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How to Apply for a Bursary

Bursaries are awarded as a form of financial support to students with a specific need, for example severe financial difficulty or a disability.  If you feel you could be eligible for a bursary, there is an application process to follow.

First of all, do your research on your shortlisted law schools and find out which bursaries they offer. You can also check out suitable awards and grants offered by the Research Councils UK, specifically the Arts and Humanities Research Council or the Economic and Social Research Council.

Some bursaries will have different eligibility requirements, so you need to establish which of them meet your own particular circumstances before you apply.

The bursary application process itself will involve an application form in most instances. Law schools and the Research Councils will now usually provide this form in a PDF format which you can download from the relevant page of their websites. Some institutions may state that you should contact a specified individual to request and application form.

A bursary application itself will include some standard questions on personal details and the course you want to apply for, plus some more specific queries about your circumstances. This is to assess eligibility for an award.

For bursaries that state recipients should be in clear financial need of the award, you can expect to have to provide answers to questions designed to establish this. For example, you may have to provide a breakdown of your annual income and monthly outgoing costs, plus information on dependents if applicable. If it’s a bursary or grant to support students with disabilities, you will have to provide information on your disability.

Due to the high amount of bursary applications law schools and relevant organisations receive it can take some time for them to assess an application. It’s a good idea to apply early if possible. Successful applicants will then be contacted. In some instances, an applicant might also have to attend an interview before the institutions make final decisions on bursary recipients for that year.

Whatever the type of bursary you want to apply for, it’s essential that you are completely honest in your answers and proactive in your search for funding. 

By Jos Weale, Editor,