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student support

Students with Caring Responsibilities

Who is a carer?

A carer is anyone who has a commitment to providing unpaid care to a family member, partner or friend who could not cope without their support. This may be due to long-term or terminal illness, disability, a mental health condition, is elderly or frail, or struggles with addiction or substance misuse. Parental responsibilities are not included in this definition, but there is more information for student parents lower down this page.

A caring responsibility may also be short term, such as supporting someone with their recovery following an accident.

Caring responsibilities might include physical care, personal care, emotional support, collecting prescriptions and helping to give medicine, and providing emergency care. It might also involve practical household tasks, managing the family budget, and looking after siblings.

If you are 16 to 25 and have a caring responsibility, you’re considered a ‘young adult carer’ and you may be eligible for additional support.

All carers handle their responsibilities alongside their education differently, and you may still find some occasional support helpful, especially if your circumstances change.

When applying through UCAS, you can inform your university choices that you have caring responsibilities. This informs your university in advance connecting you to the right support for your needs.

Evidence required

To evidence your caring responsibilities, you will need to provide a letter of support on headed paper or an organisation email from one of the following:

  • a third-party professional, e.g. school, GP or medical professional
  • carers support group or support worker
  • or evidence of receipt of Carers Allowance prior to the course

Support we can offer you

  • A priority appointment with the Employability Service within 6 weeks of your course start date. You can also access this service before you start your course, by contacting [email protected].
  • Guaranteed appointments with the Wellbeing Service within the first month of your course start date, covering information about support with study skills, libraries and disability and inclusion.
  • Our inclusion service can set up adjustments if you are a carer for a disabled child or loved one. Adjustments will vary dependent on need but may include additional time for online exams and/or uncapped alternative sessions.

Financial support

We recognise that you may need financial support whilst studying. The Carers First site can be helpful in sourcing support.

Depending on your circumstances, you can also apply to our hardship funds, and we might be able to take your caring responsibilities into account. Visit our cost of living page for further information and for cost of living advice, including information on budgeting, ways to increase your income and reduce your expenditure. Here you can also find out whether you would be eligible for any of our scholarships or bursaries. You can also visit Blackbullion for resources.

Please note that unfortunately full-time students are not entitled to the Carers Allowance, however if you would like to know more about possible benefits entitlement please contact the University’s Money & Housing Advice Team on [email protected].

You may also be eligible for Council tax exemption, visit the Carers UK website for more information.

Parental responsibilities

When applying through UCAS you have the option to share with your university if you have parental responsibilities. The government offers some financial support for parents: if you have responsibility for a child that usually lives with you, you may be eligible for Universal Tax Credit. If the child has a disability, there is extra support you can apply for too.


Please contact the Wellbeing team at your campus for further information on our support.