The University of Southampton
Schools and colleges

Support for care leavers

We offer support for looked-after children and care leavers by working in partnership with local councils, schools, colleges and other Universities regionally. For students wanting to find out about studying at university and/or considering applying to the University of Southampton we offer individual pre-application visits, providing the opportunity to speak to staff and students.


Applying to University


The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s achievements and identify their potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. As a care leaver your application will receive additional consideration and more information on what this means for you is available on our admissions pages.


Access to Southampton (A2S)

Care leavers interested in studying at the University of Southampton are encouraged to apply to the Access to Southampton programme in Year 12/the first year of A level study. The programme includes a residential summer school and additional support with the transition to University. Successful participants will then potentially be eligible for an alternative admissions offer.

See our Access to Southampton pages for more information.

Undergraduate Care Leavers Bursary 


Care leavers are entitled to an annual £2000 bursary for the duration of their undergraduate course. This is paid in two instalments; November and June.


To be eligible for the undergraduate care leavers bursary you need to be:

- on your first undergraduate degree course

- be in local authority care for 3 months or more since the age of 14

- classed as a UK student

Students who are leaving the care of their Local Authority are classed as independent by Student Finance England and so would also be entitled to an annual fee waiver/ bursary of £3,000.

Postgraduate Care Leavers Bursary


A care leavers bursary is also available to care leavers on postgraduate courses. As a post graduate student to be eligible to receive the Care Leaver Bursary you need to be:

- classed as a Full-Time UK student

- Have completed an undergraduate degree within the last two years

- Been in local authority care for three months or more since the age of 14.


Further on the financial support and bursaries available to care leavers can be found on our Financial Information and Assistance pages.

Additional Support


In addition to the bursary, the University of Southampton offers the following support:

- Designated point of contact to provide information and advice.

- An extended halls contract, providing 365 day accommodation. Please ensure that you indicate on your accommodation application that you are a care leave.

- A welcome pack when you enrol containing information and vouchers to help you settle into life at university.

We also like to recognise and celebrate your success when you graduate and will provide additional financial support to cover the costs of your gown hire, graduation photo and a ticket to the graduation ball.


If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please contact:

Kirsten Wythe, Widening Participation Manager

Tel: 023 8059 8737





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