Universities in the United Kingdom offer extra funds for their students. In general, bursaries are offered to students from low income households or other qualifying groups, whereas scholarships tend to be awarded on academic merit. However, the terms can be used interchangeably.
Bursary amounts vary enormously, ranging from £200 - £4,000. Some payments are annual, whereas others are paid in the first year only. Eligibility criteria also vary with most payments made according to household income and/or paid to priority groups such as care leavers and students from low participation neighbourhoods.
Scholarship amounts vary considerably, ranging from £1,000 - £10,000 with some awarded on an annual basis, subject to satisfactory progress, and others awarded in the first year only. Some universities have chosen to award scholarships at selected progression points throughout the course of study. Scholarships tend to be paid as a cash bursary or fee waiver.
Eligibility criteria vary, so contact your chosen university for more information. In general, you will need to be from a low income household, from a vulnerable group and/or demonstrate academic excellence and potential.
In most cases, you will need to apply for government financial support and agree to share your information so that universities can assess your eligibility for income-related bursaries and scholarships. Some universities award funding automatically, whereas others require you to complete an additional application form (sent in the welcome pack and/or available for download from university websites). You should apply for all types of funding as soon as possible.