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Bursaries and scholarships explained

Bursaries and scholarships explainedIf you want to continue studying after you leave school but you're worried about the cost, you may be able to apply for a bursary or scholarship to help get you through. Click below for more information.

What is a bursary or scholarship?

The terms 'bursary' and 'scholarship' are often confused and are used as general terms. They both refer to money or financial help that you don't have to pay back. 

Universities also provide a variety of financial support packages to students with low household incomes or who are facing other challenges that might make university more challenging. Ask your university for more information about this, or check the university website.

Some university departments might also offer cash rewards for achieving a number of A grades at A-level or consistently achieving a 1st class grading on some courses. Details of these can be found on individual university websites.

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How do I find bursaries and scholarships?

Contact your college or university to see what financial support they can provide. You may also be able to get one-off grants and scholarships from various charities and trusts.

Services like Scholarship Search can help you to find details of scholarships and funding offered by different institutions for specific courses.

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Top tips for applying for bursaries and scholarships

If you are applying to an institution or charity for extra funding to get you through university, it is quite likely that you will be called to attend an interview. Remember to follow these six simple steps to make a convincing case and maximise your chances of success.


  • Prepared: Rehearse it with someone who knows you.
  • Passionate: Be passionate about your subject and course.
  • Perky: Always talk optimistically, i.e. how your life will be improved by the grant, rather than how it will be difficult if you don't get one.
  • Punctual: Be on time. The panel may not be able to consider your application if it's late.
  • Presentable: Dress smartly - first impressions really do count.
  • Personal statement: If you are asked to write a personal statement then say why you should receive the grant/bursary above others and talk about your ambitions and how they will be helped by the extra funding.

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