Care Leavers and Estranged Students

If you are fostered, a care leaver or have had experience of living in care, support is available from the time of your application, through to completion of your studies.

Coming to university can be a daunting experience for many people, and we want to ensure that all our students are supported in the transition into independent life. The University of Derby has a warm, relaxing and friendly atmosphere with a good reputation for being supportive. We are committed to supporting care leavers into higher education.

Pre-entry support

We can offer you guidance on completing any admissions, accommodation or disability forms. In addition, we can also meet with you and discuss any queries you may have.

You can contact us on 01332 593000 or at

We are happy to meet with you prior to you starting your course, we can offer you a 1-2-1 appointment and tour around campus.

We also have taster days and other activities that you may want to join in with prior to starting your course.


We recognise that it is important to have a named person on hand to offer you support and guidance throughout your time at the University of Derby. Our team of dedicated staff mentors, who work in the University Support Services, will be there for you from Pre-entry through until the end of your course. They are there to answer any questions you have, whether they are big or small.

Your mentor will discuss with you how often you may wish to meet up. This may be on a regular or ad-hoc basis, it is up to you to decide what feels right for you.

Personal Development Plan

When you receive your offer of a place at the University of Derby, we will meet with you and your After Care Worker/Foster Parents if appropriate, and put together your Personal Development Plan. This is designed to ensure that you achieve what you want from your time at the University of Derby, and enables you to set goals. The plan will be tailored to meet your individual needs, and will be reviewed each academic year and updated as necessary.


We understand that you may not get the grades you were expecting in your A levels or entry qualifications.

We do have some flexibility in our entry requirements and are happy to discuss your options with you.

However, if you are applying for professional programmes, we cannot offer this flexibility due to the external professional bodies that regulate these courses.

Additional support

We can provide accommodation in our University Halls of Residence for 52 weeks per year.

Our halls have staff and Residential Assistants to assist with any queries on site and will be on hand to help you with the transition into the halls of residence. If you are struggling to make the pre-rental halls payment (deposit) then please contact our Wellbeing SMART Team for advice.

For those who do not wish to live in halls we also provide an approved housing scheme. All of the houses in the scheme have been inspected by a member of the team from the Private Housing Office and are of a good standard. Vacancies in private houses can be found by viewing the accommodation website. Tenancy Agreements on privately rented properties are not guaranteed for 52 weeks per year.

You may need advice and guidance on your career path, or even what voluntary or vacation work may help you with employment after you graduate. Your mentor can help you to access the Career Development Centre.

We can help you to access any funding available to help with child care costs.

The University will not normally share information about any student with any third party without the student's expressed permission, except in cases where: 

  • The student poses a serious threat to themselves or others
  • There is a safeguarding concern
  • There is an issue of terrorism
  • The University has a statutory duty to provide this information.

The University may share information to ensure the consistency of the support offered and will wherever possible seek your permission. However, where permission cannot be gained, limited factual information may still be shared where it is in your best interest.

If you have a disability or learning difference such as dyslexia, we advise that you share this on your UCAS or direct entry form. Once we have received this information, our Student Wellbeing team will get in touch with you.

We have a doctor's surgery, Park Medical Practice, based at our Kedleston Road campus and the Student Wellbeing Nurse is also available to help students with any health queries. If you want to register with Park Medical Practice your mentor can assist you with this process.

Our Psychological Wellbeing Service can offer a free service to students with a maximum of 6 sessions.

If you have a mental health concern, we advise that you share this on your UCAS or direct entry form, or talk to us directly at Student Wellbeing before you start your course. We can then discuss what your support needs are whilst studying with us.

You can approach Student Wellbeing at any stage of your studies to discuss what support we can offer. You can also talk to your mentor who will be able to help you access Student Wellbeing.

Our student advisers from Student Wellbeing will help you to set up any support you may need. If you have a long term health, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty, you may be eligible for Disabled Students Allowance. Your mentor and Student Wellbeing can help you with this application process. We will also work with you to ensure that a Support Plan is put together so we can ensure you receive appropriate support.

For full information about the support available please contact us.

For group bookings please email Jo Astley on

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