Undergraduate Student Grants

The Leathersellers’ Student Grants programme aims to support disadvantaged undergraduate students whose circumstances may otherwise prevent them achieving their goals. These grants aim to improve social mobility, relieve financial need where other support is not available and enable students to have a positive impact on society in the future.


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To be eligible to apply for a Student Grant for 2022-23 you must be a student already enrolled on a full-time undergraduate degree (or foundation) course at a UK University, or with an offer to do so for that academic year. You must be in financial need of support to study the course (and have exhausted other options for funding including loans or family support) and hold the ambition to have a positive impact on society in the future.

Non-British citizens should have at least 5 years right to remain in the UK or be eligible for home fee status, and meet at least one of the following criteria:
– have been granted refugee status;
– studied in the UK at secondary education level;
– have family ties to the UK; or
– have settled or pre-settled status (EU).

Students from the Leathersellers’ Associated Schools (the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools or Colfe’s School) are encouraged to apply.

Applications will be assessed by considering:

Financial need
All applicants must meet show a financial need and an inability to secure those funds from public sources, personal savings and/or familial support (including parental or partner support as appropriate). Receipt of other bursary/grant/scholarship funding does not exclude you from applying for a Leathersellers’ Student Grant, though a shortfall must be shown.

Disadvantage faced:
We appreciate there are multiple ways by which people suffer disadvantage, and so have not set specific criteria for this element. Instead we have identified a number of indicators of disadvantage such as:

  • I am in the first generation of my family to go to university
  • I am or have recently been the primary carer for a sick, elderly or disabled person, or for a child
  • I arrived in the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker
  • I was in the care of the local authority at some point in my life
  • I was eligible for free school meals at some point in my schooling
  • I consider myself to have a disability
  • I am estranged from my family

If an applicant does not identify with any of these statements they may still apply, however we ask that they fully explain why they are facing a comparable level of disadvantage in their answers.

Contribution to society
All applicants are asked to explain why they have chosen the particular course to study, their future aspirations and how those will contribute to society.

Equal Opportunities
The Leathersellers’ Company Charitable Fund is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all grant applicants. We recognise it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of a ‘protected characteristic’ as established in the Equality Act 2010. As well as honouring our legal obligations, we welcome the benefits a diverse student population bring. Our grants programme, focused on social mobility, is an opportunity to broaden access to higher education.

We award grants towards general living costs for students who are studying or are about to study full time for an under-graduate degree at a UK university.

If a student decides to undertake one of the following as part of their degree, they may still receive funding from the Student Grants scheme for that year:

– an academic ‘year abroad’ scheme
– a year in industry (during the degree not after graduation)
– an intercalated year (for Medical, Veterinary Science and Dental students)

This grants programme is always heavily oversubscribed and so we wanted to offer a few pointers to give you the best chance of success.

Time to prepare
Whilst you may only submit an application via the online form, we have provided a word version of the form (available here) to allow you to prepare your answers in advance. The financial section will require you to complete a budget form which is available here. Doing that and getting someone else to read over your draft is highly recommended. A fresh pair of eyes can spot where you may have missed information or not explained something that is clear to you but would not be to someone at arms length.

Clear financial information
All funders need a full understanding of your financial situation and most assessments are made on trust. Please answer all the questions honestly, explain where needed and never leave requested information unanswered. Double check the figures you are entering as typos are common and confusing! Presenting planned income and expenditure that does not show shortfall (a need for funding) is unlikely to result in an award.

Preparing your budget
Our budget template will be available as an excel document here when the programme opens. Once completed, you will then need to upload this as part of your application form.

Full answers
Whilst concise sentences are appreciated, the application is your opportunity to present yourself to the panel and explain your motivations and challenges. Putting the bare minimum information is unlikely to stand well against your peers who have offered more insight into their position.

Research all opportunities
Funding for students is very varied and you will need to spend time working out which funds/bursaries are open to you and which are not. Most funders appreciate seeing where else you have applied to and view the initiative to tackle that (and/or explanations of why you have not been able to access funds) as a positive. There are a host of websites to help you with this, some of which are listed on MoneySavingExpert’s Student Area. UCAS also provides information about scholarships, grants and bursaries here.

We ask all applicants to provide a reference from an individual who knows you from school, university, a mentoring or access programme, or from a job or volunteering role. We are not looking for a personal reference from a relative or friend but are looking for a reference that adds something extra to your application, so please consider who is best to ask for this!

Your reference should contain a brief statement (max 1 page) explaining:

– how long they have known you
– in what capacity they know you
– why they think the Leathersellers’ should consider supporting you with a student grant

You will need to upload this when you submit the online application form.


We only accept applications made via our online form. However, we have provided a word version of the form (available here, with the budget form available here) to allow you to prepare your answers in advance.

Please note, you don’t need to complete the application all at once – you can choose to register with us at the top of the form, save your progress and sign back in anytime but please remember you need to choose to save your form each time (there is no autosave!)

Application Timeline

Deadline for applications                        –             before midnight Thursday 31st March 2022
Review by Leathersellers panel              –             April – May 2022
1st stage outcome communicated          –             by 1st June 2022
Interviews for shortlisted applicants     –             second half of June 2022, dates tbc (expected to take place via Zoom)
Final decision communicated                 –             by 22nd July 2022

Please note if you are offered a grant, you will be required to provide confirmation from the university that you have registered for that academic year. The funds will be paid to you on receipt of that, likely September/October 2022.

What you can expect from us
You will receive an automated email to confirm safe receipt once you submit your application (please check your junk/spam folder for this).

Each application is then thoroughly reviewed by the Leathersellers’ Grants team and members of a working group of Liverymen (members of the Livery Company). We will contact you via email before 1st June 2022 to either invite you to interview, or let you know your application was unsuccessful. At this point we expect interviews will mostly be conducted via Zoom, though for applicants based in London we may ask for an in-person interview.

If anything changes regarding your circumstances, contact details or the information you provided on the form after you have submitted it, please inform us by email at studentapp@leathersellers.co.uk.

  • Can I request feedback if my application is unsuccessful?
    Unfortunately, as we only have a small Grants team at the Leathersellers it is not possible currently for us to provide feedback to all applicants.


  • I’ve applied to you for a student grant before and was unsuccessful. Can I apply again?
    Yes, you’re welcome to apply again.


  • If I am successful, when will I receive the first year of my grant?
    If you are awarded a grant, we will send you a grant offer email detailing the terms and conditions of the grant and asking you to complete an acceptance form. Once you have completed the form, we will process the payment. The date the payment is sent signals the start of the first year of your grant.


  • What is expected of me after year one?
    We request recipients of Student Grants to submit an annual review each year as an update on your progress and confirming your continuing need of the funds before any further funds are released. We will let you know about these requirements when you are made an offer.
What students think about us

‘To say the Leathersellers bursary is life-changing is not cliché. For me, it acted as the springboard toward achieving all my dreams at medical school. Doing a second degree, and being from a working class background, the bursary provided me with the financial support that I needed to thrive, not just survive. Without it I would have been working crazy hours around my studies – with little time for anything else. If you’re thinking of applying – go for it. You miss all the shots you don’t take!’  Ben Smith, MBChB : Bachelor of Medicine, Warwick University

“I have always felt many things were out of my reach – fortunately the Leathersellers has helped to start to change that mind set.” funded student at the Royal Veterinary College

Over 50% of students reported having benefited from the grant because it meant:
– they could focus on studying and do fewer hours at or get by without a part-time job
– they were not getting into as much debt (both formal or informal)
– they were able to take part in more extra-curricular activities, work experience and/or volunteering