Students with Caring Responsibilities

A student carer is a student of any age who provides unpaid support to someone who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner, or friend who is ill, frail, disabled, or has mental health or substance misuse problems.

Caring can include personal care, practical support, household tasks, or emotional care.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ student carer. Each student carers’ situation will differ based on the needs of the person they care for, where they are living, their subject of study, whether they are in paid employment, and a myriad of other factors.

If this describes your own position, or maybe someone you know, we hope you will find this information helpful.


There are a number of local and national organisations specialising in support for carers.

Carers UK is a national charity with up-to-date information and advice on:

Derbyshire Carers Association was established in 1988 and supports carers who look after a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, mental health problems or an addiction cannot cope without their help and support. Many people who are supporting someone do not see themselves as a ‘carer’ but as relatives or friends. Caring for others can be complex and demanding, physically taxing and mentally draining.

Carers often become so focused on the person they care for that they forget to look after themselves. To keep going it is essential that carers look after their own health and wellbeing and that’s when Derbyshire Carers Association can help.

Carers Support Plan

Our Carers Support Plan is a document that outlines the reasonable adjustments the University can make for you whilst you study with us at Derby. To enable us to decide if you are eligible for a Carers Support Plan we require information about how caring affects your life in relation to carrying on doing the things that are important to you and your family; your caring role, your feelings about caring, your physical, mental and emotional health, and how caring affects your studies, work, leisure, education, wider family and relationships.

This additional information will enable us to consider the impact the care and support you provide is having on your own wellbeing, as well as important aspects of the rest of your life, including the things you want to achieve day-to-day and whether you are eligible for a Carers Support Plan.

Further information

As a carer, it is important that you make time for yourself. This does not mean that you abandon the person you care for. Having some time off from caring can help your own well-being and that is good for both yourself and the person you look after. It may also be important in allowing you to focus on your studies.

Further information on getting help to have some time out from your caring responsibilities is available on the website.

You may also want to consider some of the advice on this site on how to look after your wellbeing, to give you the best chance of both completing your course and meeting your caring responsibilities.

This section gives information about some of the funding options available to full time students with caring responsibilities. This is not an exhaustive list and most are allocated dependant on personal circumstances.

Carer's Allowance

Carer's Allowance is a taxable benefit to help people who look after someone who are disabled. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person that you care for. Find out more about Carer's Allowance.

Carer's Assessment

In short, a Carer's Assessment is your opportunity to tell social services about the things that could make caring easier for you. Find out more about Carer's Assessment

Money and benefits

There are benefits just for carers, some for people with a disability, and some to help you if you have a low income. Find out more about money and benefits

Derby City Council provides support for carers in Derby. This support includes information and advice, including details of other organisations that may be able to help you such as:

  • Services that give you a break
  • Services to help you in your caring role
  • Services to help the person you care for become more independent
  • A benefits check to make sure you and the person you look after do not miss out on your entitlements
  • A piece of equipment to make life easier for you
  • A Contingency Plan to help you think about what will happen if you are unwell or if there is an emergency that affects your role as carer
  • 'Message in a Bottle' scheme.

More information is available on the Derby City Council website.

If you cannot find the information that you need, please contact the Student Services team.

Some students with caring responsibilities may also find our Mature Students information of interest.