Students under the age of 18
This page offers information for prospective, new and current students who are under the age of 18.
Although there is no minimum age for admission to university, students under the age of 18 are classed as children or 'minors' under UK Law. This means that the University of Sheffield needs consent from a parent or legal guardian for a student to commence their studies.
- Parental Consent
- UK Guardian
- International Students
- Intro Meeting
- Student Expectations
- Parent/UK Guardian Expectations
- Students' Union
- U18 Responsibilities and UK Law
- See Also
If you are under the age of 18 when you start your studies, and on a full-time course, your parent or legal guardian must complete the Parent Consent Form below.
The Parent Consent Form provides the University with information about your guardianship in the UK, and confirmation that you have the required maturity to study in an adult environment.
All students under the age of 18 must provide details of an adult in the UK that the University can contact if needed. This person is called a UK Guardian and is either your parent (if they reside in the UK) or an adult chosen by your parent (if your parent resides outside of the UK). The UK Guardian must:
- reside in the UK
- be over the age of 18
- be able to speak English
- be contactable in an emergency
- have a UK postal address and telephone number
- not be a registered student or member of staff at the University of Sheffield (unless they are directly related)
The service of UK Guardian can also be hired from a Guardianship Agency until your 18th birthday. Please see the website below for more details.
You must provide proof of your contract with a Guardianship Agency by emailing a copy of the contract to the email email@example.com.
Please remember that your parent, not your UK guardian, will remain as your legal guardian until you are 18.
If you are under the age of 18 at the time of applying for your visa, you must submit a letter of consent from your parent in support of your application.
This can be either an original or a copy the original document. Documents provided must be in English otherwise you must provide a certified English translation of your document within your application.
Please visit the Parental Consent section on the page below for an example.
If you are under the age of 18 you will be required to attend an introductory meeting at the beginning of the academic year. Due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Intro Meeting was moved to an online format. Depending on government guidance nearer to September 2021 we will decide whether the meeting will remain online. Information will be sent directly to students at that time.
As a student at the University of Sheffield who is under the age of 18 you will be expected to:
- communicate with staff if problems arise
- attend an Intro Meeting at the start of the academic year (online or in-person)
- contact your UK-based parent/UK Guardian if you have missed lectures or tutorials for more than half a day due to illness
- be able to live independently in an adult environment (e.g. manage your own finances, domestic arrangements, physical and emotional wellbeing)
UK-based Parent/UK Guardian Expectations
As a UK-based parent or UK Guardian you will be expected to:
- provide ongoing support to the student
- contact the student at least once a week
- be the named contact in case of a medical emergency
- contact the University with any other concerns about the student
- contact the University if you have concerns following the student being ill and missing lectures/tutorials
UK Guardians will also need to complete a short consent form to confirm that they are happy to be in this role.
Sheffield Students' Union represents and provides for all students at The University of Sheffield. However, please be aware that some of the events and activities are age restricted, and students need to prove that they are 18+ to attend. This particularly relates to club nights and events such as 18+ films. For confirmation regarding a particular event, please contact the Students' Union directly - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responsibilities and UK Law
The following information outlines your responsibilities and legal rights as a minor under UK law.
Applying for a Contract
- Generally, you are not permitted to enter into a contract as a minor
- However, you are able to register personally with the University of Sheffield and enter into a legal contract for accommodation in the same way as an adult student
- Your parent may be required to act as a guarantor for other contracts with the University
University Residential Accommodation
- You will be guaranteed a place in University accommodation providing you meet the requirements of the Accommodation Guarantee
- Where you do not qualify for the guarantee, the University will still prioritise you for vacancies in University accommodation
- For further information please read the Under 18s Policy for university accommodation, and/or contact the Accommodation Office directly.
Disclosure of Information
The University is prohibited, under the 1998 Data Protection Act, from disclosing information about your academic or personal progress to parents or other third parties without your consent.
- When you turn 16 you are able to give consent for most medical or dental treatment without a parent’s knowledge. Treatment will remain confidential.
- Where you are unable to consent in the event of a medical emergency and it is not possible to contact your parent or UK guardian, the University can authorise emergency medical treatment.
If you have any further questions, please email email@example.com.