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Scott Trust Bursary

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply for a Scott Trust Bursary?

Am I eligible for a bursary?

You are eligible to apply for a Scott Trust Bursary if:

  • You will be a graduate and have permanent right of residence in the United Kingdom.

  • You will be able to demonstrate that without financial support you would be unable to pursue a Master’s qualification.

  • You will qualify for home fees.

  • You will not already have a Masters degree or other post graduate qualification.

Three out of the six places will be awarded to Black aspiring journalists. The other three places will remain open to applicants who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the media. In particular those from a lower socio-economic background, Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQ+ and people with a disability. 

Which university courses are eligible for the Scott Trust Bursary?

People from any background underrepresented in media can apply for:

City, University of London, MA Newspaper Journalism, entry 2:1

Goldsmiths College, University of London, MA Journalism, entry 2:1

University of Sheffield, MA Journalism, entry 2:1

Birmingham City University, MA Data journalism, entry 2:1

Leeds Trinity University, MA Journalism, entry 2:2

Manchester Metropolitan University, MA Multimedia Journalism, entry 2:2

I have not had any of my work published, can I apply?

Yes! We just want to see examples of your writing, so it does not matter if they have been published, self-published or not published at all. We recommend submitting pdfs or word documents instead of hyperlinks, however these will be accepted as well.

Can I apply if I already have a Master’s degree?

We will only offer a Bursary to students who do not already have a postgraduate qualification, regardless of the subject of the qualification. However, we are aware that Scottish universities award an MA qualification for their 4 year long Bachelors courses. We will accept applications from these students. 

Can I apply if I haven't graduated yet?

Yes, as long as you will have graduated before the Master’s course starts then you can apply for a Bursary.  

Do I have to have a degree to apply?

Yes. As this is a Master’s degree, you will need to have an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification to be eligible for the Bursary. If you are in your last year of your undergraduate degree and have not yet graduated you can still apply.

I don’t have an undergraduate degree in journalism, can I still apply?

Yes, we accept applications from people with any degree subject. You do not need any prior qualifications in journalism.

I applied in a previous year, can I apply again?

Yes, we do not limit how many times you can apply for a Bursary. However we will expect to see something new in your application and details of what you have been up to since last applying.

I don’t have the right to work in the UK, can I still apply?

We can only accept applications from individuals who have the right to work in the UK at the time of application. We do not sponsor individuals for a work visa.

I am an international student, can I still apply?

You can apply for the Bursary regardless of your nationality or country of residence as long as you qualify for home fees at your university of choice. You must have secured the right to qualify for home fees by the time you apply for the Bursary. You can find out more about this here.

Why is the Scott Trust Bursary scheme only open to individuals from Black, Asian, minority ethnic, LGBTQ+, disabled, or lower socio-economic backgrounds?

The purpose of the Scott Trust Bursary scheme is to support the groups listed above because they are under-represented in journalism and face barriers to entering into the industry.

Journalism is a fundamental underpinning of a fair and open democratic society where people can participate, influence and act. It gives people access to information through multiple lenses, allowing them to understand the world around them and hold power to account. To do this effectively, the media industry must be representative of the society it serves and the barriers to entering and progressing within the industry must continue to be broken. 

What is the Legacies of Enslavement Project?

In March 2023, the Scott Trust published a comprehensive report on the Guardian’s historical connections with transatlantic slavery, sharing an apology and its restorative justice response. The research identified links between John Edward Taylor and the associates who funded the Manchester Guardian’s creation, and slavery.

As part of the Scott Trust's restorative justice response, The Guardian Foundation were funded to offer three additional places on the Scott Trust Bursary scheme (a total of six places). These three places are available specifically for Black applicants. 

I am not sure whether I have the experience to successfully apply. What should I do?

We would encourage you to apply. You do not need to have published any work or done a certain amount of work experience, but you should be able to demonstrate an awareness of and engagement with the news and current affairs and be able to show what you would bring to the journalism industry. We are looking for talent, commitment and fresh ideas, so even if you’re not sure you’ve got what it takes, we want you to hear from you. We try to provide as much guidance as we can to potential applicants. Follow us on twitter for the latest information and guidance on the scheme.

The application process

How many Scott Trust Bursary places will be available in 2024?

There will be six places available in total. Three of these places will be reserved for Black applicants. Three places will remain available for students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the media.

I have not been offered a place at any of the university courses. Can I apply?

Yes, you do not need to have been offered a place, or even have applied to a course in order to apply for the Bursary. Your application to us doubles as your university application.

Do I need to apply to the course(s) separately?

You do not need to apply to the courses separately in order to be considered for the Bursary. Applicants are interviewed by the course leader, so if you are offered the Bursary, your place on the course is guaranteed. However, if your application is unsuccessful and you still wish to apply to the course you will need to apply separately. 

