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Advice and Counselling Service

Hardship Funding (undergraduates)

This page explains the hardship funding you may be eligible to apply for at Queen Mary. If you are a medical or dental student, please also note the additional information at the end of this page. 

You are in financial hardship if your essential expenses are higher than your income, or your income and expenses are usually balanced but you are experiencing a temporary disruption to your income, or facing an unforeseen expense. Use our guidance on budget planning to help you calculate any difference between your income and spending (this is known as a ‘shortfall’) so that you know the amount of money you need to balance your budget. On that page you will also find money saving ideas and information about discounts. 
As well as reading the information on this page, please read our guidance on Government Student Finance, Medical and Dental Students funding, and increasing income to ensure you are getting all the income you are eligible for.  
Book a confidential appointment with a Welfare Adviser so that we can check if there is any additional funding you are eligible for, including hardship funds, and to help plan your budget.  

Financial Assistance Fund 

You may be eligible to apply for the Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) at Queen Mary. This fund can only help with financial support for living costs, not for tuition fees. You must have taken your maximum entitlement of Student Finance Maintenance Loan (if you are eligible for one) in order to apply – this includes the income assessed portion of the loan if you are eligible.  
If you are only eligible for an EU Tuition Fee Loan, you can still apply for help. 

You can apply for a ‘standard award’ for help with general living costs. Your expected income will be compared against your reasonable expenditure to assess you for a Standard Award. If you have unforeseen or exceptional circumstances, you can be assessed for an ‘exceptional award’ to help you pay for the unforeseen costs or help towards an unexpected and temporary loss of income.  

You apply in MySIS. Please see the ‘How do I apply’ section of the Financial Assistance Fund webpage, where you will also find eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

You can apply in each year of your programme, and as early in the academic year as you like, once you have fully enrolled. You can apply more than once each year if your circumstances have changed during that year.

If you need advice about completing your application, for example help explaining what unexpected circumstances have occurred and how these have affected your financial situation, contact a Welfare Adviser for a confidential appointment.     

Short term loan

If you have applied for Student Finance for living costs, and your application has been delayed, once you are fully enrolled you can apply to Queen Mary for an interest free loan of up to £350. This is to help you pay for essential living costs while you are waiting for your Student Finance.  

You will need to repay this money once you receive your payment from Student Finance. For full details of the short term loans including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please see the Bursaries, Grants and Scholarships web page.  

Queen Mary Supermarket Voucher Scheme

You may be able to obtain a supermarket voucher from Queen Mary if your funds are low, you are in immediate financial difficulty and you are unable to afford to buy food, toiletries or other essential items.  This can be used at a number of dedicated supermarket stores. Cash funds are not available.

To be considered you must be registered on a course at Queen Mary and have limited access to funds.  Each case is considered individually. A voucher is normally for £25 and can be issued once within an academic year.

If you would like to discuss your eligibility for a voucher contact the Welfare Advisers in the Advice and Counselling Service, vouchers are also available via the Student Enquiry Centre and the Bursaries, Grants and Scholarships Office.

Vouchers are not a long term solution so if you are experiencing financial difficulty you may want to arrange a confidential appointment with a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service, to discuss your circumstances and options further.

Students Union Welfare Loan 

Students can apply for a Queen Mary Students' Union short term welfare loan of up to £100 if you are facing unexpected financial need due to a cash flow problem. For example, if you are waiting for your wages to be paid and you need to make a payment. These loans are interest free. You must be able to demonstrate a realistic repayment schedule.   

There is more information on the Students Union website, including a link to a short form to arrange an online appointment with a member of staff in the Students' Union to discuss your application.  

Medical and Dental student hardship funding 

Students on medical and dental courses who are in financial hardship should first apply to the Financial Assistance Fund.  
If you are not made an award from the FAF or if your award does not meet your financial shortfall and you are still in hardship you can try applying for hardship funding specifically for medical and dental students. If your application is successful, you may be awarded an interest-free loan, or a grant or a combination of the two. If you are awarded an interest-free loan, you will not need to start making repayments until you complete your foundation training. To enquire about hardship funding as well as help with costs related to academic activities, please contact Kate McFarlane at the medical school (  
Medical and dental students can also apply for a Transition Loan to help cover basic living costs between the end of your course and when you receive your first salary payment. To be eligible for this fund, you need to have secured an FY1/DF1 job in the UK. Successful FY1/DF1 applicants can apply by the deadline stated on the transition loan application form, usually May. Application forms and guidance can normally be requested from February by emailing You repay the loan in twelve monthly instalments starting after your first FY1/DF1 salary payment and ending immediately after your last FY1/DF1 salary payment. 

Book an appointment with a Welfare Adviser

We can check you are getting all the income you are eligible for, help you apply for any hardship funds, and plan your budget. 

Contact us Book a confidential appointment now
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