Estranged students

The University of Bristol is committed to supporting students who don’t have support from a family network. We want you to feel safe, supported, and able to reach your potential, and we have a comprehensive support package for students who are estranged from their families.

If you’re considering university you can get in contact with Katie Whalley in the Outreach Team who can offer support throughout the application process. We run events to help you find out more about university, and prioritise applications from estranged students in our outreach projects.

If you are an estranged student at the University or would like to find out more information about the support available you can contact Maria Tottle who is available for 1:1 advice, support and coaching throughout your time here. Maria can signpost you to additional support around the University and help you to work through any challenges or concerns you may have. 

Phone: 0117 331 0631

How do we define an estranged student?

We define an estranged student as a young person, under the age of 25, who is studying without the support or approval of a family network.

Student Finance will classify you as an independent student if you have not had verbal or written contact with both of your biological, adoptive or only living parents for a significant period (usually 12 months prior to the start of your course) and do not expect this to change.

Have you been in care?

If you have been in local authority care, you may be considered a ‘care leaver’ rather than estranged. Please see our information for care leavers about the support available to you.

Helping you thrive

You can find information about support, financing your studies and accommodation options as an estranged student at the University of Bristol below.

Read our Stand Alone Pledge

Services and support over the Christmas holidays

For information on library and study centre opening hours and support on offer over the holidays see the Support in the holidays webpage.
Staying in Bristol over Christmas
If you have access to Facebook you can find details of events and activities happening across the campus over the break on the UoB Staying in Bristol over Christmas Facebook group. Some activities are hosted in Uni residences but are open to all students and include winter walks, films nights and meals together including one on Christmas Day.
Some of these activities are being hosted by the new Bristol SU Care Leavers and Estranged Students Network in collaboration with other Networks.  You can find out what they are up to over the break on facebook or, if you are not on facebook, you can join the network by following this link.

Sign up for our bulletin

If you would like to receive a regular bulletin from Maria, the contact for estranged students, please fill in this short form with your details. Details will only be used to send you a bulletin (approximately once a month) and will not be shared with anyone outside the team. Register for a regular bulletin
The bulletin will include information about any socials for care leaver and estranged students, opportunities such as internships, university related activities and occasional work or research opportunities from outside the University.
Your details will be kept in a password protected document on the University sharepoint and will not be shared with any third parties. We will keep this until the end of the academic year, at which point we will ask you if you would like to remain on the mailing list for the following academic year.
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