Support when studying

Going to university is a big decision to make. Below we have provided a roundup of some of the support available.

Academic support

During University you will develop academic skills like research and how to reference and write essays. Do not fear- you’re not expected to develop these skills overnight! Here are a few examples of academic support from some of our members:

Middlesex University
Kingston University
University of West London

Welfare support

Going to university is a transformative and hugely exciting time but as with all new experiences you may face bumps in the road and unexpected challenges. Universities offer support in lots of different areas, including; advice on finance issues and how to budget, counselling services, and support groups.

Queen Mary University of London have a great page on the different types of welfare support they have available to students.

Support for young carers

If you are a young carer, attending university can be particularly challenging but you may be able to receive extra support during your studies. Here are some examples:

  • Academic help: this might be flexible deadlines, help with managing your workload, or priority access to academic or career opportunities
  • Financial help: some course providers offer bursaries and other financial support to student carers. You might be eligible for a scholarship, grant or bursary.
  • Health and wellbeing support: some universities and colleges offer induction days over the summer to help you settle in and to give you the chance to discuss your support needs.
  • Carer passport: some universities run the Carer Passport scheme, which means you won’t have to share your story multiple times with different staff across the university. Find out more about the Carer Passport.

Support for estranged students

If you are a student that doesn’t have a family network, which is sometimes called estranged, university can feel particularly daunting – but you are not alone. UCAS’s dedicated web page for estranged students includes advice on how to find accommodation, finance and health and wellbeing.

Support for disabled students

If you are a student with a disability then you might be able to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). See below for some facts about the DSA:

The DSA is intended to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a; mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

You get the allowances on top of your other student finance and you do not need to repay DSAs.

DSAs can help with the costs of: specialist equipment, non-medical helpers, extra travel because of your disability and other disability-related costs of studying.

Type of studentSpecialist equipment allowanceNon-medical helper allowanceGeneral allowance
Full-timeUp to £5,849 for the whole courseUp to £23,258 a yearUp to £1,954 a year
Part-timeUp to £5,849 for the whole courseUp to £17,443 a yearUp to £1,465 a year

Here is a how to guide and advice for disabled students, students with mental health concerns, and students with learning difficulties.

Support for care experienced students

If you are a care leaver, there is a range of support available to you, including advice and guidance with your university application, financial support such as bursaries, help with university accommodation and support from your local authority.

Am I eligible for the support?

The legal definition of a care leaver is a person who had been in care for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, including some point at the age of 16 or 17. Most institutions offer support for care leavers, but some institutions also offer support for ‘care-experienced’ students who have experience of care but who are not covered by this definition.

Visit Propel to see what support you can get in general and from specific institutions

Support for mature leaners and young families

If you are a mature leaner and/or have a young family attending university can be particularly challenging. UCAS have a page offering guidance for students with parenting responsibilities as well as a guide for mature students.

UCAS Mature Students’ Guide