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NHS Learning Support Fund

The NHS Learning Support Fund provides additional financial support to students on university healthcare courses. 

The fund is made up of 4 packages:

Payments are made as grants, which you do not have to pay back.

Who can apply to the LSF?

You must be studying one of the following courses:

  • dental therapy/dental hygiene (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • dietetics
  • midwifery
  • nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work)
  • occupational therapy
  • operating department practitioner (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • orthoptics
  • orthotics and prosthetics
  • paramedics (bachelors and masters courses are eligible, DipHE and FD courses are not eligible for NHS LSF)
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry/chiropody
  • radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • speech and language therapy

You also need to be actively in study and receiving a tuition fee and a maintenance loan from your student finance provider.

How do I apply to the LSF?

You will need to register for an online account with the NHS Learning Support Fund Application System (LSFAS). As part of the registration process, you will need to send them a copy of your student finance entitlement letter.

Training grant

The Training Grant is a non-means tested grant of £5,000 each academic year for all eligible students.

You can apply for the Training Grant through your online NHS LSF account.

When applying, you will need to provide evidence of your eligibility in the form of your student finance letter. You will need to upload this to your account when prompted.

Additional Funding of up to £2000

This is only available to new students starting from September 2020. This is to prioritise shortage groups that are key to delivering the NHS Long Term Plan.

The specialist subject payment includes students on courses for:

  • mental health nursing
  • learning disability nursing
  • radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • prosthetics and orthotics
  • orthoptics and podiatry

Combined courses that include one of these shortage courses. For example, adult and mental health nursing, will also qualify for the £1,000 payment.

There’ll also be a regional incentive payment of up to £1,000. The details of this will be confirmed soon.

Both the specialist subject and regional incentive payments will be added to your account automatically when you apply for the Training Grant.

Parental support

  • This is a £2,000 grant available per year to students with children.
  • You must have at least one child aged under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs. They must be under this age on the first day of the academic year.
  • The Parental Support grant is paid in 3 instalments with your Training Grant payments
  • You must claim within the first 9 months of the academic year. You need to re-apply every year.
  • This allowance will not affect your access to child support or other means of funding through your higher education provider or other sources.

Travel and dual accommodation expenses

  • This will reimburse you if you have any extra travel and/or accommodation costs whilst you are on placement.

  • For travel costs, you can claim anything over and above what you would normally pay to travel to attend university when you are not on placement. You are expected to travel by the cheapest form of transport available, where it is reasonable and practical to do so.

    For example, if you pay £5 per day to travel to university and £8 per day to travel to placement, you will be reimbursed £3 per day.

  • For accommodation costs, you can be reimbursed for up to £55 per night. Make sure you keep hold of any receipts, as you will need these for your claim. Your faculty will need to check your claim and approve it before you can send it back to the NHS.

  • You can claim as often as you like – for example fortnightly, monthly or at the end of your placement. 

  • You have 9 months from the last date of the placement period you’re claiming for to submit your claim.
  • If you are struggling with upfront placement costs, the University may be able to offer you a short-term loan which you can repay when the NHS Learning Support Fund reimburses you. Visit the Student Support Fund Loan page for more information.

Exceptional Support Fund

  • If you are facing financial hardship, the Exceptional Support Fund can pay grants of up to £3,000 per year.
  • The amount you receive depends on your circumstances and is based on comparing your income vs. your outgoings. An application is no guarantee of success.
  • In order to apply, you must show you have exhausted all other sources of funding – this includes funding available through the University's Student Support Fund. Visit the Student Support Fund Grant page for more information.
    • After you have received a decision from the University's Student Support Fund, you will need to get the final page of your ESF application form signed off by a University Money Adviser. To arrange for this to be completed, email

More information about the NHS Learning Support Fund