University Tips Blog
Image of a healthcare student with other members of the cohort in the background
A headshot image of the author, Kayleigh Drake

by Kayleigh Drake

Student Recruitment Officer at the University of Suffolk

posted on 12 Jun '24

A guide to the NHS Learning Support Fund for health courses

Arranging finance is an important part of student life and knowing there’s additional help available can reassure those who otherwise might not think they can afford higher education.

The NHS Learning Support Fund is an additional source of funding for eligible students who are studying healthcare courses and can be used towards the costs of training, childcare and travel.

Student Finance Advisers at universities are on hand to help with any initial queries and to support students throughout their study years, making them aware of any funding routes that might be available to them.

Image of a student working on a healthcare application

Applications to the NHS Learning Support Fund

Applications for the NHS Learning Support Fund tend to open in spring or early summer leading up to the course start in September. Students apply directly through the Learning Support website but new students will need to create an online account before they can apply for funding for each year of study.

Payments from the fund are then made to students in three installments across the year. Travel or accommodation claims that are made will be paid as and when they’re processed, not at the same time as the main elements, and students will need to remember to obtain and keep receipts or proof of purchase documents in order to make these claims.

The Learning Support Fund is a grant fund, not a loan fund, which means that the payments don’t need to be paid back. And because they’re not based on household income either, anyone who meets the grant requirements will be awarded equally. There are four main parts to the NHS Learning Support Fund:

  • Training grant – this is the main element and is a £5,000 award (pro rata for part-time students), paid at each level of study. There is also the potential for a further £1,000 for students studying a shortage or specialist subject. These are recognised as mental health nursing, learning disability nursing, radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic), prosthetics and orthotics, and orthoptics and podiatry.

  • Training grant – an award of £2,000 for students who have parental responsibility for a child under 15, or 17 years old with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

  • Travel and dual accommodation – this is for the reimbursement of some of the costs incurred when travelling to placements, or if secondary/temporary accommodation is needed.

  • Exceptional support fund – is for students experiencing financial difficulty. This fund is available when they’ve exhausted all support from their university, and is income and expenditure assessed.

Find out more

For more information visit the NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF)

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