Sanctuary Scholarships

The University of Sheffield offers Sanctuary Scholarships for those who have sought refuge in the UK - for example, students who have been displaced or affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a conflict in their home country or have another reason for their forced migration to the UK.

Firth Court

The 5 fully-funded Sanctuary Scholarships cover the cost of tuition and provide a £9,840 award to support living costs for each year of study.

This scholarship was formerly known as the Asylum Seeker Scholarship.


Please note: If you do not meet the criteria below but have been displaced or affected by conflict or persecution in your home country, for example by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, please get in touch to discuss your eligibility. 

Contact details can be found at the bottom of the page.

To be eligible for the scholarship you must:

  • Have been granted humanitarian protection or limited leave to remain in the UK, be a dependant or partner of someone with humanitarian protection or limited leave to remain, or you or your parent/guardian or partner are an asylum seeker and have submitted a claim within the UK for refugee status and have not yet received a decision from the Home Office on that application.
  • Have applied for asylum on arrival in the UK, and before you have applied for a place at university.
  • Currently attend a school, college or community/voluntary group that will provide a reference in support of your application.
  • Hold an offer from the University of Sheffield to study an undergraduate or postgraduate taught course starting in September 2023.**
  • Be studying at degree level in the UK for the first time (applicable to undergraduate students only)*.

*Please contact the Student Fees and Funding Team if you have withdrawn from a previous course.

** Students who require a foundation or conversion course as part of their offer to study at the University should contact us to discuss their eligibility.   

You are not eligible to apply for the scholarship if:

  • You have exhausted all appeal rights and have not submitted a fresh claim for asylum or an application to remain in the UK under another immigration category. If your status changes at any stage of the application process you must notify us immediately.
  • You have a ‘no study’ immigration bail condition or a ‘restricted study’ condition that prohibits study in higher education.

How to apply

1. Complete the application form

Apply for a Sanctuary Scholarship

The deadline to submit an application is 1.00pm Monday 3 July 2023.

2. Provide a supporting statement from your referee from the school, college or community/volunteering group you currently attend.

You can attach this to your application form or submit it by email at a later date ahead of the application deadline (our contact details are at the bottom of this page).

Please see further details below on what this must include.

Referee's statement

Your referee must provide their contact details and confirm that the school, college, community/voluntary group that they represent wishes to support your application.

The supporting statement should be no longer than 750 words and should answer the following questions:

• What are the applicant's personal and financial circumstances and what barriers have they overcome to continue their education?
• How well suited is the applicant to the higher education course that they plan to take and how realistic are the student's ambitions?
• What contribution, to your knowledge, has the student made to college life and/or their community?
• Is there any other information that you believe is relevant to the student's application?
• How do you think the student would benefit from the scholarship offered by the University of Sheffield?

3. Send us all the documentation you have received from the Home Office in relation to your asylum claim and your referee’s statement.

These can be attached to your application or emailed to us (our contact details can be found at the bottom of the page).

The deadline to receive complete applications is 1pm Monday 3 July 2023.

4. A panel of senior University staff will assess all eligible applications.

This is a competitive process and applications will be judged using the selection criteria below.

Selection criteria

  • The applicant has provided a clear rationale for applying for a course at the University of Sheffield.
  • The applicant has clearly articulated future ambitions, these goals relate to the degree they have applied for.
  • The applicant has outlined personal circumstances that have presented a challenge to academic progress and has detailed how any barriers have been overcome successfully.

5. All eligible applicants will be notified of the outcome of their scholarship application before the end of July 2023.

If at any point during the application process or after you start your studies, we are informed that your immigration status has changed, such that you are no longer permitted to study at the University, you will no longer be eligible for the scholarship.

Frequently asked questions
  • I haven’t applied for a course yet, can I apply?    

You must have received an offer for a course at the University of Sheffield to be able to apply for a scholarship. You can contact our Admissions Service for advice about how to apply, the courses that are available and the entry requirements:

You can contact us for advice about how to apply, the courses that are available and the entry requirements.

Contacts for prospective students 

To find out more about admissions policy or process information please view the webpage below:

Study at Sheffield

  • I don’t have evidence of my previous qualifications, what can I do?    

If you are unable to source evidence of previous qualifications please contact us (our contact details are at the bottom of the page).

  • My asylum application has been rejected, but I am appealing the decision. Can I still apply for the scholarship?    


If your appeal results in a new immigration status with leave to remain, we will then be able to consider your application.

  • I need to improve my English and have taken an IELTS test. My score is below the course requirement. Can I still get the scholarship?  

You will only be eligible to apply for the Sanctuary Scholarship if you have a place on a course at the University of Sheffield. To find out what the minimum IELTS requirement is, please visit the relevant course web page.

If you do not have the required IELTS score, and the University will not accept you on the course, you will not be eligible to receive the scholarship.

The English Language Teaching Centre offer a scholarship to help students improve their level of English.

English Language Teaching Centre scholarship

  • What are my chances of getting the scholarship if I apply?    

There are five scholarships available, and we receive a high number of applications. The scholarship is very competitive and you should complete your application to the very highest standard.

  • I am currently studying at another UK university, but would like to transfer to Sheffield and apply for the Sanctuary Scholarship.    

We only accept applications from students beginning a new course at the University of Sheffield. You cannot apply for the scholarship if you are transferring to Sheffield.

  • Am I able to apply for the Sanctuary Scholarship if I get a place at Sheffield through clearing or adjustment?    

No, we are not able to consider applicants who are coming to Sheffield through clearing or adjustment.

  • I would like to apply for the scholarship, but I cannot afford the UCAS application fee to apply for my chosen course. Do you offer any funding for the UCAS application?

No, unfortunately there is no funding available for this.

  • I will be a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield. Can I apply for a Sanctuary Scholarship?    

No, you cannot apply if you are undertaking a research degree. Only those studying undergraduate or postgraduate taught courses can apply for the scholarship.

Contact the funding team

For specific questions about fees, bursaries, scholarships and financial support, get in touch:

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