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The Cambridge Bursary is for students studying their first full time undergraduate degree (there are some exceptions, for full eligibility details see the CBS policy document here).

You must be:

  • a UK or EU student
  • liable to pay tuition fees to the University of Cambridge.

In order to receive the Cambridge Bursary you must first apply to the UK Student Loans Company for financial assistance.  You do not have to take up the Student Loan offered but you do have to go through their household income assessment process and be assessed as having an income lower than £42,620 in order to receive the Cambridge Bursary.

The Cambridge Bursary is based purely on household income and does not take into account any other scholarships, awards or Government funding.


Value of Award

If the SLC assess your household income as below £25,000 per year (or GBP equivalent for EU students) then it is likely you’ll qualify for the full bursary of £3,500 per year.

If the SLC assess your household income as between £25,001 and £42,620 per year, then you'll qualify for a smaller Cambridge Bursary calculated as illustrated below:

Assessed Household Income

Cambridge Bursary

£25,000 or less










Over £42,620


If your financial circumstances change during your course of study then your eligibility for the Cambridge Bursary, or the level of the Bursary that you receive, may also change.

Independent Students and Care Leavers

Students who SLC determine as having independent status or who are care leavers may be eligible for an enhanced award of up to £5,600.  The extra funds are intended to help you meet the cost of accommodation over the summer months assuming you do not have a parental home to which to return during that time.  

You will be considered automatically for this enhanced award during the application process if you are over 21 at the start of your course.  

If you are not over 21 but are independent for other resons (eg. you have been supporting yourself for more than three years or you are orphaned) you'll need to let your College tutor know when you arrive and you will be considered for the enhanced award.


Further Information


The Bursary timetable for 2016/17 will be as follows:

  • Applications for SLC funding open in July, 2016. We advise you to apply to SLC as soon as possible (by August), as processing your application takes up to 6 weeks. This would allow your bursary to be fully approved for the first possible payment date in late October (24th October at the earliest). If you apply to SLC later, you will still be considered but your payment will be made later.
  • If you are successful you will receive written notification from your college after the first week of term once your attendance has been confirmed.
  • SLC will make payments directly to student's UK bank account each term providing the details held by SLC are correct and your College has confirmed your attendance for that term:

Michaelmas Term:  24th October, 2016

Lent Term: 6th February, 2017

Easter Term: 15th May, 2017


Medical Students

Clinical Medical Students

Clinical medical students who receive a NHS Bursary (normally students in their fifth and sixth years) must request means-testing to be undertaken by their Student Finance agency or regional equivalent in order to be considered for a Cambridge Bursary. The bursary will be based on the level of household income only (ie no deduction will be made for NHS Bursary).  In order to request this you must complete and submit a PFF2 form along with a Non Means Tested to Means Tested form and a cover letter explaining that you wish to be means tested for bursary purposes.

Northern Irish students receiving NHS bursaries must contact this office in order for financial information to be obtained from your Education Authority.


Cambridge Graduate Course In Medicine

Students on the Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine are now eligible for the Cambridge Bursary in every year of their course (despite this not being their first degree).  The same eligibility criteria apply to these students as to undergraduates undertaking their first degree.

If you're getting any means tested assistance from SLC (i.e. if you have undergone a household income assessment with SLC rather than the NHS) then you'll automatically be assessed for a Cambridge Bursary.

If you're only receiving non-means tested support from SLC (for example because you're part way through your CGCM course and are receiving the NHS Bursary) then you'll need to complete the PFF2 form along with a Non Means Tested to Means Tested form and submit these with a cover letter explaining that you wish to be means tested for bursary purposes.  If you are applying part way through the academic year, you will still receive the full bursary.


Affiliated Students

Students studying Medicine or Veterinary Medicine through the affiliated route are also now eligible for the Cambridge Bursary, in all years of their course on the same basis as Medics and Vets on the standard course.  If you are only receiving non-means tested support (either because you receive the NHS bursary or becasue you already have a degree) you will also need to complete the PFF2 form along with a Non Means Tested to Means Tested form and submit these with a cover letter explaining that you wish to be means tested for bursary purposes.