There are loads of scholarships aimed at students from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK. Here are some great examples.
Scholarships for students from ethnic minorities offer financial support throughout uni. This might be in the form of a tuition fee waiver, a grant to help with living costs or a combination of both.
Some organisations refer to these scholarships as being for ‘BME’ (Black and Minority Ethnic) or ‘BAME’ students (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).
On the whole, the scholarships below are for students from all ethnic minorities (unless otherwise stated). And, unlike Student Loans, these don’t need to be repaid.
But, this isn’t an exhaustive list of all scholarships available to ethnic minority students in the UK. So, if none of these apply to you, don’t be put off. This is just to give you an idea of what’s out there.
Ethnic minority scholarships, grants and bursaries
Whether the award is a ‘grant’, ‘bursary’, or ‘scholarship’, it’s always non-repayable.
Bursaries and scholarships are generally funded by unis, companies, charities or individuals. Student grants, on the other hand, tend to come from the government. But this isn’t always the case.
In this guide, ‘grant’ is used to refer generally to funding that isn’t repayable. None of the awards below are government-funded.
We’re using the terms fairly interchangeably here. All you need to remember is none of these will need to be repaid.
The Amos Bursary consists of two different awards. There’s the actual Amos Bursary and the King’s, UCL & Imperial College Scholarships.
To be eligible: Students need to be of African and Caribbean descent, in Year 12. It’s open to those who are in a state school or college in Greater London, and applying to uni.
Award amount: This offers financial support for students throughout their time at uni and post-graduation.
King’s, UCL & Imperial College Scholarships
To be eligible: Students need to be of African and Caribbean descent, in Year 13. It’s open to those who apply to:
- King’s College London
- University College London
- Or Imperial College London.
Award amount: The award provides financial support for students throughout their time at uni and post-graduation.
Bank of England African-Caribbean Scholarship
A scholarship for students wanting to pursue a career in finance or banking via the Bank of England.
To be eligible: Students should have applied to one of the bank’s internships. And they should be of a Black, Mixed African or Caribbean background. Also, they should have a household income of less than £50,778 per year.
Award amount: The award is worth at least £5,000 for one academic year of study. It’s intended to cover living expenses and other study-related costs.
Barbara Raw English Scholarship for Black UK Students – Royal Holloway, University of London
Two scholarships are available for new undergraduate students studying for a single or joint honours degree in the Department of English.
To be eligible: Black UK students who have achieved/are expected to achieve AAA in their A Levels or equivalent can apply. The scholarships are for those who wish to study a selected degree in the English department. Applicants must hold a current conditional or unconditional offer to study at Royal Holloway and should be eligible to pay Home fees.
Award amount: The award is worth £6,000 and payable over three years.
Black Academic Futures – University of Oxford
The University of Oxford awards 30 scholarships to students from Black or mixed backgrounds. This is under their Academic Futures programme. It aims to address under-representation and help improve equality.
To be eligible: Students must be from a Black or mixed background and ordinarily reside in the UK. They should hold an offer for taught or research postgraduate degree at the University of Oxford. This includes full-time and part-time DPhil and master’s courses.
Award amount: 30 students will get their course fees covered plus a grant for living costs at UKRI rate. This is around £15,600 per year.
Black Bristol Scholarship Programme – University of Bristol
The University of Bristol has multiple scholarships available, including:
Access Postgraduate scheme
To be eligible: Applicants need to be from an underrepresented background. They must be in their final year of undergraduate study at the University of Bristol. And, they need to be eligible to pay Home fees and complete the Access Postgraduate Scheme.
Award amount: 10 students will get a fee waiver of up to £5,000 towards postgraduate tuition fees. There are also 20 non-funded places where students get access to mentor schemes and skills development sessions.
Black Bristol PGCE Scholarships
To be eligible: Applicants should be from a Black or mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other). They must hold an offer to study on a PGCE programme, be UK residents and be eligible to pay Home fees.
Award amount: There are four scholarships of £2,500, each paid in two equal instalments.
