Fees and Funding


Care Leaver and Estranged Bursary


The details
Undergraduate, Postgraduate taught

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 parents, you could be eligible for a bursary of up to £1500.


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 2023/24
  • 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

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
  6. Support for care leavers
  7. 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.

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.

Care Leaver and Estranged Bursary terms and conditions 2023-24 (.pdf)

If you're a current student looking for information about an award you received, see our terms and conditions for previous years.