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)
There are a number of bursaries available at Belfast Metropolitan College. Some are subject-specifics and some are means-tested.
For further information on support available and relevant eligibility criteria visit student funding.
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.
Northern Regional College
Northern Regional College offer a Bursary Scheme to help provide financial support to those studying a full-time higher education course.
There's no limit to the number of bursaries available – every student who meets the eligibility criteria will receive one.
For further details including eligibility criteria visit finance and welfare.
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
NWRC Higher Education Bursary and Scholarship
A bursary of £500 is available to all NWRC full-time higher education students (means tested and non-repayable).
You can apply for the bursary through Student Services in September.
Two HE scholarships are available to cover the cost of fees for students from a disadvantaged background.
South Eastern Regional College (SERC)
SERC Support Bursary
There is a means-tested bursaries of 10 per cent of HE full-time student tuition fees available. These are as well as government grants and don't have to be paid back.
For more information see: SERC student finance.
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
- health and safety
Application materials are available:
SSE Airtricity Scholarship
This scholarship is offered to 16 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 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.
This scholarship is not available for Higher Level Apprenticeship students.
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.
St Mary's University College
St Mary's will provide additional financial support, based on assessed household income, in the form of a non-repayable annual College Bursary. The amount of the College Bursary will be dependent on the level of assessed household income.
Stranmillis University College
Stranmillis University College financial bursary
A bursary of £500 per year is available to all full-time students, where the household income is less than £19,203.
Halls accommodation bursary
A 50 per cent contribution to the cost of a standard room in Stran Halls is available to students who meet certain criteria.
Care leaver support bursary
Care experienced students are eligible to apply for a free place in Stran Halls for the duration of their course plus a study support bursary. This bursary is not means-tested.
For further information on bursaries and other financial support visit Stranmillis University College or contact the Finance Office on 028 90384266.
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.