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by Rowan Hoper

Student Recruitment Officer at the University of Salford

posted on 1 Feb '23

A guide to the NHS Learning Support Fund

We know that the financial aspects of higher education can be daunting for some students, perhaps now more than ever, so it’s key that they are aware of any available funding that will support them with their studies. Many are not aware of the NHS Learning Support Fund (NHS LSF), so we’ve put together a handy guide for you and your students.

What is the NHS Learning Support Fund?

The NHS LSF is additional funding for eligible university students. The payments are grants, so they don’t need to be paid back. As it is an additional pot of free money, it also has no impact on eligibility for student finance. The below financial support is available:

Training grant: A non-means tested grant of £5,000 each academic year, with an additional £1,000 also up for grabs in certain subjects.

Parental support: A £2,000 grant per year for students with parental responsibility for a child who is either aged under 15 or under 17 and registered with special educational needs. Note: this grant does not impact access to child support or other funding.

Travel and dual accommodation expenses: Reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs students might have whilst on placement (above their regular commute). One of the Podiatry students at the University of Salford shared that this allowed them to ‘apply for the exact placement opportunities needed, without worry about the extra commuting costs’. However, it is important that students know that they will still need to budget and keep a log of their expenses to claim them back.

Exceptional support fund: An income-assessed grant of up to £3,000 per academic year for eligible students who experience unforeseen financial hardship.

Who is eligible for the NHS Learning Support Fund?

At a basic level, to be eligible for the NHS LSF students need to be...
• Actively studying an eligible course at an English university.
• Eligible for maintenance and tuition fee support from the Student Loans Company.

The following pre-registration courses (at undergraduate or postgraduate level) are eligible:
• dental therapy or dental hygiene (level 5 and 6 courses)
• dietetics
• midwifery
• nursing (adult, child, mental health*, learning disability*, joint nursing/social work)
• occupational therapy
• operating department practitioner (level 5 and 6 courses)
• orthoptics*
• orthotics and prosthetics*
• paramedicine
• physiotherapy
• podiatry* or chiropody
• radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)*
• speech and language therapy.

*Students on these courses can get an extra £1,000 per academic year.

Note: Social work has different funding, find out more here:

Image of a student studying by a piggy bank

How do students apply?

Applications open in spring and students will need to create an account and apply online (link to apply:

Like with student finance, they will also need to re-apply each academic year.

When are the payments?

The NHS LSF is paid in three instalments across the academic year, but at different intervals to student finance loans.

Top tips for schools and colleges:

Two of our wonderful healthcare students have shared their ‘top tips’ for Careers Advisors and Teachers...

“Remember that it isn’t means tested or linked to the student loan – and that not all courses qualify!”

“If you’re unsure about anything, ask for advice – there are people that can help!”

So – encourage relevant students to check out the NHS LSF and if you have any questions just get in touch! In the age-old words of Dr Pepper, what’s the worst that could happen? Find out more:

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