Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
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Care-experienced students

If you are care experienced, we can help you with the university application process, give you financial help and access to all year-around accommodation if you need it plus support you throughout your degree.

Definition of care experienced

If you are care experienced, you may be or have been in the following:  

  • residential care 

  • foster care  

  • kinship care  

  • living at home with a supervision order  

If you are adopted but you have been in local authority care, then we also define you as care experienced.  

An overview of the application process and support we offer

You can learn about the application process and available support in this video. 

Video: Support for care-experienced students
An animated illustrative video that gives a brief overview of how the Edinburgh Cares team can provide help for care-experienced students before applying to University, during the application process and support available at the University.


Apply with the minimum entry requirements

As a care-experienced student, you meet the criteria for a Plus Flag widening access offer. This means we will consider your application if you have achieved or are predicted to achieve our minimum entry requirements, rather than our standard entry requirements.  

Find entry requirements on our degree finder

If you live permanently in the UK, then we usually offer you a place on your chosen degree wherever this is possible. 

Widening access offers information

Select the care experience box on your UCAS application

If you select this box and meet or are predicted to meet our academic requirements, our Admissions team will be in contact with you to confirm your type of care experience.  

After this stage, our Edinburgh Cares team (your named contact at the University) will be available to provide extra help to you as an applicant and a student. 

Apply for funding  

There is extra financial support available for you as a care-experienced student.  

But you first need to apply for funding from your government student finance provider, such as the following: 

Our team can help you apply for funding. 

Contact us by email 

If you live permanently in the UK

If you live permanently in the UK, then you are eligible for the Access Edinburgh scholarship. This scholarship will give you money every year of your degree programme to help cover your costs. You do not need to pay this money back after you graduate.  

Access Edinburgh scholarship

If you don’t live permanently in the UK

If you don’t live permanently in the UK, then you can apply for hardship funding. This will give you money to cover your living costs at university, but you will need to meet the requirements and accept the conditions to access this money.  

Hardship funding

Apply for accommodation 

University accommodation 

As a care-experienced student, you will be guaranteed university accommodation for every year of your degree programme and you will need to apply by the deadline. 

University accommodation options 

If you need access to all year-around accommodation, including the University holiday periods, then we can arrange this for you.  

Contact us by email  

Private student accommodation

Or you can apply for an accommodation scholarship from the Unite Foundation to live in private student accommodation for three years of study (there are a limited number of scholarships available).  

You will need to make sure you meet all the criteria for this accommodation award and apply by the deadline.  

Unite Foundation Student Awards information 

When you’re a University student

Support from your named contact

While you’re a student at the University, you will have access to a member of our Edinburgh Cares team known as a named contact. This person is available to help you at any time throughout your whole degree.  

Access to health and wellbeing services 

If you need to use any health and wellbeing services, we can guide you to the right place to find help.  

Health and wellbeing services 

Social groups

We can help connect you with other students so you can make new friends at the University.  

We organise social events to help you feel part of our community. In the past, our team has organised bouldering activities, a day trip to the beach and theatre trips.  

University sports clubs  

University society groups  


Peer mentor

In your first year, you can take part in our peer mentoring programme which allows you to connect with a student mentor every two weeks in the first couple of semesters to help you settle into university.   

Peer mentoring 

Staff mentor 

Throughout your degree, you can take part in our staff mentoring programme which allows you to meet with a trained member of staff on a one-to-one basis, and this person can give your guidance on the wider university experience.  

Staff mentoring


Contact the Edinburgh Cares team

Email: edinburghcares@ed.ac.uk

Phone: 07884 117 146 (contact hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm UK time) 

Contact us through an online sign language interpreter

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact the University of Edinburgh via Contact Scotland BSL, the online British Sign Language video relay interpreting service.

Find out more on the Contact Scotland BSL website