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Participation Bursaries


Applications for 2019 are closed.

Are you planning to get involved with any clubs or societies this year to make the most of your time at university?

If so, you may be eligible for a £200 cash bursary to help towards covering the costs of getting involved- such as membership fees, sports centre/gym membership, kit and social activities.

Eligible students are 2019 entrant UK undergraduates in Stage 0/1 of their course who meet at least one of the other criteria – check out the Eligibility Criteria here.



Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a NUSU Participation Bursary?

You can apply via the application form online. The closing date is 3rd November 2019 at 23:59

How much is a NUSU Participation Bursary?

The bursary awarded is a value of £200. This is awarded to eligible students to assist with access to extracurricular opportunities such as club and society membership, sports centre membership, kit, equipment, and travel.

What are the eligibility criteria?

The eligibility criteria, plus the evidence required to attach to your application are outlined here. Please note that if you have already applied for a bursary during the 2018/19 academic year, you cannot apply again.

Will I get awarded the Participation Bursary solely on the basis of my home postcode?

You can apply for the bursary solely on the basis of your home postcode and we will check if you come from an area with a low progression rate to university or a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation. However, please note that we prioritise the awarding of the bursary to applicants who meet more than one criterion. Nonetheless, please apply. 

I received an Opportunity Scholarship letter whilst still living at home but have now moved to Newcastle, leaving it behind. What should I do?

You still need to submit a copy of this letter as evidence. If you do not have the physical copy with you, you can still access this online on your Student Finance account. It will be located under the 'Correspondence' section.

If successful, how and when will I receive a NUSU Participation Bursary?

You will receive the bursary as a cash refund in November 2019. If you are successful, we will get in touch and ask you to provide details of your bank account. The £200 will then be paid directly into your specified account.

I was unsuccessful in my application for a Participation Bursary but believe that I met the relevant criteria. What can I do?

Please see the appeals document here to check whether there is a valid reason for the unsuccessful application. If you still believe that you should have been eligible for a bursary please contact Rohit at to start the appeals process.

Any other questions?

Contact Rohit, Widening Access Project Worker at


Student Testimonials

“The Participation Bursary is a great scheme which helps first year students to access sporting programmes and extracurricular activity. Since I was a county cross country runner I knew that it was essential to join the Athletics and Cross Country club however I also wanted to try something new but I didn’t have the funding to do both. I applied for the participation bursary which enabled me to do both and purchase a gym membership to access the training sessions. Being able to join both the Athletics and the Triathlon club meant that I was able to try something new and meet a large amount of new people. Without this bursary I wouldn’t have been able to purchase a gym membership that enabled me to attend the performance training sessions.”

Clara Petitt, Past Bursary Recipient

“The Participation Bursary has meant that I have been able to participate in society activities without the worry of whether or not I will have enough money.”
2018/19 Bursary Recipient

“I think it has been a major benefit to my student experience – I used it primarily towards joining societies and sports clubs, which allowed me to meet a huge number of new people as well as feeling more adjusted to university after moving from home. I think without it, I wouldn’t have gone for committee positions at societies or really enjoyed my time as much since finance would’ve been a much more constant and greater concern.”

2017/18 Bursary Recipient

“I was very worried that my student loan would not be able to cover my fees for books and various other activities however with the help of bursary I was able to stay in touch with my sport passion as well as enjoying the degree!”

2017/18 Bursary Recipient