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Birkbeck cash bursary scheme

You may be eligible for the Birkbeck cash bursary scheme to assist with the costs of study, such as purchasing books, printing and travelling to lectures. Cash bursaries do not have to be paid back.

Eligibility

Students must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the Birkbeck cash bursary scheme.

students starting in 2019-20 or 2020-21

  • To be eligible to apply for the Birkbeck Cash Bursary, you must:
    • be a Home/EU student
    • be studying at least 30 credits (ie 25% intensity)
    • be enrolled on a degree with foundation year (year 0 only), part-time certificate of higher education, or part-time foundation degree
    • meet the income criteria below.

students starting in 2018-19

  • To be eligible to apply for the Birkbeck Cash Bursary, you must:
    • be a Home/EU student
    • be studying at least 30 credits (ie 25% intensity)
    • be enrolled on a full-time degree with foundation year (year 0 only), certificate of higher education, or foundation degree
    • meet the income criteria below.

students starting prior to 2018-19

  • To be eligible to apply for the Birkbeck Cash Bursary, you must:
    • be a Home/EU student
    • be studying at least 30 credits (ie 25% intensity) on a designated undergraduate course
    • meet the income criteria below.

Bursary details

Value of bursary

  • The amount of bursary awarded is based on your intensity of study and your household income. (Funding is awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, is assessed each academic year and is not guaranteed for every year of your course.) 
  • It will only be paid against the first 120 credits of your studies at Birkbeck.
  • If your household income is less than £25,000 (full-time and part-time students):
    • bursary per 30 credits (25% intensity): £200
    • maximum cash bursary award: £800.
  • If your household income is between £25,000 and £39,999 (part-time students only):
    • bursary per 30 credits (25% intensity): £150
    • maximum cash bursary award: £450.
  • Full-time students with a household income higher than £25,000 are not eligible for the Birkbeck Cash Bursary.

How to apply 

  • You will be provisionally assessed for the bursary as part of the online enrolment process. Enrolment for courses starting in autumn normally opens in June. You will receive an email telling you when you can enrol online.
  • When enrolling, 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 this bursary. You will then be asked to provide some details about your household income. The other eligibility criteria will be checked automatically by the system.
  • Once your enrolment is complete, if the system determines that you are eligible to apply, you will receive an email that advises you how to apply for the Cash Bursary. The Student Advice Service will require proof of the income you have declared (see below).
  • Once your income has been verified, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to register or re-register your bank details. Payment will then be made directly to your account by BACS transfer.
  • If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the Student Advice Service

Deadlines

  • Part-time students must submit their proof of income to the Student Advice Service within 28 days of enrolment.
  • Full-time students must have been means-tested by SFE and their household income information should be available to Birkbeck within 28 days of enrolment.

Timeline 

  • Cash bursary payments will be made three weeks after the start of each term that you are attending your course, directly to your bank account by BACS transfer. You will only receive payment after your course has started - therefore if your course does not start until the Spring (January) or Summer term (April), you will not receive any payments prior to this.

Guidance notes for full-time students

household income 

  • For a full-time student, this will depend on whether you are financially dependent on your parents.
    • If you are over 25 at the start of the academic year, you will be considered as independent, and household income will be assessed on your gross income from the preceding tax year and the gross income of your spouse/partner (if relevant). The total household income figure, as provided to us by Student Finance England, will be used to assess you for the bursary.
    • If you are under 25 at the start of the academic year, you will generally be classed as dependent on your parents, unless you have been supporting yourself for at least three years or have been assessed as estranged. If you are classed as a dependant, your parents' income will be taken into account.
  • Please see the Student Finance England guide for full details on how you will be assessed.

Proof of household income

  • For a full-time student, proof of household income will be obtained by Birkbeck via Student Finance England (SFE). (In order for us to receive this data, if you have not already done so, you must apply to SFE for means-tested (income assessed) funding.)
  • We must receive your bursary data from Student Finance England within 28 days of enrolment.
  • When applying to SFE, you must 'Consent To Bursary Sharing Data' in order for SFE to inform us of your household income. If you are classed as a dependent, you and your parent(s) will need to consent to share your information. If you are classed as independent you (and your partner) will need to consent to share. SFE will inform us directly of your household income.
  • If you choose either to: not consent to the sharing of this data or not apply for means-tested funding via SFE, we will be unable to consider you for the Birkbeck cash bursary.
  • Full-time EU students who have been assessed by the Non-UK team at SFE will not eligible for maintenance funding and therefore will not automatically be means-tested by SFE.
    • Once your tuition fee loan has been approved, Birkbeck will inform SFE that you are required to be means-tested in order for us to confirm your household income.
    • SFE will contact you in order to assess your household income.
    • Once you have been means-tested by SFE, they will inform Birkbeck of your household income directly.
  • If you are funding your course yourself, please contact the Student Advice Service for further guidance on how to apply for this funding.

Guidance for part-time students

household Income 

  • For a part-time student, this is your gross income from the tax year before the start of the academic year (eg 2019/20 tax year for the 2020/21 academic year) and the gross income of your spouse/partner (if relevant). Parental income is not considered for any part-time students.
  • The income limit is raised by £2000 if assessed on a joint income, £2000 for the first dependent child, and a further £1000 for each child thereafter. (A dependent child is any child under 18, for whom you or your partner has parental responsibility that is wholly or mainly financially dependent.)

Proof of household income

  • If you are a part-time student: you will be required to complete an online application, which will be available on your My Birkbeck profile, under the 'Financial Support' container. This will allow you to upload documentary evidence of income within 28 days of enrolment. Income proof can be any one of the following:
    • If receiving benefits: A letter from the Job Centre or Council dated within the last four weeks which shows that you are currently in receipt of one of the following means-tested benefits: Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance, Universal Credit, Income Support, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance.
    • If working: A photocopy of your (and your partner's where applicable) P60(s), or a self-employment tax return for the 2019/20 tax year, or a Statement of Earnings/Employment History for this period from HMRC.
    • If you received no income during the 2019/20 tax year and are not currently receiving benefits: A Statement of Earnings from HMRC to confirm they have no record of income for you for this period. You must also explain on the Cash Bursary cover sheet how you supported yourself during this period, eg reliant on parental income.