Fees and Funding


Care Experienced and Estranged Bursary


The details
Undergraduate, Postgraduate taught

If you're a new or continuing undergraduate or postgraduate student who was in UK local authority care at any point in your life, for any period of time, or you are estranged from your parents, you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £1,500.


In order to apply you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You are a new or continuing, full time or part-time registered student at the University of Essex in academic year 2022/23
  • You are eligible for UK home fees and funding and ordinarily resident in the UK (overseas and EU students are not eligible) 
  • You are undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate study  


  • You have been in care at any point in your life, for any period of time. This includes - 

Care experienced

You have been ‘looked after’ for at least 13 weeks by a UK local authority at some point since you were 14 years old, and were in care on or after your sixteenth birthday

Other care experienced 

  • You spent time in the care of the local authority (e.g. foster care or children’s home)
  • You were privately fostered
  • You were ‘looked after at home’ under a supervision order
  • You were in kinship foster care (where a friend or family member becomes the foster carer). Kinship care through a formal arrangement, recognised by a Local Authority, and could be prior to a Special Guardianship Order. 



You are estranged from both parents/carers. By estranged we mean that either:

  • You have not communicated with either of your biological or adoptive parents for a period of time before your course began 
  • Your parents cannot be traced or it is not possible, practical, or safe to make contact with them
  • Your parents have significant mental or physical health problems which prevent you from contacting them
  • Both of your biological or adoptive parents are deceased 

Note: you will not be considered estranged simply on the basis that you live separately from your parents, have recently fallen out with your parents, or your parents are unwilling to complete income assessment forms or contribute towards your student finance.  

How to apply

  1. Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria above
  2. Carefully read the guidance notes
  3. Register for the Blackbullion online money management website
  4. Click the ‘Funding’ tab and select ‘UoE Care Experienced and Estranged Bursary’
  5. Submit your signed declaration form and supporting evidence

Full details

Please read the full terms and conditions for your entry year before applying for a university fund. They contain important information about eligibility, evidence required and how to apply.

Care Experienced and Estranged Bursary terms and conditions 2022-23 (.pdf)

If you're a current student looking for information about an award you received, see our terms and conditions for previous years.