Support for Disabled Students and Care Leavers

Care leavers and Disabled students face unique challenges when they enter higher education.  You can get support from the application stage right through to graduation and the search for employment.

If you’re disabled;

  • Have a long-term health problem affecting your day-to-day living;
  • Living with stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health problems;
  • Or have learning difficulties;


We’d encourage you to declare this to the University to find out what support is available. 

It’s your choice on whether or not to declare that you are disabled. If the University knows, it’s then under a legal duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to support your studies. 

Many students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties use support to manage their learning. If you or your tutor think that you may have learning difficulties, or you have a long term health problem or disability affecting your studies, we would encourage you to contact the Disability & Dyslexia Team.  You can book appointments through your Campus Student Centre. 

Whether or not you declare your disability, you may be entitled to extra support through the Disabled Students Allowance.  

Contact the Disability & Dyslexia Team for further information.

It’s not unusual for students at University to experience mental health problems.  About one in four of us will have a mental illness in our lives.  Find out more about the Mental Health and Wellbeing support on our Health pages

And don’t forget the *AccessAbility Ambassador Scheme, run by the Widening Participation team at the University.  The project works with (and pays) care leavers and disabled students to be the public face of the University at Open Days and with local schools, to advise and support people in similar situations to come to University.  Find out more at


If you’ve been in care

(or you forced to leave home before you were 18),  go here to find out about:

  • Financial support
  • Pre-entry support
  • Further benefits for care leavers
  • Mentoring
  • Accommodation


The University support is additional to any support you should be getting through your home Social Services Department. 

If you’ve left care after your 16th birthday, your Social Worker should have agreed with you a Pathway Plan (or Leaving Care) plan.  The leaving care plan should put in writing how you and your Social Worker will do to help prepare you for living independently.

If you don’t have a Leaving Care Plan, or if you were never properly assessed by Social Services when you were under 18, then get advice from us.  If you’re still eligible for help from Social Services, we can help you enforce your rights through local authority complaints procedures. As importantly, we’ll help make sure you’ve got the support now to complete your studies successfully and to move on in your life.  We would strongly encourage any Home student to seek advice if they were homeless on their own before they were 18, whether or not they were helped by Social Services. 

IT Support for Disabled Students

Whether or not you are entitled to DSA, free software is publicly-available to support your learning:

  • Go to to download My Study Bar (small enough to fit on a USB key disk) – useful for students with dyslexia / dyspraxia, but others will find it useful.
  • Find out how to make MS Office software accessible at
  • For a HUGE range of resources to support Disabled students, go to the Diversity and Ability (DNA) website,