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MA Social Work bursary

If you are planning to study the MA Social Work at BU, you may be eligible for a postgraduate bursary during your study.

A postgraduate social work bursary is:

  • awarded to eligible students
  • available to both part-time and full-time students
  • a grant not a loan
  • made up of a non-means tested basic grant and a means-tested maintenance grant

These bursaries don’t need to be paid back, and are awarded in recognition of the fact that you are expected to undertake hands-on placements, limiting your ability to get a part-time job.

Each year, NHS bursaries publish ‘Your guide to social work bursaries’. You can access the latest version via the NHS bursaries website. The guide explains how to apply for a bursary, payment amounts, residency and eligibility. It includes timeframes for applications, decisions and payments.

Please note that if you are successful in your application for the MA Social Work Bursary you will not then be eligible for the postgraduate loan in addition.

The figures below are for students starting in September 2020. 

The final application deadline for all 2020/21 Social Work Bursary applications is 1 November 2020.

How much are these bursaries worth?

If you are eligible for the bursary, you will also get a contribution of £4,052 towards your tuition fees in the 2020/2021 academic year.

Bursary rates

  • For 2020/21 the non-income assessed rate is up to £3,362.50 a year.
  • For 2020/21 the income assessed rate is up to £2,721 a year.

Placement Travel Allowance (PTA)

The social work bursary includes a contribution towards your placement travel costs of £862.50 for full time students. If your placement provider also contributes towards your travel costs, this will not affect your bursary entitlement.

BU criteria

Universities in receipt of a capping allocation decide who receives a bursary based on capping criteria set by the Department of Health and Social Care. At Bournemouth University, we based this on academic merit.

For the MA, your place on the shortlist will be based on your undergraduate degree classification i.e. those with a First, followed by those with a 2:1 and then a 2:2. If applicants with the same classification fall within and outside of the capped list, we rank these according to points scored at interview. We also take into account of you if you have accepted an offer and that you have no outstanding conditions, for example IELTS or references.

We provide a full list based on applicants who have accepted a place on the course by the beginning of August. This will not include applicants who apply through clearing, as this is later than this deadline, or applicants who have not yet accepted a place. We will however add applicants to the end of the list who apply and / or confirm later than this August deadline.

By a deadline in early August, we are required to provide a list of new students based on this criteria to NHS bursaries. We provide as complete a list as possible, including those who fall below the capped number. The list remains fluid at this stage as some students are not eligible, do not apply or withdraw their place. Applicants outside of the capped number therefore may move up the list.

Please note that late enrolment will affect these updates and may affect the timeframe by which you receive a decision on your bursary application and any subsequent payments. Once allocated a bursary place, you will keep this place for the duration of your course unless you withdraw or defer from your studies.

If you have applied and are eligible for a bursary but are not within the capped number, you will still receive a fixed placement travel allowance.

How do you apply?

To make an application you will need to create an account on the MyFunding system.

Before you complete your application, please make sure you have read and understood the eligibility criteria in this guidance.

If you would like further details about the bursary, eligibility and making an application, contact the Social Work Bursaries helpdesk*.

*Please note, if contacting the helpdesk, it can take several days for lists we send to be processed by NHS Bursaries and before it appears as ‘received’ on their system.

Please note that if you are successful in your application for the MA Social Work Bursary you will not then be eligible for the postgraduate loan in addition.

The final application deadline for all 2020/21 Social Work Bursary applications is 1 November 2020.

What support is available if I’m not awarded the bursary?

If you do not receive this bursary, you will be entitled to apply for a Placement Travel Allowance, which will contribute towards the travel costs associated with your placement. The allowance for 2020/21 is £862.50 per academic year.

If you are awarded the bursary, this allowance is included within the MA Social Work bursary.