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Support for student carers

We have a range of support options available to help our student carers manage their studies alongside their caring role.

Is this support for you

Some students may not regard themselves as being an ‘official carer’. We recognise carers as those “who care, unpaid, for a family member or friend with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction” (definition from Carers Trust).

A caring role can vary significantly but will include the following:

  • practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping
  • physical care, such as helping someone out of bed
  • personal care, such as helping someone dress
  • helping someone to give their medication
  • managing the family budget
  • managing prescriptions and medication
  • helping someone communicate
  • looking after brothers and sisters
  • providing emotional support.

Applying for a course

When you book to attend an Open Day, you will have the opportunity to disclose that you are a carer. If you do this, you will be invited to meet our dedicated contact and widening participation team who can answer any questions you have about support at the university.

When you apply to university through UCAS you will have an opportunity to disclose you are a carer. We would encourage you to tick yes for this question so we can contact you as early as possible about the support available to you.

If you are not yet ready for a degree the Continuing Professional Education Department team offers a wide range of part-time courses, at levels and times to suit you. Many of these courses have no entry requirements - all you need is an interest in the subject and a willingness to explore it in the company of others. The pathways programme is an alternative to A-level and access qualifications as it is taught and assessed in similar ways to first year undergraduate courses.

Contact them at or call them on 02920 870000.


For information on our Young Adult Carers Bursary please see our dedicated Young Adult Carer Bursary page. .

Transitions Support

It is important to us that your transition to university is made easier by you being able to have information and guidance in regards to any questions you have before you start.

Our Outreach Team offer information, advice and guidance to help you prepare for university. Explore their get involved pages to see what projects you can get involved with.

If you have indicated on your UCAS application that you are carer our dedicated contact will be in touch to answer any questions you may have before starting the course and can signpost you to services at the university you may need.

Support while you are studying

We aim to foster an excellent and supportive student experience. This includes to nurture and encourage confident and successful futures for all. We offer dedicated support on top of general student life support to all students.

Lena Smith is the dedicated contact for carers at Cardiff University and offers the following support throughout your studies:

  • support with applying for student funding and alternative grants and bursaries
  • support with academic-related issues, including liaising with your academic department and making students aware of how to apply for extenuating circumstances if needed
  • assist with any housing issues
  • sign posting towards other university student teams such as Student Disability Service, Health and Wellbeing or study skills
  • hosting events and activities and being their to talk to if needed.

Our Library services offer to all carers disclosed to us with extra support with Library extensions, nominated person to collect books for you and for books to be posted to you.

There are a number of reciprocal borrowing schemes between Cardiff and other university libraries, which enable students and researchers to visit and join other libraries, and to access resources.

To ensure you have the best experience at Graduation we offer a package for student carers who have received support from us. Our current package includes covering the cost of the graduation gown hire.

Our Student Futures Team can provide support up to 3 years after graduation supporting your next steps after university.

A relationship with Cardiff University is for life and you can stay connected with the University and be part of our global community of Alumni.

Here are some useful links to help support you:

Get in touch

Lena Smith