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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesSupport and wellbeing

Student Parents

The University is committed to supporting you throughout your time here to ensure that you can enjoy your university experience alongside your parental commitments.

Student Parents

The University offers a wide range of support to our student parents and the information in this section is designed to help you balance the responsibilities of parenting alongside studying. Whether you need information on childcare, funding, family accommodation or how you can meet other student parents, you can find it here. 

Student Parents are students with caring responsibility for child aged 17 or under.

Funding for Students with Children

In order to help support you and your family during your studies there is a range of additional funding which student parents may be entitled to; including the Parents’ Learning Allowance, which helps with the learning costs of full time students with children, as well as a Childcare Grant

The Healthy Start Scheme can also help, if you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, with buying basic foods like milk or fruit.

You may also be eligible for Universal Credit if you're studying full time and responsible for a child, further guidance can be found here.

The Students’ Union Advice Centre can provide further information on all the funding options available to you as a student parent, depending on your circumstances. As well as practical financial advice such as budgeting guidance.

Financial Support

The University’s Student Support Fund is designed to help should you find yourself in financial hardship at any point during your studies. Further information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here. The team will take into consideration that you are supporting dependants.

Childcare

Finding and arranging appropriate childcare can be key to ensuring you are able to participate in your course and university experience. Information to help you access suitable childcare for children of all ages, whether you're looking for registered child minders, nurseries, playgroups or schools in the local area, can be found here

Further information on finding and funding childcare, can be found on the following websites:

Activities &  Clubs 

If you're seeking after school or school holiday clubs or activities for your children, then there are number of options available in the local area; the following websites have information on the range of activities available:

You can also find a range of Family Friendly Activities in and around Southampton.

Sport & Wellbeing Kids’ Camp Activity Days

Each Easter and summer holidays, the University's own Sport and Wellbeing team put on a range of Kids' Camp Activity Days, making good use of the University's facilities at Highfield, Woodmill and Wide Lane. For more information, please see the Sport and Wellbeing website or contact the team direct.

NST - Drama Club & Youth Theatre

The Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) run both a Youth Theatre and Drama Club for children aged 5 and over, more information can be found here.

Support

The University has a wide range of support available to you, should you need any advice or guidance, at any point during your studies.

Student Inclusion Team
The Student Inclusion Team offer support and guidance to students who may not know the best course of action to take with a particular issue – whether the issue involves academic, financial or emotional matters. We can let you know about all the support which is available to you and help you access what you feel is right for you, as well as act as your single point of contact if you ever encounter an issue that requires multiple services from across the University.

Look out for the Inclusive Connections e-Magazine, our termly publication which brings together information from across our University to provide you with content tailored to specific student communities. You'll find our October edition on our website once published; if you'd like to join our mailing list then just contact the team.

Academic

Managing Your Work Load

Juggling your parental responsibilities alongside your studies can be difficult, planning your workload in advance will help to ensure you stay on track with any deadlines. The University's Assignment Planner is a step-by-step guide to help you plan, organise and find the resources you need to complete individual assignments. You can save your work and return to the planner at any time.

There’s also a wide variety of productivity tools available online which can help you stay on top of your workload and other priorities, such as:

  • GoConqr - GoCongr allows you to put together creative resources such as flashcards, flowcharts and mind maps.
  • Trello - Trello's boards, lists and cards allow you to organise your work in a fun and flexible way.
  • Evernote - Evernote allows you to take notes anywhere, find information faster and share your ideas with anyone.
  • Quizlet - Quizlet makes it easy to create interactive study materials like flashcards and diagrams.
  • MindMup - MindMup allows you to create unlimited mind maps for free and store them in the cloud.

Basic memberships for the above resources are free. Paid membership options are available to those who require improved functionality at a cost to themselves. The University cannot accept responsibility for external websites.

Personal Academic Tutor & Student Office

If you have any concerns about your academic studies, your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) is there to advise and support you with any issues, which may affect your studies. At the start of the year, we would encourage you to let your PAT know about your parental responsibilities, so they are able to support you and your individual needs. Should you need to apply for special considerations or request an assignment extension at any point during your studies, your PAT will be able advise you.

If you are unsure how to contact your PAT, your Student Office will be able to help put you in contact and/or arrange an appointment.

Your Student Office deals with the administrative aspects of your programme, including those relating to coursework, assessments and exams. If you are unable to attend any timetabled lectures or seminars for any reason, you may need to inform your Student Office. You can find out how to contact your School’s Student Office here.

Wellbeing

If you find yourself struggling with something whilst you're at University, it can help to talk to someone about what you're going through. Talking to someone about what is troubling you can make a big difference to how you feel; the Enabling Services team and Student Life are both available for you to speak to about any emotional, mental health or wellbeing issues.

