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Student Carers

Students with caring responsibilities

A student carer is a person whose life is adversely affected by caring for a family member, partner or friend who has a physical or sensory disability, learning disability, medical conditions, mental health difficulties, or has a problematic use of drugs, alcohol or gambling.

Many students combine university study with care or support for a family member, friend or partner. Support can be needed due to illness, disability, mental health or substance misuse. Juggling such responsibilities with academic study can be challenging and place additional stress on a student’s own physical and mental health.  There are various sources of support and information available to students at university which can help student carers make the most of their time as a student. 

General advice and guidance

If you are a carer and would like to speak to someone before starting university please contact Melissa or Ryan, Higher Education Guidance Officers, email: transitions@dmu.ac.uk, tel: (0116) 257 7872/7605.  If you are a young carer and have a support worker we can liaise with your support worker if you prefer.

Academic work

If you find yourself missing classes because of problems relating to caring for someone else this may impact on you keeping up with your academic work. Missed deadlines and poor attendance will affect your academic performance so you will need to inform a member of staff if your studies become affected. Make sure you let a member of your faculty advice centre, personal or course tutor know if you are having problems. University guidelines explain the regulations in place for deferral of assessments due to extenuating circumstances.

Time out to be a carer

If you have to suspend your studies to care for someone your funding is usually also suspended. However, your funding provider has the discretion to keep paying your student loan and grant if you have been receiving one. You must write and request this and provide evidence, including evidence that you will be in hardship if you are not paid.  If  you need help doing this please contact the Higher Education Guidance Officers.

Policy on Dignity and Respect

As a member of the DMU community you have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. DMU does not tolerate the discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation of one member of the DMU community by another.

Centre for Learning and Study Support

The Centre for Learning and Study Support (CLaSS) offer workshops, tutorials and drop-ins if you want to improve your grades, manage your learning or get some help with an assignment.

Maths Learning Centre

If you need to brush up on your maths or have maths as a significant component of your course the Maths Learning Centre can help you develop your maths and statistics skills.

Student Finance and Welfare

Welfare Officers in the Student Finance and Welfare team can give you advice regarding student finance, benefits and the Access to Learning Fund for students in financial hardship.

Counselling and Well Being

If you need extra support while at university we would strongly advise that you get in touch with our counselling team who offer a confidential and non judgmental service. Counselling deals with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, stress and confidence building. Life coaching is also offered, this can support your personal development to help maximise your potential.

De Montfort Student Union (DSU)

Being a student also offers up lots of exciting new opportunities. It is important to try and find some time for yourself, whether through pursuing an existing interest or trying out something new through one of DSU's sports clubs and societies.  

Queen Elizabeth II Leisure Centre

Exercise can be a great way to de-stress and refocus to enhance your wellbeing and help you manage the demands of being a student and carer. Our leisure centre offers a swimming pool, gym and a range of fitness classes.

External links

CLASP Carers Centre – wide range of support services in Leicestershire and Rutland

Carers’ Action – if you are caring for an adult with mental ill health

Support for Carers - Leicestershire - supports carers throughout the county

Leicester City Council - information and support for carers including links to voluntary organisations

Carers Trust - a national charity that works with a wide range of local organisations to provide information and support

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