Extra money for those who need it

Find out if you might be eligible to apply for some extra money to help plug the gap in your finances.

You may be able to get some help if:

  • you've planned your budget and your funding isn't enough to cover your essential costs, or
  • something unexpected happens and leaves you struggling financially.

NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund (UK home students)

The NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund used to be called the 'Discretionary Hardship Fund' or 'DHF'. It's an amount of money provided by the University. It's to assist eligible UK home undergraduate students who are:

  • in financial difficulties because their funding doesn't quite cover their essential living expenses, or
  • facing financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances.

What help is available?

If you're eligible, you'll get a grant from the NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund. This is to supplement your main source of funding for your undergraduate course. It offers some support in meeting any shortfall between your income and expenditure. It's a grant, not a loan, so you won't have to repay it.

The fund cannot:

  • meet your shortfall in full
  • make up for an absence of funding
  • compensate for a failure to make adequate financial provision for your studies.

Financial support may be available if your circumstances change during the academic year.

Am I eligible to apply and receive help?

To be eligible to apply, you must meet all the follow criteria:

  • You are studying at least 25% of an equivalent full-time undergraduate course.
  • You're fully enrolled and attending your course.
  • You satisfy the residence criteria to be classed as a UK 'home' student for fees and funding purposes.
  • You've applied for the maximum maintenance loan you're entitled to during the 2021/22 academic year. If you haven't applied the maintenance loan on religious grounds, email us for advice.

To get help from the NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund, you must:

  • submit the application form and required evidence
  • show a shortfall between your annual income and expenditure. We'll assess this against the standard hardship fund assessment criteria.

Be aware that our assessment may not match your own calculations.

  • We only allow essential expenditure.
  • We use a combination of standardised figures and caps on expenditure. This ensures fairness and consistency.
  • We often assume certain types of income if we think you can reasonably access it.
  • If you have savings, we'll take these into consideration too.

When can I apply?

You don't have to be facing an immediate financial crisis to apply to this fund. The assessment normally considers your financial circumstances over the whole academic year.

You can apply at any point during the year. However, you should do so no later than six weeks before the end of your academic year. This is so we can assess all applications and process all payments before you finish.

After this time, some continuing students may need support during the summer vacation. You may be unable to take up paid work due to caring responsibilities or your health. If so, you may be eligible to apply for support from our summer vacation hardship fund.

How do I apply?

Follow these essential steps to apply to the NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund.

Step 1: Use your NTU ID number to register with or sign-in to the Blackbullion online learning platform

You must complete at least one of the following online learning pathways. They're available through the 'Library' link.

  • Budgeting 101 (16 mins)
  • 21 Days of Savings (21 mins)
  • Debt (21 mins)
  • Risk (38 mins)
  • Scams (11 mins)
  • Nursing and Healthcare students (21 mins)

You must achieve a mark of at least 90% before we can assess your hardship fund application. You can re-take the pathway as many times as you need to achieve the pass mark.

Student Support Services will be able to see:

  • information about the online learning pathways you've undertaken
  • the score you received.

Our fund administrators will use this to:

  • determine whether you've successfully completed this step
  • decide whether we'll assess your application to the NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund.
Step 2: Complete the 2021/22 NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund online application form

The first screen will take you through the residence eligibility criteria. If you meet the relevant criteria, click on the relevant link to progress to the application form.

Step 3: Provide any additional or outstanding evidence using the additional evidence upload form

You'll need to do this if:

  • you weren't able to supply all the evidence when you submitted your application
  • we contacted you directly to request more evidence.

For improved online security, please don't provide your evidence by email. Access the above form by logging into Microsoft Teams using your NTU ID.

We can only assess your application when we've received:

  • your completed application form
  • all the supporting evidence we've requested
  • confirmation you've completed, and achieved 90% on, one of the Blackbullion pathways.

What happens next?

Once we receive your application, we'll check we have all the necessary information.

We'll contact you through your NTU email address if we need:

  • any more information and/or supporting evidence
  • to refer you to our advice team for further discussion of your financial situation.

We'll then go through our standard assessment procedure. We'll calculate the shortfall between your annual income and essential expenditure.

If there's a shortfall, we'll use this figure to decide the annual level of support available from the NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund. Please note that the fund can only offer a contribution towards any shortfall.

When considering income and expenditure, please be aware of the following.


  • You must declare actual income from all sources.
  • The figure we use in the assessment may be different to what you declare. We disregard some sources of income but assume others.
  • You must declare any savings. These will count as income available to you.
  • We assume some sources of income. These can include:
    • potential earnings from employment
    • parental contribution for those not entitled to the maximum student finance
    • certain welfare benefits where there is a clear eligibility.


  • We can only consider essential expenditure.
  • We don't take into account what you spend on tuition fees. The hardship fund is not able to pay for these.
  • To keep things fair, we standardise most living costs in the assessment. This includes things like food, bills and socialising. We do this because they're common to all students.
  • Living costs can vary from student to student. We place an appropriate limit on the amounts allowed in the assessment. This ensures costs are reasonable. Living costs include things like accommodation, travel, and course costs.
  • We check the pattern of spending on your bank statements. Where we identify concerns, we'll refer you for further advice on managing your money.

When will I hear if I am eligible to receive any money?

We aim to assess all applications within 15 working days. It can still take longer at peak times.

