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Hardship funds

Birkbeck summer support fund

The Birkbeck Summer Support Fund has been set up to support current Birkbeck students with an immediate need of money for living costs, to enable them to continue studying their programme of study in 2021/22.

You must meet all of the essential eligibility criteria listed below, and one of the categories to be eligible for an award

Awards of up to £800 are available and are scaled based on study intensity.

Essential eligibility criteria

  • You must be a fully enrolled student in the 2020/21 academic year.
  • You must be continuing your course at Birkbeck in the 2021/22 academic year.
  • You must currently be in financial hardship.
  • You must have an annual household Income of less than £25,000.
  • You must not currently be in debt to the College.

Additionally, you must also fall into one of the following three categories. Please note that you can only be considered under one category: 

Category A
Category B
  • A full-time undergraduate student who in 2020/21 was in receipt of the maximum means-tested maintenance loan from SFE (approx. £12,010), who has a current tenancy agreement that extends over the summer period and is currently struggling to find work/unable to work due to ill health.
Category C
  • Any student who has received a standard BNBA award during the course of the 2020/21 academic year.

Please note that you must meet the criteria as outlined above in order to apply. As this scheme is running over a limited timeframe, we will not be able to accept any applications which are incomplete or missing any supporting evidence. We would therefore strongly advise you to seek advice from the Student Advice Service before submitting your application if there is any evidence you are struggling to provide. Applications submitted without all of the required supporting documentation will be automatically rejected.

If you would like to make an application to this fund, please complete the Summer Support Fund survey. This will identify which category you should apply under. Following completion of the survey, you will be emailed an evidence checklist within two working days. You must supply all the requested evidence and .

If you have any issues completing or submitting the form, please or call on 0203 907 0700.

Complete applications must be received by Student Advice no later than 31 August 2021, but we encourage students to apply as early as possible. This fund is limited, and we cannot guarantee that every eligible student who completes an application before the deadline will be awarded. Applications will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis, and the fund may close early if the maximum number of awards are made.

Birkbeck hardship fund

Birkbeck will continue to operate our traditional Hardship Fund, however students must be found ineligible for the OfS Hardship Fund above first. If you are awarded the OfS Hardship Fund, you cannot be considered for the Birkbeck Hardship Fund.

If you are a current student and you have experienced an unforeseen change of circumstance in your personal situation while studying, such as redundancy, illness or domestic problems, the Birkbeck Hardship Fund may be able to help you.

Awards are up to £2000 and cannot be used towards tuition fee costs. Your fees should be up to date for an award to be made. The fund will remain open until 28 May 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

To apply for a Birkbeck Hardship Fund Award, you must meet the following criteria:

      • be currently enrolled on a minimum of 30 credits, or fully enrolled on a research programme at Birkbeck
      • be up to date with fee payments and not a debtor to the College
      • be currently experiencing financial hardship and usually have a household income of less than £25,000
      • be currently residing in the UK
      • have made realistic provision to cover tuition fees, course and living costs prior to the start of the 2020/21 academic year (e.g. a work contract which covers the duration of the academic year)
      • have experienced an unforeseen change in circumstance after the start of the 2020/21 academic year, such as redundancy, illness or domestic problems which has affected the provision you made, or due to which you have incurred unexpected costs
      • have applied for any government support available to you, such as student loans or benefits.
Evidence required can be extensive, as this fund is assessed on a case by case basis. Please contact the Student Advice Service and explain how you meet all above seven criteria.
If you are deemed eligible, you will be sent an application form.

Other hardship funding

ISH Mary Trevelyan Hardship Fund: As Birkbeck holds membership with International Student House (ISH), our students are eligible to use ISH events and services, including their hardship fund.

Alternative postgraduate funding sources

    • You can find additional funding opportunities in the publications listed below. Copies may be available in your local library or at the nearby British Library (though you may be required to register to gain access):
      • Educational Grants Directory (published by the Directory of Social Change)
      • The Grants Register (published by Macmillan Reference Limited)
      • Charities Digest (published by Waterlow Information Services)
      • The Directory of Grant Making Trusts (Charities Aid Foundation)
    • You may also find funding via the following websites:
    • Birkbeck also subscribes to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. Though its primary focus is to help prospective and current postgraduate students access voluntary sector support towards their studies, it can also be a potential source of grants and funding for those in hardship (though please be aware that eligibility and definitions of what constitutes ‘hardship’ can vary between individual charities). Students who are on campus can log in automatically without a password. If you do not have a registered Birkbeck email address, or are a prospective student, to receive a unique PIN that will give you access to all the resources.