Support for care leavers

We have a generous support package for students who are either in care, or who have left care. This package has been designed for care leavers whose permanent residence is in the United Kingdom.

Video about care leavers

UCAS application

Care leavers can declare on their UCAS application that they have been in care. We will always respect your decision and your confidentiality so won’t share any of your information with anybody unless you want us to. We simply ask for this information to enable us to provide you with the most appropriate support for your needs.

Contextual admissions

We have implemented a contextual admissions model to better inform Admissions Tutors’ understanding of applicants’ social backgrounds, allowing Admissions Tutors to assess applicants’ potential to succeed with us in the context of barriers they may have encountered.

Applicants who have spent time in care and indicated this on their UCAS form (using the specified question) will be eligible for additional consideration. This could include a guaranteed offer, guaranteed interview or additional consideration in the summer exam results period.

Dedicated contact

We have a key contact person for care leavers and professionals working with care leavers. They can be your first point of contact should you have any questions or issues before you arrive and while you study here.

Einir England

Our key contact can assist you on a range of issues such as:

  • financial support
  • money management
  • housing
  • employment
  • academic-related.

During our Open Days, our key contact for care leavers will be available on the Student Finance Stand. Please come over to the stand to discuss how we can support you.

Support meeting

Once you have been offered a place with us, we will offer you the opportunity to come and meet the care leaver key contact before the start of the course to assist with the transition to university life. You can also bring along to the meeting your social worker, personal adviser or foster carer - whoever you feel most comfortable with. During this meeting we can discuss the following:

  • how much financial support is available
  • the type of accommodation best suited to you
  • where appropriate, make provision for any additional support, eg for a disability or specific learning difficulties.

Care leaver bursary

We also offer a bursary for care leavers, details of which can be found on our bursaries page.

Tailored work experience opportunities

Cardiff University is a partner of the Go Wales: Achieve through Work Experience programme that is part-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Welsh Government. The programme is for young students on higher education courses in Wales who are facing barriers in securing work experience. If you are under 25, on a full-time course with us and have been in care you could be eligible for the scheme.

The Go Wales Team at Cardiff University can help source work shadowing opportunities, work tasters and up to six weeks paid work placements. For further details contact Gowales@cardiff.ac.uk

Returning to study after a break?

For anyone who has already left school or college, but is thinking about returning to learning, gathering the right information and feeling confident about each decision along the way is important.

For further information, please contact us.

Confident Futures Project

This project is available to Looked after Children and care leavers aged 14+. Young people who join the project will have the opportunity to meet on a regular basis with current university students who act as mentors. Young people will take part in:

  • University taster days
  • workshops to support studies and applications for college / university / jobs
  • social nights (such as film or game nights)
  • group trips (previous trips have included the theatre, bowling and Winter Wonderland).

Those who join the project will also be invited to attend University events such as GCSE / A-level revision workshops and advice sessions to support Personal Education Plans.

Confident Futures Summer School

The Confident Futures Summer School is a two-day event aimed at giving young people in care the chance to experience student life in a safe and supported environment. The Summer School includes an overnight stay in halls of residence, where young people are paired with university students to take part in everyday student activities including:

  • shopping for food and cooking dinner in student flats
  • student life taster sessions (previous years have included circus skills and student media)
  • orientation around the campus and the city
  • subject taster sessions (previous sessions have included healthcare and the science of chocolate making).

For further information on the Confident Futures Project and Summer School, please contact Scott McKenzie at:

Confident Futures Project

Go Wales Logo
European Social Fund logo