Covid-19: We would like to assure students that the Society will continue to support education in the field throughout the developing covid-19 crisis. Our application process remains open and we will continue to support students. Please do let us know if you experience any difficulty continuing or completing your studies.

The aim of the Bursary scheme is to facilitate training in the addictions field for individuals experiencing difficulty in funding a course of study.

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…’

Policy for awarding student bursaries

The Society’s Trustees make SSA funds available, subject to suitable application, to individuals 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 addictions 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).


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 addictions, will be considered where the applicant provides evidence of an addiction-focus to their intended study.


The student

  • is currently working (paid or voluntarily) or in a practice placement in the addictions field or in a post with a substantial addictions 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.

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;

For a trial period our restriction on supporting students working in the private for-profit sector is suspended, with effect from 1 January 2015. The Bursary panel and Trustees will monitor the effects of this, and our policy in this regard may be subject to further amendment in due course. Please make sure you have checked the latest criteria before applying.

Submission of applications

Click here to apply online.

Or click here to download an application form.



  • 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 addictions 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;
    • and by allocation of time for study.
    • The manager should indicate which other sources of funding have been sought.
  • All applications must be submitted electronically, using the web-form or by email.
  • 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.
  • NB: Bursary applications consist of two components:
    • 1) the application form itself;
    • 2) your employer/volunteer supervisor’s support letter.
    • It is your responsibility to make sure both of these reach us, before your application can be considered. The bursary panel’s decision must be made on up-to-date information, and incomplete applications – ie, where either one of the two components are outstanding – will be removed from our system after ninety days. In such cases, students may begin the application process again. Applicants are welcome to contact the Bursary Administration office to confirm receipt of both 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 graham@addiction-ssa.org for advice which will be provided in consultation with the Bursary Coordinator.

The manager’s letter of support – on headed paper, with ‘wet’ signature – should be forwarded direct to the Executive Office (SSA Bursary Administration, Temple Chambers, Russell Street, Keighley, BD21 2JP).

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 6 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 Dr Catriona Matheson, 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 letter.

The decision

  • is taken 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;
  • will be taken 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 letter as submitted and the eligibility criteria in operation at the time of receipt.

Specific awards

  • 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 standard award of a maximum of £2,500 per annum (or less if the fees are below this amount) for an individual course of study in any one financial year.
  • Students may be awarded a maximum of £4,500 when taking courses consisting of more than a single module.
  • 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.