Care Leavers & Care Experienced Students

Are you a person with Care Experience?

Care Leavers Graphic

If the answer is yes to any of these, regardless for how long it was for or when it was in your life, then you may be entitled to extra support and funding from the university, government and external agencies.

Getting In

We wanted to reassure you that getting a place at university may not be as daunting as you might think. QMU provides additional support to applicants from a care experienced background. This includes minimum entry requirements and a guaranteed offer* to the course you have applied for.

To make this process easy for you when you are applying for a place at QMU, you will be asked to tick a box to indicate your care experience on your UCAS form. This information is held confidentially but will allow you to access the resources available to you within the university. Such as pre-entry guidance, financial support and information about the QMCares community.

*We will try, wherever possible, to guarantee you a place on the specific course you have applied to, but this will not be possible in every circumstance.

It might not be possible to offer you a place on your chosen course if, for example:

  • it is a course with lots of applicants and not many places
  • places are strictly limited by the Scottish Government (e.g. Education Studies (Primary), Nursing, Paramedic Science).

In some subject areas minimum entry requirements also include successful performance at interview or audition, or a successful portfolio assessment. Where entry to a course is determined largely by interview, audition, portfolio assessment or similar, we will guarantee your progression to that stage of the application process.

Your performance at this stage will determine whether you are offered a place. If you need any support completing your application or finding the right access route for you, The Hub for Success is an independent service set up to provide impartial, one-to-one support to help you get in, stay in, or return to education.

Care Experienced can be defined as:

Cared for by a relative/ Kinship care - when a child is looked after by their extended family or close friends if they cannot remain with their birth parents.

Foster care - When a child cannot be cared for by their birth parents, or by kinship carers (extended family or close friends), they can be cared for by an approved foster family.

Residential care - Residential care homes offer young people, usually of secondary school age, a safe place to live together with other children away from home.

Adopted - a legal process in which all the rights and responsibilities relating to a child are transferred to the adoptive parents. If an adoption order is granted by a court, it makes the adopter, the child's legal parent.

Looked after at home with a supervision requirement - A child who continues to live at their normal residence (usually the family home) but receives regular visits from social workers to ensure that the objectives of the home supervision order are being met.

Respite care - short-term fostering placement.

Student Finance

SAAS Care experienced bursary

If you’re a new or continuing Care Experienced student, you can apply for a funding package of:

- Tuition fees

- Non-income assessed Care Experienced Students Bursary (CESB)

The amount available is currently £9,000 per year. A 12 monthly payment option is available to all eligible students, so you can choose whether to receive your bursary payments over the current term time of nine months, or to spread these payments over the full year. Further Information is available from SAAS HERE The Hub for Success have created a care-experienced fact sheet for higher education students, including frequently asked questions, and sources of support. Check out the official guide to student finance in Scotland provided by NUS Scotland HERE

QMU discretionary fund

If you are finding it difficult to meet your living costs then you may be able to access some money to help you in the short term. The University manages a government-provided Discretionary Fund, introduced to help students whose initial or continuing access to education may be placed in jeopardy due to financial difficulties.

You can find out more about financial assistance at QMU here.  

Student Accommodation

Care experienced students, regardless of programme or year of study, will be given priority for a place in campus accommodation. As a care-experienced student, you may also be eligible to access 365-day accommodation, with no requirement for a guarantor.

Online applications open in April each year. You should apply for accommodation whether you have a firm conditional or unconditional course offer.

Accommodation on campus is very limited, therefore we recommend you apply as early as possible to avoid disappointment. You will find out more information in our Accommodation Allocations Procedure.

Find out more about applying for accommodation here.

SAAS Care Experienced Accommodation Grant

If you're Care Experienced and need help with your accommodation costs during the summer holiday, you may be eligible to apply for the Care Experienced Accommodation Grant. This is a maximum of £105 a week, during the summer holiday.

More information about this can be found here.

External Accommodation Support

If you’re living away from home for the first time, in university owned accommodation or renting a property from a private landlord or letting agent. Shelter, have compiled a guide that explains your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, as well as those of your landlord

Their advice helpline can help with any emergencies and urgent housing-advice matters on 0808 800 4444. Or, if your enquiry is not urgent, please consider using their online housing advice form.

The National Union for Students (NUS) has also produced a useful Student Renters Rights Hub.

Wall of Wonder & FAQs

  1. Wall of Wonder  

Have you ever wondered?   

  • If you are eligible for financial support?  
  • Find out more about financial support from SAAS  
  • If there are other people out there like you? 
  • Check out some composite stories of care experienced people who have come back to education: 
  • Emma 
  • Lauren 
  • Caitlin and Daniel    
  • Where you might live? 
  • Care experienced students, regardless of programme or year of study, will be 
    given priority for a place in campus accommodation. Find out about university accommodation HERE  

Who is here to support you at university ?

QMCares has a dedicated staff member – Gayle Green available for group drop in sessions and individual appointments. Someone to talk things over with and provide informal advice and guidance as well as signposting to other relevant services.  

Every student is assigned a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will help guide you through your studies. Your PAT will normally be your main source of advice and guidance relating to your academic studies.  

How QMU supports “The Promise” in their Corporate Parenting Plan?  

QMU is committed to supporting students to thrive in Higher Education and has long striven to provide a supportive and inclusive environment for care experienced people to progress on to and successfully complete a university degree.  

Under the law, Corporate Parents must work together to give care experienced people the care, security and chances that any good parent would. They must ensure safety, health and the wellbeing required, to help people succeed. 

For more information please refer to the QMU Corporate Parenting Plan

Who else can you get support from externally? 

QM Cares Named Contact

Please contact Gayle Green, Widening Participation Officer (Support Coordinator), if you would like to find out more about how we can support you at QMU.

Show Contacts

QM Cares Named Contact

Gayle Green 0131 474 0000