Sources of funding for studies – information on grants, awards, loans and secondments

Funding for DipSW students

This section provides details about the various sources of
financial assistance available to students undertaking the Diploma
in Social Work (DipSW).

The information is divided into the following sections:
1. Undergraduate and non-graduate funding.
2. Bursaries.
3. Loans.
4. Benefits.
5. Secondment on salary.
6. Awards from non-statutory sources for UK students.
7. Financial assistance to voluntary agencies.
8. Students with a disability.

1. Undergraduate and non-graduate funding

Undergraduate funding
Since 1998, full-time students starting higher education
have had to contribute towards their tuition fees. For 2002/2003,
the most you will have to pay towards tuition fees is £1,100.
Full-time students may get all or part of their tuition fees paid.
How much help you get depends on you and your family’s income. 
Half of all students in 2002/03 will not have to pay tuition fees
at all. Some part-time students will also get their fees paid for
them through their college. This depends on their income. The
eligibility criteria are complex and may be subject to change. You
should contact your Local Education Authority (LEA) for further
information and details of their eligibility criteria.

You can also get support for your living costs from loans, other
grants for students in particular circumstances (eg parents,
special needs), access bursaries and hardship funds.

Further information can be found on the Department for Education
and Skills (DfES) website,

Non-graduate funding
Most two-year non-graduate DipSW courses are combined with
a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE).  If you gain a place on a
DipSW/DipHE course you may be eligible for a means-tested award and
loan.  Changes in the education (student support) regulations state
that DipSW/DipHE courses must now provide an average of 19 weeks of
college attendance per annum to qualify for the mandatory award.
Candidates are strongly advised to contact individual course
providers for further details.

If you are applying for a two-year non-graduate course that does
not award a DipHE you may apply to your Local Education Authority
(LEA) for a discretionary award to cover fees. The criteria for
eligibility for discretionary awards applied by different LEAs vary
and you should check the position with your own LEA.

* Please note that the two-year DipSW with the Diploma in Higher
Education will no longer run after 2003.

How to apply for a student loan
If you wish to be considered for fees and a student loan
for a non-graduate or undergraduate DipSW course you will need to
write to the awards section

of your Local Education Authority (LEA). LEAs will be able to
provide further advice to students about their particular
circumstances and entitlement.  Most LEAs prefer applications to be
submitted by a specified date, which varies from one authority to
another. Enquiries should be made as early as possible.  It is
advisable to apply for a student loan at the same time as applying
for a place on a DipSW/new degree course. This will speed up the
outcome of your application.

Further information
Most local authorities provide leaflets about awards
regulations, which are obtainable from the grant section of the
Education Department.

A DfES booklet ‘Financial Support for Higher Education Students
in 2002/2003’ provides all the information on funding and can be
obtained from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) on
0800 731 9133 or visit their website:
Braille and audiocassette versions of the leaflet are also

2. Bursaries

Social work bursaries are offered by various organisations in
the UK and your circumstances will determine where you should
apply. Full information about the bursary system is available at

If you are not eligible for support from the GSCC, you need to
contact the relevant social care regulatory body. Their contact
details can be found at

For students in England, the social work bursary is aimed at
students studying an approved social work course including the
diploma in social work (DipSW), the degree in social work or a
postgraduate degree course in social work. All social work students
should complete and return an application form including:
• first-time applicants;
• students currently receiving a GSCC bursary or who
previously received a Central Council for Education and Training in
Social Work (CCETSW) bursary; and
• students re-applying after having received a GSCC or CCETSW
bursary (in full or part) and then deferred their studies.
There have been a number of changes to the GSCC bursary scheme for
the academic year 2004-05. First-time applicants are subject to all
changes to the bursary scheme.

Students currently receiving a GSCC bursary or those re-applying
after previously receiving a full or part bursary from the GSCC or
CCETSW and have deferred their studies will notice some changes in
the application process but are not affected by changes to
eligibility requirements, unless their course attendance pattern
has changed.

In the academic year 2004-05 the GSCC is offering two
• social work bursary – formerly the undergraduate bursary
and the non-income-assessed part of the postgraduate bursary;
• additional graduate bursary – formerly the income-assessed
part of the postgraduate bursary.
Closing dates for the social work bursary applications are:

25 June 2004 for courses starting in the autumn.
• Applications must be complete including all necessary
evidence and arrive at the GSCC no later than 25 June 2004.
Students who submit their application by this closing date will
know the outcome of their application by letter no later than 23
August 2004.

