The aim of the bursary scheme is to facilitate training in the addictions field for people experiencing difficulties in funding a course of study. Applications are open year-round.

About the funding scheme

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)

This funding scheme is not for students undertaking PhDs as there is a separate, competitive funding scheme for this (see PhD studentships).

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.

How to apply

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 the Bursary review panel, 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

Applicants should read carefully all the information set out above and follow the guidance before deciding to apply.

Please note: applications must be made using the online form provided only. No postal or fax applications can be accepted. (Supporting letters must be sent from the manager’s or supervisor’s email address direct to the SSA. They should not be forwarded.)

  • 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 year (1 September to  31 August); 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.
  • If the SSA bursary constitutes less than 80% of the total cost for the bursary period (ie if the cost is greater than £7,500), you must demonstrate how the shortfall will be paid.
  • 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.

"*" indicates required fields

Section A: Applicant Details

Name of your line manager
Address of your line manager

Section B: Your Past Experience

This question is completely in confidence and without any expectation or obligation, and will have no bearing on your bursary application.

It is for anonymous, aggregate data collection only.

You are welcome to leave this blank and it will have no bearing on your application, either way.

To keep us up to date and provide wider information about how our Bursary scheme is working and whom it is helping, we would like to know a little about bursary applicants who have a personal or family background with substance use, how they studied in the field and how studying helped them develop, personally and/or professionally.

Please use this field if you are happy to tell us this, and also let us know if we could use an excerpt from your application, anonymised and presented on our website in a similar way to the existing material. If, at a later date, you wish your piece to be removed, just let us know.

Please email if there is anything you wish to ask. We are very grateful if you do wish to anonymously share any description of your experience and totally understand if you don’t.

Please give details of the most recent of any studies undertaken when in receipt of an SSA bursary:

(If none, please enter '01/01/2000' in date fields and 'N. A.' in course-related fields.)

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Please give details of the most recent of any studies undertaken, whether SSA-supported or not:

(The outcome of any previous modules/components of this course must be provided in your application. Applications submitted without this information will be declined, so please do not submit until you have the outcome.)

Section C: Your Intended Study

(eg - MSc; Foundation degree; BSc or equivalent; Diploma; Certificate in Education; Stand alone module; or Other - give details)

Please describe the content of the course in the year / module applicable to this bursary application. If this bursary application is for a dissertation year, please detail the subject of your dissertation.
Explain how the content relevant to this application meets the criterion of providing 'substantial knowledge and skills in the addiction field in practice, research or policy' (max. 200 words):

(only university-validated courses are considered):

(Awards are made for one study year only and must be applied for separately in subsequent years.)


University quote

Please attach 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.

Max. file size: 6 MB.
DD slash MM slash YYYY
DD slash MM slash YYYY
DD slash MM slash YYYY
DD slash MM slash YYYY

Section D: Your Funding Situation

Have you applied to any other source for funding?*

Section E: Declaration

[Annual fee of £25 will be paid by the SSA on behalf of bursary recipients.]

*Please note, submitting this application confirms applicants’ acceptance that bursaries are awarded on the basis that the recipient will complete the period of study being funded, including the formal course assessment(s), and will repay to the Society the awarded sum in full if a final assessment is not completed at the end of the period specified in the application. Students are required to submit to the Society without delay a photocopy of their completion certificate.

Please arrange for a letter from your Line Manager confirming organisational support of the proposed study activity to be sent. 

This is essential to the processing of the application, and to ensure bursary decisions are based on accurate, up-to-date information, must be received within 60 days of your application form. The letter of support must be sent directly from the manager's / supervisor's email address to the SSA. Support letters forwarded by the applicant will not be accepted. The letter must cover the following three areas:

  • The applicant’s ability to study at the required level, to work hard and complete the course.
  • The support of the employing organisation for the required time for course attendance and related studies.
  • A statement on any funding available, with specific amounts OR a statement if no local funding is available.

Applications cannot be considered until this letter is received.

Please send the supporting letter to: