Support, wellbeing and health
Adapting to university life can be challenging for any student. Our dedicated network of support services will help you to get the best from your time at York. Help is there if you need it, whether you’re studying online or on campus.
Your support network
Every student at York has a personal academic supervisor. They’re an excellent first point of contact if you need help. They’ll guide you through your studies, advising you on your academic progress and supporting your personal development.
Staff at your college can provide confidential support and will help you manage the transition to university life. Your college team is there to help you settle in and represent your interests in our community, whether you live on or off campus.
During your first week as an undergraduate student you'll be guided by some of our second and third year students (known as STYCs), helping you settle in and transition to university. But your college team and second and third year mentors (known as STYMs) are there throughout the year, offering support and guidance. They can help with issues relating to accommodation and college activities.
Student Support and Advice team
You can talk to Student Advisers who run drop-in sessions at the Student Hub. They give guidance and support with practical matters, such as changes in circumstances or managing your money, health and wellbeing, and:
- Private sector housing in York
- Employment rights and consumer issues
- Money matters
- Visas and immigration advice
- Taking a break from your studies/leaving the University
Access and Outreach team
Our Access and Outreach team are a group of friendly specialist staff who are dedicated to supporting students that might be considering higher education.
Our Open Door Team is a team of mental health professionals and student wellbeing officers, providing support to students who are experiencing psychological or mental health difficulties.
Open Door is a completely free self-referral service available to all our students. They can work in tandem with the NHS, your GP or other services if you're receiving therapeutic or medical help for a long-term condition.
All University of York students have access to free online mental health and wellbeing support with TalkCampus.
You will have access to a 24/7 online global community, allowing you to talk with other students from around the world about the ups and downs of student life or if you’re struggling and worried about your mental health.
On TalkCampus, you are totally anonymous to other members in the community, and your personal information is kept secure while you are on the site.
If you’re considering going to university, you might be thinking, “how will I afford it all?”, and you’re not alone. The current cost of living crisis means we’re all feeling the pinch, with bills, food prices and transport costs rising.
- Discover more information on undergraduate tuition fees and funding and living costs.
- Find out more on postgraduate tuition fees and funding and living costs.
To earn money, meet new people and learn valuable skills you could consider working while studying, for example taking a part-time job or an internship.
If you find yourself in financial difficulty during your studies, our friendly Student Support and Advice Team are available to provide information and guidance. Our specialist trained advisers can help you manage a budget, give debt advice and assist with any housing concerns. Support is available for all students no matter the circumstances. Help is free and confidential.
From the moment you arrive at York, you'll be encouraged to prepare for your future career through a range of opportunities that will expand your experience and skill set. Take advantage of our links with employers and alumni, consider studying abroad, or grow your idea for a start-up business.
The Academic Skills Community provides workshops, appointments and online resources to help develop academic skills.
From one-to-one sessions with our tutors at the Writing and Language Skills Centre, to help understanding maths and statistics at the Maths Skills Centre.
There's also the opportunity to learn a new language, improve your digital skills, learn how to follow good academic practice, or consider taking an elective module.
You can access a number of dedicated spaces for prayer and reflection on campus. Our two Christian chaplains are available to people of all faiths and none, and can provide information on places for worship both on and off campus.
A number of student societies are dedicated to celebrating and exploring world faiths. These include the Jewish Society, the Christian Union and the Islamic Society, to name a few. All students are welcome to join.
There is also a student-led Meditation Society helping you to explore mindfulness in an open and calming space.
Before you arrive at university, there is dedicated support available through a range of pre-entry programmes run by our access and outreach team. Eligible students might include students facing barriers to accessing higher education, including care-leavers, mature students and students living in areas with low levels of progression to university.
Additional support for specific student groups
As well as the services listed above, we can provide additional support for specific student communities.
Our International Student Support Team provide specialist support and advice on everything from getting your visa to adjusting to life in the UK. They also provide opportunities for you to meet other students from all over the world. You can also get to know other international students through the student-run International Students’ Association (facebook.com).