Black Futures Scholarship
To be eligible: Students must be UK applicants for a full-time undergraduate degree. They should hold an offer (or be awaiting a decision) to study at the University of Bristol. Also, they need to be from a Black or mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other). They should be able to demonstrate financial need too.
Award amount: Up to 20 awards of £2,000, with an additional £2,500 available for employability opportunities.
MA Black Humanities Scholarship for teachers
To be eligible: Students should be from a Black or mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other). They should have Qualified Teacher Status and be currently employed in a UK school. They also need to have applied for the MA Black Humanities programme and be eligible for Home fees.
Award amount: Two scholarships covering all fees for the programme.
To be eligible: Applicants must be UK nationals with Home fee status and have a Black or mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other). Students also must have applied for one of the following research-related master’s programmes at the University of Bristol:
- All MRes, MPhil and MScR programmes
- MSc Accounting and Finance
- MSc Banking Regulation and Financial Stability
- MSc Climate Change and Policy
- MSc Environmental Policy Management
- MSc Environmental Modelling and Data Analysis
- MSc Geographical Data Science and Spatial Analytics
- MSc Global Development and Environment
- MSc Human Geography: Society and Space
- MSc Paleobiology
- MSc Socio-Legal Studies
- MSc Volcanology.
Award amount: Up to six scholarships are available, covering Home tuition fees, a student stipend (at around £15,600) and a contribution to research, travel and conference costs of £1,000.
The Black Heart Scholars Programme – The Black Heart Foundation
Several scholarships are available to students at all stages of higher education. The funding can help students with the costs of a classroom-based degree or with the costs of experiential education (e.g. research or fieldwork). Awards are for students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and as such are not solely focused on ethnic background.
To be eligible: Applicants should present a clear case of financial need. The programme supports candidates undertaking studies primarily in the UK or in the USA. But, the Foundation is open to considering other locations.
Award amount: The amount awarded will be based on a case-by-case basis. It may cover tuition fees, living expenses and other education-related costs.
Claire Prosser Bursary, Journalism Diversity Fund – National Council for the Training of Journalists
The Claire Prosser bursary is awarded each year to an applicant who wishes to pursue a career in broadcast or digital journalism.
The scholarship is not exclusively focused on ethnic backgrounds. But, it’s open to all applicants whose social class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or other individual circumstance (e.g. they spent their childhood in foster care or are a single parent) is underrepresented in newsrooms in the UK.
To be eligible: Applicants must have secured a place on a postgraduate NCTJ-accredited course. They should also be British citizens residing in the UK. And, they need to have a range of journalism-related work experience. They shouldn’t be in receipt of any other bursary awards.
Award amount: The award includes £6,000 and a work experience opportunity with BBC News, Press Association and Times Radio.
CSSAH minority ethnic masters scholarship – University of Leicester
The University of Leicester’s College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities (CSSAH) offers ten scholarships to master’s students from ethnic minorities to increase diversity in academia.
To be eligible: Applicants should have permanent residency in the UK. They’ll need to hold an offer of a place to study a full-time master’s course at the University of Leicester. And, their subject should be in one of the following disciplines:
- Archaeology and Ancient History
- Museum Studies
- Politics and International Relations
- Media and Communication
- Modern Languages
- Film Studies
Award amount: The awards include a full tuition fee waiver, plus academic support and mentoring.
Diversity100 PhD Studentships – Birkbeck, University of London
The University of Birkbeck is offering five studentships. These are for PhD students to undertake academic research in any discipline.
To be eligible: Applicants should be new PhD students or current Birkbeck PhD students who have at least 50% of their research remaining. They should be from ethnic minorities. Also, they need to ordinarily reside in the UK and be eligible for domestic student status.
Award amount: Awards offer financial support for tuition fees and provide a tax-free stipend for living expenses for up to three years full-time, or five years part-time.
Frank Olufemi Akindolie Medical Scholarship
This is a privately-funded scholarship aimed at supporting UK medical students from ethnic minorities. In exceptional circumstances, more than one scholarship award may be made.
