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Care leavers

clc-logoDMU 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 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 Ryan Ward by email at or telephone (0116) 257 7872/7825. 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.


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 on

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 identified 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.

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 in progressing to higher education. 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.

Please note that the Unite Foundation have put their application cycle for 2021/22 entry on hold. Visit their This Is Us website for more information.


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.

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 applications 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

Care Professionals Training

We offer a free training day for care professionals, delivered around the same time as the national Foster Carers Fortnight.

The event covers a wide range of topics including the benefits of study, applying for student finance and what support a care leaver can expect.

For more information, or to be added on our mailing list, email, or call us on 0116 257 7595, option 3, then option 4.

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.