Other Types Of Financial Support For Students in Northern Ireland

Other Types Of Financial Support For Students

The government has a useful calculator to see what types of support you could be eligible for as a student. You can access it using the following link:


This amount is based on Student Finance England. The amount available to Northern Irish students may be slightly different. If you have any questions, call the Student Finance Northern Ireland helpline.

Here we have summarised other types of support available to Northern Irish students:

Parents Learning Allowance

The Parents Learning Allowance is a grant for students with children. It won’t affect any other benefits you get or your normal student finance.

The amount you get depends on your household income, and it can range from £50 to £1,538.

To be eligible, you must be a full-time undergraduate from Northern Ireland.

You can apply for it while applying for normal student finance.

You don’t need to be paying for childcare to receive it.

Adult Dependants’ Grant

You can apply for an Adult Dependants’ Grant of up to £2,695 a year if you have an adult that is dependant on you. This comes in three instalments and won’t affect your student finance amount. It may affect other benefits you receive, so make sure to double check this with your local jobcentre.

You can apply for it while applying for student finance, using the same form. You will receive a letter in the post telling you if you are eligible a few weeks after you apply.

The amount you get depends on:

  • Your income.
  • The adult dependant’s income.
  • Your other personal circumstances (if you’re single, if you have kids etc.)
  • What other grants you’re receiving, like a Childcare Grant.

To be eligible for the grant, there are a few conditions.

Usually the adult dependant is your partner. It can also be a relative such as a parent or a grandparent.

If you’re under 25 the adult dependant can’t be a partner unless you’re married or in a civil partnership.

You are not eligible if you are receiving a postgraduate loan.

Childcare Grant

A childcare grant is for parents who are studying and need childcare. Your children must be under 15 (or 17 if they have special educational needs) for your family to be eligible.

It also works like a grant, so you won't have to pay it back. It will come to you in three instalments over the year.

The amount you get depends on your household income and how many children you have:

For 2018/19, you will get:

  • £148.75 a week for 1 child
  • £255 a week for 2 or more children.

Your childcare provider must register with their local Early Years Register team. Also, you must be a full-time student to be eligible for a Childcare Grant.

You will not be eligible if you are a postgraduate or you are claiming Working Tax Credits or Universal Credit. You will also not be eligible if a relative is caring for your child(ren) and they are not registered with an Early Years team.

To apply, you can request a form to Student Finance Northern Ireland. You will also need proof of your child or children’s date of births and proof of your childcare costs.

Professional and Career Development loans

A Professional and Career Development loan is available to postgraduates. You can use it for any course that will help your career. You can borrow between £300 and £10,000.

The government will pay the interest on your loan while you're studying. You’re expected to begin repaying it one month after you finish the course.

To be eligible for the loan, you must have been a resident of the UK for the past three years. You must plan to work in the UK, EU or EEA afterwards.

To apply, you can either use the Careers Service helpline (0800 100 900) or use their website.


Social Work bursaries

The government may give you a grant if you are studying to be a social worker.

The amount you get doesn’t depend on household income, but it depends on how expensive your course is. It also considers where it is and if you are part-time or full-time.

To be eligible, you can’t receive money from your employer for the course. It must be your first qualification and be at a registered institution.

To apply, you will need your passport and birth certificate and proof of the social work course.

University money

You can always turn to the university or college itself if you need extra help.

Each institution has different rules about who receives money and how much they get. It is definitely worth checking if you’re eligible for anything.

Most universities offer hardship funds to help students out in times of need. It is for students who can’t find money anywhere else and may have to leave the course.

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)

You may be eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) if you have an illness or disability. It helps with the extra costs that come with having a disability or long term illness while studying.

It is a grant, so you won’t have to pay it back later. The amount you receive depends on your illness or disability and how intense your course is. It also won’t affect the normal student finance you receive.

For a full-time student, the most you can get at the moment in a general grant is £1,759.

If you need medical equipment while at university, you can receive up to £5,266 to help with the costs of this.

If you need a carer while studying full-time, you can receive up to £20,938 a year.

These amounts are the most you can get. Most students at college or university end up receiving much less than this.

For more information, see:


NHS bursaries

You may be eligible for a bursary if you are studying a healthcare related degree.

If your course starts after August 2018, you could get a yearly payment from the NHS. To be eligible, you must be studying to be a doctor or dentist.

If your course started in 2017 you could get a yearly payment if you’re studying to be:

  • A doctor.
  • A dentist.
  • A dental hygienist.
  • A dental therapist.

You could get a payment if you’re studying any healthcare degree if you course started before 2017.

The amount you’ll get as part of the bursary depends on your household income and how long your course is.

If you think you’re eligible, you can create an online account with the NHS using the link below. You should do this once you receive your offer from the university or college.


Travel Grants

A Travel Grant is available to students who have to study abroad for periods of their degree. It is also for students who have to complete a placement as part of a medical or dental degree.

The amount you’ll get depends on your household income but if you are eligible, you won’t have to pay it back.

Only some courses are eligible for the grant. When you apply for student finance, Student Finance Northern Ireland will tell you if you’re eligible or not.

You’ll get help with 3 return tickets during the year and things like medical and travel insurance.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have a permanent address in Northern Ireland.
  • Be studying abroad for over half of your university/college term.
  • If you’re doing a medical or dental placement, it has to be an essential part of your course.

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