The Fair Access Fund

ICTheatre is a part of BIMM Institute and is committed to promoting equal opportunities for all applicants, and all students, and we actively seek to recruit a diverse student body that is reflective of the wider community.

We believe that a diverse student body provides for a creative and dynamic community, and this is in line with the ethos and mission of ICTheatre and BIMM Institute.

We aim to actively support access to our courses from groups of applicants who are underrepresented in Higher Education or face financial challenges and hardship.  We want a level playing field and equality of opportunity and so we have set up The Fair Access Fund to ensure students are supported during their studies.

Last academic year, 21/22, BIMM Institute awarded over 250 low-income household bursaries to first year students, to support their transition into student life, to buy equipment or to get the support in place that they needed. The amount of financial support packages ranges from £150- £1,500 per academic year.  The low-income household bursary was £1,000 across the full academic year.

Whilst we cannot commit to payment amounts prior to enrolment, we do aim to allocate the budget across eligible applicants and will confirm the exact payment amount and schedule post enrolment. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday 2nd September 2022. We will accept ONE application per prospective student.  Applications must be completed in full and can be saved and returned to.


"Receiving the bursary has made me feel supported by ICTheatre and has allowed me to have more of a positive university experience. Without the financial support, everyday expenses like shopping and travelling would have been more difficult. This meant that I didn't have to worry about my finances and could concentrate and put all my efforts into studying."
Cameron Reid, BA (Hons) Performing Arts student – ICTheatre Brighton


What does The Fair Access Fund aim to do?

Every student has different needs, and The Fair Access Fund aims to support successful applicants in the following areas:

  • Financial support: This includes our low-income household bursary, care leaver, care experienced or estranged student bursary. This bursary is financial support for maintenance costs including rent and is paid in instalments across the academic year.
  • Course material support: This can include help to purchase instruments, hardware, reading materials or uniform to support engagement with a degree course.
  • Engagement support: Specific support needs including additional learning support or help to access the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) or get a diagnosis for a condition.

Please complete the application form in full providing evidence to support your application, where appropriate.  Our Access and Participation Coordinator will help you access the support you require. The amount and kind of support that you are awarded will depend on your circumstances. Being part of this scheme does not differentiate you from other successful applicants, access to the college hardship fund and receipt of support will be confidential.

How does an applicant qualify?

Access to this fund will be prioritised the following way:

  • You must have applied to study at ICTheatre in September 2022
  • Be enrolling onto the first year of a degree at ICTheatre
  • You must be a UK resident
  • Have a full tuition fee loan in place
  • Applicants that are from a Black, Asian, or minority ethnic background

Our Black, Asian, or minority ethnic Access Support Fund is in place to ensure all support needs are met for students to support the transition into study.  This fund is for bespoke access support and can work in conjunction with the low-income household or care experienced student’s bursary if eligibility is confirmed.  Please note: the average access fund award is £200 to support with equipment, travel or access to therapeutic support on top of college provision and is a one-off payment.  Students will be required to detail what support they need in their application.

To be eligible for the care leaver/care experienced bursary the student will need to have spent at least 13 weeks of the last 5 years, in local authority care, prior to the start of their course. This could include living with foster parents, living at home with parents/guardians under the supervision of social services, living in a residential children’s home, living in another residential setting like a school or secure unit.  Evidence should detail the dates of the care experience, the local authority details, the person handling the case and their contact information. 
To be eligible as estranged from their parents/guardians, the student should have had no contact with their parents/guardians for at least 12 months before the start of their course and be unlikely to have a relationship with them again. Evidence can be provided via a maintenance loan application proving estrangement.  

If you are eligible for a care leaver, experienced or estranged student bursary you will receive three payments across the academic years you study.  Historically, these bursaries have been £1,500 across the academic year and although we cannot commit to amounts prior to the start of term, we expect the amount of bursary to be within this region. Bursary schedules and amounts will be confirmed post enrolment.  

To be eligible to access the Disabled Students Access Fund students must have a declared disability and have applied or be in the process of applying (where eligible), for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).  Evidence of diagnosis or application to the DSA is required to be uploaded on the application form. Student Services may advise on eligibility, and the impact of the declared disability on financial need.

Please note the Disabled Students Access Fund can work in conjunction with the low-income household or care experienced student’s bursary if eligibility is confirmed.  Please note: the average access fund award is £200 to support with equipment, travel or access to therapeutic support on top of college provision and is a one-off payment.

A mature student is aged 21 years old and above at the start of the course.  The Mature Students Access Fund can work in conjunction with the low-income household or care experienced student’s bursary if eligibility is confirmed.  Please note: the average access fund award is £200 to support with equipment, travel or access to alternative support on top of college provision and is a one-off payment.

How is a low-income household defined? 

Low household income will be assessed in the following way:

You are eligible if your household’s combined income is below £25,000. Eligibility for this scheme will be determined once you have your full maintenance loan offer in place. Please note no funds will be offered until you have enrolled on your course. Historically, these bursaries have been £1,000 across the academic year and although we cannot commit to amounts prior to the start of term, we expect the amount of bursary to be within this region. Bursary schedules and amounts will be confirmed post enrolment.

What is my household income? 

Your household income is based on your own income, plus your parents’ income if you are under 25, your partners’ income if you are married/ in a civil partnership or your own income if you’re over 25.

  • Student Finance England
  • Student Finance Wales
  • Students Awards Agency for Scotland
  • Student Finance NI

We will need to see your Student Finance ‘Notification of Entitlement’ letter in your application form.

If you are eligible for a low-income household bursary you will receive two payments across the academic years you study.  Bursary schedules and amounts will be confirmed post enrolment.


“The Fair Access fund has helped me with travel, shopping and all the necessities. The support system at ICTheatre has been so helpful and accessible. Without it I don’t know what I would have done.”
Tia Chipperfield, BA (Hons) Performing Arts: Acting 21st Century student – ICTheatre Brighton


Register your interest

Please complete ONE application form per student for the Fair Access Fund. Please note you may be required to submit evidence to support your application. Applications that are incomplete or without evidence will not be eligible. You may return to a draft application form to complete it later. The deadline for applications to be received is Friday 2nd September 2022.

Please note that funding will not be processed until enrolment is completed and a student has engaged with the course. A successful application to the Fair Access Fund does not exclude students from accessing the College Hardship fund.

The application window for the Fair Access Fund academic year 2022/23 is now closed

For any questions regarding student finance, please contact our Student Finance Team on 0344 2 646 666 or email financeenquiries@bimm.ac.uk or access@ictheatre.ac.uk  

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