Apply for discretionary funding

Updated on 13 August 2021

Find out what the different types of discretionary funding are, and how to apply for them

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We pay out the following discretionary funds:

  • Higher Education Discretional Funds
  • Higher Education Childcare Fund
  • Lone Parent Childcare Grant (LPCG)
  • European and International Discretional Fund
  • Higher Education Nursing & Midwifery Discretional Fund

We also distribute various donations and Trust scholarships.

You may be allocated an award to assist you with your general living costs, or a contribution towards your childcare costs.  Assistance will not be provided towards tuition fees.

Any funds awarded will normally be paid directly to your bank account in instalments. Awards for childcare will be paid directly to your childcare provider.

The Student Funding Unit has a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and complies with financial audit requirements.

Eligibility for discretionary funds

You can apply for financial assistance if you are:

  • eligible to apply for a student loan


  • in receipt of either a bursary or a loan for living costs

and are either:

  • a UK resident student, or the child of an EU migrant worker
  • an EU student receiving SAAS support equivalent to a (UK) Home student
  • a full or part-time Nursing student who is undertaking a Pre-Registration Nursing course
  • a UK full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate student studying a course as part of a degree programme.

If you are a PGDE student in receipt of the STEM Training Bursary provided by the Scottish Government, you need to have taken out the maximum SAAS funding you are entitled to before you can apply for discretionary funding. 

If you are an EU or International Student experiencing unexpected or unforeseen financial circumstances, you can also apply to us for financial assistance.

Students who are not eligible

You are not able to apply for Financial Assistance if you are:

  • a co-curriculum student in your first year attending college - you need to contact your Student Services Directorate in your college for financial aid
  • on an extended DP or are writing up a thesis
  • studying on the MSc Educational Psychology programme and are in receipt of the Educational Psychology training grant
  • a postgraduate student looking for a contribution towards registered childcare costs and eligible for a living cost loan, but have not taken this loan from your funding body

Apply for funding

If you want to apply for financial assistance, please make sure you are a current and matriculated student for this academic year (meaning that you have enrolled on your course).

We recommend that you save all the necessary documents in a named folder on your device to make it easier to submit your application, and also for future reference.

Applications for Financial Assistance will open on Tuesday 17 August 2021.


Student Funding

+44 (0)1382 384801

Guide category Student support