The University of Aberdeen supports a wide variety of sports bursary and scholarships schemes. These schemes are available to support elite student athletes seeking to combine academic and sporting excellence during their time at university. 

The most common award is our Sports Bursary, sponsored by the Development Trust, which offers an exciting package of financial and wrap-around support for high-performing athletes in any sporting discpline.

In addition to the Sports Bursary scheme, we also offer two major sports scholarships, and a number of other stand-alone awards.  

Full details of all these awards are included below.

Development Trust Sports Bursary

Each year the University's Development Trust provides funding for a number of Sports Bursary awards.  The scheme is funded by the generosity of donors to the University.

Around 20 bursaries are awarded annually. Awards are made on a one year renewable basis and are open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The bursar packages include:

  • a cash award (usually between £250 and £1000)
  • gym membership at Aberdeen Sports Village
  • strength and conditioning support
  • physiotherapy
  • seminars e.g. nutrition, psychology
  • yoga sessions
  • exclusive sports bursar clothing

Where appropriate, University staff can also provide support to elite sports performers seeking to apply for academic flexibility.  There is also the possibility of arranging accomodation with other athletes.

Applications are welcome from students performing at a high-level in any sport.  In recent years we have supported students in athletics, rowing, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, rifle, boxing, weightlifting, rugby, modern pentathlon and more.

Main criteria: applicants need to demonstrate clear evidence of their recent sporting performance. Evidence may vary by sport but could include, for example, your 'Power of 10' ranking (athletics) or your relative performance against a BUCS qualifying standard.  Applicants from team sports will need to differentiate their individual performance and demonstrate, for example, representative honours and/or a realistic expectation of playing at national league level or above.

Applications: forms for 2020/21 will be available in April 2020 with a decision made early in the 2020/21 academic year (i.e. September).  Athletes performing at the very highest level in their sport are, however, encouraged to make contact promptly as an early decision may be possible.

A sample of last year's application form is available here.

Here's a short video and profile of recent bursar Kelsey Stewart (Athletics).

For further information on the scheme and guidance on how to apply, please contact sport@abdn.ac.uk.

Sports Scholarships

A small number of sports scholarships are awarded to a student for the duration of their studies.  These awards are provided through the generous support of donors to the University.

Quita Shivas Athletics Scholarship

Main criteria: awarded to a first-year undergraduate student (studying any subject) who has displayed oustanding commitment and achievement in an athletics discipline (e.g. track & field, cross country) and who was born or raised in Aberdeen or Aberdeenshire.

Current recipient: Grace Whelan (Athletics) 2018-2022

John Robertson Sports Scholarship

Main criteria: awarded to a first-year undergraduate student (studying any subject) who has displayed outstanding commitment and achievement in any sport.

Current recipient: Francesca Butler (Hockey) 2017-2021

To check availability and for application details please visit the University's scholarships page.

Informal enquiries can be made to sport@abdn.ac.uk.

Other Awards and Prizes

A number of stand-alone awards are available for students whose sporting achievements have stood out or who are involved in certain sporting or academic programmes.

For further information on availability and how to apply for any of these awards please contact sport@abdn.ac.uk

Thomson Memorial Prize

The prize (£300) is awarded annually to the student who in the opinion of the Principal has, by his or her conduct, scholarship or eminence in sport, done most to advance or enhance the reputation of the University.

This prize will also be noted on the student’s transcript.

Nominations open each year from February and close at the end of March. 

Andrew Beattie Sports Award 

Students competing as part of the University of Aberdeen Performance Swimming (UOAPS) programme may apply for an award (up to a total value of £625) to enable the fulfilment of their swimming potential and where the availability of funding might otherwise restrict participation e.g. in a national or international swimming meet.

More than one award may be made.

Saltire Scholarships

Saltire Energy has generously sponsored a number of scholarships awarded for the duration of a students' studies.

Undergraduate Scholarships in Sports Science

Main Criteria: awarded to first year undergrduate students on either the BSc in Sports & Exercise Science or the BSc in Exercise and Health Science programme, classified as Home Fees (i.e. UK domiciled), and who has shown a commitment to sport and academic merit. Both scholarship are currently awarded.

Specialist Undergraduate Scholarship in Sports Science

Main Criteria: a further scholarship is available on the same basis to students entering the third year of either of the named Sports Science degree programmes.  This scholarship is also currently awarded.

Winning Students Scholarships

As a member of the  Winning Students network, University of Aberdeen students are eligible to receive funding (up to a total value of £6,000 per annum) from the Scottish Funding Council.

For more details of the scheme and how to apply please see Winning Students Scholarships.

Informal enquiries can be directed to sport@abdn.ac.uk.