BA English Widening Access Scholarship

The Department of English provides Widening Access Scholarships worth £1,000 each year of study. These scholarships provide just one way for us to recognise and celebrate the success of students who have overcome significant barriers and challenges in their journey to higher education.

  • Funding: £3,000, paid in annual instalments of £1,000 for three years in total
  • Academic year: 2023/24
  • Open to: UK (home) students
  • Qualification level: Undergraduate
  • Number available: Five
Applications for 2023/24 will open on Friday 18 August 2023

All of our offer holders demonstrate the talent and potential to excel at the University of York. We will work with all of our students to support them in reaching their potential and realising their goals for the future. The University of York was founded in 1963 on principles of equality and opportunity for all; we are a university for public good, and we care about opening up access to those who had previously not had the opportunity.

We deliver a range of widening access programmes to empower people from backgrounds that are less advantaged or underrepresented in higher education. We also operate a holistic approach to admissions considering more than just exam grades, including policies for contextual and alternative widening access offers.

What is a scholarship?

A university scholarship provides students with financial support to use during their university education. They are non-repayable and are provided in addition to other funding sources. Scholarships have an application process and are typically quite competitive, with many more applicants than scholarships available.

How do we select scholars?

The eligibility criteria are provided below. We typically receive a large number of applications to our scholarships. All applications are reviewed and shortlisted applications are considered by a panel. We will prioritise scholarships for applicants who meet the greatest number of criteria and who have overcome the greatest challenges in their educational journey.


Open to UK (home) students only.

Open to students in the Department of English and Related Literature.

For entrants in September 2022. Consideration will also be given to students with deferred entry to September 2023, having applied during 2022/2023 applications cycle.

The following criteria align with the York Opportunity Scholarship and the Access and Outreach widening access programme criteria. They are designed to allow us to prioritise awards and participant places for those who have faced the greatest barriers.

All applicants must:

  • be a permanent resident in the UK (you qualify as eligible for UK (home) fees and funding and for university admissions procedures)
  • be holding an offer to study at the University of York’s Department of English at undergraduate level for entry in September 2022 (or with deferred entry to September 2023 having applied during 2022/2023 applications cycle)
  • have a household income below £70,004 (you and/or your parents must give consent to share financial information on your Student Loans application in order for us to confirm your eligibility for this award)
  • have studied in a UK state school or college at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5
  • show that you have faced significant barriers in your personal, social or domestic life that have affected your journey through school and college.

You must also meet at least one of the additional criteria:

  • You are from a background underrepresented in higher education, as follows:
    • British Black
    • Asian or Asian British
    • Mixed or multiple ethnicity
    • Roma, Gypsy or Irish Traveller
  • You have experience of local authority care
  • Have experienced a period of homelessness
  • You are estranged from your family (defined by the relationship between the family and student breaking down and becoming irreconcilable)
  • You were eligible for free school meals during secondary school
  • You were in receipt of college or sixth form discretionary payments
  • You currently reside in a POLAR Q1/2 area with low levels of progression to higher education (check your postcode)
  • You attended a school or college at Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 5 that achieved below the national average (check your school)
  • You are in the first generation of your family to attend higher education
  • You have a disability or long-term health condition
  • You are an adult learner (defined as students who are 25 or over on the first day of your course)
  • You are from a military background
  • You are a young carer (defined as being under 18 and helping to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem; a young carer may look after a parent or a sibling (caring for a child is not included in this))
  • You identify as LGBTQ+
  • You are a refugee (if you are seeking asylum, you may be eligible for the Equal Access Scholarship)
How to apply

Application deadline: Friday 29 September 2023, 11.59am BST

Complete the application form available on this page when the opportunity is open for submissions.

Contact details

Admissions Officer

Fiona Meadows
+44 (0)1904 323367

Admissions Tutor

Dr Alexandra Kingston-Reese
+44 (0)1904 323367