Skip to content

Support for care experienced students

As a care experienced student, you may encounter some unique challenges in the transition from a sixth form or college to higher education. We have a personalised package of support available to help you have a full, enriching and enjoyable experience at Bradford.

We’re able to provide one-to-one support throughout the application process, as well as arrange individual visits to campus to see the facilities and meet academics and current students. We’re also able to arrange meetings with current University of Bradford students who have previously been in care.

Am I care experienced?

The care leavers support package is designed for students who have previously been in the care of a local authority as a child – this can be for any period of time. You also need to have permanent residence in the United Kingdom and be a ‘home student’ for fee purposes.

If you are unsure of your eligibility or you are care experienced, whether you are considering university or a current student, please contact us to discuss your situation.

Supporting your journey to university

Emma Thomason - Your Named Point of Contact

Emma is your named point of contact throughout throughout your journey to university. Emma is here to support you in deciding if university is right for you, and to provide advice and guidance in making your university application. Emma will support you by:

  • Being your point of contact to provide individual support and information during any part of your journey to university.
  • Providing one to one guidance with your UCAS application.
  • Arranging individual campus visits for you to visit the university and meet our care experienced student ambassadors.
  • Organising bespoke activity for you to find out more about university.

If you are thinking about university, or a current applicant, please get in touch for further support. 

Emma Thomason, UK/EU Recruitment Officer at the University of Bradford

The University of Bradford Progression Scheme

Our Admissions Team will take into consideration a number of contextual factors when assessing applications. Applicants who are care leavers or previously looked after will automatically receive an offer which is the equivalent of one A Level grade (8 UCAS points) lower than our standard entry criteria. Please make sure you select the relevant tick box on your UCAS application.

The scheme is designed to benefit undergraduate applicants whose personal and educational circumstances mean they could be less likely to receive an offer based on our standard entry criteria.

Find out more about the University of Bradford Progression Scheme

How to apply for pre-entry and application support

At any stage before or during the application process you can disclose to the university via email, or through the form below, that you are a care experienced applicant and our dedicated pre-admission point of contact will support you throughout the process. In addition to this form, we would encourage any care experienced student applying to university to select the relevant tick box on their UCAS application, to allow our admissions team to consider your application in line with the progression scheme. 

Support once you're here

Sarah Jones - Your Named Point of Contact

Sarah is our Student Life Manager and will be your named point of contact throughout your time at the university. Sarah will support you by:

  • Arranging to meet with you within your first few weeks at Bradford to answer any of your questions and to produce a bespoke support plan.
  • Helping you to apply for the Care Experienced Bursary, and any other financial support available to you.
  • Being a central point of contact for you throughout your studies, supporting you with any questions or concerns you may experience.
  • Liaising with Local Authority or other support staff to ensure you receive all the support you are entitled to.
  • Signposting you to the wide range of Student Support teams available, as and when you need them.

If you are a current student, please get in touch:

A support advisor helping a student fill in a form

How to apply for support during your studies at the University of Bradford

When you enrol on a programme at the University of Bradford you are asked to confirm your care experienced status and are given the opportunity to inform us how you would like to be supported during your studies.

More ways we can help

We have a number of champions within our faculties and professional services teams who are passionate about supporting care experienced students. Please click the drop-down boxes below to find out more about how they can help you to make the most of your studies.

In addition to the standard 42-week contract available to all students, the University can support you in securing year-round accommodation if needed. We can also help if you need a guarantor for a rental property. 

For more information please visit our Accommodation website or contact the Student Life Team at careexperienced@bradford.ac.uk 

Our Career and Employability Services offer a welcoming, supportive environment where you can access impartial careers information, advice and guidance from professionally qualified staff. At Bradford we have a dedicated advisor in the team who can work with and signpost care experienced students to a range of services and support offered by Career and Employability Services.

For more information please visit our Careers website.

Our Counselling Service recognise that as care experienced students you may have additional pressures and challenges to face and offer someone for you to talk to confidentially if you need it.

The service is open all year round and is available via face-to-face appointment, email and telephone. The team also help with access to online therapeutic self-help resources and deliver group workshops. If there is a particular theme or topic you need help with, or would like us to run a group about, please get in touch. No issue is too small and we are here for you if you need us.

For more information please email our counselling team, or visit our Counselling Service website.

A Care Experienced Students’ Grant of £1,000 a year is available to all students who have previously been in local authority care and have a household income of less than £30,000 per year. The Grant is paid each year at the end of May, but we can consider earlier payments based on individual needs. For more information, visit our Care Experienced Students Grant website.

Additional financial help is also available from the University’s Student Support Fund which, depending on circumstances, can award grants of up to £2,000 a year. Care experienced students have priority access to the Fund and it is open to them all year round.

You will also have a dedicated Money Adviser contact to help you with your finances and funding throughout your time at Bradford. This support is available from pre-application through to graduation.

For more information please visit our Fees, Financial Support and Scholarships website.

New students with experience of the care system will have the opportunity to receive one-to-one support from a Peer Mentor who will be a student currently studying here or a recent graduate. Peer Mentors can help to support you to adjust to university life and study and to build learner independence and self-confidence. 

This is likely to involve three to four on-campus meetings per semester at times to suit you and your mentor, to talk about academic or other issues you may be facing. The Peer Mentors can use their experiences to help you and will signpost you to the most appropriate university service. In addition, Peer Mentors will run a ‘Care Experienced Student Forum’ at least once a year, which will be open to all care experienced students regardless of whether they have engaged in the Peer Mentor Scheme or not.

As a care experienced student you will be invited to join the Step Up to HE programme at the start of the academic year. It is the perfect opportunity to meet other students and members of staff while beginning to develop some of the essential skills you will need to make a success of your studies.

For more information visit our Step Up to HE website.

Care Leavers Covenant

The University of Bradford is proud to be a signatory member of the Care Leavers Covenant.

We are committed to providing additional support for care experienced students and helping them to live an independent life.

Care leaver covenant signatory member logo