Information on the NHS Learning Support Fund

Financial support for healthcare students

The NHS Learning Support Fund (NHSLSF) offers funding in addition to student loans for students on specific health-related courses. It includes a non-repayable training grant of £5000 per student per academic year, travel expenses, and circumstantial funds of up to £6000 (listed below). This grant is not means tested - they don’t need to assess you or family member’s income to make sure you are eligible, and you don’t need to pay it back!

If you study an undergraduate or postgraduate pre-registration course with LSBU in any of the following subject areas and are a UK resident, you should be eligible to receive the NHSLSF:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Children’s Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing*
  • Learning Disability Nursing*
  • Midwifery
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Operating Department Practice
  • Physiotherapy
  • Diagnostic Radiography*
  • Therapeutic Radiography*

*Students on these courses qualify for an additional £1000 per academic year – see Specialist Subject Payment below.

If you can receive the Training Grant, you can also claim practice placement expenses to help with any travel and temporary accommodation, and you may be eligible to receive additional non-repayable amounts. You can find a summary below, but for full details please visit the NHS Learning Support Fund website.

Travel & Dual Accommodation Expenses

You can claim back excess costs from daily travel to and from any practice placements, and – if it is not possible to travel from your home to your practice placement - to stay in temporary accommodation (at LSBU we try to ensure students are within travelling distance of any placements, so this shouldn’t be necessary in most cases).

Students are expected to take the cheapest form of transport using the most direct route. Where a student uses their own car, they can claim back 42p per mile, plus parking expenses. The cost of your usual journey to and from LSBU during term time will be deducted.

Claims must be submitted within 6 months of the travel/accommodation payment. LSBU will need to authorise and validate claims for these expenses.

Specialist Subject Payment

Certain subject areas have been identified as specialist subjects, meaning qualifying students on an undergraduate or postgraduate pre-registration course in those areas will receive an additional non-repayable £1000 per academic year. This will be added to your account when you apply for the training grant. At LSBU, our courses that qualify for the Specialist Subject Payment are Mental Health Nursing, Learning Disability Nursing, Diagnostic Radiography and Therapeutic Radiography.

Parental Support

If you are a parent or have parental responsibility of a child/children under 15 (or under 17 if they are registered with special educational needs), you can additionally claim a non-means tested, non-repayable grant of £2000 per academic year.

Exceptional Support Fund

Students who qualify for the NHSLSF can apply for additional non-repayable financial support of up to £3000 per academic year through the Exceptional Support Fund - this is an additional non-repayable fund for students who find themselves in financial hardship. It can be applied for at any point during the academic year and is means-tested, meaning you would have to submit details of your income and expenditure. You will need to have applied for a student loan funding and hardship funds available from LSBU prior to submitting your application to the Exceptional Support fund. Visit our Student Money Advice page for more information on financial support for LSBU students.

Maternity, Adoption & Maternity Support

Should you require time off from your course for maternity leave, adoption leave, or to support a new infant/mother, you can apply to receive the amount you qualify for as part of the NHS Learning Support Fund during the authorised leave. In the case of maternity, adoption, or maternity support, LSBU will have to make the application on behalf of the student. Maternity and Adoption awards cover up to one year, and Maternity Support up to four weeks.

Making an application

You are not able to apply until you have started your course with us. To make an application, students must register an account with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) no later than one calendar month after the start of active study in the academic year, and submit the application no later than 6 months after the start of active study in the academic year. You will need a bank account in your name where the fees will be paid in 3 instalments across each academic year.

You will need to include evidence from the Student Loans Company that proves you are in receipt of a student tuition and maintenance loan, or where if you are not receiving a student loan, demonstrate that you are eligible to receive a student loan based on the criteria set out by the Student Loans Company.

Part time courses

Students on part time courses that qualify for the NHSLSF and any additional provisions will receive the relevant proportion of the fund.

Students must notify the NHSBSA of any changes that might affect their eligibility as soon as they are aware of them. Any students that receive payments beyond what they are eligible for may be asked to repay any excess amount they receive.

Please note, the information provided above is an overview of the NHSLSF correct for the academic year 2023/24. The policy and related rules may be subject to review and change by the UK Government’s Department of Health & Social Care for future academic years. We recommend you check the NHS Learning Support Fund website for full details on 23/24 application requirements and any updates relating to future academic years.