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Support for care leavers

Leaving care and entering higher education can be exciting but daunting, so we're here to support you every step of the way.

All our care leavers are given a designated member of staff to offer one-to-one advice and support from day one right up to graduation.

When you arrive at university, our friendly student support advisers can help you with personal, financial, academic, or housing matters. They can advocate on your behalf, where appropriate, to ensure you have what you need to make your studies a success. If you’d like an adviser to be involved with your personal education plan, or pathway plan, please let them know and register for extra support.

We offer a Care Leaver's bursary to eligible undergraduate or PGCE (Initial Teacher Training) students.

This amounts to up to £4800 over four years of study (£1200 per academic year, pro rata if you are studying part-time). This includes either foundation year or PGCE, but excludes apprenticeships.

The award is not paid during any repeat years of study. However, if you are repeating a year then you may be eligible for the CCCU Grant for that year.

To be eligible for the Care Leavers bursary you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You are under 25 years of age
  • in care, or a care leaver
  • in the UK and
  • are, or have been, looked after under a Care Order when age 16 for at least 13 weeks


  • you are recognised by the Foyer Federation or have otherwise been homeless.

Additional criteria:

  • Your household income is £25,000 per year or less.
  • The UK is your main residence.
  • Your fees for each year of study are more than £6165 (full-time) or £4625 (part-time).
  • You do not receive other financial support from Canterbury Christ Church University, including the Canterbury Christ Church University Grant (other than during a repeat year of study).

You must be able to provide proof of the above if asked to do so. This is usually done through your local authority. For support please contact

Payment schedule and options

A Canterbury Christ Church University Grant will be automatically allocated to eligible students who have a tuition fee loan with the SLC. The SLC will notify you of the amount and make the payments to you on behalf of the University in three instalments over the course of the academic year.

Please note: If you live in our University-owned accommodation, 50% of the grant you receive will be automatically allocated towards the cost of your accommodation. There is also the option to allocate the total amount towards your accommodation payment. Once you start University you will be contacted by the Student Fees team regarding this option.

In September 2024 we will be able to offer three care-experienced or estranged students free year-round University accommodation over three years, thanks to our new partnership with the Unite Foundation. We are committed to supporting care experienced and estranged students to succeed at university and these new scholarships will support that aim.

Applications are made direct to the Unite Foundation who will process and work directly with successful applicants. You will still need to apply for CCCU accommodation to be eligible. Unite will notify the three successful applicants in the summer.

For extra financial support, find out about the scholarships and bursaries that are on offer.

You may find connecting with a peer mentor a helpful way to settle into University and learn about academic life. It’s good to know you have someone there to chat to and learn from their own experiences.   

As a care leaver, you’re guaranteed accommodation in your first year of study, and if you need accommodation for 365 days, this can be arranged. Please declare your care leaver status on your accommodation application form.  

Our other support services include the Mental Wellbeing team, who support students experiencing mental health difficulties, and the Student Disability Services.

Register with the Student Wellbeing Services.

Other national organisations that offer support to care leavers are:

CCCU is a proud signatory of the Care Leaver Covenant. Members of the Covenant have successfully evidenced their continued support for Care experienced people within their communities. You can find out more about CCCU's commitment to the Care Leaver Covenant as well as opportunities, discounts and offers available exclusively to Care experienced people here

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