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NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF)

NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF) is funding to support eligible healthcare students. To apply, you need to be on one of the following pre-registration undergraduate or postgraduate courses:

  • dental therapy or dental hygiene (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • dietetics
  • midwifery
  • nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing, or social work)
  • occupational therapy
  • operating department practitioner (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • orthoptics
  • orthotics and prosthetics
  • paramedics (except DipHE and FD courses)
  • physiotherapy
  • podiatry or chiropody
  • radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • speech and language therapy

You need an NHS LSF account to apply or manage your details.

Sign in or register for an NHS LSF account

What you can get

NHS LSF is made up of 4 main elements. What you get depends on your circumstances.

You can apply for a Training Grant of £5,000 per academic year, or a pro rata amount for part-time students. Students on certain courses can get a Special Subject Payment, which is an extra £1,000.

If you have at least one dependant child under 15 years old (or 17 if registered with special education needs) you can also receive Parental Support. This is a grant of £2,000 per academic year or a pro rata amount for part-time students.

If you paid for any excess travel or accommodation costs on a placement, you can claim money back through Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses.

If you’re experiencing unforeseen financial hardship, you may be able to claim up to £3,000 through the Exceptional Support Fund.


To apply, you need to be:

If you’ve not applied for a student loan, you may still be eligible for NHS LSF. You’ll need to show us that you still meet the relevant eligibility criteria for SFE, SFW, SFNI or SAAS.

If you receive the NHS Bursary, you are not eligible for NHS LFS. Visit NHS Bursary students for more information about your bursary.

How and when to apply

You can apply for NHS LSF by creating an NHS Learning Support Fund account. You'll keep this account and will need to reapply each year.

You need to apply within 6 months of the start of the academic year.

You should not apply on any other systems as your application will be rejected. 

If you’re a continuing student, we’ll email invites out in groups to make sure we process all applications for the start of the academic year. 

If you've interrupted or withdrawn from your course

Your university will update your NHS LSF account with your last date of attendance and the reason for the interruption or withdrawal. We'll then calculate your NHS LSF entitlement for the period you were enrolled.

If you return to your studies in the same academic year, you do not need to reapply for NHS LSF. Your university will register your return on their portal.

If you return to your studies in a new academic year, you'll need to reapply for NHS LSF. Your university can then register your return on their portal.

2023 to 2024 payment dates

If you started your course in September or October 2023, the main payment dates for the 2023 to 2024 academic year are:

  • Term 1 - 21 November 2023
  • Term 2 - 19 March 2024
  • Term 3 - 23 July 2024

Your payment dates depend on when you started your course and whether you or your university confirmed your attendance on your course. Visit Confirmation of Student Attendance (COSA) for more information on payment dates and the COSA process.


You can read more about NHS LSF in our NHS LSF guidance booklet 2023-24 (PDF: 609KB)

You can also watch a short video with information about NHS LSF.