Connecting with other student parents

There are many ways to get involved with university life and many opportunities to meet new people; try to explore the opportunities available to you, as these can be a great way of developing a peer support network. 

Student Parents Coffee Catch Up

Throughout this academic year we will be holding Student Parents Coffee Catch Ups, drop by for free drink and get to know other students balancing studies and parenting at the University. These are a great opportunity to get to know other student parents and to share your experiences. They'll also be a member of the Student Inclusion Team on hand to offer and advice and tips or to answer any questions you may have. The first Coffee Catch Up will be on Friday 25th October between 1:00 - 3:00 pm, for more information and to register your interest click here.

Clubs and Societies

The University of Southampton Students’ Union has over 200 societies covering a wide range of interests; these are a great opportunity to meet new people and maybe even try something new.

Family Friendly Activities

The University hosts a range of family friendly activities each year, including the Southampton Science and Engineering Festival featuring many hands-on activities; as well as a Christmas Family Event, every festive season, with plenty for all to enjoy. To stay up to date with family friendly activities taking place on campus make sure to check SUSSED, the University and Students’ Union Events Calendars, as well as the University’s social media channels

The Nuffield Southampton Theatre have a range of Children’s Shows at both the Highfield Campus and City theatres. Students can get discounted tickets to many of the shows.

Become a Student Ambassador

Becoming an ambassador is great way to both meet other student and learn new skills, all while earning money. We are always looking for enthusiastic and friendly students to become Student Ambassadors to help with events organised by our Recruitment and Outreach team.

Working as a student ambassador can be fun and varied, providing you with a huge range of exciting challenges and opportunities to get involved with, alongside your studies. Further information and how to apply can be found here.

Accommodation for Students with Children

We offer a limited number of residences designed specifically for families and couples, including flats and studios. 

We have a limited number of two bedroom flats available at City Gateway for families with one child.

The University have a number of family houses located near Highfield Campus for use by students with families. Further information on the options available and to apply please can be found here.

Private Rented

If you’re looking for private rented accommodation for you and your family, you can find plenty of information to assist you in your search here.

University Facilities

There are a number of facilities and resources available to you on our campuses:

  • The New & Expectant Parents' Room, on Highfield Campus, is dedicated to the needs of new and expectant parents. Based in the Nuffield Theatre (Building 6), the room contains separate areas for resting, socialising and privacy and can used by students, staff and visitors.
  • The University and Students' Union are completely breastfeeding friendly; though if you'd rather breastfeed in privacy there are number of rooms available on campus  and in the Students' Union. The University's online campus maps can be used to locate the rooms, just use the infant amenities layer to show where they can be found.
  • Room Finder can be used to find any rooms on campus that have not been booked and are free to use. Any of the empty common learning spaces can be booked and used for studying or group work.
  • There are a number of accessible toilets around our campuses, which include changing facilities, these can be located using the University's online campus maps, just use the infant amenities layer to show where they can be found.
  • Hot Water is free of charge in all University and Students' Union catering outlets.
  • There are a number of catering outlets on our campuses, use the University's online campus maps to show our catering outlets, by selecting the catering layer; some of them even feature opening times and menus built directly into the map.

Advice & Tips

  • Ease your transition and prepare for University life by getting involved in Welcome/Freshers’ Week, held each year before the start of Semester 1; come along to campus to collect your Student ID card and get involved in the many events and information sessions.
  • Download our official MySouthampton app onto your phone or tablet; this gives you easy access to your timetable, campus maps, university emails, travel information and more. 
  • As you settle in to university life take some time to familiarise yourself with your campus – locate your Student Office, check out the Library and find the perfect spot for grabbing lunch.
  • Everybody’s life and demands are different but managing your time effectively and making a plan that fits your study and home life commitments will help keep things on track. It can be challenging to balance work, university, parenting, home life, social life or any combination of these, so plan your time accordingly and remember to keep some time for yourself.
  • To help you study wherever you are, a number of University systems can be accessed remotely. The Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE) gives you access to your University desktop including all your files and the most popular pieces of software, from any device in any location. Office 365 can also be downloaded to your personal device free of charge as a student at the university. 
  • Your family and friends can provide an invaluable source of support and it can be useful to share with them aspects of your university life. Speak to those around, share with them your study plans and agree a time and space where you can study undisturbed.

International Students

If you are planning to bring your family with you to the UK while you study, there are number of things you may need to consider, such as accommodation, childcare and schooling, as well as VISAs. It's always best to make plans in advance of your arrival particularly accommodation, childcare and schooling for your children, as available places are allocating ahead of time, with academic year for most schools running from September through to July.

For more information, contact the VISAS Team.

Helpful Resources

You can find have some useful advice and tips for student parents on the following websites.

Which? Student Parents - Financial Support

Gingerbread - Information for single student parents

Southampton Information Directory (SID) for Families

The University cannot accept responsibility for external websites.
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