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Birkbeck financial support scheme

The Birkbeck Financial Support Scheme provides a broad range of support to help you prepare financially for your course, and to assist you with any financial issues you may experience through the academic year. One-to-one advice will be available to assist you in accessing government financial support including student loans, grants and benefits. 

You may also be able to apply for additional financial help through the Birkbeck Needs-Based Assessment. Applications for this fund will take into account income and expected reasonable expenditure to determine if there is a need for additional financial support.


  • When you complete your online enrolment, you will be asked if you wish to be considered for means-tested assistance. You must answer 'yes' to this question if you wish to be considered for the financial support scheme.
  • We will send you an email with a link to the Financial Support Enquiry Form, which is an online survey that helps us gather the information we need to give you focused guidance on the next steps of your application. We will aim to respond to your form within 10 days of submission. 
  • If you have previously answered ‘no’ but have changed your mind, you can still apply by getting in contact with the Student Advice Service
  • Your Financial Support Plan will include a range of detailed guidance available to you from Birkbeck and our external associates, such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. It also includes a link to a budgeting plan provided by the Money Advice Service which we encourage every student to complete prior to starting their course, or as soon after starting as possible.

Birkbeck needs-based assessment

The Birkbeck Needs-Based Assessment is for students who may require additional financial support to meet their living and additional study costs while they are studying. Applications for this fund will take into account income and expected reasonable expenditure to determine if there is a need for additional financial support.

Costs resulting from the covid-19 situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students are expected to have accessed all government support schemes before being considered.

Students who are awarded funds for costs related to remote learning will be required to submit receipts, once the awards have been made and the relevant equipment purchased.

Eligibility for students starting in 2019-20

  • To be considered for a Birkbeck Needs-Based Assessment (BNBA) Award you must:
    • be a Home/EU student
    • be studying at least 30 credits (ie 25% intensity) on a BA/BSc/LLB degree, or studying a full-time Certificate of Higher Education, or full-time Foundation Degree which you are starting in the 2019-20 academic year
    • have accessed all government financial support available to you including maintenance loans and benefits
    • normally have a household income of less than £25,000 (please note if your income is higher than this and you have high essential outgoings, you may still be able to apply)
  • Students beginning a part-time Certificate of HE or a part-time Foundation Degree in 2019-20 are not eligible to apply to this scheme; however, they may be able to apply for the Birkbeck Cash Bursary instead.

How to apply

  • All students must contact the Student Advice Service to request an application form. Applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and funding is therefore not guaranteed. 
  • Students who have completed the Financial Support Enquiry Form and received a Financial Support Plan will have been advised to contact the Student Advice Service to request an application for the Birkbeck Needs-Based Assessment. Please note that all applicants must complete and include the Money Advice Service Budget Planner with their form.   
  • Students who have not completed the Financial Support Enquiry Form must contact the Student Advice Service for further information about how to apply.

How much will I receive?

  • Awards will be scaled based on study intensity and will take into consideration your individual circumstances.
  • Applications are assessed under what is called an ‘additional need’ method; we assess the difference between your expected income for the academic year and your anticipated essential expenditure. If the expenditure is higher than your income you are viewed as having an ‘additional need’ and may be eligible for an award.
  • Not all students will receive an award, but unsuccessful applicants will be encouraged to use our available support services.
  • The amount of award for successful applicants could be up to £3000 but will be dependent on the level of need that is calculated.


  • Applications for the Birkbeck Needs-Based Assessment will need to be received by 10 July 2020.


If you are not eligible for the Birkbeck Financial Support Scheme and have already received the Birkbeck Cash Bursary, you may be eligible for additional support from this discretionary scheme. Please contact the Student Advice Service for more information.