Support for Care Leavers

At the University of York we are committed to providing the support our students need so that everyone achieves their full potential and has an exceptional and transformational experience.

The information on the tabs below details the support we offer to care leavers studying undergraduate courses at York and how to access this.

If you are a prospective student please visit the following pages for information on the pre-entry support we offer to Care Leavers:

One of our current students, Esther, has produced a short digital story about her experience coming to study at York as a Care Leaver. 

Things to know before you arrive

If you answered 'yes' to the question on your UCAS form that asked if you have ever been in care, UCAS will have let us know and following this you should have received an email from us. If you are a care leaver but did not answer ‘yes’ when asked on the UCAS form you can still access support, you just need to get in touch with our care leavers’ contact.

Support when you first arrive

Starting university can be a daunting time. The care leavers’ contact will be in touch with you regularly during the few weeks before you start at York and continuing through your first term here. If you are struggling with the logistics of organising your move to York and would like some assistance please get in touch and we will try our best to help.


Student Buddying Scheme

The Student Buddying Scheme matches you with a second or third year student who will help you settle into university life and get the most out of your first year here. Once you have a University of York email address (so have formally accepted your place at the University and have set up your email account - following the steps in your 'Joining Instructions' email) you can Sign up for a Student Buddy


Financial support

We offer a Care Leavers' Bursary to students who meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You are studying an Undergraduate degree course
  • You are a Home UK student
  • You will be under 25 on the first day of your university course
  • For any three month period ending after your 16th birthday and before the first day of the first academic year of your course you have been in the custody of, in legal care of, or have been given accommodation by a Local Authority BUT you have not been under the legal care of your parents

We will look at the information provided in your Student Finance England application and if you meet ALL of the above criteria Nicola will be in touch prior to the start of term to arrange a time to meet with you. At this meeting Nicola will discuss with you how you would like your bursary to be paid (towards your accommodation costs; towards your tuition fees or in cash) as well as having a general chat with you about University life.


If you qualify for the Care Leavers' Bursary it will be paid to you in three equal instalments. The expected payment dates for 2018/19 are as follows:

  • 26th October 2018
  • 11th January 2019
  • 12th April 2019

Flexible accommodation contracts 

Please be aware that, when applying for accommodation owned or managed by the University, you can include shorter let lengths in your preference list, even if you think you may need to live in York over the summer. This is because you can apply to live on campus over some or all of the summer period (July - September 2019) in Term 3 (April - May 2019).  Many first year students move into private sector housing in the summer. As you don't yet know what your plans will be, at this stage you may wish to keep your options open by selecting a 40 or 44 week let length rather than 50 weeks.  All of these let lengths cover Christmas and Easter vacations. If you choose a 38 week let length you would need to move all your belongings out of your room for 2 weeks over Easter.


The accommodation guarantee deadline for first year undergraduates (applicants who have York as either their Firm or Insurance choice) is 31 July. If you are applying for accommodation after this date please put a note in the 'Supporting Comments' section of your application explaining that you are a care leaver and Accommodation Services will give you higher priority.


Support while you're studying at York

There is plenty of dedicated support available at the University to help support you during your time here. This includes:

Financial support 

If you are already studying at York you can find information on the format of the Care Leavers' Bursary you are entitled to on the York Bursaries for Current Students webpage. If you find yourself in unexpected financial difficulty while you are studying we can tell you about hardship and emergency funding. If you decide to apply for this, as a care leaver, you will be prioritised for an award. 


Support renting private sector accommodation

After your first year at York you may decide to rent shared private sector accommodation that requires a UK based rent guarantor. If you don’t have a UK based guarantor, through the Rent Guarantee Scheme, the University will consider acting as your guarantor in order to enable you to rent in the private sector.


Study skills support

The academic support office can help you develop a number of key study skills to improve your academic experience, including skills in academic reading and writing, IT and maths and delivering a presentation.


Access to all our support services 

You will be able to access a range of specialist support while you’re studying at York, including: counselling, disability support, financial advice and support relating to careers and employment.


Emotional support 

There are plenty of people you can approach for advice or a chat when you are at York, including your college team, your academic supervisorYUSU, Open Door and Disability and colleagues in the Student Hub.

Please note, we can also offer some support to care leavers studying at York who are from outside the UK. Please get in touch with our care leavers’ contact for more information. 

Care leavers' contact

Nicola Browne, the Student Support Co-ordinator at the University of York, is the key contact for care leavers. If you have indicated on your UCAS form that you are a care leaver Nicola will automatically be in touch with you. However, you can also contact Nicola at any time (even if you did not disclose your care leaver status on your UCAS application) if you have any questions or concerns relating to university life. Nicola’s contact details are:

Email address:

Phone number: 01904 324334