Funding in England & Wales

In England and Wales, undergraduate tuition fees can be funded by tuition fee loans from Student Finance, or through support from individual universities. Whilst such loans are also offered for postgraduate courses in law, eligibility does not extend to the Legal Practice Course, Bar Courses or the Graduate Diploma in Law. These courses must be self-funded. However, financial support can be found through university scholarships, employer sponsorships or the Law Society's Diversity Access Scheme.

In terms of living costs, loans and grants can also be accessed alongside private scholarships such as the Making Links and CMS Scholarships. The majority of these resources are exclusive to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, therefore, applicants must fulfil certain criteria to be eligible. 

Click the buttons below to find information relevant to you.

 

 Pre-undergraduate Law Students

Student Finance England

Full-time Undergraduate

Student Finance England offers a non-means tested tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 (£11,100 for an accelerated degree). This means your household income has no impact on the amount you are entitled to. The loan is paid by Student Finance England directly to your university. You must apply online for each year of your course, so ensure you don’t miss the deadline!

 

In terms of living costs, there are varying maintenance loans available which depend on your household income and location during term time. Please see the table below for more information.

 

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Part-time Undergraduate

Students may be eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £6,935 if the course has a course intensity of 25% or more. 

The value of the maintenance loan available depends on the intensity of the course. Please see the table below for more information.

 

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More information:

https://media.slc.co.uk/sfe/2021/ft/sfe_how_you_are_assessed_and_paid_guide_2021_o.pdf

Information tables from Student Finance England, 'How You Are Assessed and Paid Guide 2021.'

 

CMS Law Scholarship

This scholarship provides financial support (£2,500 per year of law degree), as well as mentoring and work experience to the successful applicant.

 

Applicants must be in Year 12 and write an essay on a prescribed topic accompanied by an academic reference. If successful, the next stage involves attending an Assessment Day.

 

There are various eligibility criteria which can be found on the website, with applications closing in July each year

 

More information:

https://cms.law/en/gbr/about-us/corporate-responsibility/cms-law-scholarships

University Support

Many universities offer scholarships and bursaries to students on the basis of academic excellence or financial need. Generally, these span the duration of your degree, providing you with continuous support. 

Please check your individual institution for more information.

Student Finance Wales

Full-time Undergraduate

Student Finance Wales offers a non-means tested tuition fee loan of up to £9,250. This means your household income has no impact on the amount you are entitled to. The loan is paid by Student Finance England directly to your university. You must apply online for each year of your course, so ensure you don’t miss the deadline!

 

In terms of living costs, full time students can access up to £12,250 consisting of a maintenance loan and a Welsh Government Learning Grant, the latter of which does not need to be repaid. Please see the table below for more information.

More information:

https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/undergraduate-students/new-students/full-time-student-finance-summary-page-202021.aspx

 

Part-time Undergraduate

Students may be eligible for a tuition fee loan if the course has a course intensity of 25% or more. The loan is paid directly to the university or college in three instalments. Please see the table below for more information.

More information:

https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/undergraduate-students/part-time-students/new-students/tuition-fee-loan.aspx

In terms of living costs, the value of the maintenance loan available depends on the intensity of the course. Please see the table below for more information.

 

More information: 

https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/undergraduate-students/part-time-students/new-students/help-with-living-costs.aspx

Information tables from Student Finance Wales.

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Smarter Futures

Allen & Overy’s e-mentoring programme, Smarter Futures, provides guidance, resources and support through a secure online platform combined with personal meetings with mentors and master classes on personal statements and commercial awareness.

 

All students participating in Smarter Futures can apply for one of two scholarships granted each year, through which A&O provides a bursary of £10,500 to help with university costs (paid over a three-year degree).

 

More information:

https://www.allenovery.com/it-it/global/about_us/corporate_responsibility/pro_bono_and_community/access_to_education_and_employment/work_experience/the_programme

Stephenson Harwood Scholarship

These scholarships will provide three students with £15,000 per year, to cover the costs of university fees and contribute to living expenses. Recipients will also be given a mentor from the firm, invited to insight days and employment workshops, provided with work experience and guaranteed a place at an assessment centre for a training contract.

To be eligible, individuals must: 

  • Be able to demonstrate that you have the academic potential to succeed at university;

  • Be attending, and have attended from aged 11, a state-funded, non-fee-paying school/college; and

You must meet one of the following:

  • Be in receipt of, or have previously received or have been eligible for, free school meals, pupil premium, education maintenance allowance and/or 16 to 19 bursary;

  • Have grown up in a household where no parent or guardian attended University;

  • You are, or have been, in local authority care (for a period of 3 months or longer);

  • You are, or have been, a full-time or part-time carer;

  • You came to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker; or

  • You are attending a state school or college with below average A-Level or Higher point score and/or low rate of progression to higher education.

