy Astor: the first woman to sit in the House of Commons 1919–1945 (UK Parliament)

On 28 November 1919 Nancy Astor was elected as MP for Plymouth Sutton.
This film gives an insight into her interests and achievements and includes first-hand accounts from those who knew her.

Read about our students' experience

Beach School Leader training

Alexandra Perrin 

“I used the Nancy Astor Bursary to enroll in a Level 3 Beach School Leader training course.

This course provided me with a deeper understanding of Beach Schools, which I had been increasingly interested in since doing my placement last semester.

I look forward to completing my portfolio and getting my certificate and I hope to find my footing in the world of outdoor education. I would not have been able to complete this without the help of this bursary and I am thrilled to have reached one of my dreams of becoming a Beach School Leader.

It seemed like an unreachable pipe dream of mine and I feel incredibly grateful to have been helped by the bursary in this way. Because of this, I would highly encourage anyone who is on an education-related course to apply for the Nancy Astor Bursary if they have a dream they hope to achieve that feels impossible due to finances.”

A trip to The Gambia

Kayleigh Royle

“The bursary enabled me to go on a trip to The Gambia where I visited schools, nurseries, and a women’s refuge. The children were friendly and able to play with us. We sang and taught them English songs as they taught us Gambian ones.

Kayleigh Royle - Gambia
Pictures by Kayleigh Royle

In some schools the buildings were falling apart, and the ‘football field’ was some sand around the back but the pupils were happy and the faculty were grateful with the little that we were able to give. 

The woman’s cooperative started as a refuge for women who were leaving their husbands and had become a community of women working together on the land to grow and harvest crops to sell to restaurants and at the markets.

It was amazing, so welcoming and joyous and we were able to look around before participating in a song and dance with them.”

Kayleigh Royle - Gambia
Welcome to the Gambia
Kayleigh Royle - Gambia

Eligibility criteria

According to the terms of the trust agreement applicants should normally:
  • Be studying within the Plymouth Institute of Education.
  • Be enrolled on one of the following programmes:
    BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
    BEd (Hons) Primary (Early Childhood Studies)
    PGCE Primary (Early Years) 
Travel and other expenses deemed part of a student’s programme requirements are not eligible for a bursary.

Application process

1. There are certain eligibility criteria for receiving a bursary. Before completing your application, you should check your eligibility (see the section on the left hand side). 
2. Your application must be supportedby a reference from your Personal Tutor indicating how long they have known you and containing a brief statement of support for your application. 
3. As soon as you decide to apply for a bursary you should approach your Personal Tutor and ask them to send the reference to
4. Applications not completed on the application form downloaded from the Nancy Langhorne Astor Scholarship page of the University website will not be accepted.
5. Complete all the fields on the application form as fully as possible and ensure that all typed words in the open comment boxes are visible. 
6. Submit your completed application form to by the closing date at 15:00. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. 
7. Application forms will be reviewed by a selection panel (the Trustees and/or their representatives) and applicants will usually be informed of the outcome of their applications by email before the Christmas break. 
8. A one-off payment of up to £750 will be awarded to successful applicants towards costs associated with the activitybeing considered. In exceptional circumstancesthe amount of the award may be increased subject to the discretion of the trustees.
9. The sum awarded will usually be credited to a bank account held in the name of the applicant within six weeks of being notified of a successful application. 
Should you have any questions about applying for the Nancy Langhorne Astor Scholarships Trust Bursary, please contact

Nancy Astor, Plymouth and the Power of Women 

Born in Virginia, USA, Nancy had a key role in shaping Plymouth and it, too, shaped her. But how did Nancy’s life, and her time in Parliament, relate to the women and children of Plymouth?
This event, part of the Research Festival 2020, draws upon key research by our academics and partners across the city to present the documentary. 
A Returned Pilgrim publicity film splash - Nancy Astor