The aim of the bursary scheme is to facilitate training in the addictions field for people experiencing difficulties in funding a course of study.

The Society’s trustees make SSA funds available up to a ceiling of £6,000 per person, subject to suitable application, for people who:

  • have been offered a place on a UK University-validated, UK-based programme in specialist addiction-related studies;
  • have a demonstrable commitment to working in the addiction field;
  • have not participated in a substantial event of this nature in the one year prior to that for which they have applied (unless the latter is a follow-up course for which they cannot obtain funding).

Read students’ experiences of the bursary scheme

‘…financial anxiety affected my ability to perform. The funding enabled me to focus on my academic work and still be able to help my family…’

‘…As a part of a degree in forensic psychology I am writing a dissertation which is a qualitative study about heroin addiction in prison. Due to its relevance to the Society’s work and objectives, I applied for the bursary to support my studies…’


An indicative list of courses can be found here.

(Please note: bursaries are not awarded to students undertaking PhDs as there is a separate, competitive funding scheme for this.)

Bursary applications from students on courses, such as public-health, not specifically based in addiction, will be considered where the applicant provides evidence of an addiction-focus to their intended study.

Bursary applications consist of three components

  • The application form itself;
  • University course fees quote – documentation of your personal fee level in the form of a screenshot or scan of the university’s quote for this module / year of study;
  • your employer / volunteer supervisor’s support letter.

It is your responsibility to make sure all of these reach us, before your application can be considered. The bursary panel’s decision must be made on up-to-date information; incomplete applications – ie, where any of the three components are outstanding – will be removed from our system after sixty days. In such cases students may begin the application process again. Applicants are welcome to contact the Bursary Administration office to confirm receipt of all components.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications cannot be considered until the manager’s letter of support is received. If you anticipate any difficulty obtaining this letter, or need advice in identifying an appropriate manager, email us for advice which will be provided in consultation with the Bursary Coordinator.

The manager’s letter of support should be sent directly from the manager’s email account to Graham Hunt.

Applications are considered throughout the year; there is no deadline for submission, though each year’s budget is predetermined, and does not allow awards to be requested retrospectively for years/modules already completed. Please be aware that it may take up to six weeks to process each bursary application. This is to allow the applications to be read and considered by Dr Daphne Rumball, SSA Bursary Coordinator, and other panellists, and any further consultation and subsequent administrative processes to be completed. You can expedite this process by ensuring careful completion of your application form and supporting documents.


The student
  • is currently working (paid or voluntarily) or in a practice placement in the addiction field or in a post with a substantial addiction interest;
  • is able to make a case for needing to pursue the course of study for which the bursary is requested;
  • has the support of their employer to pursue this course of study;
  • is able to provide evidence of acceptance on the course of study, and:
  • provides as part of their application the result of any current year/module of study, together with a clear statement of being accepted to proceed;
  • is UK-based;
  • for the duration of the course will continue to be UK-based;
  • In keeping with the charitable aims of the scheme, provides clear statement of hardship in the relevant part of their application.
The training or educational institution
  • is a UK university-validated provider of further or higher education;
  • offers validated programmes of study leading to a recognised qualification.
The course
  • provides substantial knowledge and skills in the addiction field in practice, research or policy;
  • is validated by a UK University;
  • results in a recognised qualification or credits (not just a Certificate of Attendance).
The employer/volunteer supervisor (not the course manager)
  • is a specialist addiction agency or has a commitment to working with addiction problems;
  • confirms their commitment to support the student’s learning, which must include time for studying and to attend the training;
  • provides clarification of their contribution (financial or in kind) to the student’s proposed training;

How to apply

Click here to apply online.



  • Applicants can apply for a bursary to cover course fees.
  • The SSA bursary scheme is based in its charitable status. Its purpose is to facilitate training in the addiction field for individuals experiencing difficulty in funding a course of study.
  • The applicant’s line manager is required to indicate the support of the employing or voluntary organisation by providing:
    • written confirmation of confidence in the applicant’s ability to study at the required level, to work hard and complete the course;
    • confirmation of support of the employing organisation for the required time for course attendance and related study;
    • the manager’s statement regarding any funding available, with specific amounts OR a statement if no local funding is available.
  • All applications must be submitted electronically using the web-form.
  • Consideration for an award of a bursary is contingent upon clear and fulsome answers. Unclear, unconsidered, rushed or partial responses are likely to be rejected.


  • Applications are assessed by at least two members of the Board of Trustees, one being the Bursary Coordinator and the other a second officer of the Society designated to the task by the Trustees. This panel is elected by the Trustees for a period of four years.
  • Assessment will be undertaken by an alternative officer of the Society where one of the above has a conflict of interest in the applicant or the course.
  • The award of a bursary in one year of a course does not indicate it will be granted in subsequent years or for subsequent stages/modules of courses. Applications must be made for each year and the SSA reserves the right to alter the awards criteria from time to time.
  • The Bursary panel scrutinises applications very carefully, applying consistent and experienced standards. Applicants have no right of appeal. The Bursary panel’s decision will not be reconsidered, and correspondence will not be entered into. We do not allow re-application in the same academic period; each application is judged on the application and support documents as submitted and the eligibility criteria in operation at the time of receipt.

Funding provided

  • Awards are not transferable in whole or in part, and relate only to the academic year, and the specific course, for which they are initially granted.
  • Students will be awarded a maximum of £6,000 per annum to cover course fees.
  • Awards are made for one year only and need to be applied for separately in subsequent years. Any award is subject to a satisfactory outcome in the preceding year.
  • We encourage students to apply before commencing a new course or year for which they are seeking a bursary award, or as early in that year as possible.
  • The award is available only for the payment of course fees and cannot include other expenses (such as course materials, travel expenses).
  • A percentage of bursary students will be followed up for audit purposes on completion of each bursary episode. Further funding will depend on students returning the bursary audit form. We reserve the right to contact the course co-ordinator directly if audit forms are not returned.

Payment of awards

Payment will be made directly to the educational establishment and not to individuals.