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Applying to Bath as a Care Leaver

Find out how to apply for support at the University of Bath

If you are a Care Leaver, or if you have a background in care, we will give you advice and guidance throughout the application process. We will also support you throughout your studies by providing financial assistance, year-round access to University accommodation and support to take part in activities outside of the classroom.


If you have lived in care, organised via Social Services/your Local Authority, you should answer ‘yes’ to the relevant question on your UCAS application. This is so that we can contact you as early as possible about the support available at Bath. The Admissions Progression Team can help with any queries about applying to Bath, you can get in touch via They will consider your time in care status as part of their contextual admissions process.

If you feel that your circumstances have had an impact on your academic performance, then you may want to submit a mitigating circumstances form for them to consider alongside your UCAS application. Provided that you have answered ‘yes’ to the UCAS question, you do not necessarily need to mention that you are a Care Leaver in your personal statement.

What is a Care Leaver?

The legal definition of a Care Leaver comes from The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 which states that a Care Leaver is someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more spanning their 16th birthday. If you are under the age of 25 and this definition applies to you, then you could apply for student finance as a Care Leaver and receive the University of Bath Care Leaver Bursary.

What is meant by Care Experience?

If you have spent time in care but are not considered a ‘Care Leaver’ and are not in communication with your parents, you may be eligible to apply as an Estranged student.

Guaranteed offers for Care Leavers

The University of Bath is committed to supporting the successful applications of those who have spent time in care. We understand that time spent in care can have a significant impact in all aspects of life. Accordingly, we appreciate that your educational journey is likely to be disrupted and more challenging, with barriers that you may face making your next steps into higher education. We believe that our applicants should be considered on an individual level and based on their potential. Therefore, we want to ensure that for applicants who have experienced such significant disruption we are offering you an equal chance of entering the university.

We therefore will make a guaranteed conditional offer to all applicants who meet our Care Leaver criteria, have demonstrated an interest in the subject that they have applied for and meet the minimum entry and subject requirements for the course they have applied for. In some cases, there will be an interview as part of the admissions process and a conditional offer will be made to applicants who are successful at interview. View our eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for guaranteed offers to Care Leavers for more information.

If you are eligible you will need to provide evidence of your Care Leaver status. This should include a letter from your local authority, case worker, social worker, or personal advisor. This letter must confirm:
- that you were looked after by a local authority (this includes being placed in foster care by a local authority)
- the dates you were in care.

Please email this information to as soon as possible once you have submitted your application. Our Admissions Progression Team will work with our key contacts in Student Support to both share and process your information.

If you do not meet our eligibility criteria and you are care experienced, we would still very much like to hear from you. If you are care experienced, please send an e-mail to with a short paragraph of no more than 200 words to give us an overview of your circumstances. Include details of time spent in care, location, period, dates and any other information that could help clarify your situation and disruption to your education. This will ensure your application is given additional review from our Progression Team, and that we can send you any relevant information about additional support and funding at Bath.

Local Authority funding for Care Leavers

If you started your university course after September 2008 then your Local Authority is required to pay you a Higher Education Bursary worth £2,000. Please contact your Local Authority Leaving Care Services to find out more about the funding they have available for you. If you need assistance doing this please contact Student Money Advice.

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