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Are you a carer? A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

If you are uncertain as to whether you are a carer on not, you can contact Carers Trust Scotland for some advice.

If you are a carer considering applying to the University or you are already registered as a student, please contact our named Student Carer contact by emailing who will be able to advise on support for Student Carers. The University has also produced a Student Carer Policy and Plan to enable us to support students during their studies.

Some examples of flexibility that may be offered are:

  • Recognising the need to arrive late or leave early in order to place your cared for person(s) in appropriate daytime care
  • Agreeing periods of authorised absence and making arrangements for you to catch-up on lectures/tutorials missed for reasons relating to caring responsibilities to ensure that you are not at an academic disadvantage
  • Providing timetables, wherever possible, at least one month in advance to allow you to make necessary alternative care arrangements and recognising that you may not be able to attend academic activities in the event of late changes to timetables
  • Ensuring that you have adequate opportunity to make up missed time e.g. through access to any missed materials, or rescheduling of practical activities
  • Taking account of caring responsibilities on courses which require an external placement. Priority should be given to ensuring the placement is within reasonable travelling distance to accommodate care arrangements
  • Providing at least a few weeks' notice of placements to allow the arrangement of alternative care
  • If viable, consideration of a transfer to part-time study (Please note that international students in the UK with a Tier 4 General Student Visa are not permitted to change to part-time study).

Funding for Student Carers

SAAS have created this document specifically for Student Carers to advise on what funding might be available to you.

You can also speak to our Student Funding Team who can advise on what funds could be accessible for you.

External Support for Student Carers

HOPE have created this fantastic guide for students who are supporting ill or disabled family members. It is written by young people and offers tips for students in similar situations.  

The Open University offers these free online modules for carers and for managers supporting carers in employment.

There are many support services for carers in Scotland. Details for some of them are outlined below:

Carers Trust Scotland

Carers Trust Scotland is the largest provider of carers support services in Scotland. GCU has been working in partnership with Carers Trust Scotland for the past few years to help us work towards the Going Higher Award and ensure we are doing our best to support student carers. Find out more about their research and the Going Higher Award here:

A summary of recent research by Carers Trust Scotland showing the impact of caring on students.

Find out more about the Going Higher Award that GCU achieved in 2017 and what we must continue to do to ensure good practice. 

Find out how you can support the Carers Trust’s work to support student carers in Scotland – this includes useful information about how students and campaigners can get involved.

To find out more about what they do, please visit their webpages.

Carers Scotland

Carers Scotland can help by giving advice, information and support. Their webpages are a great resource for information.


Mind work to ensure people look after their mental health. They have local carer support groups that can be a huge help for people. Visit these webpages for up to date information.

National Union of Students

This NUS webpage has some helpful advice and guidance for student carers. 

Which? Elderly Care

Which? Elderly Care is a source of free and independent information and advice on care choices for older people across the UK. It's a not-for-profit branch of Which? and will always be completely free to use. 

GCU Students' Association Student Carers Group

At GCU Students' Association there is an a representation group for Student Carers


The Student Carers' Group exists to represent the interests of all Student Carers studying at GCU.


The Student Carers Officer with GCU and GCU Students' Associations to enhance the student experience of students with caring responsibilities.


The Student Carers' Officer for 2019/20 is: 

Gilliam Poynts (Officer)


The officer team can be contacted at .


Find out more by joining the group at GCU Students' Association