Support and guidance for care leavers

Students from care backgrounds are among the most under-represented groups in higher education.*

At the University of Sheffield, we are committed to helping applicants who have experienced these circumstances to research their higher education options and negotiate the UCAS application process.

We have a team of experts to provide help and support at every step of the journey. Those that choose to apply to the University of Sheffield will receive additional consideration throughout the admissions cycle.

Our support for students from a care background

Pre-application: Information and guidance

Whether you're just starting to think about higher education or specifically seeking more information about our courses, we're here to help. Our Outreach team run a series of events throughout the year for those from a care background aged 14+, including a two-day Summer School.

For those aged 16+, we can help you plan a visit to one of our undergraduate open days, or put you in touch with an expert in our Admissions Service. We will give you the advice and guidance you need to make an informed choice.

For more information please contact our dedicated looked-after children and care leaver contact, Sarah Adams:
0114 222 3621

Making your UCAS application

We advise all applicants to review our standard entry requirements via our online prospectus:

Online prospectus

As a care leaver, we strongly encourage you to declare this information in your UCAS application:

UCAS advice for care leavers

This means that we can notify our course Admissions Tutors, who will give your application additional consideration.

If you are concerned that you may not meet our standard course entry requirements due to issues of a social, personal or domestic nature, we would encourage you to provide additional information via our Disrupted Studies initiative. This will help us to put your application into context and support our decision-making.

Disrupted Studies

For support with your UCAS application and to notify us of Disrupted Studies please contact Heather Macleod-Jones, our Admissions Officer with responsibility for Widening Participation:
0114 222 1410

Financial support

Care Leavers who attend the University are entitled to a comprehensive financial support package, including a non-repayable care bursary. For undergraduate students starting in September 2018, the enhanced University Bursary award is worth £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students.

Financial Support for Care Leavers

We are also offering five HSBC Educational Scholarships worth up to £40,000 for students entering the University from a care background.

An expert from our Financial Support Team would be happy to give you the advice you need.

Transitional support

The University has a dedicated care leaver contact, Kathryn Axon, responsible for supporting care experienced students who have accepted an offer. You can talk to Kathryn about anything from arranging priority consideration for your University accommodation application to personal concerns you may have about your studies.

We can also put you in touch with one of our current students from a similar background so you can talk about making the transition to being a University of Sheffield student.

For more information, contact Kathryn on:
0114 222 1378


  • Care Leaver: A person aged 25 or under, who has been looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date.

  • Background in care:  A person who has been in the care of a local authority for at least 13 weeks, whether away from home or in the home.

  • Looked after and/or In the care of a Local Authority: Includes in foster care, in local authority accommodation, at home under a care order or under kinship care.