More information:

https://www.shlegal-futuretalent.com/opportunities/scholarships

 

 Undergraduate Students

Making Links Scholars

Linklaters has created Making Links Scholars which is designed to help talented university students from low-income backgrounds succeed in their early careers. Scholars receive one-to-one coaching sessions, mentoring, guaranteed work experience and £6,000 in financial support, as well as becoming an ambassador for the Making Links campaign and working with Linklaters to shape their social mobility strategy.

 

To be eligible you must be:

  • In the first year of a three-year course or second year of a four-year course

  • From a low-income background (first generation to attend university, received free school meals or experienced other forms of social disadvantage

  • Committed to pursuing a career in commercial law

 

More information: https://careers.linklaters.com/en/early-careers/making-links

Aspiring Solicitors Foundation

The AS Foundation is a social mobility charity providing crucial and timely financial assistance to young people who are aspiring solicitors.  The charity’s goal is to remove financial barriers for individuals looking to enter the industry by funding scholarships, providing grants for equipment such as laptops, stationery and books, providing clothing for interviews and paying for transport to events and legal work experience. 

 

The ambition at the AS Foundation is to remove financial barriers that smart, ambitious, and energised young people can face when considering a career in the legal profession.

More information: 

https://www.theasf.org.uk/ 

Apply: 

https://www.theasf.org.uk/apply/

LawForAll

LawForAll is a book donation service dedicated to bridging the barriers faced by law students from low income backgrounds. 

We are constantly looking to extend our reach to potential donors and students seeking help. If you are interested in helping out or requesting our service, we offer two types of donation: 

1. We have a stock list of available resources ready to be posted to eligible students, or

2. Students provide us with a reading list which we pass on to sponsors. The sponsor then pays for the resources and sends directly to them. 

More information: 

https://sites.google.com/view/lawforall/home

 

 Postgraduate Law Students

Student Finance England

Student Finance England offers a Postgraduate Master’s Loan to help with tuition fees and living costs. This is not means tested, and can be for the value of up to £11,222. The same amount is awarded for part-time study, but it is spread over the duration of the course.

 

Please note the Legal Practice Course is not an eligible course for Postgraduate Master’s Loan funding. However, if your Bar Course incorporates an LLM, you may be eligible for funding.

 

More information:

https://www.ucas.com/student-finance-england/postgraduate-masters-loan

Diversity Access Scheme

The Law Society Diversity Access Scheme provides support for aspiring lawyers  from low socio-economic backgrounds who want to study the Legal Practice Course.

The scheme offers 10 diversity scholarships each year. Each place includes: 

  • a bursary to fund your Legal Practice Course (LPC) 

  • work experience 

  • mentoring support

 

The criteria are as follows. Students must: 

  • Have no access to familial loans

  • Have no savings or investments of over £5,000

  • Be able to support themselves financially if awarded a DAS Scholarship,

 

And confirm at least two of the following:

  • They attended a non-fee paying school

  • They are part of the first generation of their family to attend university

  • They were eligible for free school meals whilst at school

 

More info:

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/campaigns/diversity-access-scheme

Gray's Inn BPTC Scholarship

Gray's Inn offers BPTC Scholarships worth up to £30,000. Successful scholars are then eligible to apply to the BPTC Residential Scholarship which has a value of £9,500.

More information:

https://www.graysinn.org.uk/scholarships/bptc

Employer Sponsorship

A further way to fund your LPC, Bar Course or Graduate Diploma in Law is through employer sponsorship, where your future employer agrees to pay your tuition fees and may provide a maintenance grant. To gain employer sponsorship, you must have received and accepted a Training Contract or Pupillage offer from a law firm or an Inn of Court. 

Aspiring Solicitors Foundation

The AS Foundation is a social mobility charity providing crucial and timely financial assistance to young people who are aspiring solicitors.  The charity’s goal is to remove financial barriers for individuals looking to enter the industry by funding scholarships, providing grants for equipment such as laptops, stationery and books, providing clothing for interviews and paying for transport to events and legal work experience. 

 

The ambition at the AS Foundation is to remove financial barriers that smart, ambitious, and energised young people can face when considering a career in the legal profession.

More information: 

https://www.theasf.org.uk/ 

Apply: 

https://www.theasf.org.uk/apply/

Lincoln's Inn BPTC Scholarship

Lincoln's Inn offers various BPTC Scholarships. The Lord Mansfield is the most prestigious scholarship and the Inn offers up to five of these awards, each carrying a minimum value of £20,000.

Major Scholarships and Minor Scholarships are our next most prestigious awards. The value of these awards is calculated through a means test based on the applicants’ disclosed financial resources and obligations. Successful scholars will be asked to provide their financial information and the value of their award will be calculated by a means test.

