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Unum access to university bursary

Birkbeck is pleased to partner with UNUM to offer £1000 bursaries for new students who will be starting the first year of their undergraduate-level studies at Birkbeck. The bursary is designed to offer assistance to students who are in need of extra financial support to undertake their first year/term of undergraduate studies. 

Applications are currently closed. This page will be updated with further information on 2021/22 entry applications when this process is finalised.


You must be applying to study, full-time or part-time, for the first term or year on any of these undergraduate courses at Birkbeck: 

UNUM Access to University bursaries will be awarded to students who meet all of the initial criteria and two or more of the secondary criteria and who submit a strong application essay.

Initial criteria (you must meet all of these criteria)

Secondary criteria (you must meet two or more of these)

  • You must meet at least two of the following:
    • be the first in your family to attend university
    • be from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background
    • be over 21 years old
    • be classified as disabled
    • be a Care leaver
    • hold non-traditional university-entry qualifications (ie Access to HE Diploma; Intermediate, Advanced or BTEC Apprenticeship, BTEC First, BTEC National or equivalent)
    • have limited or poor prior education attainment (for example, left school with no qualifications, low grades at GCSE and/or have a disability for which you did not receive support whilst in education which had an impact on your achievement)
    • have no qualifications higher than Level 2 (ie O Levels, GCSE or equivalent)
    • have been absent from formal education for nine years or more.

How to apply


  • The deadline for applications is midnight on Friday 31 July 2020.
  • Final decisions will be made by Friday 14 August at the latest.
  • Please note: decisions are final and cannot be appealed.  

Bursary payment schedule

  • Bursary payments will be made three weeks after the start of each term that you are attending your course and directly into your bank account by BACS transfer.
  • You will only receive payment after your course has started; therefore, if your course does not start until the spring (January) or summer term (April), you will not receive any payments prior to this.