Support for students with caring responsibilities

Managing caring responsibilities with studies can sometimes be challenging. We can provide information and resources to help you plan your time and get the support you need.

Planning your time

If you have concerns about managing your timetable and other commitments, contact:

  • your personal tutor, or
  • your Academic School.

Such concerns could include:

  • childcare
  • home care
  • medical or personal support assistance.

Our student support advisers can help you contact your Academic School. They can also offer further advice.

Tell us about the situation using our short support request form.

Supporting your studies

You may find external responsibilities are impacting on your studies. If so, it's important to let your Academic School know. Examples could include problems at home or caring responsibilities.

Find out how to submit a notification of Extenuating Circumstances policy and process. Use it to tell us circumstances beyond your control have affected your performance.

Each Academic School has links to a student support adviser. They can offer support and advice on a range of study and personal difficulties.

Please request support using the support request form.

Your health and wellbeing

Our wellbeing service is here to help tackle whatever issues you might encounter. It can offer advice and guidance. It's also a safe space to talk about personal, emotional and psychological issues.

Find out more about our wellbeing services.

Financial support and funding

If you’re a full-time undergraduate, you may be entitled to a higher amount of Maintenance if you’re a parent. This is called ‘Special Support’.

The amount you can receive varies. It depends on:

  • your household income, and
  • which national student finance service you apply to.

You may get Special Support if either of the following apply while you’re on your course:

  • you're a lone parent
  • you have a partner who is also a full-time student, and either you, your partner or both are parents.

If you’re a parent, or have care of a child, you may also be eligible for a grant to help towards course-related costs. This is known as the Parents’ Learning Allowance. Your eligibility depends on:

  • your household income, and
  • the household income of your partner, if you have one.

Full-time undergraduate parents may also apply for help to pay your childcare costs. This is called the Childcare Grant. It can cover up to 85% of your weekly costs.

If you have an adult dependant, you may qualify for the Adult Dependant’s Grant. Your eligibility depends on your age, your marital status, and your household income.

You can find out more about student finance on our money, fees and funding pages.

Benefits

If you are a full-time student parent, you may be entitled to claim state benefits. These can help you financially support yourself during your studies. Most new applicants can apply for Universal Credit. You may be eligible if either of the following criteria apply to you.:

  • You're responsible for a child.
  • You live with your partner and they're eligible for Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is means-tested. This means that some of your student loan will count as income during term time. This also includes postgraduate funding. Your Tuition Fee Loan and any Disabled Students' Allowance are not classed as income. Your benefit entitlement does not affect your student finance entitlement.

If you are in receipt of a ‘legacy benefit’ such as Income Support, you'll still remain eligible as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

External resources

Here are some useful external sources of information and support for student parents and student carers.

Local support

  • Last updated: 10/05/2022