Care-Experienced Students

‌Glasgow Caledonian University would like to encourage more university applications from care experienced young people: anyone who has been or is cared for by a local authority; this could be residential care, foster care, ‌cared for by friends or relatives or cared for at home. We also offer support for estranged students - those studying without family support.

Scottish Care LeaversWe are also proud to work with the Scottish Care Leavers' Covenant to help improve outcomes for care-experienced young people.‌

This is recognition to GCU’s commitment to recruiting students from a diverse range of backgrounds.  Glasgow Caledonian University drives forward the agenda for care-experienced young people through our steering group. We also try to engage with care-experienced young people at the earliest stage through our school and college outreach.‌

Settling into university life

Care-experienced students progressing to Glasgow Caledonian University can access a staff mentor to help ease the transition to university study, providing a friendly face to catch up with and a signpost to other aspects of GCU life. For more information please get in touch with our named contact, Rachel Hyslop. We also have a Care-Experienced Officer in our Student Association, running the Care-Experienced Student Group liberation and representation group.

See the links below to find out more about the support we can offer:

Applying to Glasgow Caledonian University

When you are applying for a place at Glasgow Caledonian University, you will be asked to indicate if you have been in care on your UCAS form. We would encourage you to do so, which allows us to contact you to ensure you receive the support and advice which will assist you during your student journey. For example, after you apply we will get in touch to invite you in for a visit. Care-experienced applicants are also considered under our contextualised admissions policy, so you could be eligible for a reduced offer. We will also email you about potential funding opportunities or accommodation scholarships you might be interested in applying to. Some of these have deadlines in May/June the year you start, so it's important that you check your emails so that you don't miss out! 

If you would like to visit the University for a tour and talk to current students or if you have any questions about your application please get in touch with our named contact Rachel Hyslop via We would be happy to meet you and give you information about what it's like to study at GCU and the support available.  We can show you around the department you're interested in applying to so that you get acquainted with the university before you start. If you missed the tick-box on UCAS you can also get in touch to let us know and we will update our records and there's another opportunity to tell us at registration.

Even if you're not ready to apply to university yet, feel free to get in touch for advice about your options. For example, we can offer guidance when choosing school subjects as early as S3, or on access courses for mature students thinking of applying to university after a break in education. We can also give you advice on your UCAS application and, if applicable, help you prepare for an interview.


As a care-experienced student, you may be eligible to access 365-day free accommodation for up to two years in Caledonian Court, our halls of residence close to the University, as we understand that this can be challenging for some care leavers. If you are interested please contact us for more information.

In addition to the accommodation we can offer on campus, you may also choose to apply for an accommodation scholarship with the Unite Foundation. We have an established partnership with the Unite Foundation and a number of students are now successful Unite scholars.  These scholarships support care-experienced and estranged students with free accommodation 365 days for up to three years in a Unite halls of residence. Students normally stay in Glasgow's Blackfriars Halls, which is roughly a 15 minute walk from GCU. Please contact us if you are interested in applying. The closing date for applications is normally at the end of May each year, so we would advise students to apply well ahead of this deadline. Applicants normally find out if they have been successful in July ahead of starting the new academic year in September. Please note that applications are open to continuing as well as new students.

Student Funding Team

At GCU we have a range of financial support for undergraduates, and priority access to the Student Funding Team is available for Care-Experienced students. This includes an invitation to apply for our Common Good Scholarship before you start and other opportunities such as travel. We also have an additional bursary to help final year students with graduation costs such as gown hire. For more information please contact Rachel or Student Funding.

In addition to this, Rachel will get in touch with students once they have applied with information on how to apply for other scholarships and bursaries you may be eligible for.  This may include opportunities from external organisations that could be of interest.

Financial support may also be available through the University's HEI Discretionary & Childcare Fund.

Student Support Services

Glasgow Caledonian University is very proud of its reputation for being supportive, caring and helpful, but we understand University can still be a bit daunting.  The Student Wellbeing Team provides a free and confidential advice and support service. We understand that good health and positive well-being are vitally important during your studies and, they will not only help improve academic aspects of your life but will also contribute towards a rich and fulfilling student experience. The team can help with a whole range of concerns and issues including stress, making friends, low mood, home-sickness, anxiety, identity issues, relationship issues and mental health difficulties.

The team includes the following support areas:

  • The counselling team provide a free, easily accessible counselling service which is available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students at the university. For more information on the counselling service offered at GCU, please visit the counselling webpages.
  • The Disability Team provides free advice, information and services to disabled students and applicants. To find out more about the Disability Team at GCU, please visit the disability webpages. The team provides information and advice to disabled students so that they are able to access their programme of study and participate in university life.
  • The Mental Health Advisers support students who may be experiencing emotional or psychological distress or personal difficulties. They can coordinate support for students with mental health difficulties and act as a point of contact for the duration of your studies, working alongside the disability servicecounselling service and the Student Wellbeing Adviser, but it is not their role to be a counsellor. They will be able to support and encourage you to consider your rights and think about any additional resources which may help you to access education. Each case will be viewed independently and will vary according to each student's needs. As well as encouraging you to think about adjustments and resources, they will be able to support you by providing interventions, offering advice and guidance, and signposting/referring to therapeutic and medical services when appropriate. If you want to get in touch, please email 
  • The Student Wellbeing Adviser works with students who have wellbeing concerns and provides meaningful face to face contact in a timely manner to receive appropriate support and signposting. Christina is also involved in student critical incidents and is the main point of contact for student carers and for trans students. Christina also assists with the creation and delivery of health promotion initiatives. If you have any questions relating to your well-being at GCU then you should contact Christina at 
Academic Support

Each academic school has a Learning Development Centre. The centres provide students with support for their academic development in areas such as academic writing, study skills, time management and ICT Skills.


The library has eight designated laptops, specifically available on long-term loan, for care-experienced students.  Applications can be made to RachelOur library staff are also happy to arrange one-to-one support for care-experienced students to help make full use of the services available. 

Corporate Parenting

GCU is proud to be a Corporate Parent. We have a Corporate Parenting Steering Group, which is chaired by the Head of GCU Outreach.  The primary function of the Group is to oversee the development, implementation, reporting, monitoring and evaluation of the University’s Corporate Parenting Strategy and Action Plan.

View: Corporate Parenting Steering Group Terms of Reference