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16 - 18 Bursary Fund

The 16-18 Bursary Fund helps support Home students aged 16-18 who are enrolled on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course at University of the Arts London and demonstrate financial need.


To be eligible for The 16-18 Bursary Fund, students must be:

  • considered Home fee status
  • studying a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design which starts in September 2022
  • aged 16, 17 or 18 on 31 August 2022.


The 16-18 Bursary Fund is provided by the Government, via the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). By following general rules set by the ESFA, we are able to consider applicants under the following four categories:

Vulnerable Bursary for Young people in Local Authority Care

The Vulnerable Bursary is to help support vulnerable students who are unlikely to be receiving financial assistance from parents or carers, so may need a greater level of support to enable them to continue to participate in the course. The Vulnerable Bursary can award up to £1,200 per year to students who are able to evidence one or more of the eligibility criteria below:

  • In care
  • NB: In care is defined as children looked after by a local authority on a voluntary basis (section 20 of the Children Act 1989) or under a care order (section 31 of the Children Act 1989). Section 22 of the Children Act 1989 defines the term ‘looked after child’.

  • Care leaver
  • NB: A ‘care leaver’ is defined as a young person aged 16 and 17 who was previously looked after for a period of 13 weeks consecutively (or periods amounting to 13 weeks), which began after the age of 14 and ended after the age of 16; or a young person aged 18 or above who was looked after prior to becoming 18 for a period of 13weeks consecutively (or periods amounting to 13 weeks), which began after the age of 14 and ended after the age of 16

  • In receipt of Income Support (IS), or Universal Credit (UC) because you are financially supporting yourself or financially supporting yourself as well as someone who is dependent on you and living with them, such as a child or partner
  • Receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in your own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or UC in their own right/name

Free School Meals Bursary

Students can receive a payment of £361.50 from the Free School Meals Bursary, the equivalent of £2.41 per day of the 30-week course, as a contribution towards food related costs. The bursary will be made payable directly to the student.

To be eligible for the Free School Meals Bursary, you or your parent(s)/guardian(s)/carer(s) must be in receipt of one or more of the qualifying benefits below:

  • income Support (IS)
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guarantee element of the State Pension Credit
  • child Tax Credit (provided your parent(s)/guardian(s) are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC))
  • working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • universal Credit (UC) with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 for each year (after tax and not including any benefits they are in receipt of).

Discretionary Bursaries

The Discretionary Bursary provides support to help students with the cost of travel, equipment (digital devices only), books and specialist clothing specific to and required for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design course.

To be eligible for the 16-18 Bursary Fund, students must:

  • be enrolled on the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at UAL starting in September 2022 and
  • be aged between 16 and 18 years of age, as of August 31, 2022 and
  • be considered a home student for tuition fee purposes and
  • have a confirmed household income equal to or below £25,000 per annum (gross income).

The Discretionary Bursary can also provide one-off support for unexpected circumstances resulting in financial hardship e.g., costs incurred due to bereavement of immediate family, priority debt (not applicable to parent/guardian/carer’s debt or debt incurred before the start of the course), change in household income resulting in hardship. You will provide evidence to support unexpected circumstances.

Residential Bursary

For students who qualify for the Vulnerable Bursary or Discretionary Bursary, you may be eligible for a Residential Bursary if you move from home to study your course. The Residential Bursary provides a contribution of up to up to £12,000 towards rental costs for the academic year.

The Residential Bursary is made payable directly to the landlord or accommodation provider in two equal instalments. The first instalment will be made upon completion of your application, signed acceptance form and return of your signed ‘Accommodation Sponsor Form’.

Additional costs related to the deposit, guarantor scheme, moving or utility fees, council tax charges, administrative or contractual fees or damage/repair charges incurred, are not supported by the Residential Bursary Fund.


Applications for the 16-18 Bursary Fund must be made by filling in an online application form via the funding tab in the UAL Student Portal.

Please log in to the student portal, select the ‘my Funding and Finance’ tab and proceed to select ‘Search and Apply for Funding’; this should bring up the 16-18 Bursary Fund, for you to complete and submit.

In addition to the online application form, you will need to upload the following supporting evidence that is applicable to you in the guidance notes below:

The funds are awarded on a case-by-case basis, based on the supporting evidence provided and subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

If you are unable to upload your supporting documents on the student portal, please contact the Student Funding Service via our online enquiry form

Receiving payment

Successful applicants must be enrolled on the course before receiving payment.

Payment will be made in two instalments if the application is successful.


If you need help, please fill out this form.

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