The Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries for students of Black heritage

The Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries are available to students starting one of our law programmes, who are from Black African, Black Caribbean heritage and Black-mixed heritage. University education should be accessible for all, regardless of race, gender or social class, and the Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries (formerly known as the Black Lawyers Matter initiative) are aimed at addressing some of the financial challenges that are faced when coming to university.

Lemn Sissay in front of the crest in the moot room

The School of Social Sciences are proud to offer the Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries, founded in 2017 and named after our former chancellor, Lemn Sissay. The bursaries were established to help to tackle the disproportionately low numbers of Black and Black-mixed heritage people, particularly men, from socio-economically under-represented backgrounds in legal and criminal justice professions. This is an underrepresentation that is also keenly felt in the Greater Manchester area.

To help challenge these barriers, the bursary offers an annual award of £3,000 per year for the 3-year duration of the degree programme and is open to all genders.

Inspire and be Inspired - a poem by Lemn Sissay

There is no formal application process, no minimum grades needed, and no assessment procedure involved in order to be considered for one of the Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries. All students who meet the minimum criteria (below) are automatically considered for a bursary. The bursaries are open to all our new undergraduate students who meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as belonging to one of the following ethnic groups:
    • Black or Black British – Caribbean
    • Black or Black British – African
    • Mixed - White and Black Caribbean
    • Mixed - White and Black African
    • Other Black background
  • Have accepted and enrolled in the 1st year of either the LLB Law, LLB Law with Criminology or the LLB Law with Politics degree programme
  • Have been assessed for fee status as a 'home' student
  • This is your first degree; you must not already hold a degree or equivalent higher-level qualification

Priority will be given to those who:

  • Live in Greater Manchester, or studied at an institution in Greater Manchester
  • Have had experience of being in local authority care
  • Live in a so-called 'disadvantaged' neighbourhood. This is defined by the applicants' home postcode using the University's contextual data eligibility checker
  • Have been assessed for financial support through your regional funding authority with a verified household income of less than £25,000 per annum. The funding authorities are Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales, Student Finance NI and the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.

The bursary may be held in conjunction with other bursaries. See the Student Finance for undergraduate students guidance for more information on financial support.

For more information on the Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries, please contact the team at

There are a wide range of activities and initiatives focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) taking place within the School of Social Sciences and we are dedicated to furthering our commitment to EDI and Making a Difference.

Watch a video of the launch event

The launch of the Lemn Sissay Law Bursaries took place at the West Indian Sports and Social Club (WISSC), Manchester: