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The Student Employability Fund, created in 2018, financially supports students from households with an income of below £42,875 per annum (as assessed by Student Finance England or equivalent) to develop skills, attributes and experiences that will help them to progress into their chosen destination.

The Careers & Enterprise Centre works to promote employability for all Durham students and graduates, to enable them to succeed in an increasingly competitive labour market. Through the provision of the Student Employability Fund, it aims to support students to develop the skills, attributes and experiences that will help them to progress into their chosen careers. 

If you have secured a recruitment, work experience or employability development opportunity*, you may apply to one, two or all bursary categories (travel, clothing and expenses) in a single claim. Please note that once the current annual fund is exhausted, no further allocations will be made within that year. 

Travel Bursary

  • A one-off payment of up to £150 (one return journey) OR a weekly travel pass (£25 maximum) OR a monthly travel pass (£100 maximum) for eligible students. Only one of these options can be selected per application.
  • Limited to two successful applications per academic year.

Clothing Bursary

  • A one-off payment of up to £150 for eligible students. This relates only to the purchase of appropriate footwear and clothing to undertake the secured opportunity.
  • Limited to one successful application per academic year.

Expenses Bursary

  • A one-off payment of £50 for eligible students, providing a contribution towards the cost of food, equipment or other expenses associated with the secured opportunity.
  • Limited to two successful applications per academic year.


*Applications will be considered for activities such as:

  • In-person and online recruitment activities (interviews, assessment centres)
  • In-person and online/remote work experience (volunteering, part-time and vacation jobs, internships, vacation schemes, placements)
  • In-person and online employability development opportunities (networking events, conferences, insight days, job shadowing, employer/opportunity provider workshops)



Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, the University is able to provide a contribution towards the cost of travel and/or clothing and/or expenses for current, registered undergraduate and postgraduate students attendingrecruitment activities, work experienceandemployability development opportunities.


In order to be considered for this support, students will come from families who have a household income, as assessed by Student Finance England (or equivalent), of below £42,875 per annum.

This will be assessed by Student Finance through confirmation of 2023/24 student loan entitlement or Durham Grant.

Students must be registered on their programme of study (undergraduate or postgraduate; including taught and research) on the date of application. Students may apply while undertaking a year abroad or placement year, provided they are currently registered on their programme of study at the time of application.

Dormant students are not permitted to apply.

How to apply

  1. Applying for funding


    Easter Term

    Applications open: 27th March 2024

    Applications close: 21st June 2024


    How to apply

    Complete and submit an application form and ensure you have attached all the required information and evidence in a Word document.


    Due to access restrictions please do not submit Share Point documents.


    Applications must be made in advance of the activity taking place. Retrospective applications will not be considered.


    We will use our best endeavours to make payment to successful applicants in advance of the activity taking place, but this cannot be guaranteed.


    Your payment will be actioned by Student Finance should your application be successful.


    The Student Employability Fund is a cash limited fund and applications may close early if the fund is exhausted. 

  2. Submitting supporting evidence

    Please submit the following:


    Household Income:


    • Confirmation of 2023/24 student maintenance loan entitlement or Durham Grant


    If your income has not been assessed by the Student Loans Company and/or you cannot provide the above evidence with your application form, Student Finance will contact you to ask for evidence of your household income in the form of documents such as:


    • 3 months' pay slips
    • Latest annual tax summary document
    • An employment contract
    • Self-employed accounts


    Work experience and personal bursary:


    In order to claim the work experience bursary, you will be required to provide:


    • Confirmation of your work experience opportunity on an official document from the employer/organisation/opportunity provider
    • Evidence of where and when the work experience opportunity will take place




  3. Feedback Form

    If you are successful in receiving support for the Student Employability Fund, then it is a mandatory requirement that you complete a Student Employability Fund Feedback Form so that information about how the funds have helped/will help with your studies and/or future career can be provided to the donors who make the Fund possible. 

Alternative Funding Sources

Durham University makes every effort to ensure that the information published or contained on its website is accurate. However, the University cannot guarantee the information may not subsequently be altered owing to circumstances beyond the University's reasonable control. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) changes in Government policy or change of law. Whilst any changes will be incorporated into the University's website any person wishing to clarify the details of a particular scholarship/s should contact the University at


Our Thanks

We are so grateful for the gifts that we receive from our alumni and supporters.
Your support is helping Durham to inspire the great minds and leaders of tomorrow.