Bursaries, scholarships and awards

You may be entitled to extra financial support from your university or college. This could be a bursary or a scholarship if you meet certain conditions set by your university or college. Some charities and educational trusts also offer grants and awards. Find out what help is available.

Bursaries and awards

Bursaries are extra sources of financial help available from colleges and universities. They’re paid on top of any Student Loans or grants you may get. Bursaries don’t have to be repaid.

Universities and colleges decide what’s available, but those based in Northern Ireland have to offer a minimum payment to students who:

  • get the full Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant
  • pay maximum tuition fees - £4,275 for 2019-2020

The minimum payment depends on the tuition fees the university or college charges. Many universities and colleges are offering considerably more than the minimum.

In 2019- 2020 the minimum bursary for a student receiving the full Maintenance Grant on a course charging the full £4,275 tuition fees is £427.50 but some universities may offer more.

If you started your course before September 2006, different rules apply. Contact the Student Finance NI team in the Education Authority office in your area to check if you're eligible.

How bursaries are paid

Usually, you’ll get a direct payment from your college or university. But some provide support in kind, such as:

  • discounts on accommodation
  • discounts on books

Find out how to apply from your university or college. Some administer their own schemes and others are administered by Student Finance Northern Ireland.

The main application for student finance asks you to give your consent for Student Finance NI to share your application details with your university or college if necessary. Student Finance NI are the administrators of student finance applications, made up of the Student Loans Company and the Education Authority in Northern Ireland.

If your university or college handles their own scheme, giving your consent allows them to use this information to assess what you’re entitled to. If you don’t consent, you’ll need to send this information to your university or college directly.

What to do if your circumstances change

If your circumstances change, or example if your household income goes up or down, you must tell the student support office at your university or college.

University and college bursaries

A number of the Northern Ireland institutions have bursaries and scholarships available to students.  To find out if there is anything available at your college/university of choice, contact the institution directly or find out more:

Grants and awards from charitable trusts

There are a number of trusts and charities which provide higher education students with financial help. You may be able to get an award from one of these organisations on top of the student finance package provided by the government.

All Ireland Scholarships (JP McManus)

The All Ireland Scholarship Scheme, which is funded by JP McManus, provides significant financial support to high achieving students from challenging economic backgrounds.

You can find information about the scheme at All Ireland Scholarships.

Uversity Scholarships

The Uversity Adult Learners’ Scholarship Programme is open to students aged 23 and over, wishing to go to University to study a Degree for the first time.

For more information about the scheme visit Uversity Scholarships.

Mobility grants from the Erasmus programme

As part of the Erasmus programme of European study, mobility grants are available to eligible students who want to do part of their higher education course in one of the 33 countries taking part in the scheme.

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.