Care leavers

DMU has signed up to the Care Leaver Covenant; a promise to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently. The university has also been awarded the National Network of Care Leavers (NNECL) Quality Mark for its commitment to students with care experience.



The HE Guidance Officers in the Transitions Team are DMU's designated contacts for offering additional support, advice and information to care leavers. 

We work closely with local authorities and other agencies to facilitate a smooth transition to DMU.  We would strongly advise you to make contact with the Transitions Team before coming to DMU to ensure that you and your support worker are aware of the support available.

You can contact Melissa Page or Louise Wells by email at or telephone (0116) 257 7872 or (0116) 366 4456. We will continue to offer you support throughout your time at DMU so you have a single point of contact should you need it.

If you have taken a break from education and are no longer looked after by your Local Authority, have a look at our Care Experienced page.

Support for care leavers

Applying to university

Visit our dedicated webpages for more information about how to apply for a course at DMU. You should try to attend a DMU Open Day to help inform your decision on which course to study. If you'd like to meet a member of the Transitions Team at an Open Day, please contact us via

The UCAS care experience tick box

When you apply to university through UCAS there is a tick box asking if you have ever spent any time in care. The Transitions team will contact offer holders who have ticked the box to offer additional support and to confirm bursary eligibility.

If initially you don’t want to take advantage of the help and support you are entitled to, it is still useful to know exactly what is available if you decide you need additional help or support at a later date.

Watch this video by UCAS, featuring some former DMU students on the benefits of ticking the UCAS tick box.

If you're thinking of applying to university as a care leaver, the website contains lots of information, articles and advice about applying as a care leaver. 

Scholarships and bursaries

DMU Support

DMU offers a package of up to £4,000 to undergraduate students who are confirmed as a Care Leaver by their local authority. The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 states that a Care Leaver is someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks after the age of 14 and at least one day after their 16th birthday. Care leavers are also eligible for a £2,000 Higher Education bursary from their local authority and vacation support.

Please note students studying at a partner institution are not eligible for support from DMU, contact your institution for details of support available to you.

DMU Care Leavers Bursary - £1,000 per year bursary.

To receive the Care Leavers Bursary please send a letter from your Social Worker or Personal Advisor to confirming you are a care leaver. 

Final Year Award - £1,000

Students receiving the Care Leavers Bursary are also eligible for an additional award in their final year. (conditions apply)

Unite Foundation Scholarship

The Unite Foundation Scholarship offers a free place in halls for students who have experienced barriers who are either care leavers or estranged from family. Students from local authority care are a priority group for this Scholarship and we would encourage you to apply. For more information and to download an application form please visit the scholarship webpage. If you would like any advice or help completing the form please contact the Transitions Team.

The Unite Foundation have opened their application cycle for 2023/24. Visit their This Is Us website for more information and to apply online.


DMU will support care leavers with their summer accommodation options, so that you can decide whether to stay in halls or find an alternative place to stay. You may not wish to stay in halls over the summer and we can help you to explore your options.

Wellbeing and disability support

 DMU provides support and signposting for your health and wellbeing, you can book an appointment at any time while at university. If you are an applicant and have a pre-existing condition we would encourage you to make contact with the team.

Designated Careers Advice

At DMU we have a designated adviser from the careers team for care leavers. Her name is Sang Townsley. 

Sang has substantial experience of working with students from a care background, having previously worked on a project to raise the aspiration and attainment of young people from care and encourage progression to Higher Education.

Sang can offer individual careers, information and advice. You will also be signposted to a range of services and support offered by the Careers and Employability team.

You can contact Sang by email on

External resources

  • The Propel website  provides information about support when studying in higher education
  • The Become. website offers lots of guidance on a variety of subjects including how to manage money, how the care system works and what young care leavers are entitled to. They have lots of useful quick reference factsheets for care leavers too
  • The IMO website, created by the Children’s Commissioner for England, contains blogs, vlogs, podcasts and more from teens in care.
  • The EaCES Handbook is a website of summarised advice and information created by current Estranged and Care Experienced Students (EaCES) in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The website contains guidance on a variety of topics affecting estranged and care experienced students, including: accommodation, bereavement, LGBTQ+, healthy relationships and more.