The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund 

Credit: Veterans Gateway

The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund (DVSF) aims to give disabled* veterans, injured in or due to military service, access to free Open University (OU) study with specialist disability and careers support and has so far awarded 105 scholarships since 2018.

For many Veterans who have left the Armed Forces with a life-changing disability, it can be a difficult time and one where you are unsure of what your future may hold. Many Veterans have been in the Armed Forces for most of their lives and when the time comes to retire your service you may well find yourself asking what you will do now. This is an even more stark reality if you have been left with a disability as a result of your time serving your country.

Competition for jobs often relies upon your experience and education and if you have been forced to reconsider what restrictions you may now face as a result of your disability it may well be worth learning a new trade or taking a course that allows you to gain new skills which could open the doors to a new chapter in your life.

Many employers consider Veterans ideal candidates as they often possess qualities and skills such as communication, the value of teamwork and project management. Your unique life experience and practical experience in areas such as science, technology, engineering and Maths are invaluable to many work sectors. At a time when the UK is suffering from a shortage of skilled individuals, it is vital that the talents of all veterans are recognised and developed further.

The Open Universities scholarship for disabled Veterans’ ensures that you can take full advantage of educational opportunities, building confidence, knowledge and opening up a future bright with the potential to thrive in a post-service career. The scholarships are flexible to suit the needs and objectives of each applicant. They can cover anything from introductory access modules to an entire undergraduate or postgraduate qualification.

The scholarship provides a free OU education and a free careers support service. The large majority of veterans make a successful move out of the military, however, for those who do struggle this fund offers a lifeline.

The ability to study anywhere, at any time has made the OU the university of choice for much serving military personnel, and they work closely with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to support their education.

Many Veterans have opened new and exciting doors for themselves through completing one of the Open Universities many courses. Here is what some of them had to say:

“I really appreciate this opportunity given to me by the OU. To have this ability to study is an intrinsic part of my recovery. It gives me a focus and a purpose each day and will lead me towards employment in my chosen field.”
DVSF student

“Operations and illness over the years can make you hit rock bottom and it’s hard to think about the future. I now have a hard focus, I’ve got assignments so I do have to think ahead.”
DVSF student

“I was medically discharged after breaking my back. I started a degree at my local university but unfortunately, a fall led to a lot of surgery and I had to pull out of my
degree. I needed surgery every year and couldn’t commit to full-time study. This opportunity means I can.” Scholarship recipient

Finding a fulfilling, sustainable job is an experience that 44% of disabled veterans find difficult according to the Deloitte report Veterans Work: Moving On. They identify obstacles such as: matching their existing skill-set to civilian roles, having insufficient or unrecognisable qualifications, and writing CVs or job applications. The careers support offered by DVSF aims to address these difficulties so that veterans are able to put their considerable, valuable skills to use in the workplace.

It may feel at times that your circumstances and disability have left your prospects of finding meaningful employment hopeless but there is always light at the end of the tunnel and by enrolling in a course with the Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund you may well find the path that leads to your dream job and opens the door to a new and exciting future.


Scholarship applicants must be resident in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. They are asked to provide proof of disability, sustained in or due to service
life. Applicants may apply for fees of up to £3,000 for every 60 credits of OU study, limited to £18,000 for up to 360 credits (a full undergraduate degree).

Find out More

To find out more about the Open University and the Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund please contact the Student Recruitment Team on 0300 303 5303 or email

Contact Veterans’ Gateway now for more useful advice and support on 0808 802 1212.