University funding: 10 alternative ways to fund your degree

By Mario Cacciottolo & Marie Jackson
BBC News

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
For some sixth formers, joy at A level results can soon be followed by concerns over costs

The results are in and you've got a place at university. But what if your wallet's empty and the Bank of Mum and Dad has run dry?

It is still possible to get funding through a scholarship or an award, especially if you're studying in a particular discipline. Criteria can be based on all sorts of things, like academic merit, where you live, what your parents do, whether you're athletic or even how good you are on camera.

Here's some of the cash on offer that you might not have heard of - and for more information go to the Scholarship Hub.

Brightest and the best

Vice Chancellor's Award - Liverpool John Moore's University

Payment: £10,000 a year for three years

This goes to six students with 360 UCAS points or equivalent. You must have put Liverpool John Moore's as your first choice when applying for university. And, the criteria says, you must stand out from your peers through citizenship, sport or performing arts achievements, among other things.

You're in the Navy

Image source, Royal Navy
Image caption,
If you're prepared to join the marines, then the Navy will stump up cash when you're still at uni

Royal Navy

Payment: £1,500 a year

Students with one or more years left at any university, who want to join the Royal Navy as Royal Marines officers, or officers in the warfare, logistics or fleet air arm branches can apply. And there's a guaranteed job at the end of your course.

Female-friendly funding

Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education

Payment: £300 maximum

If you're female, over 21 and not necessarily from Yorkshire, you can apply for the bursary for attending any UK university. It is, however, only for those who are unable to finance their chosen education course themselves.

Head-start in life

Armed Forces Bereavement scholarship

Payment: Full tuition fees plus maintenance costs

This government scheme is aimed at giving the children of those who have died in the service of their country a head-start in life by enabling them to obtain a university degree or further education training.

First steps

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Would-be fashionistas can get help with funding their studies

The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers

Payment: Up to £3,000

The Cordwainers' BA Footwear Scholarship is awarded each year to a talented student at the London College of Fashion to fund their final project. Scholarships are also given to the top three footwear fashion students in all three years at the University of Northampton.

Letters of note

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Get help with your paper conservation studies, and then perhaps a British Museum job awaits

The Stationers' Company

Payment: Recent awards have averaged £2,000 each

The Stationers' Company's scholarships are geared towards students who intend to pursue a course of study, or educational project, associated with printing, bookbinding, paper conservation, stationery, papermaking, publishing, book selling or newspaper production.

It includes those who will work in areas such as advertising, editing, creative writing and website design.

Nursing your finances

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Student nurses are still able to get a bursary - but not for much longer

National Health Service

Payment: Amounts vary - NHS case studies show payments ranging from £490 to £5,920

NHS Student Bursaries are awarded to students on pre-registration health professional training courses, according to the NHS Bursary Scheme, as published by the Department of Health.

Student nurses, midwives and other staff such as physiotherapists are entitled to bursaries of £4,500 to £5,500 if they live in London - on top of a grant of £1,000 each year during their training. The course fees are also covered.

But get in there fast - the government is overhauling the system, and bursaries for student nurses and other NHS staff in England will end in September next year.

Will 'vlog' for cash

CastleSmart Scholarship

Payment: One-off payment of £6,000

This scholarship is run by the online estate agent CastleSmart. The criteria is wide open - student applicants have to create a video about themselves and upload it to YouTube, talking about what course they've chosen and why, what they hope to get out of it and what their plans are when they eventually graduate.

The scholarship says that all fields, degrees and courses will be considered, the key to winning the cash is "being passionate about your ideas".

Banking on support

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Are your studies on track? Then maybe you could get funding at university


Payment: Varies, application must be made to each participating university

Santander bank has a long list of universities that it partners with to provide awards and funding. Each student has to apply to their university directly for the Santander cash.

The list of partner universities includes institutions such as the University of Bath, through which Santander provides scholarships for high-performing athletes.

Another example is the bank's award at Glasgow Caledonian University, which provides a one-off grant of up to £5,000 for students pursuing an idea that's additional to their academic work. Previous winners have used their funding to volunteer on charity projects overseas, work on community activities or develop a business idea.

Funding in Northern Ireland

All Ireland Scholarship

Payment: £5,500 a year for the duration of your degree in Northern Ireland (funding is also available, with different criteria, for those studying in Ireland).

Students applying for this financial aid must be in receipt of the Education Maintenance Allowance, as well as live in Northern Ireland and attend a grant-aided post-primary school or further education college there.