Cultural student societies such as the African Caribbean Society, Chinese Society, Polish Society, and Saudi Students Society are another great way to meet other people from your country. These groups are open to all students no matter where you're from. You can learn about different cultures and traditions, receive informal language training and try out all kinds of world cuisines!
We're committed to providing the best possible support for disabled students.
We can arrange academic support and adjustments if you have a disability or long-term health condition. Our experienced specialist disability practitioners will offer support, advice and guidance for students with a range of disabilities.
You might also find the information provided by the Disabled Students’ Commission helpful when considering applying for your course.
If you're over 21 when you start your course, you're classed as a mature student. Adapting to university life can be challenging for any student, perhaps more so if you've been out of education for a few years, or if you have to juggle studying alongside other commitments.
You may have different support needs if you’re a mature student. We also offer various academic, financial, wellbeing and careers support for mature students during your time at York.
Connect with other mature students
We provide an induction day and a welcome lunch during Welcome Week where you can meet other mature students. You can also get to know other mature students and keep up to date with upcoming events through the University's Mature Students Facebook Group (facebook.com).
Juggling university with parenting responsibilities can be challenging but we are here to support students with children during this time.
Our Family Network helps students with children to meet, socialise, share information and advice, and have fun. You can join other university families for events and trips and come along to our weekly 'under fives' session.
Contact the Family Network on Facebook
Facilities on campus
There are baby changing facilities available on campus which can be found on the campus map by searching for baby changing. If you would like a dedicated quiet place to breastfeed or to express milk, just search the map for breastfeeding.
There is a family study room in the Library where you can work alongside your children. It’s an ideal space for short study sessions when you need to keep your children with you and occupied.
The Ofsted-registered York Campus Nursery and pre-school provides places for babies and children up to 5 years old. They help to offer a safe, happy place that nurtures and encourages your child's individuality and potential.
As the on-campus nursery is small, most students do opt for other childcare options in York:
- Childcare in York (yor-ok.org.uk)
Where your child can go to school is based on where you live. As such, you may wish to research schools before finding accommodation to have the best chance of getting a place at your preferred school.
- Information about schools in York (york.gov.uk)
- York school catchment areas (york.gov.uk)
You could also ask the Family Network (facebook.com) for advice on local schools.
We have properties on and off campus to house families and we work with the York Housing Association (YHA) to provide even more family accommodation. We prioritise certain students according to our allocation policy, so you should also look into private sector accommodation.
Funding and financial support
You're eligible for the same funding options as any prospective student.
You may also be eligible for:
- Child Tax Credit (gov.uk)
- Claim Child Benefit (gov.uk)
- Adult Dependants' Grant (gov.uk)
Our student buddy scheme will pair you up with a current student, who can share their own experiences of juggling family and university life.
Explore advice and support for students with children as well as answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (yorkgsa.org).
Our Student Hub support students in a number of ways:
- Find out about scholarships and bursaries and check your eligibility for additional bursaries and scholarships.
- The ethnic minority scholarships at The Scholarship Hub highlight new funding opportunities through their searchable database.
- Our Black Access programme aims to support the progression of Black students from their first year of sixth form or college into university through tailored events and activities.
- Explore health and wellbeing support, including tips for your wellbeing and information on a range of workshops and groups available.
- You may be interested in submitting an application to the York Access Scheme which aims to improve access to the University for applicants who have faced challenging circumstances.
As a care experienced or estranged student, you'll have access to a dedicated support advisor. They'll become a named contact who can help to support you from your application, right through to graduation. They can also:
- Help with any questions you may have about our courses and what it's like to study at York
- Act as a link between you and your local authority
- Facilitate a visit to the University for you including free return travel, accommodation and food for you and a guest.
- Offer emotional and practical support throughout your studies and direct you to other appropriate University services.
Find out more on the support available for prospective care experienced and estranged students, including application, financial and accommodation support.
