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NHS bursary

NHS funding will be available for new students starting the following healthcare courses between September 2023 and March 2024.

Eligibility for NHS funding is subject to new students committing in advance to work in Wales for two years (degree students) or 18 months (diploma students) post qualification.

The NHS bursary provides help for fees and living costs.

The NHS only provides financial support for living costs to students treated as home UK funded students.

The NHS Wales Student Awards Service administers the advance commitment to work in Wales post-qualification. There are Terms and Conditions for the commitment and FAQs about how it works on their website. It is recommended that you check this information and if you have specific queries about it please contact the NHS Wales Student Awards Service.

Eligible courses

Students on the following courses can usually apply for NHS funding but only if they commit to working in Wales post qualification:

  • Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging (BSc)
  • Occupational Therapy (BSc)
  • Nursing (BN)
  • Midwifery (BMid)
  • Radiotherapy and Oncology (BSc)
  • Physiotherapy (BSc)
  • Dental Therapy and Hygiene (BSc)
  • Dental Hygiene (DipHE)
  • Pre-Registration Physiotherapy (MSc)
  • Pre-Registration Occupational Therapy (MSc)

How to apply

You can apply on the NHS Wales Student Awards Service website when you have accepted an offer of a place to study.

The School of Healthcare Sciences and the Dental School will notify the NHS Wales Student Awards Services (NHS SAS) of those applicants who have accepted an offer of a place of study.

Applicants can then apply for NHS funding through the online application system for the NHS (Wales) SAS. Applicants who accept an offer of a place to study will be given guidance on how to apply.

Wherever you are from in the UK, you must apply via the NHS Wales SAS.

As part of your application, you apply for tuition fee support and help with living costs.

You need to apply for the non-means tested NHS grant for living costs as this is not automatic.

The bursary covers the following:

The bursary covers tuition fees in full, and is non-income assessed, but you still need to apply for this as part of the online application.

There are three elements of funding to help with living costs.

Non-income assessed NHS grant

You can apply for a non means tested NHS Grant of £1,000 per year to help with living costs. The NHS Grant is non-repayable.

Income assessed NHS bursary

This is assessed against household income. If you live in your parental home while studying your bursary entitlement will be reduced.

The maximum basic NHS Bursary is as follows:

Living in student accommodation/own homeLiving in parental home

Our healthcare courses have extra weeks of attendance and an extra amount of NHS Bursary is added at £84 per extra week if you live in student accommodation or your own home or £56 per extra week if you live in the parental home.

The NHS Bursary is reduced where assessed income is above £24,279. For every £5,000 above this threshold, the NHS Bursary is reduced by £526 per year.

The income that is assessed is either the taxable income of parents or a spouse or partner depending on your circumstances. Your earnings prior to the course and if you work while studying are not assessed.

If you are single the income of parents is not assessed if you have children or you are estranged from your parents or you can demonstrate that you have supported yourself financially for 3 years prior to the course.

Lone parent students usually qualify for the maximum NHS Bursary.

Extra weeks attendance for each course can vary from year to year.

If you would like to know more about NHS funding, contact the Advice and Money Team.

Student loan for living costs

You can also apply online for a repayable Maintenance Loan via your home UK country Student Finance Service. The loan is not income assessed.

The table below shows figures for 2023/24 academic year.


Students living in Wales prior to course

Students living in England prior to course

Living away from parental home



Living in parental home




Apply through Student Finance Wales

Apply through Student Finance England

The loan is reduced in the final year.

Previous study in higher education on a non-NHS funded course doesn’t affect eligibility for the NHS Bursary, NHS Grant or NHS support for tuition fees wherever you are from in the UK.

Students with previous study from Wales or from England undertaking a BSc healthcare course as listed in the introduction, or the Diploma in Dental Hygiene, are eligible to apply for NHS funding which includes the reduced Maintenance Loan via Student Finance. The exception to this are Pre-Registration Physiotherapy (MSc) and Pre-Registration Occupational Therapy (MSc) students from Wales who are not currently eligible to apply for the reduced Maintenance Loan.

Students from England with a degree already can choose to fund their course and maintenance via Student Finance OR the NHS Wales Bursary scheme.  Currently, students from Wales with a degree already can only fund their course via the NHS Wales Bursary scheme.

If you are from Northern Ireland or Scotland and have previously studied in higher education, please check with your funding authority about your eligibility for the reduced Maintenance Loan.

Cardiff is considered to be one of the most affordable UK cities to live in while you study. See our living cost calculator for the average cost of living in Cardiff as a full time, undergraduate student.

There is the option to check with the Admissions Office for your course what support is provided to help with some course related costs such as placements and uniforms.

School of Healthcare Sciences

School of Dentistry

You apply for help with placement costs via the School. For courses in the School of Healthcare Sciences this includes EU students with tuition fees only support.

Help for placement travel costs is based on the cost of a return journey from your home (term-time address) to the placement less the cost of the return journey from your home (term-time address) to Cardiff University i.e. your normal commute to attend university.

If you have to pay for accommodation at your placement location you can apply for help with this cost if you also incur accommodation costs for your normal term-time address.

You'll receive guidance on how to apply when you have enrolled.

A NHS Childcare Allowance is available to help with registered childcare costs. Help is based on 85% of actual childcare costs up to a maximum grant of £128.78 per week for one child and £209.95 per week for two or more children. This allowance is income assessed.

Dependents Allowances for children (£2,448* for the eldest child and £549 for each other child) and a Parents Learning Allowance of £1,204 are also available via the NHS and are a general source of extra help as a student parent.

The net income of a spouse or partner can reduce all allowances for children pound for pound after some disregards from income are taken into account.

Lone parent students usually qualify for maximum extra funding.

(*If you qualify for an Adult Dependents Grant the Dependents Allowances for children will be £549 for each child)

You can apply for an Adult Dependents Grant if you have a partner or spouse or another adult, perhaps someone you look after, who is financially dependent on you.  How much grant you can get will depend on an assessment of your household income.

If you require learning support related to a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty, there is an allowance that is not income-assessed and non-repayable that may help with associated costs of this support.

To find out more, please contact our Disability and Dyslexia team at [email protected].

You apply for the DSA as part of the online application via the NHS Wales Student Awards Service.

Usually students from the Channel Islands are not eligible to apply for NHS funding. The Channel Islands have their own system of funding. It is recommended that you contact the School of Healthcare Sciences Admissions Office or the Dental School Admissions Office for further advice about the application process for your course and what support if any the School may provide for some costs related to attendance on your course (E.g. placement costs, uniforms).

EU students starting courses on or after 1 August 2021 must have settled or pre-settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme to be eligible for home UK tuition fees status and to apply for student funding for tuition fees.

Irish citizens are eligible for home UK tuition fees status and to apply for student funding for tuition fees under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

Irish citizens and EU students who qualify for NHS Bursary funding must commit in advance of the course to work in Wales post-qualification, please see the Terms and Conditions of this commitment on the NHS Wales Student Awards Services website.

Getting help

If you have any queries about funding for your course, please contact the Advice and Money team:

Student Funding and Advice Team