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Social work degree funding

Here is information on the bursaries we provide and other financial support available.

Social work bursary

There are 224 social work bursaries available. To qualify and receive a social work bursary, you must meet three basic conditions;

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 for students in 2024 to 2025?

For students who will study the social work degree in the academic year 2024 to 2025, these non-income assessed bursaries are available:

  • £11,250 (£3,750 a year for three years) or
  • £7,500 (£3,750 a year for two years) for full-time Open University students.

For students who will study the social work master’s degree in the academic year 2024 to 2025, this non-income assessed bursary is available:

  • £25,430 (£12,715 a year for two years).

It is expected that postgraduate students studying on the following courses use the £12,715 to pay these tuition fees for the academic year 2024 to 2025

  • Social Work MA, Cardiff University:

New students - £9,450; Continuing students - £8,950


  • Social Work MA, Bangor University:

New students - £9,000; Continuing students - £8,250


  • Social Work MSc, Swansea University:

New students - £8,250; Continuing students - £8,250


Any bursary remaining after tuition fees are paid should be spent on their living expenses.

For more information, take a look at the Social work bursary funding scheme for 2024 to 2025.

Master’s students can’t apply for the postgraduate loan if they receive the social work bursary.

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.

Childcare grant

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.

Other funding providers

Depending on your circumstances, you could apply for funding with Student Loans Company or Student Finance Wales.

If you are a resident in England, you could apply for funding with NHS Business Services Authority.

Contact us

If you have a question or if you can't find what you are looking for get in touch with us.

If you have a complaint regarding the service you’ve received or would like to appeal against your bursary award, please refer to our Complaints and Appeals Process.

First published: 8 September 2021
Last updated: 25 June 2024
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