Student Carers

NUS estimates that 3-6% of the student population are student carers, and Cardiff University currently have more than 200 student carers. The NUS Covid-19 and Students Survey Report, Phase 2 showed that caring responsibilities have increased for students because of the coronavirus pandemic and the Carers Trust (July 2020) survey reported a steep decline in the mental health and wellbeing of young carers.

There is a range of support available to students who have unpaid caring responsibilities.

The Carers Trust defines student carers as those “who care, unpaid, for a family member or friend with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction”.

Caring roles can vary significantly but will include:

  • practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping
  • physical care, such as helping someone out of bed
  • personal care, such as helping someone dress
  • managing the family budget
  • managing prescriptions and medication
  • helping someone communicate
  • looking after brothers and sisters
  • providing emotional support.

Student Advice

Student Advice is a free, confidential and independent service available for students of Cardiff University. We are independent of the University and our role is to give you impartial advice and guidance and help you understand the options available to you.

If your caring responsibilities are impacting your wellbeing and/or ability to study and perform at your usual level, we can

  • advise you on how to report Extenuating Circumstances to the University. Very importantly, the University have introduced a new Extenuating Circumstances Procedure that gives student carers much better protection if they are affected by their caring responsibilities;
  • advise you on how to submit and Academic Appeal if you have missed the Extenuating Circumstances deadline, or you circumstances have been refused;
  • advise you on how to take an Interruption of Study and what you need to think about when deciding what to do;
  • advise you on how to submit a University Complaint if you feel you are being unfairly treated or discriminated against because of your caring role;
  • signpost you to other support services.

University Support

If you declare via enrolment that you are a carer, Cardiff University will contact you in the autumn term to discuss support that you can access while studying. This includes the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence about anything to do with being at university, looking after your own health and wellbeing, additional financial support and managing your studies.

Cardiff University's Student Support has a dedicated contact for student carers, Gareth Davies. Gareth has personal experience of being a carer himself.

Gareth can:

  • Support you with academic related issues including liaising with your academic department or assist you in applying for Extenuating Circumstances.
  • Support you with student funding issues, including making an application and liaising with your funding body if there are any problems.
  • Assist with any housing issues such as finding accommodation, problems with landlords, etc.
  • Signpost towards other university services such as Disability and Dyslexia Service, Counselling and Wellbeing or Study Skills.
  • You can also contact Gareth if you simply just need someone to talk to.

For more information contact

Gareth Davies

+44 (0)29 2087 4844

Open Days

At an Open Day, visitors will have the opportunity to talk to students and staff and visit different parts of the University. You can also find out important information about accommodation, student finance and other student support provision by talking informally to our professional staff.

When you book to attend an Open Day you will have the opportunity to disclose you are a carer. If you do this, you will be invited to attend a breakfast drop-in session to meet key members of staff who can help you plan your day and answer any questions you have.

Financial Support from the University

The Student Carers Bursary provides extra financial support to young student carers who may face greater challenges as a result of their caring responsibilities during their time of study, and eligible students will receive a total of £3,000 across the duration of their course.  An assessment is done on a case by case basis. For more information, contact Gareth Davies.

Additionally, you may be eligible for the Cardiff University bursary depending on your household income and when you started your course. Young carers may be eligible for this bursary as well as the Student Carers Bursary. For more information, please contact the Bursaries and Scholarships team.

Tailored work experience opportunities

Cardiff University are a partner of the Go Wales: Achieve through Work Experience programme that is part-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Welsh Government.

The programme is for young students on higher education courses in Wales who are facing barriers in securing work experience. If you are under 25, on a full-time course at Cardiff University and have caring responsibilities, you could be eligible for the scheme.

The Go Wales Team at Cardiff University can help source work shadowing opportunities, work tasters and up to six weeks paid work placements. For further details, please contact the Go Wales Team.

Go Wales

External support

  • UCAS recognises that student carers possess skills and personal qualities which are highly desirable in higher education and further employment. They have created this handy tool to help student carers articulate these skills in personal statements and job applications.
  • The Carers Trust are a major charity who seek to support and improve services for carers. They have a range of support available including peer and community support, emotional support, important training eg. Health and safety and more.
  • Carers UK are a charity who support carers and provide advice on finance, health, relationships and more.
  • The NHS website has some useful information regarding a Carer’s assessment, which includes recommendations that may help to make a carer’s life easier. They are free and anyone over 18 is eligible.

Contact Student Advice
+44 (0)2920 781410




Cardiff University Students’ Union, registered in Wales. Nothing here in contained constitutes an order for goods or services unless accompanied by an official order

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