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The Compass Project Sanctuary Scholarship

Birkbeck's Sanctuary Scholarships are part of the Compass Project. The Compass Sanctuary Scholarship provides opportunities into higher education for people from a forced migrant background through offering the chance to study a university-level programme at Birkbeck.

Birkbeck is committed to supporting those who have taken a less traditional route into higher education and this scholarship is aimed at helping those who may face difficulty in accessing other educational opportunities due to lack of previous academic documentation, or for those who have been out of education for a long period of time.

The scholarship

Birkbeck sponsors a limited number of students a year under the Sanctuary Scholarship Programme. Students may apply for funding for either a certificate, undergraduate or postgraduate course at Birkbeck. It is a competitive scholarship and we do receive more applications than available places.

Successful applicants will receive: 

  • a full tuition fee waiver for their choice of programme
  • additional financial support to cover costs such as transport, childcare and books
  • please note that the scholarship does not include accommodation.


The Compass Project offers opportunities to those who would not otherwise be able to access university-level education elsewhere. We therefore prioritise applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • those who have not previously studied a degree at a UK institution
  • those who have been out of formal education (including secondary education) for more than five years.

In addition to this you must have the following: 

  • you must be a person who is currently seeking asylum in the UK or hold one of the following statuses as a result of asylum claim: Limited Leave to Remain or Discretionary Leave to Remain or Refugee or Humanitarian Protection
  • you must be resident in the UK
  • you must be not be eligible to receive student finance
  • you have applied to and been offered a place on a Birkbeck course that is permissible under the Compass Sanctuary Scholarship

Eligibility course types

We offer scholarships for the following types of degree programmes:

  • Certificate of Higher Education or Graduate Certificate (full-time or part-time)
  • Undergraduate degree (part-time)
  • Postgraduate degree (part-time)

You must apply for a degree programme that starts in October 2024. 

How to apply

to receive the application instructions as soon as possible.

If you wish to be kept updated about the scholarship and activities leading up to next year's application process, you can register to receive regular email updates.

The scholarship will be accepting applications from 22 April to 27 May.

Application dates