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Birkbeck bursaries

Birkbeck is able to offer a limited number of bursaries, supported by generous donations from alumni and organisations supportive of Birkbeck's mission, which are available for current undergraduate and postgraduate students. Information on eligibility criteria and how to apply is listed under each bursary below.

School of Arts

Aaron Sims MA Scholarships

  • The department is re-opening this bursary due to unallocated funds that are still available, please apply by 13 September 2021, 2pm.
  • Instituted under the will of Dr Aaron Sims, a former student of the College, this is a bursary for postgraduate language students.
  • Up to six bursaries are available for excellent students on the MA Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish Portuguese)
  • Priority will be given to part-time applicants on the French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish language pathways, though the scholarship is available to full-time applicants, and part-time students entering their second year.
  • Eligibility criteria: Applicants should demonstrate academic excellence (at least a 2:1 or equivalent in an undergraduate degree).
  • Value of bursary: £21,000 shared among up to six applicants, to be used for tuition fees or maintenance. Applicants should have made arrangements to meet the remaining costs of fees and other expenses.
  • How the bursary is paid
    • The bursary is paid to part-time students in two instalments of £1750 in January of each academic year.
    • Part-time students who receive the award for their second year of study only, will receive one payment of £1750 in January.
    • Full-time students will receive one payment of £3500 in January.
    • All payments are subject to confirmation of satisfactory attendance and progress.
    How to applyComplete our online application form.
  • Application deadline13 September 2021, 2pm.

Antonia Helen Clark Exhibition

  • Instituted as a memorial gift in 1907 by Miss Marion Hall, this scholarship is open to part-time undergraduate students studying for a degree in the School of Arts.
  • The purpose of the award is to relieve financial hardship in respect of part-time tuition fees. 
  • Value of the award: According to the circumstances of the successful applicant but not normally more than £1000.
  • Eligibility criteria: Eligible applicants will:
    • be enrolled on a part-time undergraduate degree in the School of Arts
    • normally be in their third or fourth year of study (priority will be given to students entering their fourth year)
    • priority will also be given to students with a record of academic excellence in their studies
  • How to apply: Complete the Antonia Helen Clark Scholarship application form.
  • Application deadline: 28 May 2021 by 2:00 pm.

Dorothy Beckford Scholarship

  • This Scholarship is a bequest made by Dorothy Beckford, a former Birkbeck student who worked as an Adult Education Organiser.

  • The purpose of the award is to assist mature women who will be aged 21 or over to complete their second year and subsequent years in studying an undergraduate degree in English Literature.

  • Value of the award: Up to £10,695 shared among successful applicants, to be used for tuition fees only.

  • Eligibility criteria: Eligible applicants will be:

    • Female

    • 21 or above (mature student)

    • On the BA English or BA English with Foundation Year programme

    • Both part-time or full-time are eligible

    • Home/EU student

    • How to apply: Complete and submit the online application form.

    • Deadline: 28 May 2021 by 2:00 pm

Greta Dexter Exhibition Bursary

  • Instituted under the will of Mrs Greta Dexter in 1996, a former student of the College, this scholarship is open to part-time postgraduate, MPhil and PhD students.
  • The purpose of this award is to relieve financial hardship in respect of one or more of the following:
    • part-time fees at Birkbeck - fees will be paid directly to the Fees Office
    • purchase of approved books
    • cost of travel associated with the student’s studies.
  • Value of award: According to the circumstances of the successful applicant but not normally more than £1000.
  • Eligibility criteria: You must be:
    • 21 years of age or older
    • enrolling on an eligible course in the School of Arts (a first degree in French Studies or a first degree in which French is one of two principal components; a Master’s degree in which French is the only subject of study or is one of two principal components; an MPhil or PhD degree for which the research project is concerned with the study of French literature, language or culture)
    • in part-time or full-time employment, or working in the home in a role that attracts financial support from the government (e.g. full-time carer)
    • experiencing financial hardship (normally defined as having an income of less than £25,000 per year - evidence is expected to be provided).
  • How to applyComplete the Greta Dexter Exhibition bursary application form.
  • Application deadline: 2 July 2021, 2pm.

Olga Turner Scholarship

  • Instituted under the will of Olga Turner, a former student of the College, this scholarship is intended to provide financial support for part-time postgraduate students of Spanish in the School of Arts. 
  • The scholarship is a one-off bursary of £1500. 
  • Please note that preference will be given to female students and the number of studentships available is strictly limited.
  • Eligibility criteria: you must:
    • be a current student
    • be studying part-time on an MPhil or PhD in Spanish Culture/Language
    • need financial assistance for a limited, critical period in your studies (normally defined as the writing up period)
    • not be in receipt of another donor or legacy bursary
    • provide evidence that sufficient financial provision has been made to meet the remaining costs associated with fees and other course costs.
  • How to applyComplete the Olga Turner Scholarship application form.
  • Application deadline: 2 July 2021, 2pm.

