University bursary for care leavers

How to apply to the University of Sheffield bursary available to care leavers.



To be considered for the enhanced bursary, you must

  • be a care leaver (see our definition
  • be under the age of 25 on the first day of your course
  • be registered on a full-time or part-time course
  • meet the eligibility requirements of Student Finance England or equivalent funding body (undergraduate students only)
  • have been assessed as independent by Student Finance England or equivalent funding body (undergraduate students only)

You are not considered to be a care leaver if you

  • have been adopted
  • are under a private foster agreement
  • are no longer under a care order as per the Leaving Care Act

If you are estranged from your family or guardian, please see our guidance for estranged students.

Undergraduate students

This award is instead of the University of Sheffield Bursary Scheme. The money is yours to keep, it is non-repayable and it won’t affect your student finance.

The year you started your course will determine which bursary scheme you are eligible for. Click on your year of entry below for more information.

2020 - 2023 entry

For students who start their course between September 2020 and September 2023, the bursary award, per level of study, is

  • up to £10,000 for full-time students – see the table below for how the award will be paid
  • up to £5,000 for part-time students – paid in four instalments per year of study

If you're a full-time student, the way your award is paid will depend on where you choose to live:

Accommodation Bursary award per year
University of Sheffield accommodation £4,500 bursary (paid in two instalments), accommodation fees paid by the University
Private accommodation £10,000 bursary (paid in four instalments)
Catalyst and Unite accommodation scholarship winners £4,500 bursary (paid in two instalments), accommodation funded by the scholarship award

University of Sheffield accommodation consists of a single en-suite room in University accommodation. Contracts last 52 weeks. There is no cash alternative available if you choose to take a shorter accommodation contact.

If you have specific needs for accommodation that may increase the cost, contact the Fees and Funding Team to discuss this.

2015–19 entry

If you started your course between September 2016 and September 2019, the bursary award per level of study is

  • £4,500 for full-time students
  • £2,250 for part-time students
2012–14 entry

If you started your course between September 2012 and September 2014 and you're a full-time student, the bursary award per level of study is £1,600.

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate students are eligible to apply for support with study costs. Contact the Fees and Funding Team to discuss the support available. 

Where you are studying by distance learning you will not be eligible for a bursary. If you are facing financial difficulties, we recommend applying for financial support (Student login required).

You do not need to provide any additional evidence if you studied your undergraduate degree with us and received the Care Leaver’s Bursary.

How to apply

  • Inform us of your circumstances via our online contact form.
  • You must also provide evidence to support your care status, such as
    • a letter from social services (if they have been involved)
    • proof of legal guardianship, such as a court order (if applicable)
    • a letter from a professional who is aware of the nature of your situation and living arrangements (eg your GP or head teacher)
  • Email your evidence to the Fees and Funding Team ( You should contact them for any further information or guidance. 

Terms and conditions 

  • Exact payment dates will be confirmed in your bursary confirmation email.
  • Your bursary is non-repayable and will not affect your student finance.
  • Bursaries must be assessed and paid within the academic year and cannot be backdated for previous years.
  • Your bursary will be paid as a direct payment into your bank account to help with your study costs.
  • Where you withdraw from your course, you may need to repay a percentage of your bursary that you received in that academic year. Please contact the Fees and Funding Team for guidance.
  • Where you take a leave of absence during the year, you will not be eligible to receive any further instalments due to be paid.

A full list of terms and conditions is available on our Bursaries page (Student login required).

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