Unum access to university bursary

Birkbeck is pleased to partner with Unum to offer eight £1000 bursaries, for new students who will be starting the first year of their undergraduate-level studies at Birkbeck, during the 2018-19 academic year. The bursary is designed to offer assistance to five students who are in need of extra financial support to undertake their first year/term of undergraduate studies.


Unum bursary applicants must be applying to study for the first year/term, on any of the following undergraduate-level courses at Birkbeck, University of London. Mode of study can be part-time or full-time:  

  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • Higher Education Introductory Studies
  • Foundation degree
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Undergraduate degree + foundation year.

Bursaries will be awarded to students who meet all three of the initial criteria and two or more of the secondary criteria and submit a strong application essay.

Initial criteria (you must meet all of these criteria)

Secondary criteria (you must meet two or more of these)

  • You must meet at least two of the following:
    • be the first in your family to attend university
    • be Black, Asian or minority ethnic
    • be over 21 years old
    • be classified as disabled
    • be a Care leaver
    • hold non-traditional university-entry qualifications (ie Access to HE Diploma; Intermediate, Advanced or BTEC Apprenticeship, BTEC Firsts, BTEC National or equivalents)
    • have limited or poor prior education attainment (details need to be given on application)
    • have no qualifications higher than Level 2 (ie CSEs, GCSE or equivalent)
    • have been absent from formal education for nine years or more.

How to apply

  • You need to make an application for a course to study at Birkbeck. Once you receive an offer from Birkbeck, you then complete the Unum Access to University bursary application form and submit this along with an application essay of no more than 300 words.
  • Your application essay should detail why you are the ideal candidate to receive this bursary, and how it will enhance your studies at Birkbeck. You may want to cover the following areas in your application essay:
    • why you’ve decided to study your course
    • why you’ve decided to study at Birkbeck
    • what made you come back to/continue your education
    • what barriers you faced before making your application
    • how Birkbeck, University of London outreach events supported you with making your university decision.
  • All students: Download a copy of the application form and email the completed form, along with your application essay, to getstarted@bbk.ac.uk.
  • Part-time students only: In addition, please download the cash bursary cover sheet and submit this with your proof of income.


  • 3 September 2018: Deadline for all applications.
  • Week of 24 September 2018: Bursary applicants selected. All applicants will be informed of the decision in relation to their application. Please note that all decisions will be final.

Bursary payment schedule

  • Bursary payments will be made three weeks after the start of each term that you are attending your course and directly into 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.