To be eligible: Applicants should be full-time students from ethnic minorities who are already studying at a UK medical school. Students currently at secondary school who are either still considering a career in medicine or holding an offer to start medical school in the future are not eligible to apply.
Award amount: The award is worth £1,500. It also includes a one-year-long mentorship.
George Viner Memorial Fund bursary – National Union of Journalists
This bursary supports students from ethnic minorities who wish to pursue a career in journalism.
To be eligible: Students should be from ethnic minorities and have received a formal offer for an NUJ-recognised media course.
Award amount: Applicants may request a bursary covering realistic costs related to completing the course. This could include tuition fees, accommodation, travel expenses and books. Successful candidates will also receive mentorship and career guidance.
Law Society Diversity Access Scheme
The Law Society Diversity Access Scheme supports a number of people every year. The funding is for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who want to become solicitors.
To be eligible: Applicants must not have access to financial gifts or family loans. Also, they shouldn’t have more than £5,000 in savings. They must also meet two or more of the following criteria:
- Have attended a non-fee paying school
- Are the first generation of their family to attend higher education
- Were eligible for free school meals whilst at school.
Students who don’t meet these criteria may still be eligible if they’ve faced exceptional circumstances to pursue their studies linked to race, class, sexuality, religion, disability, ongoing health issues or other personal circumstances.
Award amount: The award includes a bursary to fund the LPC, work experience and mentoring support.
The Lord Blunkett Widening Access Awards – University of Law
The Lord Blunkett Widening Access Awards aren’t exclusively focused on applicants’ ethnic backgrounds. They’re offered to “students whose backgrounds are under-represented in Higher Education” with the intent of promoting greater diversity in the workplace.
To be eligible: Applicants should have received an offer for a place at an undergraduate degree at the University of Law. They must also take an online assessment and receive the highest score.
Award amount: Awards are worth £1,000.
BME Music Scholar’s Fee Waiver – Goldsmiths University of London
This award aims to support one student from an ethnic minority who intends to progress through postgraduate study and into an academic research position in music.
To be eligible: Applicants should be from ethnic minorities and hold domestic student status.
Award amount: The successful applicant will be awarded a full tuition fee waiver.
The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship
These scholarships are provided by the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation and are available to full-time students at all levels of higher education.
To be eligible: Applicants should be new students from an ethnic minority. It’s open to those who are starting a full-time course at any level of higher education, in one of these fields of study:
- Multi-sector disciplines
- Any other industry encouraging Black and mixed-race female leadership in the UK.
Award amount: The award will cover costs related to education. Successful applicants will have the chance to be mentored by leaders in their respective fields and gain work experience.
Open Futures Scholarships for Black Students – Open University
The Open University offers a number of scholarships for students from ethnic minorities. They’re for students who are studying any discipline at undergraduate level.
To be eligible: Applicants should identify as being from a Black background with a household income of no more than £25,000 a year. They need to be UK residents and be eligible for domestic student status. Applicants should also be new undergraduate students who don’t already hold a higher education qualification. They must be studying at least 30 credits per academic year.
Award amount: There are 50 awards covering the full tuition cost of your qualification and a £500 study cost grant.
Oxford-Arlan Hamilton and Earline Butler Sims Scholarship – University of Oxford
This scholarship supports one student from a Black African or Caribbean background. Students can be studying any discipline at the University of Oxford.
To be eligible: Applicants must be new students studying at undergraduate level. They must be ordinarily resident in the UK and be eligible for domestic student status. Also, they should be of Black African or Caribbean heritage. This includes applicants of mixed-race with Black African or Black Caribbean heritage.
Applications from people applying for a second undergraduate degree won’t be considered.
Award amount: The award covers course fees (at the domestic student rate). It also offers a grant for living expenses for three or four years depending on the length of the course. Medical students will only receive funding for the first four years of their degree. An internship grant of up to £3,000 will also be available.
Royal College of Music Scholarships for Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse Students
Three scholarships are awarded to students from ethnic minorities by the Royal College of Music (RCM) every year.
