Back to advice
I’m studying social work – what higher education funding can I get in Wales?
By David Malcolm
If you’re a resident in Wales and you’re studying for a social work qualification in the Wales (either an undergraduate degree, or postgraduate masters degree) you can get funding in the form of a bursary from the Care Council for Wales to help with tuition fees and living costs.
Am I eligible for social work funding?
To get any higher education support from the Welsh government, you and your course must be eligible for it, according to the general rules (see Can I get higher education funding in the UK? for more information). However, the eligibility rules for the Care Council for Wales social work bursary are more relaxed if you’re a postgraduate student.
The main criteria are that you must be considered a resident in Wales and you must study on a course approved by the Care Council for Wales. Here are more details about approved courses. You can’t get a social work bursary if you get funding from your employer.
For more details, see the information for applicants.
I started my course on or after 1 September 2012 – what funding can I get?
If you started your course on or after 1 September 2012, the Care Council for Wales offers a social work bursary to help you pay to study full- or part-time for a social work qualification. You don’t have to pay the money back.
If you’re studying for:
- an undergraduate social work degree, you can get £2,500 a year for up to three years
- a postgraduate masters degree in social work, you can get £6,640 a year for up to two years.
The amount you get doesn’t depend on your income (these figures are for 2012/2013).
As well as this, all students get a contribution towards travel expenses to and from practice placements. This is called a Practice Learning Opportunity Allowance – you get £7.50 for each day you attend a practice placement. For more information about this, see Travel Allowance or Practice Learning Opportunity Allowance (PLOA).
Undergraduate students can supplement their bursary with funding from Student Finance Wales (eg loans and grants), but if you’re studying for a postgraduate masters degree in social work you can’t get most of this funding. However, all students who get a social work bursary may be entitled to apply for extra financial support, depending on your circumstances. See the following:
I started my course before 1 September 2012 – what funding can I get?
If you started your course before 1 September 2012, contact the Care Council for Wales for more information about what you’re entitled to.
How do I apply?
A limited number of bursaries are available at each university, and your university nominates which students can apply for the bursary. Tell your university’s social work department as soon as possible if you want to apply. If you’re nominated, you get an application form from the Care Council for Wales. When you return it, the Care Council assesses whether you get the bursary – so nomination by your university doesn’t mean you’ve got the funding.
For more details, see the Information for applicants.
If you’re an undergraduate student, apply to Student Finance Wales for student support as well.
What higher education funding is available in Wales?
This information was updated in March 2013. NUS provides this information in good faith and has taken care to make sure it’s accurate. However, student finance issues can be complicated, and rules change frequently. You should contact the advice centre in your students' union, college or university for support if you’re uncertain or need more help.