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Other funding

Sports Scholarships

We have a history of supporting talented sportsmen and sportswomen that dates back to the 1960s. Our Sports Scholarship programme is more than just financial assistance; it is designed to the particular needs of athletes with outstanding sporting ability in higher education.

Music Awards

All our Undergraduate and Postgraduate students can apply for a Music Award audition, except those are taking music performance as part of their academic course. The Awards are open to both singers and instrumentalists.

Many of our students have skills in fields other than those they choose to study for their degrees. So we make awards from the Music Tuition Fund each year to help students from all Schools to continue their musical tuition.

Other funding

We’ve set up the following awards and allowances that don’t have to be paid back. These allow some of our students to get extra help towards their living costs over and above the loans and scholarships.

Disabled students

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) help pay for the extra costs a student may incur as a result of a disability or specific learning difficulty. These non means-tested allowances can help with the cost of having items of specialist equipment, support workers, travel and other course-related costs such as books and equipment.

The University Hardship Fund may provide funding for the cost of a diagnostic assessment of a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia). This can only be arranged by the Disability and Dyslexia Service following a screening appointment with a Dyslexia Adviser.

For more information see the Disability and Dyslexia webpages or email

While you’re a student, you may be able to continue receiving other benefits and allowances such as the Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.

The Special Support Grant

If you get or qualify for Income Support or Housing Benefit you may get the Special Support Grant instead of the Maintenance Grant. The amount you can get through the Special Support Grant is the same as that available through the Maintenance Grant but it won’t reduce how much you get for your Maintenance Loan.

You’re likely to qualify for the Special Support Grant if:

  • you’re a single parent

  • your partner is also a student

  • you have certain disabilities   

The Special Support Grant doesn’t count as income when working out if you’re entitled to income-related benefits or tax credits.

Many other groups may also be eligible. You do not necessarily have to receive or even have applied for Income Support or Housing Benefit. For further information, see the DirectGov website.

Training as a teacher

There are financial incentives for taking Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses available from the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), as well as funding from the Government.

Students with dependants

Students with children may be eligible for a Childcare Grant which could cover as much as 85 per cent of your childcare costs during term time and holidays. If you’re eligible, the amount you may get will depend on:

  • your household income

  • the cost of your childcare

  • the number of children you have

This could be up to £148.75 per week if you have one child, or £255 per week if you have two or more children.

The Parents' Learning Allowance helps towards your course costs, such as books, materials and travel. You could get between £50 and £1,508 for 2012/13 depending on your household income.

You can apply for the Parents’ Learning Allowance when you apply for student finance. You can apply before or during your course, by completing the section concerning extra help for students with children on your application form. For more information see the DirectGov Childcare Grant web page.

If an adult depends on you financially, you may be entitled to help through the Adult Dependants’ Grant. The amount you can get depends on your income and the income of your dependants. The maximum for 2011/12 and 2012/13 is £2,642. You don't have to pay this back.

For more information see the DirectGov Adult Dependant's Grant web page.

Support levels depend on your household income, and this support is in addition to the standard student funding package.

Financial difficulties during your course

The University Hardship Fund provides financial assistance in the form of grants or emergency loans to students who face difficulty in meeting their living costs or course costs (but not tuition fees). This can be because you fall into hardship unexpectedly and through no fault of your own. You can only apply once you have enrolled as a student, since the University assesses how much should be awarded. You’ll not be entitled to help unless you have already applied for any loans, grants and bursaries to which you are entitled.

Students should be aware that the University Hardship Fund is intended to act as a safety net for those in financial difficulty and not their main source of income.

A short-term repayable loan of £200 is also available to students who are experiencing financial hardship in the current academic year before the arrival of the first instalment of their Maintenance Loan. For further information, including eligibility factors and contact details, visit the Brunel Student Centre website.

Students on professional health courses

Students applying for professional health courses such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Specialist Community Public Health Nursing are subject to different fees and receive different funding. Find out more on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) site.

Social Work students

Social Work degrees cost the same as most other undergraduate courses – £9,000 per year for 2012/13 – and eligibility for the standard Government loan and grant package is unaffected. First year social work undergraduates will not be eligible for the NHSBSA Social Work Bursary.