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Funding and Support

A range of funding and support options are available to social work students, and we’re happy to discuss which ones might best fit your situation. 

We recognise that for many applicants, accessing financial and social support whilst studying is a key consideration. As Social Work students have access to both loans (which have to be paid back) and bursaries (which do not), it can be confusing to understand your options.

Your country of residence is important for determining what government loans or bursaries you might be eligible for. You can look more into student funding in Scotland and social work bursaries in Wales if these are relevant, but this funding may or may not be available for studying at Lancaster. Some of the funding detailed below may be applicable for some EU students – please check relevant links for details.

For students from England, undergraduate funding typically looks like this:


  • First Year

    You may be eligible for Tuition or Maintenance loans available to undergraduate students on diverse courses - check the Student finance calculator to determine your eligibility and how much you may receive. In addition, Lancaster University offers both bursaries for those from the UK with lower household incomes, and scholarships for excellence that all applicants are automatically considered for. 

  • Second and third year

    You may be eligible for government bursaries, through the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). These bursaries are not dependent upon household income and do not need to be paid back. In order to be eligible for this funding, you must meet several criteria. In addition, unlike student loans, the government allocates bursaries to Departments rather than individuals. We, therefore, have a limited number of bursaries each year, and unfortunately cannot guarantee that you will receive one. However, please get in touch if you have questions about the likelihood of getting a bursary. For a helpful guide on social work bursaries, you can visit the NHS Business Services Authority website. Whether or not you receive a bursary, you may remain eligible for the funding available during your first year. Our department also offers travel bursaries to support placement-related travel for students who are not receiving NHSBSA support.  

Chris Sherrington

As Practice Learning Facilitator you will most likely meet with me when your start placement. My role is focused on supporting your learning about social work practice in the workplace. I like to hear from you what has made sense so far in the placement (and what hasn't). I’m keen to support the linking of knowledge from the classroom environment into reflective practice, with actual outcomes that can make a real difference in the lives of people who need care and support.

Social Work courses

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