The Donald Dewar Scholarships were set up following the death of Donald Dewar (1937-2000), Scotland's First Minister. The wards are intended to provide access to the University to students who might not be able to pursue their studies without assistance. The first scholarship was awarded in session 2005-2006.
A review of existing scholarship schemes was carried out in 2008 and Court approved the proposal to incorporate the Donald Dewar Scholarships into the Talent Scholarship scheme. The Talent Scholarships are aimed at students of academic ability who may be prevented from taking up their place at university due to financial hardship. The funds raised by the Donald Dewar Memorial Scholarship appeal were endowed and the scholarship will be awarded in perpetuity. The first Donald Dewar Talent Scholarship was awarded in 2008.