Overview and eligibility

We calculate your basic eligibility for the Leeds Bursary using information already held on your student record.

To qualify for a full-time Leeds Bursary award you must be registered on a designated full-time, undergraduate, higher-education course lasting at least one year: for example:

  • a degree (but not a degree apprenticeship as these have a different funding structure)
  • foundation degree
  • diploma of higher education (DipHE) or
  • certificate of higher education (CertHE)

You don't need to apply for the Leeds Bursary if you are a full-time student. However you will need to be means-tested by Student Finance England (or equivalent funding body for Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland). Both you and your sponsors (usually your parents or partner) will also need to give the Student Finance England consent to share your household income with the University. We will send an email to your University of Leeds email account in the autumn term, confirming your eligibility, and once you have received this, you need to log into Minerva and choose how you wish to receive your support.

It is possible to be means-tested by Student Finance England even if you do not wish to take out either a maintenance loan or tuition fees loan. If you do not wish to take out a loan, but still wish to be means-tested in order to be considered for a Leeds Bursary award, please download a paper student finance application for either a new full-time student (PN1 form) or continuing full-time student (PR1 form) from the government's student finance forms page

Are you eligible? 

You will be able to choose how you receive this support up until 1st November in the relevant academic year – either as a cash award, or as a discount to your tuition fees or University accommodation. In line with statutory funding EU students must take the support as a tuition fee discount.

Whether you choose cash, accommodation or tuition, you need to be registered on the relevant entitlement date in order to qualify for the corresponding portion of your Leeds Bursary award. The entitlement date to receive each portion (first portion 25%, second portion 50%, third portion 25%) matches the scheduled cash payment dates.

To qualify you must: 

  • be either a UK undergraduate student, normally living in England, Northern Ireland or Scotland for the three years immediately before the start of the course and “settled” in the UK on the first day of the course; or a non-UK EU student in receipt of a Tuition Fees Loan; UK undergraduate students normally living in Wales for the three years immediately before the start of the course and “settled” in the UK on the first day of the course may also be eligible if they entered higher education in 2018-19 or later, and therefore have not qualified for the Welsh Assembly Grant during their course.
  • be a new student, starting a first degree course on or after 1 September 2012  
  • be liable for the higher rate fee (eg £9,250 for a 2017+ entry student entering level one of their degree), or pro-rata equivalent for part-time students .
  • have not already achieved an equivalent or higher-level qualification. This stipulation does not apply if you are studying Nursing, Midwifery or Dental Hygiene & Therapy, and are eligible to receive full statutory funding (both maintenance loan and tuition fees loan).
  • be a registered student at the University for the relevant academic year.
  • not have an assessed household income of more than £42,875 a year if you commenced studies prior to August 2018, or not have an assessed household income above £36,000 if you commenced studies after August 2018. 
  • not be undertaking a degree apprenticeship course.
  • not be on a study-abroad or work-placement year, or be charged fees at the study-abroad/work placement fee rate.
  • UK students: not have tuition fees funded by NHS England (or equivalent funding body for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland), for example Medicine or Dentistry students in the 5th year of study. This criterion does not apply to UK students studying Medicine or Dentistry from 2020/21 onwards*. Please click here for important information about financial assessments.
  • Non-UK EU students: not have tuition fees funded by NHS England (or equivalent funding body for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland), for example Medicine or Dentistry students in the 5th year of study. This criterion continues to apply to Non-UK EU students, as the fee liability will already be zero, and no further tuition fee discount will be possible.

* From 2020-21 onwards UK students who are eligible to receive a Tuition Fee Grant from the NHS Student Bursaries Authority will qualify for the Leeds Bursary providing they meet all of the standard eligibility criteria.  Note, this is a policy change from 2020-21 onwards and cannot be backdated.  

The level of support you receive depends on your household income and the year you start your studies.

Student Loans Company Income Assessments

Please note, in order to be awarded a Leeds Bursary all household income assessments/re-assessments must be finalised by your awarding authority (SFE/SFW/SFNI/SAAS) and the income updated on the SLCs Bursary Administration Service on or before the end date of your eligible undergraduate course, or before your permanent withdrawal date (whichever is sooner).  Any assessed household income notified after these dates will not be accepted and a Leeds Bursary cannot be awarded.

