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Exeter Cares Team

Rachel Farmer (Exeter Campuses)

Welfare Consultant - Widening Participation

Claire Botham

Students Guild

(Advice Team)

Alex Lewis (Cornwall Campuses)

Education Welfare Manager




Stand Alone Legacy Pledge

Stand Alone Award 2023

Estranged students

We are committed to supporting any young person who is estranged from their family and who is studying without the support or approval of a family network. As part of this commitment the University has proudly taken the Stand Alone Pledge which will help provide support for estranged students in the following areas: financial, accommodation, wellbeing, peer mentoring, careers and employability.

The University defines an estranged student as a young person (up to 25) who has little or no contact with their parents (either biological or adoptive) and that this is unlikely to change.

If you would like more information, require support or have questions about estrangement or your own circumstances, whether this is before you apply to Exeter or at any stage of your course, the Exeter Cares team is here to help please do not hesitate to contact us via



During our admissions processes we recognise the impact that being an estranged student may have on a student’s attainment and this may be taken into account when we are considering your application. This might mean that you are made an adjusted offer to that we publish as our typical offer. This is called a contextual offer. You can find out what your contextual offer would be via this checker 

Where programmes have specific subject requirements, grade adjustments may not apply to those specific requirements, Further details can be found on our course pages.

Additional eligibility criteria for contextual offers can be found here.

If you have any further queries with regards to contextual offers, please contact the Admissions team.

Financial support

Student Finance England

If you are irreconcilably estranged from your family, you can ask to be assessed as an independent student and be assessed on your own household income.Student Finance England defines estrangement as 'To be considered irreconcilably estranged from your parents, you won’t have had any written or verbal contact with either parent and this is unlikely to change. Usually, for a period of at least twelve months, but we will consider all cases.' If this is the case you can be assessed as an independent student and you will be entitled to additional financial support

The Exeter Cares team can offer advice about applying as an independent student and provide guidance through the process. Contact us via

Access to Exeter Bursary

The University of Exeter provides additional funding to certain part time and full time Home or returning European Union students in the form of the Access to Exeter Bursary (ATE). We will automatically assess your entitlement for an award based on your household income information provided by the relevant UK Funding Body. However, we can only do this if you, and your sponsor, do not opt out of consenting to share your financial details when you complete your Application for Student Finance. To see what funding you could be eligible to receive visit our financial support pages.

Estranged Student Bursary

The amount of the bursary is not fixed and will be dependent on your situation. To apply for this bursary you must be a registered undergraduate student at the University of Exeter. For further information and for independent advice, please contact the Students’ Guild Advice Service.

Success for All Hardship fund

The University, in partnership with its alumni community, has created a fund to offer additional financial support if you are experiencing unexpected financial hardship which is affecting your ability to study within your current academic year.

Priority will be given to students undertaking their first degree who are from low income households or without family support. The majority of funds are means-tested and you will be asked to provide evidence in support of your application.

Allowable expenditure includes (but is not exclusive to):

  • Accommodation fees
  • Travel
  • Childcare
  • Course costs
  • Living costs
  • IT equipment costs
  • Unexpected one-off costs

 As an Estranged Student, am I eligible to apply for this support? 

Yes, all registered Undergraduate and Postgraduate students are eligible to apply. If your course is part-time, distance learning, or you commute to University, you are also still eligible for support.

We recognise that as an estranged student, you may face a number of unique issues, and these will be considered in your application. If you have dependents, or commuting is necessary for your course, please let us know and this will be considered in your application. Please note we will ask for supporting documents to evidence these costs.

For more information or about applying to the Success for All hardship fund please click here

365 day accommodation

The University of Exeter can provide 365 day access to accommodation - in particular to cover the holiday periods - to remove the obstacle of having to find temporary vacation accommodation if you require it. 

The University can provide access to accommodation during the whole calendar year including the holiday periods.  First years based in Exeter can also apply for early arrival into their university accommodation.

Applications for early access can be made online through a student’s accommodation account. They are processed in date order of arrival and subject to availability but with priority given to estranged. The Accommodation Office are unable to guarantee that a student’s term-time room will be available before the start of the arrivals period, and it is likely that a student will need to move again during the arrivals period. 

Health and wellbeing are crucial ingredients of effective study, as well as a rich and fulfilling student experience, but staying well in body and mind isn’t always easy at university. We recognise that it’s much more difficult to learn and enjoy student life when personal difficulties or emotional worries arise. Sometimes you need a little help to get “back on track” and our Wellbeing Team can offer a range of services to support you both personally and within your studies if difficulties occur.

For more information about support available see the Wellbeing website or email

The University of Exeter offers career and employability support and guidance throughout your time studying with us; with continued support after you graduate. The Career Zone can offer a wide variety of programmes, including fully funded internships and mentoring schemes to support your entrance into the work place. These programmes offer the flexibility to create your own internship, financially supported by the Career Zone.

For further information please see the Careers website or contact:

Exeter Career Zone campuses
01392 724493

Penryn Career Zone
01326 253735