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Top 10 scholarships for school leavers heading to university

How to get a University Scholarship. Plus The Scholarship Hub rates the best scholarships and bursaries in the UK

The Scholarship Hub, a free online database of more than 3,000 UK scholarships and bursaries, has compiled its top ten scholarships and bursaries for students wishing to study at universities in the UK.

Scholarship Hub founder, Karen Kennard, said: “The number of scholarships, grants and bursaries is rising each year, yet the vast majority of students aren’t even aware of them. 60% of students don’t even apply for scholarships, believing that they aren’t eligible, yet we know that organisations are often struggling to find applicants.

“There are many different scholarships available, that offer mentoring and work placements as well as cash, and they’re not just for disadvantaged students or linked to particular universities and subjects. Students should be checking what they might be eligible for so they don’t miss out”.

In this article you can discover:

Top 10 scholarships and bursaries in UK universities 

The Scholarship Hub

Scholarships for school leavers

Cambridge Scholarship

Bank of England Scholarship

Cyber Security Scholarships

GCHQ Scholarship


Top ten scholarships and bursaries in UK Universities

  1. Calling 21st century James Bonds Cyber First bursary

Offered by GCHQ, these scholarships- worth £4,000 a year – are open to UK nationals and offer paid cyber security work experience.

  1. Linguists to support the UK’s global military forces RAF intelligence bursaries

These bursaries, worth £6,000, are offered to students studying a foreign language degree who apply for – and are accepted as – an intelligence analyst.

  1. Outstanding musicians Drake Calleja Trust scholarships

Scholarships worth up to £9,000 are offered to solo instrumentalists and singers studying at music college or conservatoires in the UK at undergraduate, postgraduate or research level.

  1. Talented athletes TASS scholarships

The TASS scheme helps athletes in education – aged 16-plus – to get the very best from their sporting and academic careers without having to choose between the two.

  1. Students leaving the care system or estranged from both parents Unite Foundation scholarship

Free accommodation for the duration of a three year degree is offered to care leavers, or students estranged from their families, who are attending one of the 28 partner universities.

  1. Academic excellence and an interest in diversity for BAME students  Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership scholarships

Winners will receive £1,000, plus mentoring and work experience, with recipients able to demonstrate exemplary academic performance and interest in diversity.

  1. Tackling financial hardship Helena Kennedy Foundation

Bursaries open to students experiencing financial hardship or barriers to continuing their education.

  1. Engineers of the future Institute of Engineering and Technology Diamond Jubilee scholarships

These scholarships offer £1,000 a year, for up to three years, to students about to embark on an IET accredited degree programme. Winners will also receive professional development support and networking opportunities.

  1. Support for lower income students to study at university Lloyds Scholars

Offering a complete package comprising financial support, paid internships, a business mentor and the opportunity to develop employability skills.

  1. Breaking into TV Royal Television Society bursaries

Bursaries of up to £3,000 offered to students who are interested in a career in television, either in broadcast journalism or technology. Also provides mentoring and networking opportunities.

The Scholarship Hub

The cyber security sector has one of the largest skills gaps comparing to all the critical infrastructure fields, yet there are estimated to be 3.5 million job openings by 2021. As this potentially sheds disconcerting light on the system, especially since major security breaches have become a regular occurrence, there is still positivity in hope of aspiring cybersecurity professionals. Making this an ’employees market’ like no other.

One strategy that is used as an incentive for cybersecurity entrepreneurs to join the workforce is through scholarship and funding opportunities. In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in these strategies in the education and technology sector to incentivise and offer opportunity when joining the field. Cyber security scholarships are key to ensuring the skills gap closes up as the cybersecurity market is projected to double by 2020.

Just search ‘cyber security scholarships’ to find one that works for you.



Scholarships for school leavers

The Scholarship Hub has curated this list of best scholarships for school leavers, as an example to prospective students of the types of funding opportunities that are available. The deadlines of these scholarships and bursaries may now have passed for this academic year, however, the list is by no means pointing out the best opportunities or highlighting the only funding available. Use this list example and be sure to do your own research for funding eligibility and course-specific schemes.

1. Unite Foundation Scholarship
This offers free accommodation for a 3-year course to care leavers and students estranged from their families. 28 partner universities offer this scheme.

2. Cyber First Bursary
GCHQ offers a scholarship worth up to £4,000 per academic year to UK nationals, they also offer work experience in cybersecurity. This is open to students who have or expect to achieve 3 A-levels at B grade or above and been offered to study a STEM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering or Maths) course at a UK university.

3. TASS Scholarship
This TASS scheme is on offer to athletes in education, ages 16 and above. This allows them to continue their sporting ventures whilst feeling supported in their academic studies. Students eligible are entitled to financial and sporting benefits.

