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Student carers

There are currently over 200 student carers enrolled at the University and over half of these are young carers. We have a range of support options available to help our student carers manage their studies alongside their caring role.

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.

Support prior to admission

The Widening Participation team are developing a project to support young carers before they come to university. The offer will include a residential summer school at Cardiff University.

We will be publishing more information shortly. If you think you may be interested in the project, please contact us.

First Campus

If you are from South East Wales and in Year 12, you may also be eligible to join the Step Up scheme.

Open Days

At an Open Day, visitors will have the opportunity to talk to students and staff and visit different parts of the University. You can also find out important information about accommodation, student finance and other student support provision by talking informally to our professional staff.

When you book to attend an Open Day you will have the opportunity to disclose you are a carer. If you do this, you will be invited to attend a breakfast drop-in session to meet key members of staff who can help you plan your day and answer any questions you have.

Dedicated contact

We offer support on most aspects of balancing a caring role with studying, via a dedicated member of staff who can act as a mentor to support you. Carers are often used to juggling many commitments, but it can be helpful to consider as early as possible the options you may have to make your time at university just that bit easier to manage alongside a caring role.

You are welcome to discuss the following with a dedicated Student Support Adviser for student carers to help prepare for your course:

Help with applying for student funding

Ensuring you apply for the maximum funding available to you and help to manage financially while you study.

Organising your study time

How to check your likely timetable.  Can you choose modules that may mean you don’t have to attend every day provided this doesn’t compromise too much on your degree aims?

Exams and coursework schedule

How you can check for this and how difficulties with managing exams and coursework could be supported if the need arises.

Where to live while attending university

Are you considering living at home or near to the university, perhaps in halls or a student house, while you study?  What are the pros and cons of each choice?


If you declare via enrolment that you are a carer we will contact you in the autumn term about support that you can access while studying.  This includes the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence about anything to do with being at university, looking after your own health and wellbeing, additional financial support and managing your studies.

For more information, please get in touch with our dedicated contact:

Lena Smith

Young carers bursary

We also offer a bursary for young student carers, details of which can be found on our bursaries page.

Tailored work experience opportunities

We are 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 at Cardiff University and have caring responsibilities, 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, please contact the Go Wales Team.

Go Wales

European Social Fund logo
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