Intended for healthcare professionals


The NHS bursary: what am I entitled to?

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: (Published 23 March 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o561
  1. Penelope P J Sucharitkul, fourth year medical student1,
  2. Emma Shorrock, fourth year medical student1,
  3. Erin Lawson-Smith, final year medical student2
  1. 1School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  2. 2School of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to: ll16ppjs{at}

This article is aimed at medical students who reside in England. Check for eligibility on the government’s website (

Stressed out by the NHS bursary? Understanding what you are entitled to can be as confusing as finding a popliteal pulse. In this article we outline the key information for students applying to the NHS bursary.

The NHS bursary is a non-repayable fund to help English students financially in their fifth and sixth years of medical school. The foundation year before a medicine degree can also count towards funding. Before this, medical students will have to apply through Student Finance England (SFE) for a tuition fee and a maintenance loan that is means tested (amount given according to personal circumstances). Graduate entry students on accelerated courses (lasting three or four years) are eligible to apply after their first year at medical school and receive a contribution towards their tuition fee.

Let’s talk money

The amount of contributions discussed here are only a guide and can change each year. Once students are in receipt of the NHS bursary, they will have their tuition fee paid and be given a £1000 grant, regardless of household income, on top of their means tested maintenance grant (2021/2022).

A household income of less than £24 000 a year will result in the full means tested maintenance amount, ranging from £2207 for students who live at home to £3191 for those who live in London. An extra week’s allowance is also available if a course runs for more than 30 weeks and three days. Students who live in London will receive £108 for each additional week, those who live outside London an additional £84, and those who live at home £56. Worried about having to pay for travel and accommodation? An expenses fund exists that provides reimbursement …

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