To be eligible: Students must be from an ethnic minority. They need to be a UK national and eligible to pay domestic student fees. They should be applying for the Bachelor of Music course and be attending an audition or interview during the college’s main London audition period.
Award amount: Awards are worth up to the value of full fees for each year of the course and can be used either to cover tuition fees or to help with living costs.
SJM Concerts Futures Scholarship – Manchester Metropolitan University
The SMJ Concerts scholarship helps 36 students over three years while studying at Manchester Metropolitan University.
To be eligible: Students must be from a Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic background. They need to have a UK Student Support Number and demonstrate financial need. They must also be enrolled on the first year of one of the following degree programmes:
- LLB (Hons)
- BA (Hons) Business Management
- BA (Hons) Business Management with Law
- BA (Hons) Events Management
- BA (Hons) Music and Sound Design.
Award amount: The scholarship includes £1,200 per year of study, for three years.
Stormzy Scholarship for Black UK students – University of Cambridge
The much-acclaimed Stormzy scholarship provides support for a number of Black students to attend Cambridge to pursue an undergraduate degree in a discipline of their choice.
To be eligible: Candidates must have a confirmed place at Cambridge to study a first undergraduate degree. They need to be eligible for full financial support from Student Finance for both a Tuition Fees Loan and a Maintenance Loan. And, they should be from one of the following ethnicities:
- Black African
- Black Caribbean
- Black Other
- White and Black Caribbean
- White and Black African
- Any other mixed Black background.
Award amount: Successful applicants will get £20,000 per year of undergraduate study to cover tuition fees and help with living costs.
Toledo Scholarships – National Film and Television School
The NFTS awards scholarships annually to ethnic minority students who wish to enrol on an NFTS master’s programme.
To be eligible: Applicants should be from an ethnic minority. They need to be UK permanent residents and be eligible for domestic student status.
Award amount: Awards cover tuition fees and may be worth between £1,000 and £10,000.
UK BAME Studentships in the Humanities – University of Oxford
The Humanities Division of the University of Oxford is offering three studentships for students from ethnic minorities who are studying at postgraduate level.
To be eligible: Students should be from an ethnic minority. They need to be pursuing a master’s degree (MSt, MSc, MPhil or BPhil) in the Humanities.
Award amount: Studentships cover tuition fees and provide a grant for living expenses at UK Research Council rates (around £15,600). Awards are made for the full duration of the student’s course.
Walcot Foundation Scholarships
The Walcot Foundation offers scholarships to students from the London Borough of Lambeth to support them through university.
This scholarship supports students from ethnic minorities living in the borough of Lambeth, London, who have received an offer at a Russell Group university.
To be eligible: Applicants should live in Lambeth and have lived in the borough for at least one year. They need to be from a low-income household and have accepted an offer from a Russell Group university. There’s also a separate scholarship for those who have been offered a place at a uni that isn’t in the Russell Group for their first degree. More information.
Award amount: Awards are worth £1,000 per term for three years (£9,000 in total).
Windsor Scholarship – University College London
This scholarship supports postgraduate students from ethnic minorities studying a research degree in selected academic disciplines.
To be eligible: Candidates should be applying for a research degree at UCL in the Arts and Humanities, Social and Historial Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Slavonic and East European Studies or Brain Sciences. They should also be permanent UK residents eligible for domestic student status. And, they need to be from one of the following backgrounds:
- Black (Black or Black British African, Black or Black British Caribbean, Black or Black British other or Mixed Black or Black British)
- Pakistani (Pakistani or Pakistani British, or Pakistani Mixed or Pakistani Mixed British)
- Bangladeshi (Bangladeshi or Bangladeshi British, or Bangladeshi Mixed or Bangladeshi Mixed British).
Award amount: The award covers tuition fees. It includes a stipend for living expenses plus an additional grant for research costs (e.g. conferences, fieldwork) of up to £1,200 per year. The award also includes a personal and professional development support package.
Even if you’re not eligible for any of these scholarships, don’t give up. There are many other scholarships, grants and bursaries out there!