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Hardship funds

Birkbeck summer support fund 2022/23

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 2023/24.

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 £600 are available, and are scaled based on the intensity of your study in 2022/23.

Essential eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a fully enrolled student in the 2022/23 academic year.
  • You must be continuing your course at Birkbeck in the 2023/24 academic year. (Final year students in the 2022/23 academic year and October/January intake postgraduate students on one-year courses, who started their courses in the 2022/23 academic year, are not eligible to apply).
  • You must currently be in financial hardship.
  • You must be currently living in the UK.
  • You must have an annual household income of less than £30,000. (Household income is defined as your annual gross income from the tax year ending in April 2023 and the annual gross income of your spouse or partner - if you are cohabiting - for the same period. The income limit is raised by £2,000 if assessed on a joint income, and by £2,000 for the first dependent child, and a further £1,000 for each child thereafter).
  • You must not currently be in debt to the College.
Additionally, you must also fall into one of the following categories. Please note that you can only be considered under one category:

  • Category A: Any student who has made a new application for government means-tested benefits in the four weeks preceding your application to the fund.
  • Category B: A full-time undergraduate student who in 2022/23 was in receipt of the maximum means-tested maintenance loan from SFE (approx. £12,677) who has a current tenancy agreement that extends over the summer period and is currently struggling to find work (has been looking since the end of term)/unable to work due to ill health or caring responsibilities.
  • Category C: An undergraduate student who has been classified as independent by Student Finance England due to being estranged from their parents, or a care leaver. You must have received an email from us confirming you are eligible to apply under this category.
  • Category D: Any student with rent arrears. Please note that the following criteria apply to this category:
    • Your arrears must be evidenced by a recent formal statement of your rent account issued by your landlord, and supported by a formal tenancy agreement.
    • This documentation must be in your name.
    • Your arrears will only be considered if they were accrued before July 2023, and will not be considered if they were accrued before the start of the current academic year 2022/23.
  • Category E: Any student who received a Birkbeck Needs-Based Assessment Award in the 2022/23 academic year and is still experiencing financial hardship. (We will check our records to confirm you meet this criteria). 
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.  

Making an application

Applications to this fund are now open and are made by completing the online application form.

Once you have completed the application form we will e-mail you if you are eligible with an evidence checklist asking you to provide us with the required documentary evidence. 

Your application and all supporting evidence must be received by Student Advice no later than 31 August 2023 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

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.