to uni

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Transition periods can be tricky, and you might even be transitioning out of care at the same time as transitioning into university. We’ve compiled a range of advice that can help you through this period.

Countdown to Uni

It can be overwhelming trying to keep on top of everything that you need to do before starting at university. We’ve compiled this transition to uni resource:

Year out options

If you’re going straight from school or college to university, you might want to think about having a year out. Often called a ‘gap year’, people often think or a year out as something that’s only possible if you’ve got a lot of financial support, but there are plenty of reasons you might take a break in between finishing school or college and starting university:

  • Working and earning money
  • Doing any extra courses you might need to start your degree
  • Travelling or working abroad where funding is available

There is a list of links here that can give you an idea of who can support you in taking a year out.

A young black man is walking outdoors, wearing a denim jacket over a brightly-coloured shirt. He is listening to something on headphones and smiling.
Photo by Yingchou Han – Unsplash

Changing plans

There are plenty of reasons your plans might change before you go to university. If you’re going straight from school or college, you might not get the results you needed. Personal, family or living situations may change, meaning you need more time to make decisions or your decisions need to be different. Or, you may simply change your mind about the course or university you’re due to start. Whatever the situation, there are people who can help you work out what to do next.

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Exam Results and Clearing

If you have a conditional offer to a university, but don’t get the results you need to meet this offer, you should contact your first choice university right away. In some cases, universities might be able to accept you even if you don’t meet the grades, and if they can’t, they might have similar courses they can offer you instead. Often, universities will have a designated contact you can call who knows about care experience and will know whether you’re entitled to any extra support. All universities will have details online about which of their courses are available through clearing, where you may be able to find course options for you if you haven’t met your original offer.

Deferring Entry

If your circumstances have changed, it might be that deferring entry and starting your course the following year would suit you better. This might not always be possible, but your university’s designated contact for care-experienced students will be able to guide you through your options or put you in touch with the right people at the university.

Changing course or university, or declining offers

Just because you’ve decided on a particular course or university, doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind. Much like deferring entry, the best thing you can do if you’re thinking about changing your mind on where to go or what to study is to talk to your designated contact.


And finally, shortly before starting your course, here are some handy checklists to make sure you’re ready for anything!

  • Important documents (like acceptance letters, any confirmation you’ve been asked to show about your care status)
  • Home comforts (your favourite blanket? Childhood toy? Whatever it is that makes you feel more comfortable, bring it along)
  • Clothing
  • Bathroom products
  • Electrical items
  • Bedding
  • Kitchen items
  • Contact lists
  • Specific items for your course

Check out Save the Student for some more detailed lists

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