Social work bursary
There are 224 social work bursaries available. To qualify and receive a social work bursary, you must meet three basic conditions;
- you must live in Wales (for further information see the Social work bursary scheme – 2021 to 2022)
- you must not be in receipt of any other financial support from an employer to train
- you must be studying an approved social work degree or Masters degree course in Wales.
If you meet these conditions and have an offer to study at a Welsh university, the university can nominate you to apply for a bursary.
How the application process works
To make sure that the funding process is fair each social work programme will be allocated a set number of bursaries.
The social work programmes will then nominate a selection of their students, which we will ask to complete an SCWonline bursary application.
We aim to assess applications within 20 working days of receipt. We will notify successful applicants and send them information about payment schedules.
Please note, you must register as a student social worker to receive a bursary.
Being nominated doesn’t guarantee bursary funding, we must assess each application we receive.
Renewing a bursary application
Students will need to renew their bursary at the end of the first year using their SCWonline account.
We will send an e-mail invitation in June to those students who must renew.
The closing date for renewing will change each year.
What bursaries are available?
The non-income assessed bursary, if you’re studying for the social work degree is:
- £7,500 (£2,500 a year for three years) or
- £5,000 (£2,500 a year for two years) for full-time Open University students.
The non-income assessed bursary if you’re studying a Masters is:
- £13,280 (£6640 a year for two years).
The £6,640 is intended as a contribution towards your tuition fee costs.
For more information see Social work bursary funding scheme – 2021 to 2022.
Please note that from academic year 2022 to 2023, new Masters students will be able to apply for the postgraduate loan from Student Finance Wales as well as receiving the Social Care Wales bursary. However they cannot receive the full amount of postgraduate loan if they receive the bursary, only the difference between the two. Over the two years of study the maximum postgraduate loan available is £18,430 whilst the bursary is £13,280 therefore Masters students can access £5,150 of the postgraduate loan. For further details please contact Student Finance Wales.
Help towards placement costs
Practice Learning Opportunity Allowance (PLOA) is financial support towards student placement costs.
All social work students who receive a bursary are eligible for PLOA. Part-time students can also receive PLOA for any year they are on a placement.
The initial allowance will depend on the length and level of your placement.
We pay the first PLOA before you start your placement.
Reimbursement of costs above the PLOA
If the travel costs for your placement are higher than the PLOA, you can get reimbursed.
To claim reimbursement, you must show how your PLOA was spent on the placement. To claim extra costs, you must submit evidence and show how they relate to the placement.
You can claim for public or private travel costs and parking costs or accommodation expenses.
How to complete a travel claim form
To claim expenses that are over the PLOA, you must complete and submit a travel claim form.
On the daily expenses sheet complete one row for each day of your placement. Start with the first day. This will help show how you spent the PLOA, as well as proving additional costs.
We assess travel claim forms within 20 working days. We will email to tell you if the claim was successful and when payment will be made. We will pay any reimbursement into your bank account.
How to complete an accommodation request form
If a placement is so far away from your home that it isn’t affordable or sensible to travel every day, you may be able to claim accommodation costs.
You must be able to show you need these costs to do your placement.
Students must get our agreement before signing any rental agreements or staying at a B&B. To do this, log on to your SCWonline account and complete and submit the accommodation request form.
Other grants and allowances
Allowances for Masters students
Masters students who have already been awarded a social work bursary may also be able to claim Income Assessed Grants and Allowances (IAGA).
IAGA depend on whether your household income is below the level decided by us. The following grants and allowances are available:
- Adult dependants’ grant – £2,645
- Parents’ learning allowance – £1,505
- Childcare grant.
Students with an adult dependant
Some students are financially responsible for an adult dependant. This is usually a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner. If you are, the amount awarded will depend on both your incomes. When you apply, you’ll need to give details about your circumstances and information about the dependant person.
Parents who study
Some students are financially responsible for children under 16 or, under 18 in full-time education. If you are, we can contribute towards costs during the year on books and equipment. The amount awarded depends on your income and that of your dependants.
If you have children in registered or approved childcare, you may be able to get the childcare grant. The amount awarded is income-assessed. You can get:
- one child – up to £8,330 per year
- two or more children – up to £14,285 per year.
Contact us if you have questions or you want to apply for the IAGA. If appropriate, we’ll invite you to apply online.
Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
Disabled students can apply for an allowance towards study costs. This includes costs for specialist equipment or for a non-medical helper. The allowance is only available to students who’ll have extra costs because of a disability or learning difficulty.
Eligibility will be assessed by a person with specialist experience. It’s done at an independent assessment centre or at the applicant’s university or college.
This assessment aims to match an applicant’s needs with facilities available on the course.
If you apply for the DSA, you’ll need to include evidence of your disability. This can be a letter from a doctor or specialist.
If you haven’t received any formal diagnosis, you will need to, before applying for DSA. We can’t pay the costs of diagnosing your disability.
Contact us if you have questions or you want to apply for the DSA. If appropriate, we’ll invite you to apply online.