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First Court, Magdalene College Cambridge

The Magdalene Bursary Scheme

The Magdalene Bursary Scheme has a significant impact on the lives of our students, with 55% of our undergraduates now receiving some form of financial assistance.

Hundreds of our students have benefited over the past ten years from the Magdalene Bursary Scheme which was launched in 2012 in response to the tripling of university fees for home students. One of the most generous student subsidy programmes in England, the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, and by extension, the top-up Magdalene Bursary Scheme, guarantees that every student from a financially disadvantaged background is assured maintenance support ranging from £4,500 to £7,100 per annum. These enhanced bursaries enable our students to make the most of life at Magdalene and all the opportunities that Cambridge has to offer.

We surveyed our bursary recipients to measure the impact of the Magdalene Bursary Scheme.

The Cambridge Bursary Scheme

A significant number of Magdalene applicants were positively influenced by the existence of the CBS.

  • 74% of respondents were aware of the Cambridge Bursary Scheme before applying
  • 82% who knew of the scheme were encouraged to apply to Cambridge because of it

The Magdalene Bursary Scheme

We asked specifically about our own top-up Magdalene Bursary Scheme, of those respondents who applied directly to Magdalene almost 57% were aware of the College’s additional funding.

We asked our students to specify how the Magdalene Bursary Scheme helped them, and what they used the support for?

  • 78% used the bursary to manage the cost of living
  • 69% used the bursary to purchase books and study materials
  • 78% used the bursary to take part in extracurricular activities

We asked which extracurricular activities the bursary has enabled our students to take part in?

The range of extracurricular activities available at Cambridge is vast; there is something for everyone. Clubs and societies make the Cambridge experience truly memorable. From casual clubs to relax and learn new skills to world-leading sports societies, the ability to experience all that Cambridge has to offer is part of being a Magdalene student.

  • 84% used their bursary to enable them to participate in University Clubs and Societies
  • 52% used their bursary to enable them to participate in College and University Sports
  • 56% used their bursary to enable them to attend academic events
  • 84% used their bursary to enable them to attend social events

We asked our students how their bursary impacted them?

  • 100% agree that their bursary has alleviated day-to-day money worries
  • 100% agree that their bursary has helped them to prioritise their studies
  • 84% agree that their bursary has helped them to feel on equal terms with their peers

We are only able to finance the Magdalene Bursary Scheme because of generous student support donations from our alumni and friends. The impact the Magdalene Bursary Scheme on our students is clear and we are incredibly grateful to all of those who choose to support the resident Magdalene community.

If you would like to learn more about bursaries or if you would like to discuss the opportunity to further assist our students, please contact the Development Director by email at