New £5,000 bursary extended to student paramedics, physios, dieticians, ODPs and more

From September 2020, new and continuing students will benefit from the new bursary.

James McKay
19 January 2020
university lecture

The bursary is expected to benefit around 100,000 students every year.

Student healthcare professionals in England are to benefit from a bursary of up to £8,000 a year to help with living costs.


Initially announced in December, the Government expects the basic £5,000 maintenance grants to benefit around 100,000 pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health degree students every year.

Extra payments worth up to £3,000 per academic year will be available for eligible students. Each year they could receive; £1,000 towards childcare costs, £1,000 if studying in a region that is struggling to recruit, and £1,000 if they’re a new student studying a shortage specialism.

It comes as part of the government’s manifesto commitment to increase nurse numbers by 50,000 by 2025.

The range of included courses.

From September 2020, new and continuing students on any of the courses listed below will benefit from the new £5,000 bursary.


  • dietetics
  • dental hygiene or dental therapy (level 5 courses)
  • occupational therapy
  • operating department practitioner (level 5 courses)
  • orthoptics
  • orthotics and prosthetics
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry or chiropody
  • radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • speech and language therapy
  • paramedicine
  • midwifery
  • nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work)

The additional funding will be provided on top of existing support such as student loans.

Specialisms with a shortage have been confirmed as; mental health nursing, learning disability nursing, radiography, orthotics and prosthetics, and orthoptics and podiatry.

Talented allied health professionals.

Minister for Public Health Jo Churchill said: “From paramedics to physiotherapists, radiographers to speech and language therapists, our talented allied health professionals are the third largest workforce in the NHS and support people to live better lives.

“As demand grows, we need more of the best and brightest to join our NHS. I want those who would relish the job of saving people’s lives as a paramedic or diagnosing cancer as a radiographer to come forward to train, taking advantage of this fantastic new £5,000 support package.”


Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “We want to support people with learning disabilities to live full, healthy and happy lives. The expertise of learning disability nurses is essential as they provide tailored care that can help people become more independent.

“In the years to come we’re going to need more learning disability nurses to provide high-quality care, so I’m delighted that from September all new students will receive at least £6,000 a year to help with their cost of living.

“I want to see more people considering a career in learning disability nursing, helping to achieve our NHS Long Term Plan ambition to improve care for people with learning disabilities.”

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