What is the UCAT Bursary Scheme?

Everything you need to know about the UCAT bursary and whether you're eligible for it.

February 2021
Dhillon Hirani (Blogger)
Queen Mary UoL - 4th Year Medical Student

What is the UCAT Bursary Scheme?

The UCAT bursary scheme is a programme designed to help aspiring medical students from the UK and EU who may have financial difficulties. Through the submission of an application form including acceptable forms of evidence, successful applicants can receive a voucher to ensure they don’t have to pay any fee to sit the UCAT test or receive a full refund if they already have booked or sat it.

How much does the UCAT cost?

It costs £75 to sit the UCAT in the UK and £120 to take the test outside the UK. However, in previous years the fee has varied depending on if the test is sat early or late and so the provisional £75 cost is subject to potential change.

What is the criteria for the UCAT bursary scheme?

To be eligible for the UCAT bursary you need to meet just one of the criteria listed below with the relevant evidence for it. You can find the full details here: https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/bursary-scheme/

  1. Free school meals (local authority funded)
  2. 16 to 19 Bursary (England) or EMA (rest of the UK). This does not include those who receive a scholarship or bursary at a fee-paying school
  3. Learner support (FE19+) or equivalent in rest of the UK
  4. SFE maintenance grant or maintenance loan full rate (or equivalent in rest of UK)
  5. Income Support, Job seeker's allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
  6. Universal credit
  7. Working or Child Tax Credit
  8. EU state benefit
  9. Asylum support

What evidence do I need for the UCAT bursary scheme?

For the eligibility criteria listed above, you will need the following documents as evidence to support your application.

  1. Letter from school or college
  2. Recent official award letter
  3. Recent official award letter
  4. Recent student finance or SAAS award letter
  5. Recent award letter from Jobcentre and if your parent receives support then you must show income-based benefit not contribution-based benefit
  6. Recent statement including name of claimant (yourself or parent), address, date and take-home pay
  7. Recent official award letter
  8. Recent official award letter including English translation
  9. Recent official award letter

Ensure that any documents submitted are the most recent (i.e. 2021 dated) and send all pages of the document in the application. Pearson VUE categorically say that they will NOT accept P60, annual accounts, council tax, and housing/child benefit letters as evidence.

The eligibility criteria for the UCAT bursary and the evidence you need is summarised in the table below

Table summarising the eligibility criteria for the UCAT bursary and the supporting evidence.

When does the UCAT bursary scheme open and close?

Registration for the UCAT will open on the 2nd June 2021 and close on 22nd September 2021 with the 29th September being the last testing date. Unfortunately, they haven’t released the dates for the bursary scheme application as of writing this, but judging by last year it will be open from the first testing date (9am, 26th July) till the day before the last testing date (4pm, 28th September).

It is important to remember that you can apply for the bursary even after you have paid for (and even taken) the test as long as the application is submitted within the timeframe above (more details below).

How do I apply for the UCAT bursary scheme?

To apply for the UCAT bursary scheme visit https://www.ucat.ac.uk/ucat/bursary-scheme/and click on the ‘Apply for a bursary’ button at the bottom of the page once the scheme is open. In the application form you must upload/email/post evidence to supplement the form.

When will I receive the UCAT bursary voucher?

Once the form is submitted with the appropriate evidence you will receive the outcome of the application within a couple of working days which will include the voucher code in the email (check junk/spam). When booking your UCAT test, use this voucher code at checkout to remove the payment cost. If you haven’t received the email within 5 days then email the UCAT office using this address: ucat@nottingham.ac.uk

What if my application is unsuccessful?

If you believe you meet one of the criteria as listed above but were not given the voucher and would like to appeal the decision, then email the UCAT office (ucat@nottingham.ac.uk) and explain why you think you are eligible.

 

How do I apply for a UCAT bursary if I have already done the test?

This is a slightly different process. You need to apply for the bursary in the same way using the link above and click on the ‘Apply for a bursary’ button. However, once you have received your voucher code from PearsonVUE, email customer services through the form here https://www.ucat.ac.uk/contact-us/and send your voucher code so they can sort out the refund process.

What if I booked a UCAT test but do not attend?

It is VERY IMPORTANT that if you book a test using the bursary voucher but decide not to sit the examination that you CANCEL the test. If you do not, they can request you to pay the full

What are the best free/cheap UCAT resources?

We've handpicked the best free or affordable UCAT guides and resources for you on our Superhub. Click here and scroll down to the UCAT section under Year 13 to learn everything you need to know about the UCAT.

Author: Dhillon Hirani

Editor: Latifa Haque

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