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Three bursaries to help aspiring journalists break into the media

The Guardian Foundation offers three bursaries each year for aspiring journalists to study for an MA in journalism. The primary aim of these bursary awards is to assist students who face financial difficulty in attaining the qualifications needed to pursue a career in journalism, and who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the media. In particular those from a lower socio-economic background, BAME, LGBTQ+ and those with a disability. As such we will only accept applications from candidates who meet one or more of these criteria.


The following courses are eligible for the Bursary, and one bursary is available per institution.

MA in Journalism, The University of Sheffield, including NCTJ diploma
MA in Journalism, Goldsmiths College, University of London
MA Digital Journalism, Goldsmiths College, University of London
MA in Newspaper Journalism, City University, London
MA Interactive Journalism, City University, London

The bursaries pay all course tuition fees and provide a subsistence allowance of £6,000 each towards living expenses. In addition, candidates take part in several weeks’ work experience at Guardian News & Media with expenses covered, and are paired with a Guardian mentor.

The opportunity also provides the possibility of a six month paid fixed term contract at the Guardian, following successful completion of the scheme.

Past beneficiaries of the bursary awards have gone on to successful careers at a variety of media organisations, including the Guardian. Eminent Guardian journalists who have benefitted from this scheme include Gary Younge, Mustafa Khalili, Esther Addley, Homa Khaleeli, Tania Branigan, Randeep Ramesh and Lanre Bakare.


The selection criteria (inclusive of university entrance criteria) are as follows:

  • You will be a graduate with a 2.1 minimum (or equivalent) in any subject, and permanent right of residence in the United Kingdom.
  • You will have had paid or unpaid experience in journalism and built up an impressive portfolio – either news or features-focused (or a combination), and from either blogging in your spare time, writing for student newspapers, video, podcasts, or placements at local newspapers, radio or TV.
  • You will be able to demonstrate that without financial support you would be unable to pursue a Master’s qualification.
  • You are part of one or more of these under-represented groups; BAME, LGBTQ+, disabled, or from a low socio-economic background.
  • You will qualify for home fees.
  • You will not already have a Masters degree or other post graduate qualification.*

This scheme is open to those who have already completed their degree and who are still currently studying. Please note that you must have graduated before the bursary course starts.

The application process and guidance

Applicants will need to submit your CV, responses to a questionnaire, providing details of your education, career, motivation and financial situation, as well as submitting up to three articles for consideration. We recommend submitting a variety of articles in terms of subject matter and style to best demonstrate your range. Applications with no articles attached will not be considered.

Once the deadline is closed, all applications will be shortlisted, and up to six individuals will be invited to interview for each university. In your application, you will be asked to select which universities you wish to apply to, in order of preference. You will only be invited to interview for the Universities you have indicated an interest in applying to, with preference given to those who have selected that university as their first choice. For example, a student who has selected Sheffield University as their first choice will get preference over a student who has selected Sheffield as their second choice. However, due to the high number of applications we cannot guarantee you will be interviewed for your first choice of university, and you may be invited to interview for your second or third choice university.

Interviewees will be asked to submit a written task, and will be interviewed by the Guardian Foundation, a Guardian journalist, and the course leader from the university you selected in your application. Interviewees will be notified within a week of the final interview of the outcome of their application.

The written task will be submitted the week of the 14th June.

Interviews will take place on the weeks of 21st and 28th June.

Due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, interviews will be held remotely, and the assessment will be adapted to prevent the need to travel or meet people face to face.


Additional information

In applying for a bursary you are advised to source your own information regarding the course/university of your choice. You do not need to have applied to, or secured a place on, any of the courses above as your application to the Scott Trust Bursary acts as your application to the course.

However, where you are applying for any other source of funding, you should also make an application directly to your university of choice as The Guardian Foundation will not transfer your details in the event that you are unsuccessful in your Scott Trust bursary application.

We are aware that Scottish universities award an MA qualification for their 4 year long Bachelors courses. We will accept applications from these students. If you have any questions, please contact info@theguardianfoundation.org

Application process

Your application should include:

1) Your latest CV (max two pages)
2) Complete the questionnaire about your motivation, suitability and written work.
3) Up to three previous examples of your journalistic writing – published or unpublished work (print or online).


Deadline for receipt of application is Sunday 2nd May 2021.

The Guardian Foundation is an independent charity which supports media under threat, promotes diversity in the media and empowers children and young people to engage with the news. For further information please email: info@theguardianfoundation.org

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