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Care Leavers

Prospective students

We understand that deciding to come to university can be a big decision and we want to support you in this decision making process. Durham offers a range of exciting of ways to find out more about us before you decide if we are right the right place for you.

Whether it is an Open Day, a Campus Tour or a planned visit, there are lots of ways to find out more and get a feel for our university. Please click the links below for more information about opportunities that you may be eligible for.

Why do we want to know if you are a care leaver?

At Durham we have a range of support available for all students and as a care leaver, you are no different. We do however, understand that you may have concerns, questions or things happening in your life that other students may not have. We want to ensure that you feel supported during your journey at Durham and to be able to signpost you to support avaliable, we would like to be able to contact you. We understand that some students prefer to stay anonymous and do not want others to know about their time in care. We will respect your wishes and treat each person individually and with respect.

We are always here if you would like support, whether you are a prospective student, a fresher or a finalist so please get in touch if there is anything that we can do.

How can I let you know that I am a care leaver?

  1. Make sure that you tick the box on your UCAS form that asks if you are a care leaver. That way, we will know before you arrive and can arrange for you to receive relevant information before you begin your degree.
  2. Email us. You can also let us know that you are a care leaver by emailing Jordan Donohue, who will be happy to provide you with further information should you request it. Jordan can be contacted at: jordan.donohue@durham.ac.uk

What support is available?

Individual advice and support

If you would like support during your application, have a query or would like to clarify anything, you can get in touch with Jordan Donohue: jordan.donohue@durham.ac.uk.

She can signpost you to support available such as personal statement advice, finance support and deadline dates.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can be of support.

Supported Progression

Supported Progression is a scheme for talented students studying in the North East and Cumbria who have the potential to study at a university like Durham and who will benefit from additional help and support to reach their full potential.

Supported Progression offers a two-year coherent, structured programme of events and guidance. This includes the opportunity to take part in our residential events, experiencing life as a Durham University student. Those who successfully complete the assessed summer school project at the end of Year 12 will be recognised as having achieved a qualification equivalent to 40-80 UCAS tariff points that can contribute towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme of study at Durham University, along with a guaranteed offer. Successful students may also be eligible to receive additional bursaries towards university costs.

To find out more about the Supported Progression Programme, please see their webpage.

For residential based programmes we usually ask for parental consent. We understand that this is not always possible and we do not want you to be deterred from applying to a programme because of this. We are happy to work to find an alternative in such situations such as getting consent from social workers, other family members or case workers. If you have any concerns about this please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss any concerns with you.

Sutton Trust Summer School

Durham University's Sutton Trust Summer School, kindly supported by the Wolfson Foundation, is designed to give bright students from non-privileged homes the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a student at a leading university. The residential summer school is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about applying to university, to meet some of our current students and work with our academic departments. This programme is available for gifted and talented Year 12 students from UK state-maintained schools. 

Sutton Trust Summer Schools are free of charge! Not only is you place free, but we will also pay for your transport to and from the summer school. There really is no cost to attend!

If you would like more information about the Sutton Trust Summer School please head over to the Durham University Sutton Trust Summer School webpage. To find out more about the Sutton Trust directly, please click here.

For residential based programmes we usually ask for parental consent. We understand that this is not always possible and we do not want you to be deterred from applying to a programme because of this. We are happy to work to find an alternative in such situations such as getting consent from social workers, other family members or case workers. If you have any concerns about this please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss any concerns with you.

Access Partnerships

The Access Partnerships team works with a range of external partners to support the progression of talented state school pupils, particularly those from under-represented groups, into higher education. We offer a range of activity for young people and their parents/carers throughout the year, both in collaboration with our partners and independently. Opportunities exist for students from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 5 (Years 3-13). However, we have a particular focus on supporting local students in Years 9-11.

As part of the Raising Aspirations Partnership, a collaboration between the five regional universities, we work closely with Looked After Young People from across the North East region. Activities include taster days for Years 8 and 9 students, an intensive six week programme for Year 10 and 11 students and support for visits to regional Higher Education Fairs for Year 12 and 13 students. In addition, the Partnership offers training to foster carers across the North East who wish to find out how universities can support Looked After Young People progress to Higher Education. For more information, visit our website at www.raisingaspirations.org.uk.’

For more information about the Access Partnerships team and what events are going on, please see our webpages.

Open Days

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

 Post-application open days are held in March for applicants who have been offered a place to study at Durham University. Post-application Open Days are different to those offered at the pre-application stage. They offer an interactive study and social experience to provide a realistic insight into student life and to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to make the most of your future with us as a Durham University student.

We are pleased to be able to offer an Open Day travel bursary for those who are currently in, or who have had experience of care who would like to attend the Open Day. Please head over to our Open Day webpages for more details!

Discover Durham Tours

Discover Durham Tours are led by our current students and are an excellent way to get an insight into Durham in one day.

They provide an introduction to the Durham student experience and a brief overview of University facilities. You can find more information and book a place on our dedicated visit us webpages.