Financial support

The University recognises that, during the current cost of living crisis, many more students may find themselves in financial difficulties. We are trying to speed up the response time, while also dealing with more cases than normal. In addition, we are providing more funding for students and introducing a simplified approach for urgent cases.

If you find yourself in an urgent crisis, please contact Student Wellbeing Services or The Advice Hub for support. The Residence Life Team can also provide support.

As well as scholarships and bursaries, there may be other forms of financial support available to you from UK devolved governments, depending on your circumstances and eligibility. Find out more about financial support available.

Student hardship funds

UK students

Discretionary hardship fund

The University receives money every year from the Scottish Government to assist students who are experiencing financial difficulty. Money is awarded for help with living costs (not tuition fees) and is paid as a grant. The fund is discretionary. To be eligible you must:

  • be a registered student either full- or part-time
  • accessed the maximum student loan you are entitled to
  • provide evidence of your financial situation, such as current bank statements; and
  • show that you have tried to budget your finances.

Childcare fund

If you are a home full-time student and in receipt of the full student loan you are entitled to, you can apply for assistance to help pay formal registered childcare costs.

For further information, including details of how to apply, please login to your Student Portal and view the following FAQ on AskHWU.

Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust Hardship Award

The Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust Hardship Award has been established through donations for students who require financial help to alleviate unfortunate and/or unexpected circumstances including, but not limited to, health conditions (physical or mental), counselling, study equipment, accommodation, food, situational crisis help, etc. Awards made will be between £100 and £1000.

1, Funds can only be awarded to:-

  • undergraduates who will have completed at least one year of study at the time of taking up the award,
  • postgraduates undertaking taught courses, or
  • postgraduates engaged in research for a higher degree.

Please be aware that application from Postgraduate students will be prioritised in the first instance, applications will be considered from undergraduates in the case of extreme circumstances.

2. Awards may be made to students having their ordinary residence in Scotland and studying anywhere in the world (including Scotland) or students having their ordinary residence outside Scotland and studying in Scotland.

3. Funds must be used to cover expenditure arising from unforeseen contingencies and unexpected circumstances. Funds should not be used to cover expenditure which should have been planned at the outset of the course such as required periods abroad or required field courses.

If you have already received funding from the De Lima Award this academic year you will not be eligible for this award.

How to Apply

Please complete this online application.  We may ask for additional information or evidence to help us make a decision on your application. Please be aware that the award is designed to help with unexpected costs so please ensure your application meets the criteria outlined above. Students experiencing ongoing financial difficulty may wish to check their eligibility to apply to the hardship funds. Further information on student hardship funds.

We cannot guarantee that an application will be successful.  You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email. We aim to respond to all applicants within 2 weeks of the deadline. The deadline for applications is Sunday 14 April 2024. For any enquiries, please email

If your application is successful, please note it is compulsory for us to share the information below in the form of a report to the trust - Reports must include the student name, year / type of study, course details, reasons for award, confirmation the award was taken up and confirmation the student is progressing to the next year / stage of course if known. By applying for this award you are consenting us to share this information with the donor.

Laptop Loan Scheme

In addition to the IT services available on Campus, Heriot-Watt University can assist students who require the loan of a laptop for their studies. Students can request a laptop on a short or long-term loan basis from the University.  Funding for the laptops is provided by the Scottish Funding Council.

For further information, including details of how to apply, please login to your Student Portal and search for 'laptop' in AskHWU.

Sutherland Page Trust Funding

The Sutherland Page Trust aims to provide financial support to students who are facing disadvantage and are at risk of discontinuing their studies due to financial hardship. Bursaries provided by the trust typically support the remaining years of the student's current course, with amounts ranging from £500 to £5,000 per year depending on the extent of financial need. Funding will begin to be paid from the 2024–25 academic year onwards and is intended to help with long-term financial needs. If you are currently in urgent need of funds please apply to the discretionary hardship fund.

Please note that we cannot offer funding for the first year of undergraduate study (including those who are entering directly into the second year). Applications related to online courses are also not considered by the trust. The eligibility criteria are detailed below:

  • You were born in Scotland OR have at least one parent born in Scotland OR have been a resident in Scotland for at least 3 years.
  • You are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme in Scotland in one of the following subject areas: medicine, law, arts, divinity, or science. This does not include social science or engineering courses. However, we may consider courses related to healthcare or cultural studies.
  • You are experiencing financial hardship.

List of eligible Heriot-Watt courses (by subject)

  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Actuarial Science
  • Statistical Data Science
  • Computer Science (All Pathways)

Application process

First you must apply using the application link - the deadline for this is Sunday 28 April. We will be in touch by the end of following week to let you know if you are through to the next stage. Heriot-Watt can only nominate a maximum of 5 people for this next stage so please be aware it is likely there will be lots of competition for this award.

If you are successful, you will be invited to fill in the Sutherland Page Trust’s application form, the deadline for which is Monday 27 May. Their selection process will then begin and you will find out whether you have been successful by the end of August 2024.

Please note that only the first stage of the award selection process is administered by Heriot-Watt. You will be informed by us if you are selected to progress to the next stage; after this, any further communications regarding selection will be undertaken by the Sutherland Page Trust.

Overseas students studying at the Scottish campuses

The University has a limited fund to assist overseas students studying at the Scottish campuses who get into financial difficulty. Money may be awarded for help with living costs (not tuition fees) and is paid as a grant. The fund is discretionary and limited. To be eligible you must:

  • be a registered student studying at the Scottish campuses
  • provide evidence of your financial situation, such as current bank statements
  • show that you have tried to budget your finances; and
  • show that you have had exceptional circumstances that affected your financial situation.

How to apply for hardship funds

To apply for any of the student hardship funds above, please complete the Heriot-Watt University Student Hardship Application Form below.

Apply now

US students

US federal loans

Please check our US Federal Loans section for more information.