4. Drake Calleja Trust Scholarship
This offers up to £9,000 to solo instrumentalists and singers that have enrolled to study at music college or conservatoire as a UK undergraduate, postgraduate or research level. (this is not on offer to musical theatre and jazz students).

5. Helena Kennedy Foundation
These bursaries are open to student who currently studies at FE level, in a college or sixth form and are applying to university but have faced barriers in the application process to continue their education. The Winners receive a bursary of £2,250 along with mentoring, skills training and work placement opportunities.

6. Lloyds Scholars
On offer to students of lower-income households, this programme offers a complete package of financial backing, paid work experience and employability skills training.

7. Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship
Applicants for this must be from a Black Asian or Minority Ethnic Background, between the ages 14 to 21. And be attending a UK school or university, with proven academic excellence. The Winners receive £1,000 along with mentoring and work placements.

8. Royal Television Society Bursary
Up to £3,000 is on offer is students are applying to study Television for a career in either Broadcast Journalism or Technology. It provides industry mentoring and networking events to get your foot in the door.

9. IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarship
The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) offer a £1,000 scheme for up to 3 years, to those who are about to study an IET accredited degree. Winners are also entitled to employability development support and networking opportunities.

10. RAF Intelligence Bursary
This scheme worth £6,000 is offered to students applying to or are studying a foreign language course and have applied or been accepted as an Intelligence Analyst (Linguists). With the promise of graduate job prospects and a two-year bursary during studies.

Cambridge University Scholarships

Each year Cambridge University runs the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, watch this four-minute film to find out about the programme and it’s previous years.

Our funding opportunities
Cambridge offer many funding options through Cambridge Trust and Gates Cambridge, and from sources such as colleges, department funding, research councils and central funds. The university also run a Graduate Funding Competition which co-ordinates the funding opportunities and allows students an easier application process. To find out eligibility and how to apply click HERE.

Here are some top tips for when you’re applying to the Scholarship Hub:

Do your research
The earlier the better, as funding opportunities can open as early as a year before your course begins.

Get your application sorted
Apply as early as you can, deadlines are usually in December, for the following academic year. If you’re applying for a course that starts as early as January you made need to apply up to 18 months before.

Sort funding before you start your studies
If you haven’t got proof of university finances by the time your course starts, you will not be enrolled at the university. Do not expect to have funding after your studies begin.

Apply for multiple funding schemes
There are no limits to how many opportunities you can apply for. As long as you are eligible, give yourself as much chance as being accepted as possible. This will not be affected if you are applying to a specific departmental award or funded place.

Choosing the funding opportunity right for you
If you are awarded for than one funding scheme option, you may only confirm one, so the others must be rejected. However, you’re entitled to hold several scholarships of a smaller amount that would total to a fully-funded award.


bank of england scholarship

Bank of England scholarship

The Bank of England programme is on offer to students of Black or Mixed African/Carribbean backgrounds to have financial support, when studying an undergraduate degree course for the first time at a UK university during autumn 2018.

There are 3 scholarships on offer. For recipients this is what’s provided:

  • Up to £30,000 towards living costs during studies
  • Paid summer work placements
  • Support with skills training

The criteria:

    • From a Black or Mixed African/Caribbean background
    • Must be eligible to live and work in the UK
    • Household income of £50,000 or less
    • Have achieved at least 104 UCAS points
    • Plan on starting a full-time undergrad degree Autumn 2018 (for the first time)


GCHQ internships

GCHQ Scholarship

Are you currently studying a degree that relates to Technology, Languages or Maths? GCHQ internships offer a wide variety of placement opportunities which enable you to develop your workplace skills whilst working on live projects. It is one of few non-academic centres, that allow students to challenge and develop their research skills in real-time experience.  Live projects that you’re unlikely to work on elsewhere. Choose the placement that is relevant to you and gain development and project handling experience and come across unparalleled research. Alongside these career-enhancing experiences, you’ll develop subject specialist knowledge, communications skills and get insights into a dynamically unique environment.

Currently, these are the opportunities we’re offering to students:

Maths and Cryptography Summer Programme

Stretch your mathematical research skills in a real work environment. We’re looking for committed Maths students with an expected 1st class honours grade in Maths, or, a joint honours degree (Maths being the main majority) that are looking to advanced mathematical research into their career choice.

Our 9 week summer placement will have you working on expert problems that have real world practical importance, such as:

    • Assessing cryptographic algorithms;
    • Developing and implementing complex mathematical algorithms on high performance computers;
    • Investigating and reworking challenging data sets;
    • Optimising novel mathematical analytic tools and techniques;
    • Identifying the security of cryptographic protocols and application

If you think this programme is the one for you, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got a minimum of three years of your degree finished and on track to qualify with a 1st Class Honours degree in Maths (BA, MA or equiv.) or Joint Honours (Maths being the main component).

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