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.

 DMU has been awarded the Carers Federation Quality Standard in Carer Support to recognise its work in supporting student carers.

 QSCS logo with CF

General advice and guidance

If you are a carer and would like to speak to someone before starting university please contact us or by phone on (0116) 257 7872/366 4456.  If you are a young carer and have a support worker we can liaise with your support worker if you prefer.  If you are a Leicester resident you may be able to apply for a Carers Passport, for more information on carers services visit Leicester Carers Support Service

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 Student 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 undertake a leave of absence 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 email

Financial Support

We offer support to eligible students with the financial costs of caring responsibilities with a bursary of up to £1,000 per year. For more information about this bursary, eligibility criteria and how to apply please email

Depending on individual circumstances, students may also be able to get additional funding from the DMU Support Fund.

Support with your studies

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.

External resources

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

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