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NHS Funding - Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate medical and dental students are eligible for NHS funding from their 5th year of study and beyond. Medical and dental students on the Graduate Entry Programme are eligible for NHS funding from year 2 and beyond. The NHS tuition fee grant is mandatory for all eligible students but the bursary element is means-tested.

Q. As an international student, am I eligible for NHS funding?

A. No, only students with a ‘Home’ or ‘EU’ status are eligible. Home students can apply for the full NHS package of tuition fee grant and means-tested bursary however, EU students are only eligible to receive the tuition fee grant.

  • Students from England and EU countries will be assessed by NHS Student Bursaries England.
  • Students from Wales will be assessed by NHS Wales Student Awards Unit.
  • Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own funding schemes and students from these countries should apply to either Student Finance Northern Ireland or Student Awards Agency Scotland.

Q. How do I make an application for NHS funding?

A. The SMD will submit a BUR99 form to the NHS on behalf of each eligible student in early May each year. Students will receive an email from the NHS with instructions on how to make their application electronically via the Bursary On line Support System (BOSS) which can be found on: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students.aspx.
From this page students can find BOSS by clicking on:
Student Bursaries → How can I Apply → Information Page

Q. Will the NHS pay the full higher rate tuition fee of £9K which comes into effect in 2012?

A. No, the NHS will only pay a portion of the tuition fees but students can obtain a tuition fee loan from SFE to make up the difference. This relates to GEP students in years 2 to 4. Graduate students on the 5 year programme will receive the full tuition fee grant from the NHS in their 5th year of study. GEP students will have to pay their own tuition fees in Year 1 and graduates on the 5 year course will be have to pay their own tuition fees in years 1 to 4. Undergraduate students can obtain the full tuition fee loan from SFE in years 1 to 4 and full tuition fee grant in year 5 when they are NHS funded.

Q. Will I be entitled to apply for NHS funding during my intercalated year?

A. Yes, if you intercalate after Year 4 you will be in your 5th year of study. If you intercalate after years 2 or 3, you are not eligible for NHS funding during your intercalated year but you will be eligible during the last two years of your medical or dental course.

Q. Will I still be eligible for the QM bursary when I am receiving NHS funding?

A. No, when you are eligible for NHS funding you will no longer be eligible for the QM bursary.

Q. Will I be eligible to receive NHS funding in my 4th year of study if I have repeated a year earlier in the course?

A. No, the NHS will not support a repeat year. Students can only apply when after they have completed four years of their course.

Q. Will the NHS support me if I fail finals and have to repeat all or part of the final year?

A. The School can make an application to the NHS to request a further period of funding for a student repeating the year if the student is already on the NHS system. Also they will only consider supporting one extra year of study.

Q. Can I apply for my full student loan as well as NHS funding?

A. No, you can only apply for a reduced rate non-assessed student loan when you are eligible for NHS funding.

Q. Can I choose not to apply for NHS funding and apply for a full student loan instead?

A. No, this is not an option even if you decide not to apply for NHS funding.

Q. If the tuition fees grant is mandatory and I do not wish to apply for the bursary element, do I still need to complete an application form or will my tuition fees be paid automatically upon the SMD submitting a BUR 99 form to them on my behalf?

A. No, all students are required to complete an NHS application form, even if they are only applying for a tuition fee grant and not the full NHS funding package. Tuition fees will not be paid for students who have not completed the application form.

Q. Do I have to reapply for NHS funding each year if I am eligible for more than one year of NHS funding?

A. Yes, you will need to make a new application for each academic year that you are eligible.

Q. If I apply to the NHS to have my tuition fees paid, am I eligible to apply to them for travel expenses to out firms?

A. Only students in receipt of the NHS means-test bursary can apply for travel expenses. Students who receive the tuition fee element only are not eligible to claim travel expenses.

Q Where can I obtain a placement claim form and guidance notes?

A. Students who make BOSS (online) applicants go to: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/3266.aspx
Student who are non-BOSS applicants go to: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/3268.aspx

Q. I am aware that I have to send original documents as supporting evidence when applying for NHS funding in June/July, however I am concerned that I will not receive my passport back in time for my summer vacation?

A. The NHS Student Bursaries Unit will verify and scan your original documents and they will be returned to you within 5 to 10 working days of receipt in a pre-paid special delivery envelope which you will be asked to provide.

Q. Is there a deadline for applying for NHS funding?

A. Yes, within 6 months from the start of the academic year. The NHS will not pay tuition fees for any student whose application has not been processed by the end of February of that academic year. Students who apply after the deadline would need compelling extenuating circumstances for late submission.

Q. If I cannot survive on the NHS bursary can I apply for an NHS hardship bursary?

A. Yes, medical and dental students can apply for a hardship bursary due to the length of their courses. They can be assessed for a grant of between £100 and £3,000 depending on the following:

  • They are eligible for a full bursary (both tuition fees and maintenance grant)
  • They are in genuine hardship
  • They are unable to manage any shortfall between income and expenditure by their own actions
  • An application for hardship funding must include the following:
  • Evidence of income and expenditure
  • University approval of the hardship application (this should be sought via the QM Advice and Counselling Service who can help students to make an application.
  • Evidence that the student has applied for all other available funding.

Q. Is it true that all NHS funded students are eligible for the non-means tested £1,000 bursary?

A. No, only students who commenced their course on or after 1 September 2012 are eligible for the non-means tested bursary element.

Q. Will I be entitled to the £1,000 grant if I don't declare my parent (s) or partner's income?

A. Yes. Even if you choose not to declare your parent(s) / partner's income and apply for the fees only award, you will still be entitled to the £1000 non means tested element of the bursary if you started your course on or after 1 September 2012.

Q. Why have I not been awarded the Non-Means Tested £1,000 bursary element?

A. You would only be entitled to the Non-Means Tested £1000 bursary if you started your course on or after 1 September 2012.

The non-means tested £1,000 would not apply if you started your course prior to 1 September 2012.

Students who have been awarded EU Fees only would not be entitled to this element.

When you complete the course details section of your application, there is a question which asks, ‘when did you start your course’ and the following three options are given:

  • Started before 1 September 2007
  • Starting or have started between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2012
  • Starting or have started on or after 1 September 2012

The NHS will need to check your BOSS application to see if you have selected the correct start date for your course. If you have selected 'Started before 1st September 2007' or 'Starting or have started between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2012' then BOSS will not award the non-means tested £1,000 bursary element.

Q. Where can I find further information on student finance?

A. You can find extensive information relating to student finance on the QM Advice and Counselling Website (see link below). For more complex financial queries, you can have a one-to-one session with a member of the Advice and Counselling Team.

NHS Helpline:

0300 330 1354

NHS Website:


QM Advice and Counselling Website:  Funding for Medical and Dental Students:


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