Asylum Seeker Scholarships

Applications to the Asylum Seeker Scholarship are now closed. The information below relates to the Asylum Seeker Scholarship 2019 entry. 

We are pleased to offer five scholarships for those who have sought refuge in the UK. The scholarships cover the cost of tuition and provide a £9,840 award to support living costs for each year of study.

The scholarships will be available for students studying undergraduate degrees or postgraduate masters courses. Awards are discretionary.

Our aim is to support students under the government’s resettlement programme or who are recent arrivals in the UK.

Firth CourtAre you eligible to apply for a scholarship?

To be considered 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
  • be unable to access mainstream funding, for example student finance or local authority grants
  • currently attend a school, college, community or voluntary group who will provide a reference in support of your application
  • hold a conditional or unconditional offer from the University of Sheffield to study an undergraduate or postgraduate taught course starting in September 2019
  • be studying at degree level in the UK for the first time* (applicable to undergraduate applicants only)

*Please contact if you have withdrawn from a previous degree course.

If you are applying to study a postgraduate taught degree and have refugee status, you can also apply.

Important Information:

  • If you have exhausted all appeal rights and have neither submitted a fresh claim for asylum or an application to remain in the UK under another immigration category, you will not be able to study at the University of Sheffield. If your status changes throughout the application process or at any point prior to or during your studies, you must notify the us immediately.
  • If you have or receive a 'no study' immigration bail condition or a 'restricted study' condition that prohibits study in higher education, you will not be permitted to study at the University.

If you have not yet applied for a course

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


If you are unable to source evidence of previous qualifications please email

The deadline to apply for this scholarship was Friday 21 June 2019.

Frequently asked questions

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

No, but 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 Asylum Seeker 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 webpage. 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.

For more information on support available from our English Language Teaching Centre, please see their scholarship webpage.

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

There are 5 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.

Student Finance England have told me that I’m not eligible for student loans, but I’m appealing the decision. Can I still apply for the Asylum Seeker scholarship?

If you are not eligible for loans from Student Finance England, and meet the other criteria, you can apply to the Asylum Seeker Scholarship. If you appeal against their decision not to fund you, and are subsequently successful in receiving loans from Student Finance England, your scholarship application will not be considered.

I am currently studying at another UK university, but would like to transfer to Sheffield and apply for the Asylum Seeker Scholarship. We only accept applications from students beginning a new course at Sheffield. You cannot apply for the scholarship if you are transferring to Sheffield.
Am I able to apply for the Asylum Seeker Scholarship if I get a place at Sheffield through clearing or adjustment? We will contact all applicants by 31 July 2019 to let them know if they have been successful. Therefore, 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 to the Asylum Seeker 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.

To support your application

1. You will need to provide a supporting statement from a referee to complete your application. The referee must provide their contact details and confirm that the school, college, community or 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?

2. You must provide all the documentation you have received from the Home Office in relation to your asylum claim.

Our address to submit your reference and evidence of your residency status:

Financial Support Team
Student Support and Guidance
University of Sheffield
Level 6
Students' Union
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TG

Alternatively you can send the information by email to:

Apply here

If you are awarded the scholarship this will not influence your immigration status with the UK Home Office.

Selection process

This is a competitive process and not all applications will be successful. A panel of senior members of staff will select the strongest applications and will be looking for the following:

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

If your application is taken forward, we may invite you for an interview to clarify the information you have provided in your application. The University will also contact the Home Office to verify your immigration status in the UK. If you are successful with your application, an Immigration Advisor at the University will be in regular contact with you throughout your studies to check for any updates on your immigration status.

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.  We will deem you withdrawn and you will be expected to leave your studies and University accommodation immediately. 

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their scholarship application before Wednesday 31 July 2019.

Any questions?

Please get in touch if you have any questions:

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 1319