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Birkbeck Access to Postgraduate Study Scholarship

Thank you for your interest in the Birkbeck Access to Postgraduate Study Scholarships. The scholarships are now closed for the 2023/24 academic year and will be expected to open for 2024/25 in June 2024. The information provided below is specific to the 2023/24 academic year and may be subject to change in future years. 

The Access to Postgraduate Study Scholarship is intended to provide support for students whose circumstances or background may mean they face barriers accessing education or may face greater challenges while undertaking their degree.

This funding is made possible thanks to the generosity of alumni and supporters of Birkbeck who believe in Birkbeck’s mission to ensure access to education is possible for anyone with the ability and drive to study.

Please read all the information before applying.

We have a limited number of bursaries to offer each year. Applying for a bursary is not a guarantee that you will receive it, even if you meet all the eligibility criteria. Details of the selection process are provided below.


To be eligible for this bursary, you must meet all of the conditions for application set out below and at least one of the eligibility criteria. Identifying in more than one category may be used as a factor to prioritise applicants to receive this award.

Conditions for application

  • You have been accepted onto a master’s degree programme at Birkbeck beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. If you have made an application but not yet received a decision, you may still apply but your application will only be considered if you have been accepted onto your course by the scholarship application deadline (Monday 7 August 2023).
  • You have made provision to fund the remainder of your studies should you be successful in your application for this bursary.
  • You do not already hold a master's degree from another UK institution.

Eligibility criteria

  • Students who have a declared disability.
  • Students who identify as a care leaver (a care leaver is a young person, under the age of 25 who is currently or has been in public care for a minimum of three months. This would include foster care, semi-independent living, residential care homes).
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic students.
  • Students who are single parents.
  • Students who are carers (a carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a friend, neighbour or relative who could not manage otherwise because of frailty, illness or disability).
  • Students who hold refugee status.
  • We strongly encourage applications from students who meet one or more of the above criteria and who have been out of formal education for three years or longer (preference will be given to applicants who are returning to formal study).

Terms and value of award

  • The scholarship is a non-repayable grant of £3,000 paid directly towards tuition fees. For part-time courses, this will be paid in equal instalments divided by the number of years of your programme. Scholarship payments will not be made for any years in which study is being repeated, including examinations, coursework and complete modules.
  • To be eligible for the award, students must have been accepted onto a master's course at Birkbeck and made provision to fund the remainder of their studies.
  • Applicants will be initially assessed for eligibility against the criteria outlined, and will then be shortlisted by Heads of Education and Student Experience from the relevant faculties.
  • The final awards will be made by a panel made up of Heads of Education and Student Experience from each faculty, the Strategic Lead for Access to Master's, the Director of Access and Engagement and the Student Funding Manager. The decision of this panel will be final.
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome on Wednesday 30 August 2023.
  • Recipients of the award must acknowledge that they accept the award and agree to the terms and conditions by midnight Thursday 7 September 2023.
  • Funding is subject to the recipient being fully enrolled onto their course.
  • Recipients will be asked to share their Birkbeck experience and story to be used in publications and reports that are shared with donors and, where appropriate, attend donor events if possible. 

How to apply

Closing date for applications

  • Applications will close at midnight on Monday 7 August 2023. Please read all of the information thoroughly before applying.

Further information