More information: 

https://www.lincolnsinn.org.uk/scholarships-prizes/bar-professional-training-course/

Inner Temple GDL Award

Students can apply for Scholarships and Exhibition Awards to support them during their law conversion course. Eligible courses for an award are: Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), LLM conversion course, and the two-year postgraduate LLB conversion course. These courses may be taken full time or part time.

The awards available are: 

Two Princess Royal Scholarships - One award of £10,000 and one award of £7,500

Four Major Scholarships & up to 30 Exhibition Awards -  Budget of £183,000. Awards will be made on merit, then for each successful applicant, financial means will be considered to decide the award amount.

More information:

https://www.innertemple.org.uk/becoming-a-barrister/scholarships/gdlawards/

COMBAR Scholarships

The Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) funds up to 20 scholarships of £500, with at least a week sitting with Combar members in a commercial set of barristers’ chambers, and a continuing relationship with a barrister mentor for those scholars who decide to pursue their interests. The scholars will also be invited to a networking reception with Combar barristers.

 

Applications can be made through existing schemes run by the Inner Temple and Middle Temple. When applying for these existing schemes, students will be asked whether they also wish to apply for the COMBAR Scholarship.

 

More information:

https://www.combar.com/news/25th-anniversary-scholarship-scheme-2020/

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance Wales offers Postgraduate Master's Finance through a combination of loan and grant to assist with tuition fees and living costs up to the value of £17,489. This is only available for students wishing to study a Postgraduate Master’s course (taught or research based). 

 

Please note that Postgraduate Master’s Finance is not available for the Legal Practice Course.

 

More information: https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/postgraduate-students/postgraduate-master-s-finance.aspx

Gray's Inn GDL Scholarship

Gray's Inn offers up to 30 GDL scholarships ranging from £2,500 to £13,000. GDL Scholars qualify for automatic interview for the Bar Course Scholarships, with the minimum Bar Course award for GDL scholars increasing from £5,000 to £7,500.

More information:

https://www.graysinn.org.uk/scholarships/gdl

Stapley Educational Trust

The Stapley Educational Trust offers annual grants ranging from £500 - £1,500 to students studying at postgraduate level who are in financial need. The LPC and Bar Courses are not eligible for this Trust.

 

More information:

https://www.stapleytrust.org/applications

Lincoln's Inn GDL Scholarship

The Inn offers up to thirty-two scholarships for non-law graduates of outstanding ability. The GDL scholarships are separated into three named awards. They are, in order of prestige:

  • Lord Bowen

  • Lord Haldane

  • Lord Brougham

All of Lincoln’s Inn’s GDL Scholarships are awarded on merit. The value of each award is calculated through a means test based on the applicants’ disclosed financial resources and obligations.

More information:

https://www.lincolnsinn.org.uk/scholarships-prizes/graduate-diploma-in-law/

Postgrad Solutions Bursary

This bursary is worth £500 and, if successful in your application, it will be paid directly to your institution to be deducted from your tuition fees

To apply, you must have accepted an offer for post-graduate study in the UK and you must complete a 200-word statement about why you should receive a bursary.

More information: 

https://www.postgrad.com/fees_and_funding/postgrad_solutions_study_bursaries/information/

University Support

Many universities offer scholarships and bursaries to students on the basis of academic excellence or financial need. Generally, these span the duration of your degree, providing you with continuous support. 

Please check your individual institution for more information, or use the following website: https://www.postgraduatefunding.com

Inner Temple BPTC Award

There are various awards available ranging from £175 to cover the cost of admission and call to bar fees to a £22,000 Scholarship.

In the last round of Bar Course applications, the Inner Temple interviewed every applicant. It is the Inn's intention, numbers permitting, to continue to offer interviews to all candidates that apply for a Bar Course award.

More information:

https://www.innertemple.org.uk/becoming-a-barrister/scholarships/bptcawards/

Middle Temple Scholarships

Scholarships are available for the Bar Course and the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) or equivalent post-graduate conversion courses. Only candidates who intend to practise at the Bar of England or Wales are eligible to apply.

Scholarships will be awarded on merit after taking into account the candidate’s intellectual ability, motivation to succeed at the Bar, advocacy potential and personal qualities. The amount of the award will depend on the scholar’s financial circumstances. Usually, the award will meet a percentage of the difference between the scholar’s resources and needs. The cost of meeting the special needs of disabled scholars will be given special consideration. Applicants from all backgrounds are welcome, and there is no age limit.

 

The closing dates for scholarship applications are as follows:

  • Bar Course: First Friday in November of the year preceding the start of the Bar Course.

  • GDL: First Friday in May of the academic year preceding the start of the GDL course.

 

The Middle Temple will interview all candidates who have received an offer of a place on the Bar Course/GDL or have an application pending. Reasonable travel expenses up to £65 will be reimbursed for candidates travelling from outside the M25.

 

More information:

https://www.middletemple.org.uk/education-and-training/scholarships-and-prizes/bptc-and-gdl-scholarships

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