Estranged students

Supporting students who are estranged, have lost contact or are disowned by their families

Deciding to study at university is a big step for anyone; it can be especially daunting if you don’t have the support of your family. For those students, who are estranged, have lost contact or are disowned by their families, we believe that you deserve extra support with making the right choices, getting financial help and assistance, and settling in quickly so that you can focus on your studies and enjoy your student experience. At the University of Birmingham, we offer the highest academic experience within a supportive environment.

Pre-entry support

We can offer you guidance from your first interest in applying for university right through to studying here. Please get in touch with the Outreach Team if you have any questions. All our support is optional and you can decide how much support you need at any stage.


As an independent student, estranged from your family we can understand that one of the biggest concerns will be the costs of coming to and living at university. The charity Stand Alone has created detailed information to help you make the decision.

UCAS has also developed a helpful financial support guide.

There are also a number of charities and foundations that will offer support to young people in full-time education. Use the Turn2us website to search for different organisations that might be able to help.

Helena Kennedy Foundation can offer awards to students in full-time FE or HE education experiencing financial hardship.

Buttle UK can support with small grants.

As an estranged student, our funding team are happy to talk you through applying for student finance as an estranged student and the supporting evidence you need. The university has other bursaries available to enable students to undertake internships, work experience or overseas placements and care leavers/estranged students are prioritised for all funding sources. You can find more information on our Undergraduate funding database.


Our Student Mentor Scheme supports you with advice and guidance on any welfare-related issues you may face during your time in University accommodation. All our student mentors are fully trained and available to help you, from the moment you move in and throughout your time in University accommodation. The Student Mentor Scheme is based in the Mentor Welfare Officer, which is located in The Hub, at the Vale.  

Student Support and wellbeing

The University has a wide range of support available for its students. Student Services provide and support in specialist areas such as Counselling and Wellbeing, Disability, Mental Health and Learning Support.

The Student Wellbeing Officer (SWO) coordinates a proactive response for any student brought to the attention of Student Support Services who is in need of support but not currently engaging with any service. The SWO will work closely with the student, as well as support any staff member involved, to ensure the student is referred to the most appropriate service(s) from within Student Services and/or local statutory services. The SWO is the point of contact within Student Services for student carers, estranged students and care leavers. If requested the SWO can meet with a student to discuss support and facilitate access to appropriate services.

To support your transition to this new way of learning, you will have access to a comprehensive support system that includes the Academic Skills Centre based in the main library, if you feel you need additional support with general academic skills, academic writing and mathematics. In addition to your departmental personal tutor, we provide a confidential service to help you manage practical, emotional and psychological issues that may impact your academic success. Also available is a multi-faith chaplaincy. We can offer an initial guidance session at the start of your time here, for those who request it.

All undergraduates have access to our award-winning Careers Network to support you to plan for a successful career on graduation, and access national-award-winning internships and placements in the UK and overseas.