Students Staff

Care Leaver and Estranged Bursary

This bursary is offered as part of our commitment to accessibility and widening participation for higher education and to support students without family support.

If you're a new or continuing undergraduate or postgraduate student who was in UK local authority care prior to starting your course, or are estranged from your parent’s, you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £1,000.


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 2020/21
  • You are undertaking Undergraduate or Postgraduate study
  • You were aged under 25 at the start of your current course


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


  • 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

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.

  • 2020-21

    Care Leaver and Estranged Bursary – terms and conditions 2020-21

    PDF document

    Please read the full terms and conditions before applying for or accepting a scholarship or bursary. They contain important information about eligibility, how you'll receive your funding and whether this award can be combined with others or not.

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 Leaver and Estranged Bursary’
  5. Submit your signed declaration form and supporting evidence

Support for care leavers

Leaving care or going it alone and entering higher education can be a huge challenge. We’re here to support you all the way, from application through to graduation and finding a job. Check out our other student support services for care leavers and estranged students.

You may also be eligible to receive financial support from the UoE Hardship Fund if you are experiencing unexpected short-term financial difficulty.