University and college bursaries

You may be entitled to a bursary or scholarship from your college or university depending on what you study and where you study it. Extra financial support is often means-tested, however some aid is specific to a particular course or subject area.

Bursaries and scholarships available

University and college bursaries are usually paid on top of any student loans or grants you may get, however some may reduce your student loan entitlement. They don’t have to be repaid unless you leave your course early. 

Universities and colleges decide what to offer, but those based in Northern Ireland must offer a minimum payment of 10 per cent of the tuition fee to students who get the full maintenance grant or special support grant. Some offer more than the minimum while others provide support in kind, such as discount on accommodation and/or books. 

To find out more about eligibility and the application process, contact your regional student finance office.

Find out what support is available from NI institutions below. This is not an exhaustive list.  Contact your university or college to find out more.

Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC)

BMC Trust Fund Student Mentoring Initiative

This bursary is for £375 and is available to 40 students from backgrounds of disadvantage that would benefit from the help of a learning support mentor.

Approval for this award is via assessment of student support need by a college learning support officer. There is no closing date or age limit and the award is not dependent on academic performance or subject specific.

College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise

Bursaries are available to students at each campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) from companies trading in their specialism, such as Food, Agriculture, Equine and Horticulture.

You can compete for these awards either by completing a topical report or through interviews.

Paid work placements may also be offered as part of the bursary. Find out more about CAFRE bursaries.

North West Regional College

US Naval Communications Scholarship

This is a scholarship worth £250 to four students each year. It is available for one year only to those studying Computing and IT or for engineering National Diploma students attending the second term of year 2 in North West Regional College.

It is specifically for students who experienced financial problems in their first year but continued on with the course. 

Other considerations include if you:

  • are working part-time to finance your study
  • have potential to go into higher education and an incentive would motivate you to do so
  • have shown good progress

South West College

Dalradian Gold Student Scholarship

The Dalradian scholarship is offered to five students every year to the value of £1,000 each.

To be eligible, you must study at South West College within the following disciplines:

  • geology and associated disciplines
  • civil engineering
  • environmental sciences
  • business administration
  • IT
  • health and safety

Application materials are available:

SSE Airtricity Scholarship

This scholarship is offered to 10 students each year and is worth £2,500 per student.

To apply, you must have a home address in County Tyrone or County Londonderry and be doing one of the following higher education programmes:

  • FD Sustainable Construction
  • FD Wind Turbine Technology
  • FD Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • FD Energy, Environment and Sustainability
  • FD Building Services
  • FD Design - Product and Graphic
  • FD Creative Arts
  • ATI Level 5
  • BSC Hons Degree in Energy, Environment and Sustainability

You will need to fill in an application form detailing:

  • your academic achievements so far
  • the impact receiving such a scholarship will have on your studies
  • your career aspirations

The Strickland Scholarship

This scholarship is offered to four students each year and is worth £2,500 per student. 

To be eligible for this award you must have a home address in South West region and be a fee-paying student on a Foundation Degree or HND/C in Engineering  at SWC.

You must also show how you have contributed positively to your local community, for example through sport, work with church groups or voluntary work.  

Queen's University Belfast

There are a number of bursaries and scholarships available at Queens University.  Some of these are specific to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students.  

For further information on the current scholarship and bursary support at Queen’s, along with criteria and any relevant selection or application detail, see the Scholarships and awards handbook.

Ulster University

There are a number of bursaries and scholarships available at Ulster University.  Some of these are specific to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. 

Funding for Healthcare courses

If you do a healthcare course, the student support available to you differs from the support available for other higher education courses.

If you study certain healthcare courses you may be entitled to a bursary from the Department for Health (DoH). Some bursaries are specific to students studying in Northern Ireland while others are UK-based.

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