The University welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and other individuals who are seeking sanctuary currently living in the UK. We recognise that you may face different challenges including overcoming financial, emotional and cultural hurdles.
You'll have access to a dedicated support advisor, who can advise on any aspect of your student experience including financial support, housing queries and academic progression.
Funding and financial support
You're eligible for the same funding options as any prospective student, as well as:
Students from military backgrounds includes people with a parent or guardian who has previously or currently serves in the UK Armed Forces.
If you come from a military family or background, you can gain access to various support before and during your studies. This includes financial support, study skills support and support for wellbeing.
Not all students want or need to relocate for university. These students are called local and commuting students. There are many reasons why you may choose to live at home while you are studying. These can include:
- Already living locally to the University of York, so there is no need to spend money on university accommodation.
- Preferring to live close by to friends and family back home.
- Being disabled or having wellbeing needs that are best catered for at home.
- Having a part-time job where you currently live, or financial constraints that would make it difficult to move into university accommodation.
- Caring for a family member alongside your studies.
- Being a parent or having dependents at home.
- Having cultural or religious commitments that underpin your decision to commute.
Whatever your reasons for commuting, the University of York will support you in making your time in higher education as enriching and enjoyable as possible.
We will be in touch to tell you about the events and support available to help you make the most of your time at the University of York, as well as offering emotional and practical support throughout your studies and directing you to other appropriate University services.
- Our Student Buddy Scheme matches you with a current student at York who will be able to share their university experiences with you, and be on hand (either in person or over email) with friendly advice and support.
- Events such as the Step Ahead induction and coffee drop-ins can help with your transition to university.
- Join the University of York local and commuting students (facebook.com) group.
Handling your caring responsibilities alongside studying can be challenging. If you need someone to talk to there is support on offer at York. We also have close links with York Carers Centre, offering free support to unpaid carers.
Applying to York
You will need to follow the same application process as any prospective student. However, we can provide additional support if you wish. You may be interested in submitting an application to the York Access Scheme which aims to improve access to the University for applicants who have faced challenging circumstances.
If you have any questions about the application process our Admissions team will be happy to help.
Funding and benefits
You're eligible for the same funding options as any prospective student.
You're unlikely to be eligible for the carers allowance (as you'll probably be studying more than 21 hours per week). However, the person who you're caring for is likely to be eligible for benefits, so it's a good idea to ensure they're claiming what they're entitled to. Find out more about carers and disability benefits (gov.uk).
We're committed to creating an environment that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for all. This includes supporting people who wish to make or who have made changes to their affirmed gender.
Find out more about our support for trans and non-binary community, including information about name changes, inclusive facilities, guidance regarding harassment and hate crime, and inclusive language and terminology.
Independent advice and support
If you need help or support relating to your course or personal matters, you can seek independent and confidential advice, and information from our YUSU Advice and Support Centre.
The health centre closest to campus is Unity Health. It offers GP appointments, a repeat prescription service and walk-in clinics. You can register online or in person.
If you take any medication or have a long-term health condition, we recommend that you contact them before you arrive so that they can help you to make a smooth transition.
Nightline (yorknightline.org.uk) is run by trained student volunteers and provides a confidential listening and information service for students from 8pm to 8am.
Our Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLOs) provide confidential support to students who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives. Our SVLOs can work with you one-to-one to talk you through your options in relation to the support you may like to receive, either from within the University or from external partner organisations.
York Mind is a local provider of services supporting people who are recovering from mental ill-health.
There is nowhere I’d rather be than York - the support and opportunities that I have been granted have been invaluable to me as a disabled student.
Chloe, BA English and Related Literature, 2021
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Further student support
Request a buddy
Our Student Buddying Scheme helps new students settle into university life and study.
Get a Step Ahead
Our Step Ahead Induction is designed to support new students with your transition to university life.
Watch vlogs from our current students about how they've benefitted from York's support services.