You must have your income assessment verified by the Student Loans Company (SLC) in each year of study in order to have a Leeds Bursary eligibility check carried out by the University. Your income assessment must be marked as verified on the SLC's system to be used as part of our eligibility check. We are unable to roll your assessed and verified household income from one academic year to the next.

The SLC have their own policy regarding their deadline to apply for a household income assessment. You must apply for a household income assessment prior to their deadline.

There are a number of instances where it may not be possible for the SLC to verify your household income at the start of the academic year, eg if you have requested a current year income assessment, and in these instances we are unable to carry out a Leeds Bursary eligibility check to determine your award. 

We have no control over the income assessments carried out by the SLC and will not be able to request that your income be verified by them. If you are advised by the University that your income has not been verified by the SLC then you will need to liaise with the SLC to understand why this has not happened. 

Please be aware that once your income has been verified later in the academic year your eligibility will be determined by the University and any outstanding award paid to you. In order to qualify for a Leeds Bursary award in any academic year a verified household income assessment pertaining to that academic year must be received before the end of your course or the end of the following academic year (whichever occurs sooner). 

Foundation Year students

The higher award for foundation year students is payable in one academic year only. If you need to repeat a foundation year (for whatever reason) you would not receive the foundation year level of support again, but would be considered for the level of award appropriate to students who had progressed onto year 1 of a subsequent degree course. 

The Foundation Year must be your first year of study at the University. For example if you start course A in year 1 then transfer to a Foundation Year of course B in a subsequent academic year, you would not receive the foundation year level of support for that year. 

Migrant Worker status

The type of Leeds Bursary award you are entitled to will be dependent on when the Migrant Worker status is granted. 

If you are granted Migrant Worker status by the Student Loans Company at the start of the academic year then you will be eligible to receive your award as either cash, an accommodation discount, or a tuition fee discount. 

If at the beginning of the year you are considered an EU student by the Student Loans Company (i.e. only entitled to receive a Tuition Fees Loan, not a Maintenance Loan), and subsequently are reassessed as a Migrant Worker, you will receive your Leeds Bursary award as a tuition fee discount for the full academic year.

Students with full/partial fee waivers

If your School has awarded you a full or partial fee waiver (for whatever reason, usually this would only apply to students repeating a year with mitigating circumstances) your Leeds Bursary award would be pro-rated. For example if you have been awarded a 60% fee waiver your Leeds Bursary award would be 40% of the applicable full-fee award. If in a previous academic year you received a pro-rated overpayment of Leeds Bursary due to your fee charge being reduced after payment, this would be taken in consideration when calculating your pro-rated Leeds Bursary entitlement for the current year.    

If you are in receipt of a Means-Tested Undergraduate scholarship

If you are receiving a Means-Tested Undergraduate Scholarship then you are not eligible to receive an award from the Leeds Bursary scheme.



There are certain instances where you will not be eligible to receive a Leeds Bursary award. These are:

If you already hold a degree level qualification 

As this fund is a widening participation scheme for students from low income backgrounds undertaking a first degree, students who already hold a degree level qualification or higher are not eligible to receive this award. 

Welsh Assembly Grant 

If you normally reside in Wales and receive the Welsh Government Tuition Fee Grant you already receive enhanced statutory financial support via Student Finance Wales and as a result pay a lower tuition fee.

Please note that as of September 2018 the Welsh Assembly Grant is no longer offered to new students. 

Year Abroad/In Industry

If you are spending a year in industry or studying abroad you will already be pay a reduced tuition fee and therefore not eligible to receive Leeds Financial Support.

Degree Apprenticeships

Students on a Degree Apprenticeship programme continue to receive a salary from their employer and have their fees paid directly to the university, so do not qualify for the Leeds Bursary.

Former students

Once you have either successfully completed your course, or have permanently withdrawn from your course prior to successful completion, no further Leeds Bursary payments (for any academic year) will be made.