We can't begin our assessment until we have:

  • your application
  • all the evidence we need from you.

We'll email you at your NTU email address when we've assessed your application. We'll let you know the outcome. If you're eligible, we'll pay your award into your account within a further 5 to 10 working days.

Response times for assessment and payment will differ if:

  • you're referred to us in an emergency situation.

Who do I contact about it?

Have you submitted your NTU Undergraduate Hardship Fund application yet?

  • If you haven't, email financial.support@ntu.ac.uk for information. We'll be able to answer questions about eligibility and the application process.
  • If you have, email hardshipfunds@ntu.ac.uk with your query. We'll be able to tell you about your application and the supporting evidence you need to provide.

Want to check the progress of your application? Please wait at least 15 working days after you submitted all the required evidence. This allows us to concentrate on assessing applications and getting awards out quickly.

NTU Postgraduate Hardship Fund (UK home students)

You must make financial provision for your postgraduate studies. You need to be able to cover:

  • your fees
  • you living costs.

Start thinking about this well before your course starts.

Our Student Financial Advice Service can support you with this financial planning. Our advisers can help you set our your budget for the year. This will show you, month by month, what money you will have coming in and what expenses you need to meet. You'll be able to see if there are any months where you may not be able to meet your costs. You can then look at your options to cover any gaps.

You may also find it useful to check out our:

Sometimes the unexpected happens. You may be able to apply for support from the Postgraduate Hardship Fund. This is an amount of money we provide to assist eligible UK home postgraduate students.

Complete the online application form for the 2021/22 Postgraduate Hardship Fund.

We can't assess your application until we have all the evidence we need. You might not be able to upload everything we need when you apply, or when we contact you to ask for more evidence. If so, use our Postgraduate Hardship Fund 2021/22 additional evidence upload form.

For improved online security, please don't provide your evidence by email. Access the above forms by logging into Microsoft Teams using your NTU ID.

Email us for more information.

NTU International / EU Hardship Fund

You may be eligible for emergency funding to contribute towards short-term living costs.

You must be:

  • an international or EU student
  • facing sudden unforeseen financial hardship
  • fully enrolled on a full-time award-bearing course
  • studying here in the UK.

We give priority to students in their final stages of study.

Please be aware there is a limit on the funding available. We aren't able to support cases of ongoing financial hardship.

If you're an international student studying on a Tier 4 / Student visa, we may ask you to prove:

  • you made adequate provision for your tuition fee and living costs before coming to the UK, and
  • your current financial hardship is due to an unexpected change in your circumstances.

The NTU International / EU Hardship fund is now open for 2021/22. Email us for further information and a link to the application form.

Nottingham Law School Hardship Fund

You may be eligible for support from the Nottingham Law School Hardship Fund. You must be on one of these courses:

  • LLM Legal Practice Course (LPC) (full-time or part-time)
  • LLM Barristers Training Course (BTC)
  • Postgraduate Diploma Barristers Training Course (BTC)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) (full-time and distance learning)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (distance learning Year Two)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice: SQE 1 Preparation Course — (September start, six months)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice: SQE 1 Preparation Course — (March start, six months)
  • Postgraduate Certificate Advanced Legal Skills: SQU 2 Preparation Course
  • LLM Professional Legal Practice: SQE 1 (full-time)
  • LLM Advanced Professional Legal Practice: SQE 1 and 2 (full-time)
  • LLM Law and Legal Practice: SQE 1 Preparation Course (full-time)
  • LLM Law and Legal Practice: BTC (full-time).

To apply, complete the Postgraduate Hardship Fund online application form. Make sure you answer 'yes' to question 8. Give details of which of the above eligible courses you're enrolled on in 2021/22. This will help ensure we can assess your application correctly.

Email us for more information.

Support funds for further education students

There are several funds you can apply to if:

  • you're on a further education course at our Brackenhurst Campus, and
  • have a low household income.

These are the:

Educational grants from trusts and charities

Many trusts and charities offer aid and assistance to students in financial difficulty. You should investigate every possible source of funding. You should also be aware of the relevant application deadlines and eligibility criteria.

Applying to trusts and charities can be a time-consuming process. It requires patience and perseverance. Also, it rarely offers an immediate source of assistance. We urge you to seek advice if your needs are more immediate, so email us to get in touch.

Be sure you fulfil the trust or charity's basic criteria before you make your application. A successful application requires several things to come together well. Here are a few steps you can check to ensure your application is successful:

  • check you meet the criteria of the funder
  • fill out the application form correctly
  • be clear in your supporting statements
  • show that your circumstances match their required criteria
  • make it explicit if you're in one of their stated priority target groups
  • provide all the necessary supporting information and evidence.

NHS Exceptional Support Fund for healthcare students

You may be eligible to apply to the NHS Exceptional Support Fund if you are:

  • studying a healthcare course, and
  • receive funding from the NHS Learning Support Fund, and
  • are experiencing unforeseen financial hardship.

A grant of up to £3,000 per academic year could be available if you have:

  • a shortfall between your income and your day-to-day expenditure, and
  • exhausted all other available means of funding.

Eligible students applying for the NHS Exceptional Support Fund must have:

  • applied to the NTU Undergraduate Discretionary Hardship Fund first, and
  • received the outcome of that application.

See the NHS Exceptional Support Fund page for more information.

  • Last updated: 01/11/2021