Discretionary Hardship Fund

The Discretionary Hardship Fund is an amount of money provided by the University to assist eligible students who, despite having access to funding for their living costs, are suffering financial hardship because this funding is not quite enough to meet their needs. The Fund is cash limited and demand is high.

A standard assessment procedure is used to determine the annual level of support available from the Hardship Fund, and this is based on a calculation of the shortfall between a student’s annual income (including potential income) and essential expenditure (not including tuition fees).

Money allocated from the fund is intended to supplement a student’s main source of funding for their course and offer some support in meeting any shortfall between income and expenditure. However, due to the high demand for assistance, the fund cannot meet a student’s shortfall in full. Neither can the fund compensate for an absence of funding or a student’s failure to make adequate financial provision for their studies.

Postgraduate students are expected to have made full provision to cover tuition fees and other living or course-related costs for their studies, and should therefore only apply in cases where there has been an unexpected and unavoidable change of financial circumstances during their studies.

You may be eligible for assistance if you meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • You are studying at least 25% of an equivalent full-time programme; and
  • You are fully enrolled and attending your course and
  • You satisfy the eligibility criteria to be classed as a UK ‘home’ student for fees and funding purposes and
  • You have applied for the maximum Student Loan to which you are entitled during 2018/19 academic year; and
  • You can demonstrate a significant shortfall between your annual income and essential outgoings. (Please note that the University follows a standard assessment of income/expenditure);

For the 2018/19 academic year you can submit an application to the Discretionary Hardship Fund once you are fully enrolled, at any time between the following dates:

  • 17 September – 14 December 2018
  • 14 January - 29 March 2019
  • 24 April - 17 May 2019
  • If you submit an application outside of these dates, it will not be assessed until the fund reopens for the next round of submissions. We are only able to assess an application once we have received a completed application and all requested supporting evidence.

    Not providing the correct supporting evidence can cause significant delays in your application. To support you in providing the correct evidence with your application, you may wish to read our Discretionary Hardship Fund Supporting Evidence Guide PDF icon .


    Please note, applications for the Discretionary Hardship Fund for the 2018/19 Academic year have now closed.

    Applications for the 2019/20 Academic Year will reopen from Mid-October 2019 onwards.

    For Postgraduate Students who are required to attend their course over the summer period for the 2018/19 academic year and who wish to enquire about submitting an application form to the fund, please contact the Fund Administrators at hardshipfunds@ntu.ac.uk for further information.


    If you wish to speak to someone about the Discretionary Hardship Fund please contact the Fund Administrators on +44 (0)115 848 6135 / +44 (0)115 848 2521 or alternatively contact the Student Financial Support Service, on +44 (0)115 848 2494.

    Nottingham Law School Fund

    For fully enrolled students who are studying on one of the following courses, the Nottingham Law School has set aside a finite amount of money to assist students:

    • LLM LPC - Studying on a Full or Part Time basis
    • LLM Bar Professional Training Course
    • Graduate Diploma in Law
    • Graduate Diploma in Law - Distance Learning

    If you are studying on one of the above courses, please do not complete the Discretionary Hardship Fund application. Please contact the fund administrators, or call +44 (0)115 848 6135 / +44 (0)115 848 2521, to request further guidance documents and a link to the online Nottingham Law School Fund application form. 

    The Nottingham Law School Fund for 2018/19 academic year is open from 24 September 2018 - 7 June 2019. Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted. Where a student has submitted an application to the incorrect hardship fund, they will be asked to complete to a new application.

    Further information

    If you have any further queries with regard to your eligibility to apply or the application process, or if you have any problems providing your documents, please contact the fund administrators or call on +44 (0)115 848 6135 / +44 (0)115 848 2521.