Sanctuary Scholarships

The University of Sheffield offers Sanctuary Scholarships for those who have sought asylum in the UK - for example, students who have been displaced or affected by 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 for 2024 entry cover the cost of tuition and provide a £10,300 award to support living costs for each year of study.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the scholarship, you are required to meet the criteria below:

  • You have been granted humanitarian protection or limited leave to remain in the UK; or 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.
  • You have applied for asylum on arrival in the UK, and before you have applied for a place at university.
  • You currently attend a school, college or community/voluntary group that will provide a reference in support of your application.
  • You hold an offer from the University of Sheffield to study an undergraduate or postgraduate taught course starting in September 2024. 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 will 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 Please contact the Student Fees and Funding Team if you have withdrawn from a previous course.
  • You are ineligible for other University scholarships, for example, Experience Sheffield Scholarship, Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarship, or a University bursary for undergraduate studies.
  • You are not eligible to receive support from a UK funding agency, for example, Student Finance England.

Information about eligibility for student finance can be found on the government’s web pages: - Student finance for undergraduates - Funding for postgraduate study

You are not eligible to apply for the scholarship if any of the following criteria apply:

  • You are eligible for support from a UK funding agency, for example, Student Finance England.
  • 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

Applications are now open. The deadline to receive complete applications is 1pm Monday 1 July 2024.

Apply for a Sanctuary Scholarship

You will need to use your applicant login details (once you have received an offer) to access the application form.

1. You will need to provide some personal details.

This will include answering some questions about your studies and the scholarship. Your answers will then be sent to a panel of senior University staff, who will assess all eligible applications.

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

  • 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. Please note, you do not need to give detailed information about the events that led to you seeking asylum.

2. You will need to provide a supporting statement from your referee from the school, college or community/volunteering/support 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).

What should your referee's statement include?

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. You will need to provide us with all the documentation that you have received from the Home Office in relation to your asylum claim and your referee’s statement.

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).

4. You should submit your application and all required documentation before the deadline.

If evidence is not provided, your application may not be considered.

The deadline to apply is 1.00pm Monday 1 July 2024. Late applications will not be considered. 

5. All eligible applicants will be notified of the outcome of their scholarship application before the end of July 2024.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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 the university 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 visit the web page 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.

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

No. 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 offers 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 only a limited number of 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 the University of 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 the University of Sheffield.

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

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

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.

Useful links

You may find the following web pages useful:

  • Displaced Student Opportunities UK is a comprehensive source of information about accessing higher education for people who are displaced in the UK. They have a range of information and opportunities available to look through, including courses to give you the tools to prepare for university.
  • Refugee Education UK provides information about higher education for asylum seekers and refugees.
  • Student Action for Refugees (STAR) is the national network of students building a society where refugees are welcomed and can thrive in the UK.
  • The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK’s national advisory body supporting international students and those who work with them. They provide advice, guidance and information about all aspects of the international student experience, from immigration and fees to mental health, culture shock and orientation.

Contact us about fees and funding

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If it's urgent or you can't find answers, call +44 114 222 9754

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Fee records

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Fee payments

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Funding (bursaries, scholarships and financial support)

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