Cost of living crisis: support for students

Supported by the Senior Leadership Team, staff across the University and Students’ Union have come together as a working group to ensure that we do everything we can to support students through the cost of living crisis. The work of the group is drawing on insight from students, and advice from relevant organisations. Through representative bodies, we are also working to make sure that government understands the issues affecting students.

On this page, you will find information on facilities and resources to help you with the cost of living crisis. We will keep this list updated.

If you would like to share your thoughts please email our working group.

Food poverty

Our Students’ Union run a Food Pantry service which offers affordable, delicious and fresh food for £1 a week.

Our on-campus catering services (1875 food court, Students’ Union, Starbucks) are  subsidised by the University to help keep prices low without compromising on quality. There is also a huge amount of work going on within our catering services to reduce food waste.

Emergency food vouchers are available in accommodation and on campus for students in crisis. This is reserved for students in financial crisis and more information can be provided by Accommodation Services  (for those living on campus) or by the Student Funding Service. The food vouchers are used in conjunction with hardship grants for students in crisis.

Students can heat up food from home on campus using microwave ovens in our 1875 food court and free hot water in the Nook.

See also TGIThursday


Fuel poverty

Our campus is open 24 hours a day and wide range of study spaces, and students are invited to study on campus to avoid being cold at home. 

For students whose living conditions mean that they have difficulty accessing showers, there are showers available on campus. For students who are unable to do their washing due to their living conditions we can arrange for you to wash clothes at accommodation. For more information contact Student Services.

General financial poverty

Students in need can apply to our discretionary fund, and we have recently simplified the application process. Crisis grants, including food vouchers, are available whilst application are being assessed. (Find out more about how to apply to the discretionary fund)

Wherever possible, we promote paid part-time job roles within the University to students. Vacancies are advertised on Student Central  and on the University’s vacancies web pages.

Transport costs

We encourage those eligible to sign up for the Scottish Government’s free public transport scheme for under 22s.

We have excellent facilities to support cycling, including low rate bike hire.

If you are a student and frequently take the train, you can apply for a ScotRail 16-25 RailCard. All students are eligible for this RailCard, even if they are over 25. This costs £30 but gives you 1/3 off tickets for a year. Make sure you look at your average train ticket expenses to ensure that you will save £30 or more by using the RailCard, otherwise it is not worth it.

Particular needs of international students

Targeted advice on cost of living issues is available  to international students (including helping understand their entitlement to work part time without compromising their visa), by emailing our International Office

Academic costs

Where possible, we are ensuring that key chapters of texts are digitised and available through TALIS resource lists/the Hub. Additionally, where licensing and pricing structures allow, we are buying multiple print copies of books on reading lists, as well as purchasing unlimited access ebooks for essential and recommended titles to make them more accessible from off campus. We have also added a wide range of open access ebooks to our catalogue, and encourage students to explore Discover to find the thousands of books and journal articles available to them through the Library.

The SU has a Facebook group to help students buy and sell textbooks

Digital poverty

For students who does not have access to a computer the university has a digital support fund to which students can apply to access a laptop as a long term loan during their time as a student. (More information about the Digital Support Fund) .

Leisure costs

All students receive subsidised on-campus gym membership

We offer a range of free or nearly free social activities on campus, eg Wellbeing Walks. (See also TGIThursday).

We offer free Wi-Fi on campus and range of warm and comfortable social spaces, including Maggie’s, the Nook and the main atrium.


Through our award-winning Thank Goodness It's Thursday (TGIThursday) events, we try to take some of your stress and worry away by making sure one evening a week you have the option to hang back on campus before heading home, and in doing so you don't have to cook a meal or heat your home. Plus, if you come along, you can also choose to take part in a social or a wellbeing activity if you're looking to connect with others. 

We have been delighted to receive such positive feedback from students about these Thank Goodness It’s Thursday (TGIThursday) events, which take place in our 1875 food court on campus. We know from talking to students that they truly appreciate the free hot meals as well as the opportunity to socialise and have fun in a warm and supportive environment. We are also aware that our wonderful staff volunteers, who have contributed to the running of the event, have welcomed the opportunity to show their support of students, and to socialise with our student community out with the classroom.  

TGIThursday was initially arranged as a six-week pilot in the first semester of the 22/23 academic year, and continues to run in the current (23/24) academic year. See 'Moderator' student email announcements for details.

Free Period Products

Thanks to funding from the Scottish Government, we are able to provide free period products to QMU students. We've made these available across campus.

To address environmental concerns, our period product include a range of single-use sustainable and reusable period products, provided in partnership with Hey Girls, the Scottish ‘buy one, donate one’ period product social enterprise.

You'll find a selection of products that are completely free, including: 

  • Tampons (biodegradable)
  • Biodegradable pads
  • Reusable pads
  • Moon cups

You're more than welcome to take whatever you need, whether it's a full box or loose items. 

You can find period products in all toilets in the main building, the Students’ Union and Sports building, and Accommodation. 

Please note that full packs and re-usables are only available in the Students’ Union office, and not the toilets.

If you see stocks are low, please email the Helpdesk

The delivery of free period products at QMU is coordinated in partnership by the University (Student Services and Campus Services teams) and the Students’ Union.

Student Services

Student Services offer practical advice and support on all kinds of issues including settling into university life, disability, counselling and mental health support.  They can also help if you get into difficulties by providing advice and guidance to make sure you get the most out of your time at QMU.

The Counselling and Wellbeing service is here to support our students with anything that may be having an impact on their wellbeing. The aim of the Counselling and Wellbeing service is for our students to feel listened to in a compassionate, respectful and empathetic way, facilitating solutions and additional resources and support where appropriate.  The service hopes to help students feel that they regain their sense of wellbeing and potential to engage fully with their academic studies and student life.

You can find the referral form here: Counselling and Wellbeing Referral Form 


The Disability service help current students who have a disability to access the support that they need.

The Disability Service provides friendly advice, guidance and information, and liaises with key staff throughout QMU to ensure reasonable adjustments are in place for eligible students during their studies. The service also supports students to apply for DSA (Disability Student Allowance) to fund additional supports for eligible students. 

You can find more information about the Disability Service here: Disability Service Webpage

Scholarships and Bursaries

Students with particular circumstances, like being care-experienced or coming from a low-income family, may be eligible for one of our scholarships and bursaries. Information on such schemes are announced via the appropriate channels when they become available, and also, if appropriate, on our website. 

You can find more information here: Scholarships and Awards 

If you need further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to Student Services or your Personal Academic Tutor.