This article contains information about the additional funding some healthcare students are able to apply for from the NHS


NHS Learning Support Fund

If you started one of the following courses in September 2017 or later you may be eligible for additional financial support from the NHS:

Students starting or continuing their course from 1 September 2020 can now apply for the NHS LSE.

The Learning Support Fund (LSF) consists of six elements of additional funding, eligible students can apply for some or all of the allowances depending on their circumstances.  The funding is non-payable and is available on top of any other standard package of student finance eg, Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans.


In order to be eligible you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You must be on one of the above courses and have started after 1 August 2017
  • Be starting a new full academic year on or after September 2020 to receive the new extended package of support
  • Studying a course at a university in England
  • You must eligible for a tuition fee and maintenance loan from Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.


The six elements to the LSF are:

Training Grant

£5,000 per academic year for all new and continuing students. The grant is paid directly to the student in termly instalments and is to help with living costs and other study costs. This award is not means- tested. Receipt of this funding does not impact your access to funding through your national funding body eg. Student Finance England and should be fully disregarded when applying for Universal Credit


Specialist subject payment

£1,000 per academic year for all new students studying a specialist subject. At University of Portsmouth these are:

This award is automatically applied when you make a successful application for the Training Grant. Payments are made directly to the students in termly instalments for the duration of your course.


Regional incentive

Further details about this allowance will be made available by the Government Department of Health and Social Care in due course.


Parental Support

Previously called the Child Dependents allowance. If you have parental responsibility for a child or children under 15 (or 17 if the child has special educational needs) you can claim a grant of £2,000 for each academic year of your course. This grant is non means-tested and non-repayable, and does not affect any other funding you receive from your national funding body eg. Student Finance England.


Travel & Dual Accommodation Expenses

You can claim back some of the additional costs of attending practice placements as part of your course. This includes any travel costs which are over and above your normal travel costs to university and any additional accommodation costs if it is not reasonable or practical to travel daily.

Your department can provide you with further information about the administration of these claims as they will need to sign off your forms and receipts.


Exceptional Support Fund

This is an additional fund for students who find themselves in genuine and unforeseen financial hardship during their studies. Applications must be made directly to the NHS demonstrating that there is a shortfall between your income and essential expenditure.

In order to apply for this fund you will need to evidence that you have already applied to the University for the University Support Fund so we would encourage you to contact the Student Finance Centre first if you are experiencing any financial difficulty. After we have assessed you for the university fund we can then advise you whether you may be able to apply for the additional NHS funding.


How to apply

The Learning Support Fund is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (BSA). You can apply for the Learning Support Fund online.

To find out more

Read the NHSBSA Learning Support Fund Guidance

Visit the NHS BSA website