Care Leavers, Young Carers and Estranged Students

Care Leavers, Young Carers & Related; Student talking

This bursary is to support UK domiciled applicants who have previously been in care, who have caring responsibilities or have become estranged from families or guardians in their late teenage years.  The award comes with £1,500 per year and a range of tailored support.

Starting university is an exciting time: a new environment, new people and new experiences.  However, most students feel a bit daunted when they first arrive, regardless of their background, where they went to school or how confident they may appear.  We have put together a package of dedicated support specifically aimed to aid your progression to and success at Aberystwyth University. 

Am I eligible for support?

If you’ve ticked the box on your UCAS application form to indicate that you are a care leaver we will get in touch with you when we receive your application.  You can also self-refer by completing our Care Leavers, Young Carers and Estranged Students Bursary application form

Our support package is available to the following categories of full-time, UK-domiciled students:

Category Defined as Evidence required
Care Leavers Students under the age of 25 who have been in the care of their Local Authority for a period of at least 13 weeks from the age of 14 up to starting their course. Confirmation of your circumstances via a letter from your Local Authority (LA) or Care Authority, confirming you were under the care of your LA for a period of at least 13 weeks from the age of 14, have now left the care of the LA, and are a care leaver as defined in the Children (Leaving Care) Act.
Young Carers Students under the age of 25 with significant responsibility for providing unpaid care to a family member who cannot cope without their support.  This may be due to illness, disability, a mental health issue or substance misuse. Confirmation of your status as a Young Adult Carer via the relevant Student Finance body, or a letter from your Local Authority/Social Services or Carer’s Support Group.  Carers are not permitted to be in receipt of the Carers Allowance alongside this bursary.
Estranged Students Students under the age of 25 who no longer have the support of their family due to a breakdown in their relationship which has led to ceased contact.  Students who are estranged have no communicative relationship with any parent, and often their wider family networks as well. Confirmation of your circumstances via your Student Finance assessment, or a letter from a professional who is aware of your family circumstances.  
Independent/ Unsupported Students If you don’t fit into any of the categories above but would like to discuss what non-financial support we can offer, please get in touch to discuss your requirements. Please contact us.

Points of contact

We have a dedicated team who can help you find the support you need if you are encountering any problems: 

  • Robin Lovatt, Widening Participation Officer, is your point of contact before you arrive at Aberystwyth University - from completing your UCAS form, to visiting the University, to arriving for Big Welcome Week at the start of term –   
  • A Senior Student Adviser can help if you need assistance completing your Student Finance application – / 01970 621761
  • Marion Thomson, Student Adviser (Inclusion) is your point of contact when you arrive at Aberystwyth University. The team will be pleased to support you throughout your student journey once you have registered as a student with us – or / 01970 628423

Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you can access a range of provision to assist you throughout your time with us, including:

Applying to and visiting Aberystwyth

How do I apply?

If you need help with researching higher education options, completing your UCAS form or Student Finance application, we have a team of experts on hand who will be pleased to advise you. 

Contextual Offer

Eligible applicants will receive special considerations such as a lower offer from that of our standard published entry criteria.

Visiting us

If you attend an Open Day or Applicant Visiting Day we can refund some of your travel costs.  We’d also be pleased to meet with you and show you around the facilities the University has to offer.

Summer University

If you’d like to have a taster of university life before applying, we offer a range of opportunities you may like to consider including our Summer University.

Money Matters

Financial Bursary - £1,500 a year

A key concern of young people leaving care includes the level of financial support available.  Our package includes two payments of £750 directly into your bank account each year (one in December and one in March). 

If you are taking a year abroad or year out as part of your course, you can apply to receive the funding during that year (you will need to do so separately as such payments aren't automatically included).


Other Scholarships and Bursaries

You can hold any of our other scholarships and bursaries alongside your Care Leaver/Young Carer/Estranged Student Bursary, making your financial package more valuable.


Money and Budgeting Advice

Information and advice on a range of issues including managing your money and helping you complete application forms for student finance.


Hardship Fund

Access to a discretionary fund that provides support to students experiencing financial difficulties.


Student Finance

Information about Tuition Fees and Student Loans.

