If you are a Virtual Head/Teacher, LAC Care Team, or charitable organisation and would like to know more about applying and studying at UCL and/or would like to arrange an activity for your students please contact:

Caroline Fionda-Dedman
E: c.fionda@ucl.ac.uk
T: 020 7679 1365

Buttle UK

Young people in care/care leavers

UCL recognises that when applying and entering higher education young people in care can face particular difficulties that their peers are less likely to experience. We are committed to supporting young people in care and Care Leavers and encourage students to apply to study at UCL and to access our Pre-16 and Post-16 Programmes.

UCL Looked After Children & Care Leavers' University Day: Applications now open

UCL will be hosting a Looked After Children & Care Leavers’ University Day on Saturday June 27th from 10.00am-4.30pm. The event is for young people in care in years 9-12 with sessions including:
•    An introduction to university and university life
•    GCSEs, A level choices and study skills (year 9/10s)
•    UCAS, university fees and finance skills (Year 11/12s)
•    A hands on taste of university
•    University courses and a campus tour
•    Career options and pathways
Participants are welcome to bring their friends, families/carers and/or siblings. The event is free and includes lunch.

Applications are now open! Please submit your application form: http://www.tfaforms.com/371760

If you would like more information please contact Clare James (clare.james@ucl.ac.uk) or 02076795758.

We are also happy to arrange a visit to the UCL campus for care leavers or we can arrange to talk to about various aspects of university to groups off campus. If you are interested in arranging this please get in touch. 

There are other opportunities for Year 12 students to see and experience UCL this summer.  Please go to our Upcoming Events page where you will find further details and online application form for our masterclasses, taster days and Gateways Conferences. 

In 2009 UCL was awarded the Buttle UK Quality Mark because of our commitment to support students who come from a care leaving background while they’re at UCL and through our outreach activities.

Upon arrival at UCL your department will assign you to a personal tutor. Their main role is to advise you on academic matters but you can also discuss non academic matters with them in confidence.

Normally, you will meet with your personal tutor once a term but you can also see them on an appointment basis.

In addition to your personal tutor, Tracey Smith, Student Centre Co-ordinator in Student Advisory and Events Services is able to put you in direct contact with relevant support service at UCL. 
Tracey's contact details are:
T: 020 7679 2036
E: tracey.p.smith@ucl.ac.uk

UCL’s Transition Programme supports all new UCL students in adapting to university life, assisting new students in dealing with the social, academic and personal issues that are specific to UCL and departments run mentoring schemes with experienced students in the same teaching area as well as workshops on academic skills. The programme also promotes events and discussion about all the issues that affect students, ranging from accommodation and finance to jobs and socialising.

Other sources of information that you may find helpful are the UCL Student Support pages. This website outlines the types of student support available and access to an online support group (anonymously) and further information on the Student Psychological Services.

Care leavers are entitled to the same support as other students, such as student loans for fees and living costs. 

Care leavers are classified as independent by Student Finance England (as long as you don’t return to your parent(s). This means that when you’re assessed for student financial support your parent(s’) household income will not be taken into account. As a single, independent student with no household income you will be entitled to the full Maintenance Grant (do not pay back); for 2013/14 entrants this will be £3,354 per year. 

Additionally, you would be eligible for the full amount of the UCL Bursary. Bursaries, like grants, do not have to be paid back. As a first year student, starting in September 2013 and living in UCL Student Residences* you could receive a £2,000 accommodation bursary and £1,500 cash bursary.

If you don’t live in UCL Student Residences you could receive a £3,500 cash bursary.

If your circumstances don’t change, from your second year of study onwards you would receive a cash bursary of £3,500, payable in three termly instalments.

From the 2013/14 academic year UCL will be offering a £1,000 per year bursary for UK undergraduate students who live in or have lived in care. Please go to the UCL Care Leaver Bursary web page for further information.

Special priority is also given to care leavers when applying to the Access to Learning Fund (ALF). You would be eligible to receive a one off award of up to £1000 on receipt of a completed application accompanied by proof that you grew up in care. You may also be entitled to additional support from your Local Education Authority; they can help with costs such as travel, books, etc.

Most universities will offer scholarships. Scholarships are additional funding students can receive to help them with their studies. Scholarships will have eligibility requirements (ie academic excellence) and any funding you receive from a scholarship is not paid back.  

Please go to our Scholarships and Funding website to find out more about the bursaries/scholarships that are on offer for UCL undergraduate students.


*UCL Student Residences – for bursary eligibility these are defined as either a UCL Halls of Residence or a UCL Student House and do not include Intercollegiate Halls or private providers. If you believe you are eligible for a UCL Accommodation Bursary, please ensure you apply for a place in either a UCL Hall of Residence or a UCL Student House. 

UCL guarantees accommodation no matter where you live as long as you:

  • are a single, first-year undergraduate;
  • have chosen UCL as your firm choice through UCAS;
  • submit your housing application online by the deadline (currently 31 May of the year of entry)
  • have not studied at a university in London (inside the M25 motorway) before

In addition, UCL will provide 365 day accommodation for care leavers in their first-year and if needed. 365 day accommodation also will be provided for UCL undergraduate students who are from care in their subsequent years of study if needed.

If you need 365 day accommodation and/or accommodation beyond your first year at UCL please contact:

Tracey Smith, Student Centre Co-ordinator, Student Advisory and Events Services
tel: 020 7679 2036
email: tracey.p.smith@ucl.ac.uk

  • The Current Students website has further details on student funding, welfare and support at UCL.
  • Directgov website provides information about student financial support and how to apply.
  • The Who Cares Trust is a charitable organisation who provides support for young people in care and care leavers.
  • Buttle UK is a charitable organisation providing grant aid to vulnerable young people to provide the best possible opportunity in meeting their educational needs. Buttle UK also oversees the UK Quality Mark for Care Leavers.