Health Professional Courses
If you are planning a degree course in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, radiography, speech and language therapy, podiatry or dietetics at the University of Ulster you will have different funding arrangements from other higher education students.
For those taking Health Professional courses
Under these funding arrangements, which also apply to students from England, Wales and Scotland who are studying in Northern Ireland, you may not be liable to pay the tuition fee.
You may also be eligible to apply for an income-assessed bursary to assist with living costs. In addition you may also be eligible to apply for a reduced rate non-income assessed loan.
Students from EU countries who are studying in Northern Ireland may also be exempt from paying the tuition fee but they will not be eligible for any bursary or loan that may cover living costs.
The amount of bursary you may receive will depend on your own and your family's income. You may also get extra allowances, for example, if you are disabled or have dependants. Your local Student Finance NI office will be able to advise you.
How to apply
Studying in Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland the Student Finance NI offices will deal with the bursary arrangements on behalf of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS).
If you are a Northern Ireland student you should apply to your Student Finance NI office. Your Student Finance NI office will assess your bursary entitlement using the information provided on the application form for student finance, that is PN1 or PR1 form.
If you live in England, Wales or Scotland you should apply to the North Eastern Education and Library Board.
Studying in England, Wales and Scotland
If you intend to enter a degree in one of the health care professions in England, Wales or Scotland the arrangements are somewhat different but the assistance available is broadly the same.
Places attracting bursaries may be limited and if you do not get a bursary you should apply for support from your Student Finance NI office in the same way as other new students.
If a college in England offers you a place on a health professional course which is funded by the NHS, they will supply you with an application pack. You should complete your application as soon as possible and send it to the Students Grants Unit in Fleetwood.
If you plan to study in Scotland and have been offered a place which is funded by the NHS you should contact the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
For study in Wales, NHS bursaries are provided by the Student Awards Unit in the Human Resources Division (HRD) of the National Assembly for Wales.
Medical and dental courses
In Northern Ireland the DHSSPS will provide bursaries for pre-registration students of medicine and dentistry in their fifth and later years of study in the UK.
Support for your first 4 years of study will be on the same basis as for other higher education students, so that if you started in 2010/2011 a DHSSPS bursary will become payable from 2014/2015.
During the period for which the bursary is payable, the DHSSPS will pay your tuition fee contribution in full. No contribution will be required from you or your family towards your fees.
The bursary is administered and paid by your local Student Finance NI office on behalf of the DHSSPS and how much you get depends on your income. You will also be able to get a reduced rate, non-income assessed loan for the balance of your maintenance support.
How to apply
If you are accepted for a pre-registration medical or dental course starting in 2014/2015, you should apply to your local Student Finance NI office for help as described in Section 2. You will automatically get further advice on applying for a bursary well in advance of one becoming payable.
Graduate-entry medical courses
If you are attending a four year graduate-entry medical course (fast-track course) in England, Wales or Scotland you will not be eligible for a Health Service bursary or tuition fee support or a Higher Education bursary.
You may however apply to your local Student Finance NI office for support for living costs through student loans and certain supplementary grants for the duration of your course.
More information for students in Northern Ireland
For DHSSPS bursaries in Northern Ireland:
The local Student Finance NI offices administer the arrangements for bursaries on behalf of the DHSSPS. Northern Ireland students should, therefore, contact their Student Finance NI office for further information.
English, Welsh and Scottish students should contact the Student Finance NI office in Ballymena, by telephoning 028 2566 2280.