Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Further Education Bursaries

A Further Education (FE) Bursary is an award made by Orkney Islands Council to help a student beyond statutory school leaving age, who is undertaking a qualifying course within or outwith Orkney. It is not a loan and does not need to be paid back.

The guidelines for academic year 2017 to 2018 are as follows:


To be eligible for FE funding, you must be:

  • Beyond statutory school leaving age and have left school.
  • Studying a full-time, non-advanced course up to a maximum level of National Certificate (NC) within or outwith Orkney.
  • Ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for 3 years prior to the start date of your course. (If you are studying at Orkney College, to be eligible for a full bursary you must also be resident in Orkney from 1 June 2017.)

For full details, please refer to the Guidance Notes which can be downloaded in PDF format from the ‘Related Downloads’ section of this page.

Calculation of Awards

All awards are dependent on meeting the eligibility criteria outlined above and the majority will be means-tested. The exception to this is materials and travel allowances for those under the age of 18, which are not mean-tested.

There are four main components of the FE Bursary:

1. Maintenance Allowance

A contribution towards accommodation and living expenses.

This varies according to the student’s circumstances and age and will be means-tested.

2. Travel Allowance

Assistance towards the cost of travel to and from college.

This allowance is means-tested for students over the age of 18.

If you live more than 2 miles from your college during term-time then you may be eligible for an additional in-term travel allowance. Orkney Islands Council will only pay for reasonable daily travel costs, i.e. the cheapest form of public transport. Travel claim forms will be included with your award letter. If you require additional copies, these can be downloaded in PDF format from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page.

3. Materials Allowance

Assistance towards the cost of books, clothing and other materials.

This allowance is means-tested for students over the age of 18.

4. Course Fees

Orkney Islands Council will pay course fees for those aged 18 and over attending Orkney College. Those aged under 18 are eligible for Fee Waiver. Course fees are not means-tested.

Application Forms

An application form for academic year 2017 to 2018 is available in PDF format from the ‘Related Downloads’ section of this page. If you are unable to download or print the application form, please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page and we will send a copy out to you.

Application Process

You must submit a fully completed paper application along with the following documentation:

  • Birth certificate or passport.
  • Proof of household income.
  • College acceptance letter.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be required to submit additional documentation. Further details are provided in the application form and guidance notes.

Your application can take approximately 4-5 weeks to process during busy periods.

If approved, you will receive an offer of award letter which you must sign and return to Orkney Islands Council. Once we have received your signed acceptance, your payments can begin.


Bursaries are normally paid in 10 monthly instalments and are dependent on your attendance, conduct and progress throughout your course.

To receive your payments your attendance must be 100% each month and any absences must be authorised. If you have any unauthorised absences then you will not receive your monthly instalment.

We will regularly request updates from your college on your attendance and progress prior to making any payments to you.


Submission of an application form is not a guarantee of support. Bursary funds are limited and applications will continue to be processed until these funds have been fully allocated.

Applications are processed in order of the date they are received by Education, Leisure and Housing, so it is important to get your application for funding in as soon as possible. You can apply for funding as soon as you have received your acceptance letter from your chosen college.

Bursary payments can only be backdated to the start of your course if your complete application form is received within 6 weeks of your course commencing. This does not include any delays due to the need for official documentation.

Courses above NC Level

For students studying a course at HNC level or higher, you should apply for funding from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Further information is available from their website which can be accessed from the ‘Related Sites’ section of this page.

Contact Us

If you have any queries or would like assistance with completing your application form, contact the team at:

Education, Leisure and Housing, Orkney Islands Council, Council Offices, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY.

Telephone: 01856873535 extension 2416 or 2450.

Email: Education Grants.

Related Links

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