19 November 2004 for courses starting in the winter.
• Applications must be complete including all necessary
evidence and arrive at the GSCC no later than 19 November 2004.
Students who submit their application by this closing date will
know the outcome of their application by letter no later than 20
December 2004.

For additional information contact:

Bursaries Office
General Social Care Council
Goldings House
2 Hay’s Lane

You can also contact the bursary information line on 020 7397

3. Loans

Student loans scheme
Maintenance grants have now been replaced by maintenance loans,
part of which will also be means-tested. If you are eligible, the
basic amounts available in 2001/2002 were:
Students living in:
*(a)  Hall or Lodgings:           Loans (Full Year)
(i) Elsewhere   £3,905
(ii) London   £4,815
(b) Parental home   £3,090

For 2002/2003 rates or to find out further information on
eligibility requirements contact your local education

Career development loans
If you cannot get any student support through your LEA or
any other funding to help pay for the course you want to do, you
may be able to apply for a Career Development Loan (CDL). The cost
of books, materials and other related expenses including travel can
be included and, if the course is full time, your living expenses
as well.

A CDL can help you fund up to two years vocational (job-related)
training or education, plus up to another year if the course
includes practical work experience. Study can be full time, part
time or distance learning.

You can get CDL booklets, which include full details on
eligibility, an application form and lists of bank branches you can
apply to, from job centres, careers advisers and colleges.  You can
also get information online at

For the DfES’s free booklet on the CDLs, phone 0800 585 505.

4. Benefits

Although most full-time students are not entitled to social
security benefits, certain students in vulnerable groups, including
single parents and disabled students, may be eligible for social
security benefits including housing benefit. If you want to take a
full-time course of education, you should ask your local benefits
agency office how this may affect your benefits.

5. Secondment on salary

Secondment on salary while studying for a DipSW is at the
discretion of the employer. Apart from a few voluntary agencies
most seconded students are employees of local authority social
services departments. Secondment is normally limited to
long-serving unqualified staff. Fees and some expenses, as well as
salary, are usually paid. It is important to be aware that only
very occasionally will a social services department second an
employee who has recently transferred from another authority.
Secondment is expensive and the student is normally expected to
return to work for the seconding authority for a minimum period of
two years. Policies on secondment differ from one authority to
another and it is important to discuss the authority’s policy when
applying for a post.

6. Awards from non-statutory sources for UK

If you are unable to obtain grants from statutory sources, you
may in some circumstances be able to get help from a trust or
charity. Competition for awards is fierce and funds are limited;
the grants made are usually intended as a supplement to the
student’s resources, such as savings, part-time earnings and
parental financial help. It is possible that a number of trusts may
be willing to fund a student jointly. Some trusts are restricted in
giving only to students in difficulty through sickness or other
unforeseeable misfortune, or to students who meet specific criteria
such as that of being of a certain age, previous occupation, etc.
In almost all cases, the procedure takes a considerable time. For
more information, you can contact:

The Education Grants Advisory Service
Family Welfare Association
501-505 Kingsland Road
London E8 4AU
Tel: 020 7254 6251

If you wish to apply direct to a trust or charity you should
consult any of the following books, which should be available in
public libraries:

  • Directory of Grant Making Trusts, (published by Biblios
    Publishers Distribution Services Ltd) Tel: 01403 710851.
  • Grants Register (published by Macmillan Ref Ltd) Tel: 020 7881
  • The Charities Digest (published annually by the Family Welfare
    Association) indicates organisations that may award grants.

Information about local trusts is usually held in local
reference libraries on behalf of the local education authority.
Scholarships and other awards may be available at some colleges and
universities. Enquiries should be made to the college or university

Students facing financial difficulties may also be able to apply
for access funds. Your college or university decides the amount and
which students should receive payments. For further details ask at
the university/college you attend or have applied to.

7. Financial assistance to voluntary agencies

There is a limited scheme to support small voluntary agencies to
enable them to second staff to the DipSW.  Full details are
available from the GSCC disbursements office for voluntary
organisations on 01788 572 119.

8. Students with a disability

If you have a disability you may find it helpful to contact:

The National Bureau for Students with Disabilities
336 Brixton Road
Tel: 020 7274 0565
The Skill Information Service is open from 1.30pm to 4.30pm Monday
to Friday. Tel: 020 7978 9890

SKILL give advice and information about education/training and
the transition
to employment. Information is also available on the DfES website

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