Financial Support for Care Leavers

This information is for students who are entering or entered university from a care background.

We have funding available for our students who enter university from a care background e.g. having been in local authority care or looked after by relatives who have a court order to care for you.*

University Bursary

The care leavers bursary will vary depending on your level of study and the year you started, or are due to start, your course. To be assessed as an undergraduate student you must meet the eligibility criteria of Student Finance England (or equivalent funding body).

This award is instead of the Sheffield Bursary Scheme for undergraduate students. 

Please click on the relevant tab below to find further information on the bursary you may be eligible for. 

2018 entry

Undergraduate students who start their course in September 2018 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study.

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information is available from our 2018 bursary page.

2017 entry

Undergraduate students who started their course in September 2017 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information is available from our 2017 bursary page.

2016 entry

Undergraduate students who started in September 2016 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information is available from our 2016 bursary page.

2015 entry

Undergraduate students who started in September 2015 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost, as a payment towards your University accommodation or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information can be found on our 2015 bursary page.

2012-2014 entry

Full-time undergraduate students who started their course between September 2012 and September 2014 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £1,600. 

The University Bursary is yours to keep; you do not have to repay this money and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).

Postgraduate Students

Students who are studying a postgraduate course are eligible to apply for support with study costs.

If you studied your undergraduate degree at the University and were in receipt of the Carers Bursary you will not need to provide any additional evidence.

In order to receive the support you must be studying at the University of Sheffield and not studying by distance learning. If you are studying by distance learning and facing financial difficulties we recommend you apply for Financial Support.

Other postgraduate funding opportunities

Terms and conditions

  • Bursaries do not normally have to be paid back. However if you withdraw from your course you may have to repay a percentage of your bursary that you received in that academic year. Please contact financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk for guidance.
  • If you take a leave of absence during the year, you won’t have to repay the bursary you have already received, however, you won’t be eligible to receive any further instalments due to be paid.
  • Bursaries must be assessed and paid within the academic year and can not be backdated for previous years.
  • Exact payment dates will be confirmed in your bursary confirmation email.
  • Please note that if you are successful in receiving the Sheffield Postgraduate Scholarship you cannot apply for this support.

How to apply

Please complete our web form and email any evidence to financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk.

Apply here

Please note that you will be required to provide evidence to support your care status, such as;

  • a letter from social services (if they have been involved)
  • proof of legal guardianship (if this exists)
  • a court order showing proof of legal guardianship
  • a letter from a professional who is aware of the nature of your situation and living arrangements, such as your GP or head teacher.

The following students are not considered care leavers and are not eligible for care leaver support from the University:

  • Students who have been adopted.
  • Students who are under a private foster agreement.
  • Students who are no longer under a care order as per the Leaving Care Act.
  • Students who are aged 25 or over on the first day of their course.

If you are estranged from your family or guardian, please see our Estranged Students web-pages.

* Definitions:

Care Leaver: A person aged 25 or under, who has been looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date.
Background in care: A person who has been in the care of a local authority for at least 13 weeks, whether away from home or in the home.
Looked after and/or In the care of a Local Authority: Includes in foster care, in local authority accommodation, at home under a care order or under kinship care.

For more information: www.buttleuk.org

If you require any further guidance, please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Support Team, email: financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk or telephone: 0114 222 1319