Undergraduate financial assistance fund

A discretionary fund that provides financial assistance for home (UK) students, helping you to access and remain in higher education.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you are experiencing financial difficulty as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic, please email the Student Funding Office with a brief summary of your circumstances:


You should apply for the undergraduate financial assistance fund if:

  • You need extra financial help to meet costs that are not covered by other sources of support
  • You have a financial emergency that means you're at risk of leaving higher education.

The fund exists to help any eligible student who has a particular financial need.

Awards from this fund do not need to be repaid.

Applications are processed in date order and once funds are exhausted, no further awards are made. We cannot guarantee that there will be sufficient funds to meet every application we receive, or all the costs you might apply for.

When can I apply?

You can apply for help at any time throughout the academic year until the advertised deadlines. A second application would only be considered if there is a significant change in circumstances or if you need help over the summer vacation.

Closing date for applications

  • Undergraduate final year students – 7 May 2021
  • Undergraduate non-final year students – 4 June 2021
  • Undergraduate third and fourth year Medical, Dentistry, Veterinary Science – 30 July 2021
  • First, second and third-year Veterinary Nursing, Bioveterinary Science and Veterinary Nursing, and Companion Animal Behaviour students – 30 July 2021

How to apply

  1. Download the Financial Assistance Fund application form (Office document, 167kB) to your computer or device.
  2. Complete, sign and date the form. Save the document with a file name to include your surname and your student number, i.e. SURNAME 1234567 AppForm01.
  3. Email the form and your supporting documents to faf-mailbox@bristol.ac.uk. Please include your name and your student number in the email subject line, e.g. 'FAF application - John Smith - 1711111'.
  4. Please ensure that you have entered your bank details on the MyBristol portal.

Who can apply?

The fund is available to home (UK) students only (full-time and part-time). International and EU students are not eligible to apply.

Students must have applied for, been assessed and requested the full statutory support for living costs and fees to which you are entitled during an academic year.

Part-time students

Part-time students will need to be studying at least 25 per cent (30 credits) of an equivalent full-time course.

Temporary suspension of studies

If you have temporarily suspended your studies due to health or caring reasons, you may apply. Students who have suspended their studies or exams are advised to speak to one of our advisers to discuss their funding situation before submitting an application.

Studying for a second degree

If you are undertaking a second degree you can apply to the fund.

Professional programmes

Students undertaking certain professional programmes as a second degree (i.e. Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science), will be assessed using the standard guidelines.

Non-professional programmes

Second degree students on non-professional programmes will be expected to have made realistic provision for their tuition fees and living costs prior to the start of their programme.

Students who demonstrate that they have made realistic provision for their tuition fees and living costs but can show that they still have an additional need, may be eligible for an award.

NHS-funded students

Once you have applied to the financial assistance fund and received a decision, NHS-funded students are also eligible to apply to the NHS Exceptional Support Fund. Awards are between £100 and £3000. Read more about how to apply to the NHS Exceptional Support Fund.

How your application will be assessed

The assessment process is designed to identify students who have exceptional costs and those who experience unforeseen financial difficulty. The overall aim is to target help at students who are experiencing financial difficulty.

Applications will be assessed calculating the difference between essential expenditure and expected income.

Awards can help with the general costs of being a full-time undergraduate student such as:

  • Rent (or mortgage) payments
  • Food and utility bills
  • Course related costs such as childcare, travel, books and field trips. Part-time and postgraduate students can also apply for help with these costs.


Income for an undergraduate student can be from a variety of sources, eg student loans, grants, scholarships, part-time work, savings, bank loans or additional parent/spouse support where applicable.


Expenditure levels for general living costs such as food and utility bills, known as composite living costs, will be used according to set figures. The amount is set depending on your circumstances – usually in the range of £90 per week (for a single student) with higher amounts for students with children or students who are living with a partner.

Composite Living Costs include the following:

  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Mobile phone
  • TV licence
  • Clothes
  • Home contents insurance
  • Entertainment
  • Clubs and societies

Timetable for making a decision

Once you have submitted a form and provided all the necessary evidence an assessment and decision should be made within six weeks of submission. If your application is successful you should also receive a payment in this time.

At certain times of the year, the office is very busy and your application may take longer than stated above. You can help by planning ahead, filling in your application form legibly and accurately and providing us with all the information we request.

How to appeal

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may appeal by email to student-funding@bristol.ac.uk.

Any appeal must be made within two weeks from the date of the original decision.

Help with tuition fees

The financial assistance fund cannot help with the payment of tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students. If you have not already done so, you should contact your relevant funding provider for assistance with your tuition fees.

Funding enquiries or money worries

Undergraduate and general funding queries:

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