Lifelong Learning Centre

Information and support for care leavers

If you are currently in public care or you are care-experienced and are thinking about studying with the Lifelong Learning Centre, we offer a range of pre-entry and on-course support to help you make the most of your study.

If you are thinking about studying on a programme elsewhere at the University of Leeds, take a look at the general information for care leavers which includes details of the Reach for Excellence and Access to Leeds initiatives.

Pre-Entry Information, Advice and Guidance service

A free and impartial one-to-one appointment with a specialist university guidance officer to discuss your options for further study and routes to university. Get advice on what university study might do for your career prospects, how to choose the right course and how to make a successful application. For more information, including details of how to book an appointment, please click here.

Priority given on a range of full and part-time courses to applicants from public care

The Lifelong Learning Centre gives priority to applicants who have grown up in public care, providing a range of courses from full and part-time undergraduate programmes to Foundation Year programmes aimed at those who currently may not meet the direct entry criteria for their chosen course elsewhere at the University.

Financial support

While there is no specific bursary for care leavers you may be eligible for a high level of funding through Leeds Financial Support and you will be given priority if you apply for the highly competitive pre-entry application scholarships.

The Access to Learning Fund may also help students (particularly those who need help with costs which cannot be met from other sources of support) access and remain in Higher Education.


If you are classed as leaving the care of your Local Authority to come to university, our Accommodation Office can offer you:

  • a guaranteed place in University-owned accommodation (if you applied before the deadline of 1st July – if you miss this deadline please contact the Accommodation Office immediately)
  • 365 days-a-year accommodation (although we cannot guarantee that you will be in the same room for the whole period)
  • A waiver of the upfront security deposit for University-owned accommodation

You will need to supply a letter from your allocated social worker to verify your care leaver status. If you include information about your personal circumstances on your accommodation application form it will be dealt with as a special care. If you are not specifically leaving public care to come to university but are estranged from your family, we may be able to help you by allowing you to pay your security deposit at a later date rather than upfront.

Other sources of information and support

You may also find the following resources useful:

  • National Network for the Education of Care Leavers: the NNECL is a self-forming organisation representing universities and colleges across England together with key organisations involved in the advocacy of looked after young people/care leavers
  • Coram Voice: Coram deliver high quality advice and support. If someone in authority fails to fulfil their obligations to a child, they support them to have their opinions taken into account, make complaints and access what is rightfully theirs, improving their lives and their experience of the care system.
  • UCAS: UCAS is where you will make an application for a full-time course. They also provide information for care leavers and how best to fill in your application.
  • Care Leavers’ Association: a union of care leavers who provide information on accessing Further and Higher Education

Further information

If you are considering studying with the Lifelong Learning Centre and would like to talk to someone about the support that is available, please contact our Student Experience Officer Paul Devlin.