Can I apply for the Bursary if I want to study at a different University or on a different course?

We offer the Bursary to students studying on the courses stated on our website only. We cannot accept applications from students who wish to study at a different university, or study a course not listed on our website.

Why do I have to rank the courses in order of preference, and how does that affect my application?

We interview up to six individuals per university and applicants are interviewed by a panel including the relevant course leader. Applicants will only be invited to interview for one of the universities on offer, and we make this decision based on the order of preference stated in the application. For example, a student who has selected Sheffield University as their first choice will get preference for a Sheffield interview over a student who has selected Sheffield as their second choice. Due to the high number of applications we cannot guarantee you will be interviewed for your first choice of university. You do not need to list more than one course or university but it may widen your chances of an interview.

What examples of work can I submit as part of my application?

All applicants must submit three pieces of work for consideration published or unpublished. We recommend submitting a variety of work in terms of subject matter and style to best demonstrate your range - we accept articles, videos and podcasts. For multimedia pieces please specify a time stamp (no more than 5 minutes) and link to be considered.

What happens if I get asked to interview?

Interviewees will be asked to submit a written task, completed at a time convenient to the applicant, and is conducted virtually. You will be interviewed in person (ideally) or online by a Guardian Foundation representative, a Guardian journalist, and the course leader from the university you selected in your application. Interviewees will usually be notified within a week of the final interview of the outcome of their application. If you are successful, the offer will be confirmed upon successful reference checks. 

How will the data I provide be used?

Your data will only be used for the purposes for processing your application. For example, the information you provide will be shared with the shortlisting panel, which includes university course leaders and journalists at the Guardian.

If you have consented to hearing from us, we will store your information so we can contact you about our other work and upcoming opportunities. 

Read our privacy policy

Your time on the Scott Trust Bursary scheme

Can I defer my place on the scheme?

We only consider applications for the coming academic year, so would not consider applications for deferred entry.

How will my mentor be chosen and how do I meet them?

We match you with a mentor based on your professional interests and experiences. We also try to choose a mentor for you that we think you’ll get on with! You will meet them regularly throughout your time on the scheme, either virtually or in person.

Am I allowed to do freelance work during my masters?

Yes. Outside of your work experience placements you may pitch story ideas, on a freelance basis, to any media outlet, including the Guardian, although this is not an expectation or requirement for the Bursary itself. Any articles published by the Guardian would normally be paid at the standard freelance lineage rate, but please make it clear at the point of commissioning if you are pitching outside of a work experience placement.

Your career after your MA

What happens after I finish my masters degree?

The vast majority of Scott Trust Bursary trainees go on to a paid fixed-term contract at the Guardian after they have completed their masters degree. Progression onto this contract is subject to satisfactory completion of the masters degree and positive engagement with the scheme.

We see the master's degree and the work experience completed during this time as preparation for the contract at the Guardian. We will be there to support you and will do everything we can to ensure you are ready for the contract.

What happens during the fixed term contract at the Guardian?

The fixed term contract at the Guardian is 9 months, and is paid at a salary of around £28k pro rata.

You will have the opportunity to rotate around desks (departments) to gain experience in different areas of journalism. We will ask you what your desk preferences are nearer the time. This may include our Northern office based in Manchester. We cover your travel and accommodation for this part of the contract.

What options will I have at the end of the fixed term contract?

Although we can’t guarantee a job at the end of your time at the Guardian, with your qualifications and experience gained from the scheme you will be well-placed to secure a job in journalism.

A number of people continue to work at the Guardian after the end of the scheme by applying for vacancies. Other alumni have gone on to work for publications including the Financial Times, NY Times, BBC and Huffington Post.

Money: your living allowances, salary and payments

Will I be paid for the work experience I do during my masters degree?

Yes. We expect you to complete around 6 weeks (210 hours) of work placements during your masters degree. You will receive a stipend for this equivalent to £13.15/hour ( London Living Wage).

Work placements are normally completed during the university holidays. Trainees tend to do around 1 week during Christmas/New Year, 1-2 weeks during Easter and 3-4 weeks over the summer. There is some flexibility on this, and the dates will be agreed with you before they are confirmed. 

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the Foundation.

What will my salary be during my fixed term contract at the Guardian?

Around £28k pro rata, plus 30 days annual leave (pro-rated) and employment benefits

How much will my living allowance be, and when will it be paid?

During your masters degree, you will be paid a living allowance in 3 instalments. The first in mid-September, before you start your course. The second at the end of December, and the third at the end of March.

Those studying outside of London will receive £2,247 per instalment (£6,741 in total). Those studying in London will receive £2,471.70 (£7,415.1 in total).

Your course tuition fees will be paid directly, by us, to the university you are studying at.

Further questions?
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