Students with caring responsibilities

Heriot-Watt is committed to giving access and opportunities to student carers. We use the definition of carer developed by the Carers Trust, which is: 
'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.'

Please note this definition does not apply where a student has a work placement or paid employment as a carer.

In March 2020 the University received the Going Higher for Student Carers Recognition Award from Carers Trust Scotland. This recognises our commitment and success in how we identify, support and celebrate our students with caring responsibilities from the pre-enrolment stages of their student journey all the way to graduation.

We are happy to work with young and adult carers at any stage and any time, including advice on the best route for you to get into university and working with those who might not think university is for them.

Tracey Kerr, our Widening Participation Manager, is the named point of contact for young and adult carers up to and including the transition to university –

Here is the support we can offer pre-enrolment: 

  • Applying to the University - we realise that it can be difficult for carers to get the entry qualifications needed, which is why we include young and adult carers in our Fair Access Policy during the admissions process. Please make sure to tick the UCAS box to declare your care responsibilities. This will allow us to make you an adjusted, or contextual, offer and contact you about the support you are entitled to 
  • How to get into the University – if you are not sure if you are studying the right courses, or wondering what courses to choose, we can help you figure out the right route for you
  • Help for advisers – if you think we can help with your work, or if you are working with someone who you think we can help, let us know and we will help in any way we can.

Once you are a University student, or if you are supporting a new or current University student, Emma Smail in our Wellbeing team can help you – There is more information on our Student Support pages for those with caring responsibilities.