Care experienced and estranged students

If you are currently in care, have experience of being in care or are estranged from your parents (meaning you have no relationship or physical or financial support from them), you could benefit from support.

Being care experienced means you have spent any amount of time, before you were 16, either:

Depending on your circumstances, you could access support with:

  • helping you progress to university
  • funding opportunities
  • accommodation
  • getting the most out of your studies.

We understand that you may have different concerns to other students. If you have any questions please contact Lisa Firth in the Plus Programme team by:

Support before you apply

You could be eligible for the Access to Leeds scheme which could offer you the chance to study a degree with lower entry requirements than listed on our course pages, as well as support to prepare you for university. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply to Access to Leeds.

Support while you are a student

The Plus Programme

You will automatically have access to support from our Plus Programme, a scheme for UK undergraduate and postgraduate taught students from backgrounds that are less represented at university. The Plus Programme can help you transition to university, get the most from your studies and other opportunities as a student and progress beyond your course.


You may be eligible for our means-tested scholarships. Although places are competitive, your application will receive priority when we consider applications. You must apply by the deadline for your year of entry. 

If you don’t receive a scholarship, and you are on a full time course, you will usually qualify for funding through the Leeds Bursary, please check the eligibility requirements for this. You don’t need to apply for this.

The Financial Assistance Fund may also offer additional financial support and you can apply at any time during your studies.


If you include information about your personal circumstances on your accommodation application form, it will be dealt with as a priority and we can offer you:

  • A guaranteed place in University accommodation (if you applied before the deadline of 1 July. If you miss this deadline contact Accommodation immediately).
  • 365-day accommodation (but we cannot guarantee you will be in the same room for the whole period).
  • The option to delay payment of the upfront accommodation security deposit until you have received your student loans.

You will need to provide evidence of your status to the Accommodation Office:

  • If you are a care leaver this could be a letter from your Personal Adviser/Social Worker or Pathway Worker. 
  • If you are care-experienced or estranged, we can provide an email as evidence.

If you are unsure of the evidence needed to confirm your circumstances, please email Lisa Firth: or email the Plus Programme team via