Royal Female School of Art Foundation Bursaries

  • The Department of History of Art is delighted to receive grant aid from the Royal Female School of Art Foundation to help support students who are suffering short-term financial hardship. 
  • Successful applicants will be awarded a sum to assist with costs such as tuition fees, the purchase of books, travel and childcare.
  • Applications will be considered on the basis of need, prioritising cases where a student would be unable to start or forced to leave the programme without this financial support.
  • Value of awardThe sum will vary according to intensity of study. There will be a maximum of £750 for students on the Cert HE; a maximum of £1125 for students on the 4-year BA; and a maximum of £1500 for those on the accelerated 3-year BA. 
  • Eligibility criteria: If you are a current student, you must be enrolled on one of the following courses: 
      • Cert HE History of Art
      • BA History of Art (3-year or 4-year) 
      • BA History of Art with Curating (3-year or 4-year)
      • BA History of Art with Film (3-year or 4-year) 
      • BA History of Art and History (3-year or 4-year)
    • If you are not a current student, you cannot apply for one of these bursaries until you have been offered a place on the BA or enrolled on the Cert HE. 
    • You need to be able to make a case as to why you need one of these bursaries and how you think it will help you to continue with and complete your programme of study. 
    • You will need to supply any supporting material you are able to offer, and to provide a supporting statement. 
  • How to apply: Complete the Royal Female School of Art Foundation Bursaries application form.
  • Application deadline: Friday 17 September 2021.

School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy

Dr Caroline Roberts Bursary

  • Instituted under the will of Dr Caroline Roberts, a former lecturer in politics at Birkbeck, this bursary is for mature female students (30 years or over) who have completed an undergraduate degree programme in the Department of Politics, and are currently enrolled on a Master's or MPhil/PhD programme in the Department of Politics for the 2021-22 academic year
  • The purpose of this bursary is to assist with the cost of tuition fees for students whose financial circumstances may otherwise prevent them from beginning or continuing their studies, such as low income or financial hardship. A one-off bursary of up to £4,000 is available, payable towards tuition fees only.
  • Eligibility: you must:
    • be a 'Home' student
    • be currently enrolled on, or have been made an offer and be intending to enrol on a Master's or MPhil/PhD programme in the Department of Politics in the 2021-22 academic year
    • be a mature female student (30 years of age or over)
    • have completed an undergraduate degree in the Department of Politics and be progressing onto postgraduate study.
  • If you have any queries or would like more information on this scholarship, please 
  • Application deadline: The deadline for applications and supporting evidence is Sunday 12 September 2021.

School of Science

Biological Sciences postgraduate bursary

  • One bursary worth £5,000 is to be paid to the successful student in one year for a full-time student or split across two years in the case of a part-time student.
  • This bursary is open to any student eligible for Home fees enrolling on a postgraduate Master's degree in the Department of Biological Sciences: MSc Microbiology, MSc Bioinformatics, MSc Analytical Bioscience, MSc Analytical Chemistry, MSc Bio-Business, MSc Structural Molecular Biology, MRes Structural Biology, MRes Bioinformatics, MRes Global Infectious Diseases or MRes Chemical Research.
  • Eligibility criteria: The bursary is to be awarded to a talented student experiencing financial hardship about to begin a Master’s programme in the Department of Biological Sciences. Applicants should hold a BSc (Hons) at 2i or above, or an equivalent qualification. Preference will be given to an applicant who, in addition to meeting the previous requirements, obtained their undergraduate degree from Birkbeck.
  • How to apply: Complete the bursary application form. Once completed,  by 15 August 2021. The applicant of this bursary must already be an applicant to Birkbeck.

Emily Paige Short Fund

  • Current students in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences can access awards of up to £1000, for help with pioneering academic activities that: 
    • go beyond the remit of your programme of study  
    • provide valuable geology and petrological experience in petrology and related fields. 
  • How to apply: You should 
  • About Emily Paige Short: Emily was born into a musical family in Rome, Italy, where she grew up in a cosmopolitan community speaking English and Italian. She graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2008, her final work being an installation in wood entitled, 'If you should see Fred, say "Hello"'. Her works appeared in Berlin, Rome, Poznan (Poland) and Australia. Emily came to Birkbeck to study BSc Geology, graduating with first-class honours in 2014. Her passion for geology led her to participate in many activities that broadened her experience in geology and petrology. For example, Emily participated in field-based volcanology summer schools on Kilauea, Hawaii and in Kamchatka, Russia, and also took short courses in micro-tectonics and high-grade metamorphism at the University of Mainz, Germany. She conducted her undergraduate map and thesis on a Greek island. Her thesis title was 'Brittle-Ductile Deformation and the Onset of Partial Melting on Naxos Metamorphic Core Complex'. An avid cyclist, Emily raised money for those affected by geological processes when she cycled the circumference of Iceland alone in 2011, raising funds for survivors of the Haitian earthquake.

Enabling Fund for non-fieldwork expenses

  • A generous donation from a former (anonymous) student has allowed us to provide students in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences with financial assistance for non-fieldwork costs.
  • Awards will usually be limited to £500.
  • You must provide evidence to support your application, and evidence of expenditure to demonstrate that the funds were used as requested.
  • Eligibility criteria: You should be enrolled on a BSc or postgraduate degree (PhD, MPhil or Master's) in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science.
  • How to apply: You will need to complete an enabling fund application form and return it to . There are three application deadlines per year:
    • 30 November
    • 28 February
    • 31 May.

Tim Newling Fund

  • A generous donation from a former student, Mr Timothy J Newling, has allowed us to establish a fund to provide students in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences with financial assistance that helps with travel associated with academic projects that cannot be funded by other means. This could help with fieldwork or travel to a conference or other academic-related travel costs.
  • Eligibility criteria: You should be enrolled on a BSc or postgraduate (PhD, MPhil or Master's) degree in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck.
  • How to apply: You will need to complete a travel funding application form and return it to . There are three application deadlines per year:
    • 30 November
    • 28 February
    • 31 May.
  • More information: In the case of financial hardship, we expect you to contact the Student Advice Service in the first instance.