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Support for estranged students

At Cardiff University we offer a variety of support and help for students who are estranged from parental support.

In 2016 we signed up to the Stand Alone Pledge and committed to working towards creating the right environment and conditions for estranged students to complete their courses by continually improving the support we have in place. In 2022 we won a Stand Alone Pledge Award for Emotional Wellbeing Support.

The Stand Alone Pledge logo

Is this support for you

The term estranged means a person who no longer has the support of their parents, and often also other family members, due to a permanent breakdown in their relationship which has led to ceased contact. This might mean your biological, step or adoptive parents or wider family members who have been responsible for supporting you in the past.

Applying for a course

When you book to attend an Open Day, you will have the opportunity to disclose that you are estranged. 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 here.

When you apply to university through UCAS you will have an opportunity to disclose you are estranged. 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.

Funding for Estranged Students

For information on our Estranged Student Bursary and guidance on how to apply for student finances please see our dedicated page on Funding for Estranged Students.

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 regard to any questions you have before you start and after.

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 disclosed that you are estranged on your UCAS application 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

At Cardiff University we aim to foster an excellent and supportive student experience. This includes nurturing and encouraging confident and successful futures for all. We offer dedicated support on top of general student life support on offer to all students.

Lena Smith is the dedicated contact for estranged students 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
  • signposting towards other university services such as Student Disability Service, Counselling and Wellbeing or study skills.
  • hosting events and activities and being there to talk to if needed.

Accommodation is available over the summer so you do not have to worry about signing up to another contract if in between contracts. When you move into private accommodation in your second year the university can also act as a guarantor if you need us to.

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

We support our Graduates who have disclosed with the Ask Jan Membership to ensure they have access to wellbeing support for one year after graduation.

Students after graduation can apply for campus halls for the summer until the 1 September to ensure they have enough time to plan their next steps.

Our Student Futures Team can provide support up to three 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.

Get in touch

Lena Smith