When you arrive at Aberystwyth


You will be guaranteed accommodation in University residences for 52 weeks of the year, for each year of your course (you will need to apply separately for summer accommodation). 


Welcome Pack

We can provide a range of useful items to help you get set up for those first few weeks of term, including bedding, kitchen equipment and a £50 AberCard top-up.


Informal drop-in session during Big Welcome Week

We will invite you to meet up for a friendly chat over a cup of tea during Big Welcome Week so that you can discuss any worries/needs you have.

Student Support Services and Wellbeing

Student Wellbeing Service

This service works with students to ensure that health and wellbeing are integral to everyday life.  They offer solution-based techniques to build resilience and develop a toolkit of skills to effectively manage wellbeing issues related to university life and beyond.  Our Counsellors and Specialist Mental Health practitioners can facilitate support pathways to appropriate statutory services where necessary. 


Sports Centre Membership

Free Platinum Membership of the University’s Sports Centre for students staying in University accommodation – including the gym, free weights rooms, group exercise classes, group cycle, BoxRox climbing wall, plus the pool and saunarium.


Accessibility Services

We can put in place reasonable adjustments for those with a disability, physical/mental health condition or specific learning difference.

Here to Help

Signpost Mentor

We automatically allocate eligible students a Signpost Mentor.  Our Signpost Mentors are trained and will be able to provide free and confidential advice on all aspects of University life (academic, social and financial) and can also help with things like time management, motivation, and showing you where our main services and facilities are located.


Students’ Union

We provide a variety of facilities and activities to support your time at Aberystwyth including access to a free advice service run by experienced advisors in a professional, friendly environment.  There is ample opportunity to meet people and make social connections through our extensive range of clubs and societies.  We hold a Meet and Greet session during Big Welcome Week to introduce ourselves and our facilities to unsupported students who are also represented during their time with us by an elected Independent Students’ Officer.


Departmental Peer Guides

Departmental Peer Guides can help new students with a wide range of things, for example showing them around the Department and the University, explaining where things are and explaining how to access and use learning resources.


Personal Tutor

When you arrive at Aberystwyth you will be allocated a Personal Tutor in your academic department.  They will be on hand to help you with any academic queries, as well as to help you identify where you may find support, how and where to seek advice and how to approach this support to make the most of your experience at University.


Free Legal Advice Service

The Aberystwyth University Family Legal Clinic is supported by specialist family practitioners, Emma Williams Family Law, and provides real-life experience to current third-year law students.  The service offers free legal advice on matters relating to family law and can help with completing paperwork for a range of issues. 



Our friendly Security Team are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer help with any issues which may arise.

Careers Advice and Work Experience

Careers Advice and Work Experience

Careers Service support starts in your first year and takes you right through to graduation.  They offer help with CVs, application forms, interviews, and can help organise work experience placements.


The University also participate in the Go Wales Achieve through Work Experience programme which is reserved for specific categories of students.  The scheme offers support in deciding what kind of work experience would work best for you, including Work Shadowing, Work Tasters and Work Placements.  You may also be able to get help with travel and other costs so that doing work experience is an affordable option for you.



Aber Skills encompasses a range of resources designed to assist your learning and development, with help on topics such as good academic practice, academic writing, exams, presentations, learning strategies and language support.



We can help you find part-time work to gain practical, paid work experience within the University.



If you need support towards your graduation costs, you can apply for a Graduation Grant to cover the cost of hiring your cap and gown.


Postgraduate Study

If you decide to progress to Postgraduate study at Aberystwyth, we will give you a £1,000 discount off your PG tuition fee.  Please note this cannot be held with the Aber Grad Scholarship, and will only apply to the first PG course you undertake immediately following graduation from your UG course. 

Useful Links

Student Carers support information - local authority support for carers (including students whose home address isn't in Ceredigion)

Stand Alone – supporting estranged students

Propel – for care leavers going on to higher education

UCAS advice for care leavers

UCAS advice for young carers

UCAS advice for estranged students

Jubilee Storehouse - food bank serving the Aberystwyth area

How will I be paid?

You will receive payments in equal instalments direct into your bank account each year – the first at the start of December and the second at the start of March.