Who we support

We support people who no longer have the support of their family or any contact with them, because of a breakdown in their relationship. If you are unsure if this applies to you, please contact us for further advice. 

We recognise that students who are estranged are under-represented in higher education and are committed to offering support for you to study at Heriot-Watt. We can provide access to the advice, guidance, financial support and accommodation required to help you succeed at university. We offer a named point of contact and support within the University, from pre-entry advice to support throughout your time with us.

If you are applying to Heriot-Watt, please contact Pat Reid (see below) to disclose your circumstances and we will discuss with you how we can help.

Remember you can make use of our support as much or as little as you wish.

How we can support you

Admissions
If you are estranged and you tell us about it via UCAS or by contacting us directly, you will be eligible for a contextual (less strict) offer and one-to-one help with your application. We also give our students the chance to say if they are estranged during the enrolment stage or at any point throughout their studies.
Dedicated contact

Estranged students have a dedicated point of contact to support them throughout their entire University journey: Pat Reid, Colleges and Wider Access Officer.

UCAS also provides dedicated advice for estranged students wishing to apply to university.

How your application is considered
When considering applications, we take your circumstances into account and recognise that you may have faced more obstacles than others during school or college, which may have affected your grades. For these reasons, we look at applications from estranged students under our Fair Access Policy.
Financial support

If you are estranged, you are eligible to apply for our Heriot-Watt Access Bursary. Students who are awarded an access bursary receive a total of £1,000 for each year of their undergraduate studies.

Students who are estranged are also eligible for support towards travel costs for each year of their undergraduate studies.

In addition, estranged students are given priority access to hardship funds and emergency funding from our Student Union Advice Hub if needed. You can access one-to-one financial advice from our drop-in service in the Student Service Centre. The drop-in service is available Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm. 

Other information
You can get more information about financial support for estranged students from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Other student finance agencies may also have support specifically for students who are estranged. Make sure you check to find out everything you are entitled to.
Summer school
We encourage estranged students to take part in the Heriot-Watt Summer School, a three-day event that takes place prior to Welcome Week and which helps students prepare for starting at Heriot-Watt
Accommodation
We guarantee to make an offer of accommodation to all eligible students in their first year of study. Please see our accommodation guarantee for full details. Students who are estranged are also eligible for year-round access to University accommodation for the duration of their studies. Further information about accommodation can be found on the University accommodation webpage.

Please contact Pat Reid, Colleges and Wider Access Officer, when you apply for accommodation so we can discuss the options available to you.
Safety and security
Safeguarding Services and support is available 24/7 on campus, and students have access to our SafeZone app. We also have an on-campus Residence Life team who provide activities and support to help ensure you feel welcome and settled during your time in halls.
Advice and support

For advice, guidance and support when you apply, please contact Pat Reid, Colleges and Wider Access Officer.

If you are already a student at Heriot-Watt, you can also contact Emma Smail, Student Wellbeing and Transition Advisor (Edinburgh campus) or Gillian Mclaughlin, Student Advisor (Scottish Borders campus).

The Active Student Programme

During your time at Heriot-Watt, you might want to de-stress by engaging in sport and exercise. The Active Student Programme is an option available to you to help you get started, where you are entitled to a free 12-week exercise programme with support from an exercise professional.

For more information regarding referral to this programme please email Emma or Gillian as above.

The Stand Alone Pledge
The University has signed the Stand Alone Pledge to continually improve the support for current and future Heriot-Watt students who experience estrangement at any time of their University experience.