Fees and Finance>Bursaries & Scholarships>Care Leavers and Estranged Students

Care Leavers and Estranged Students Bursary


care leaver is defined as 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.

An estranged student is someone who is studying without the support of a family network and who is irreconcilably estranged from their parents. Estranged students have no communicative relationship with either their adoptive or biological parents. To be eligible for this bursary as an estranged student, you must meet this definition by the start date of your course. 

We will discuss the support that may be on offer to you if you declare on your UCAS application that you have care experience or you are welcome to get in touch with us if you are applying as an estranged student. 

If you are unsure if you would be eligible for this bursary, please contact Emma Cook directly on ecook@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Eligibility for Support

To be eligible for the Care Leavers and Estranged Student's Bursary, you must:

  • be a permanent UK resident
  • be classed as a 'Home' student (for Tuition Fee purposes)
  • be a new Cardiff Metropolitan University student, applying through UCAS, and entering a full-time undergraduate course at year one or foundation level starting in 2024. (You may also be eligible if entering your second or third year from a Cardiff Metropolitan University franchise course (e.g. HND or Foundation degree course at another provider), as it represents your first time in attendance on the Cardiff Metropolitan University campus). Please contact us if this applies to you.
  • be aged 25 years old or under at the start of each academic year (1st September)
  • be able to provide details of your support worker or a professional who knows you and has been aware of your situation
  • If you are an estranged student: 
    • You have been irreconcilably estranged from your parents prior to starting your course
  • If you are a care leaver, you will need to:
    • declare you are a care leaver on your UCAS application
    • have been in care since the age of 14 for at least 13 weeks
Please see the ​Terms and Conditions for full eligibility. 

Our Support Package

We provide a package of support that will help you throughout your time at University.

Pre-entry Support Meeting

Before starting your course at Cardiff Met (pre-enrolment), you can meet with our dedicated staff mentor to discuss any support you think you might need. 

We can also arrange for your support worker, representatives from our accommodation team, and the School you will be joining to attend. This will also give you the chance to ask us any questions that you might have before starting your course.

Dedicated Staff Mentor

You will have a dedicated staff mentor who can support you and advise on all aspects of university life. 

They can act as a link between you, your local authority, and the University to ensure you are accessing all the support and funding available to you.

Financial Support

The Care Leavers and Estranged Student's bursary of up to £1,000 per year may be available to help you through your time at university (which you would not have to pay back), if you meet the eligibility criteria of award.

Eligible students for the Care Leavers’ and Estranged Students’ bursary will also be granted the Study Life Award (please see the full Study Life terms and conditions for continued eligibility for this award).

We also offer a full money and welfare advice service to help you with any financial queries that you may have. Please speak to your dedicated staff mentor for further information.


We can provide you with year-round accommodation (including Christmas, Easter, and summer holidays) within suitable halls of residence, for the duration of your course. Our accommodation team will contact you / your support worker to discuss this further once you have made your application.

For further information see our accommodation web pages.

Additional Support

We offer a wide range of support to help students with a variety of needs. We are able to offer disability and mental health support and non-academic information related to your studies.

Your dedicated staff mentor can also give you more details around the support available to you.

Please consider the below additional support, whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the Care Leavers' and Estranged Students' Bursary or not.

Become are the charity for children in care and young care leavers. There is a wealth of support available on their website, from free coaching, weekly link-ups, care factsheets and an advice line. Become also run Propel, a searchable website for care leavers which provides information on the support available at universities across the UK. 

The Rees Foundation provides a lifelong support network to help care experienced people thrive, offering help and advice through their numerous projects, and useful links. 

Stand Alone support people that are estranged by offering support groups and providing advice via their Student Support Portal

Voices From Care Cymru (VFCC) offer support to those with care experience who are living in Wales. VFCC offer a wellbeing service, peer support, the opportunity to attend events and conferences, participate in training, and so much more. 

YMCA offer support and advice to young people, family, health and wellbeing services, and training and education. 

Contact us 

Contact Student Finance Welfare Advisor, Emma Cook, to discuss your options: ecook@cardiffmet.ac.uk

You can also visit the i-zone on your campus for non-academic support.