Types of support


If you're a care leaver, your choice of hall will be prioritised, along with any request for vacation accommodation in the halls open for vacation residence.

You're entitled to accommodation in College halls for all years of study, but you can also get support and advice from the Student Hub if you choose to live out.

If you have any queries around accommodation, drop by the Student Hub, or send an email.

Financial support

Government Support

  • Young people who meet the legal definition of the term 'care leaver' are classed as independent by Student Finance England, and are therefore usually entitled to the maximum amount of financial support.
  • Care leavers under the age of 25, who meet the legal definition, are also entitled to financial support from their local authority during their time at university.

Imperial Bursary

  • Imperial Bursaries are awarded for each year of study and are on a sliding scale based on household income, so students from a care background are usually entitled to the maximum amount of financial support.
  • The award may vary from year to year, so please check for your year of entry. It does not need to be repaid.
  • Imperial Bursaries are based on household income assessments carried out by relevant government funding bodies i.e. Student Finance England, Student Finance Northern Ireland, Student Awards Agency for Scotland and Student Finance Wales. This is why only Home students who have applied for government funding are eligible for the scheme.

Student Support Fund

  • If you suddenly find yourself in financial difficulties or experience an unexpected change in circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for emergency financial help through the Student Support Fund.
  • The Fund offers a one-off payment to cover such emergencies as last minute accommodation and travel necessities, equipment and childcare. It does not have to be repaid.

Some care leaver charities also offer financial support to eligible applicants, please see Useful Links for some possible sources of support. 

If you have a query about finance or financial support, please contact the Finance Team for more information.

Academic and pastoral support

If you find yourself in difficult circumstances or needing support, your first point of contact is your Personal Tutor, who can arrange a one-to-one meeting to discuss your needs. 

The Senior Tutor in your department has overall responsibility for overseeing the pastoral and academic provision for Undergraduate students, and is also available to give you support. 

The College Tutors are independent of your academic department, and can provide confidential support regarding both academic and pastoral issues.

The Student Union offers an independent advice centre, which not only supports current students but also provides support for students who hold a confirmed offer. 

You can get in contact with other College services for more specific queries, including the Counselling service, the Chaplaincy, the Disability Advisory Service, and the Careers Service.

Useful links

The Who Cares Trust provides advice and information for care leavers, in addition to a guide to university for 14-21 year olds.

The Buttle Trust can provide financial support for applications made via a support worker. They also provide a list of other charities that may be able to help.

The Care Leavers’ Foundation is a charity that provides grants to care leavers whose applications meet the criteria.

Government guidance on leaving care outlines what you can expect in terms of support from your local authority.

The Care Leavers’ Association provides advice and information for care leavers, and aims to build a network of care leavers across the country.

The Rees Foundation provides information, resources, networking and financial support to those with residential care experiences.

The National Network for the Education of Care Leavers (NNECL) lists events and opportunities for children in care, care leavers, and those that support them.

StandAlone has a support hub for applicants and current students who have no contact with their families.