Student carers

If you're a student who is caring for a partner, family member or friend who is elderly or has a disability, you may find the following information useful.

Academic matters


Many of our courses require a high level of attendance at lectures and seminars. If you feel that you're struggling with your attendance you should contact your course tutors in the first instance and discuss your situation with them to see if any special arrangements can be made.


Our University operates a uniform course deadline policy on late submission of coursework. Work which is submitted after the set deadline will be given a mark of zero unless you can show satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances.


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

External financial support

Council Tax

Full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax. If the only other adult in the property is disabled or severely mentally impaired then the whole property may be exempt. If there are other adults living in the house too then you may still qualify for a reduction.

If you have left your own property empty in order to live with and care for someone then you may not have to pay council tax on your empty property.

Carer's allowance

Part-time students may be eligible to receive Carer's Allowance if they meet the eligibility criteria. Students studying more than a certain number of hours per week aren't eligible.

Adult Dependants' grant

Full-time, UK undergraduate students may be eligible to receive a non-repayable grant to help with their costs associated with caring for an adult dependant.

Tax credits

Tax credits are still available to eligible full and part-time students. Your student income (ie loans, grants, etc) isn't treated as income as it's not earned.

Income Support and/or Housing Benefit

Part-time students, or students with a disability or who are lone parents may be eligible to receive Income Support and/or Housing Benefit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Benefits advice for you or the person you are caring for is also available from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Parking at our Colchester Campus

Students living in on-campus accommodation aren't usually eligible to park on campus. If you live at the Colchester Campus and have caring responsibilities which you feel mean you need to have a car, visit your Student Services Hub for an application form. Applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Advice, guidance and support

If you find that your caring responsibilities combined with the pressures of studying are affecting your emotional, mental or physical health, you may find it helpful to drop-in to your Student Services Hub for advice or support.

External support organisations

  • Carers UK is the voice of carers who provide unpaid care for an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner.
  • The Carers Trust provides support for people caring at home for family members or friends with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
  • The NHS provides information, advice and support for carers.
  • Essex Carers' Support provides advice and support for informal carers of any age regardless of the nature of the disability.
  • Southend Carers gives student carers studying or living in Southend-on-Sea access to Care Support Navigators that will work with them to ensure they are accessing the full financial, practical and wellbeing support that they are entitled to.  
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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.