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NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) for Masters Students

At the end of 2019, the UK Government announced the introduction of new NHS training grants for Nursing, Midwifery and allied health profession students. Worth up to £8,000 per year, this funding is available for people studying an appropriate course at an English university from September 2020.

This page will give you an overview of eligibility criteria, how much funding you could receive and application guidance.

What NHS grants are available for Masters in Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions?

If you’re studying a postgraduate degree at an English university in one of the following areas, you could be able to apply for a £5,000 annual training grant from the UK Government:

This grant is available for students beginning programmes in September 2020, as well as those who are continuing courses. It doesn’t need to be repaid.

Additional funding is available for students in certain priority areas. If you study one of these subjects, you could be eligible for an additional £1,000 per year:

  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Learning Disability Nursing
  • Orthoptics
  • Orthotics
  • Podiatry
  • Prosthetics
  • Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)

Another £1,000 annual NHS student grant is on offer to people who are attending university in regions where declining numbers of people have been studying Nursing, Midwifery and allied health profession qualifications. As of June 2020, the details of these regions have yet to be confirmed by the UK Government.

Finally, £1,000 per year is available for students with child dependents, in addition to the funds already available through the Child Dependents Allowance.

Please note that the regional and priority area funding is only available for students beginning a new course in September and not continuing students.

What's the difference between the NHS Bursary and the NHS Learning Support Fund?

The NHS Learning Support Fund is not to be confused with the NHS Bursary, which is only available to new medical and dental students, and non-medical Masters students who began their course before August 2018.

Who is eligible for these NHS LSF grants?

The NHS funding is for students at English universities who are ordinarily resident in the UK. You’ll need to be eligible for financial support from one of the UK's national student finance agencies (Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland).

International students are only eligible for this funding if they satisfy the residency criteria set out by the NHS Learning Support Fund – you can’t have moved to the UK for the sole purposes of studying an eligible course.

You should be studying an eligible course in September 2020 – you could be starting a new Masters or continuing in your second or third year of studies. Bear in mind that if you're already studying an eligible course, you'll only receive the £5,000 initial training grant.

How do I apply for the NHS Learning Support Fund?

Applications for the NHS Learning Support fund open on 1 July 2020. You should apply online via the NHS LSF website.

How will I be paid?

You’ll receive bursary payments in three instalments per year, in between your normal student finance payments. If you start in September, these payments will be made in November, March and June.

What other funding is available for Masters in Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions?

If you’re studying a postgraduate qualification in Nursing, Midwifery or an allied health profession, you’ll usually be able to access a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan through Student Finance England. Please note that this is the undergraduate student finance system – not the Masters loans we’ve covered elsewhere on this site.

This comes in the form of a £9,250 tuition fee loan that is paid straight to your university, as well as a means-tested maintenance loan. The size of the maintenance loan depends on your domestic circumstances, as well as your household income. These are the maximum amounts you could receive in the 2020-21 academic year:

  • Living at home – £7,747
  • Living outside London, at home – £9,203
  • Living in London, away from home – £12,010

Unlike the NHS LSF grants, you will have to pay these loans back, at a rate of 9% of everything you earn above £25,725 per year.

NHS funding for Masters programmes

Our guide to NHS funding for postgraduate courses covers the other forms of financial support available from the NHS, including Social Work bursaries, graduate entry Medicine and Dentistry programmes and NHS funding in Wales.

Last updated - 24/06/2020

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