Trans and Non-Binary Students
Transitioning can take many different forms. You can transition, socially, medically, legally or by changing the language you use (or a combination of these), and please know that support is available at the University and the Students' Union to help you.
You may not even be sure if you want or need to transition, but you would still be welcome to access support to discuss any queries or needs around this topic. We understand that people can question their gender identity for many reasons, and they are all perfectly valid reasons for you to make contact.
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 you are experiencing any circumstances 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;
- 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, by University staff and/or students because of your circumstances;
- signpost you to other support services.
The Disclosure Response Team
If you are experiencing any form of unacceptable behaviour and/or hate incidents, there is help available. We strongly encourage you to seek support through the University's Disclosure Response Team.
The Disclosure Response Team are a team of specialist University staff trained to respond to disclosures of violence and abuse. They support students affected by harassment, hate crime, sexual violence, relationship abuse and other forms of unacceptable behaviour.
You can complete the online disclosure form to make an identified or anonymous disclosure.
If you would prefer not to complete the form, but would still like to access support, please send them an email: email@example.com. This is a confidential inbox, only accessed by members of the Disclosure Response Team.
Who you choose to contact will likely depend on what support you would like and you can choose to access as much or as little as you feel necessary. The best place to start is usually the Student Wellbeing Team, who have dedicated members of staff to support trans people on their transitioning journey and beyond.
You can contact the Wellbeing Team by completing their Trans support request online form. Once received, a member of staff will email you and invite you to an appointment.
If you cannot access the online form, or, would prefer to contact the team via email, then you can contact; TransCU@cardiff.ac.uk
These forms are treated as strictly confidential to dedicated members of staff with the Student Wellbeing Team.
The Student Wellbeing Team promise that your personal information will not be made available to anyone outside of the Student Wellbeing Team without your consent, unless this is necessary to discharge a statutory function (i.e. a Duty of Care) or unless required to do so by law.
Situations which may require confidentiality to be broken are very rare, and include:
- Where you or someone else is at risk of serious harm, for example if you disclose an intention to harm yourself or another person/people, in these circumstances the team will normally ask your permission to contact somebody who might be able to help. If circumstances permit they would always try to contact you to discuss things, ideally obtain your agreement, and make you aware of what is happening before breaking confidentiality. On very rare occasions there may be an emergency situation where it is not possible or appropriate to seek your permission before such a disclosure in order to safeguard you or another person.
- Where a legal obligation exists, for example in exceptional circumstances we may be required by law to disclose information, such as in the case of a Witness Summons. Where possible and appropriate they would try to contact you to discuss the situation before making a disclosure.
In such instances, disclosure would relate only to concerns about your safety or the safety of others and would not involve any disclosure or breaking of confidentiality regarding your gender identity.
Any disclosures will be in accordance with Data Protection Law and your interests will always be considered.
As part of Cardiff University’s work to support our student trans community they offer an online social space exclusively for anyone who identifies with the many identities that can fall under the term trans. This meet-up space is intended to be shaped by its members to meet the needs of everybody and to be something that all attendees enjoy.
The Trans Space is not formally facilitated; however, the space is hosted by LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Champions who identify as trans.
LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Champions are students who have received health and wellbeing training in order to provide peer support to fellow students.
Trans LGBTQ+ Wellbeing Champions host the meet-ups and act as points of contact for the space. They can also get involved with practical arrangements for the meet-ups and for flagging any difficulties or concerns to Wellbeing staff supervisors.
Other Sources of Support
- You may like to join groups to meet other students who are also transitioning, such as CU Pride (LGBT+ Society). You can find them on Facebook or through the Cardiff Students Website.
- Staff and Postgraduates may also like to join the Enfys network. Enfys means “rainbow” in Welsh, and is the LGBT+ Network for all staff and postgraduates at Cardiff University. You can read more about Enfys on the University Staff Intranet or by finding them on Facebook.
- Students can also contact LGBT+ Support from an LGBT+ Wellbeing Champion. These are wellbeing champions who identify as LGBT+ and who have undertaken specialist additional training, to be able to offer more specialised peer support to fellow LGBT+ Students. To access this support, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is also external support available to students and staff, from charities and organisations such as Stonewall and MindOut, which also has links to many other support organisations.
Time off for Appointments
You are allowed to take time away from your study for medical or other appointments (such as counselling) that fall within scheduled learning activities if these cannot be arranged outside of scheduled learning activities.
It may be necessary to report circumstances that are affecting your studies to the University through the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure.
If you feel able to, we strongly encourage you to have a discussion with your personal tutor about any absences that you need to take so that measures can be put in to minimise any disruption to your learning. When speaking to your personal tutor you do not have to discuss any detail of these appointments if you would prefer not to.
If you need to be absent for longer periods of time, or feel that you need to take a break from your studies, then you can apply for an Interruption of Study. We can provide further advice on that point if you need it.
Degree certificates, ID Cards and Updating your Information
Degree certificates can only be issued in your legal name. In order for the University to issue a degree certificate in your preferred name, you must provide the University Registry Team with proof of legal name change no later than 1 month before the date of your graduation.
If you change your name after this time, then you can contact the University Registry Team on Studentcases@cardiff.ac.uk and provide proof of your legal name change. The University will then issue you a new certificate with your updated details.
Before your graduation ceremony you should be contacted to ask your preferred name to be called out – this can be different to your degree certificate / legal name.
You can change your ID Card if you are transitioning at University. You can do this as many times as you need to if your appearance changes or if you need to update your name on the card whilst you are here.
You can also change your University email address to update your name.
In order to change your ID card / email address name, you should contact Helen Cowley (Head of Student Operations). The head of Student Operations should be able to work with colleagues in IT and the security office to ensure that the changes are made as easily and confidentially as possible.
Changes to your visa
For any enquiries relating to Biometric Residence Permits or visas, you can contact International Student Support by emailing ISS@cardiff.ac.uk
Guidance from the Home Office states that the name on the you BRP will be issues in the same name as your passport.
If you are a trans person from a country that does not recognise changes to your name or gender and therefore you are unable to change your name on your passport, you can apply to the Home Office for a deed poll which will allow the Home Office to issue a BRP in you preferred name.
Reporting Concerns Anonymously to the University
If you would like to report any experiences of being trans anonymously to the University, then you can do so by completing this online form. Please be aware this is a service monitored by Cardiff University, and not Cardiff University Students’ Union.
Contact Student Advice