Care leavers

The University of Bristol provides support to care leavers interested in Higher Education, this includes:

  • 1:1 advice from one of our care leaver contacts for prospective students; Amy Gordon. You can contact either of them by emailing
  • 1:1 advice from our care leaver contact for current University of Bristol students, Maria Tottle. You can contact her by emailing
  • A contextual offer for all young people who have spent three or more months in care. This is usually two grades lower than the typical offer;
  • Email and telephone support from a personal adviser for students who have been offered a place;
  • 1:1 and group meetings for new undergraduate students with the same personal adviser;
  • A peer mentor from our Peer Mentoring programme;
  • 52-week accommodation contracts in University halls of residence;
  • Unite Foundation Scholarship for care leavers starting their first degree, which provides rent free accommodation in Unite House for three separate years of undergraduate study.

We also work with care leavers in their schools and colleges, and prioritise applications from care leavers in our outreach projects including Access to Bristol, Pathways to Health Sciences, Pathways to Law, Insight into Bristol and Sutton Trust Summer School.


Care leavers are normally eligible to be independently assessed for student finance. This means that their parents’ household income will not be taken into account when their student finance is calculated. If their independent household income is deemed to be below £25,000, they will qualify for maximum financial support. More information is available here.

Additionally, care leavers may be eligible for financial support from our Bursary Scheme.

Care leavers are also encouraged to apply for the Unite Foundation Scholarship, which provides rent free accommodation for three separate years of undergraduate study.

The University also offers the Bristol Standalone Bursary, an award of £1,500 per year for eligible students. Further details can be found on the Bristol Standalone Bursary webpage.

If you need advice about funding please contact our Student Funding team.

Local Authority funding

You may be eligible for some support from your Local Authority. Please contact your Local Authority Leaving Care Services in order to find out more about the funding and support they have available for you. 

The Eagle House Education Trust offers financial help for students who have lived in care in Somerset.

Further information

For more information about the University's support for students from a care experience background please contact Amy Gordon or Maria Tottle at  

Further Support for care leavers

Other than University support, there are also organisations that provide support and information for care leavers. These include:

Over 21?

If you are aged 21 or over, please read our mature students pages to find out about mature student events or contact our Mature Students' Adviser (

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