Students outside the library

Students with caring responsibilities

LSE supports students with caring responsibilities to realise their full potential.

LSE recognises that students caring for a child, family member or friend can face unique challenges when studying. This website summarises support that might be useful to you if you have a caring responsibility.

If you want to speak someone about your specific circumstances or have any further questions, you can email us at ard.lsecares@lse.ac.uk.

What does LSE mean by “caring responsibility”?

We understand student carers to be students who provide unpaid care for a child, family member or friend. The person cared for might be a child under the age of 18, or a person with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction. Although range and scope of caring responsibilities will vary greatly, the Carers Trust gives several examples of what caring might include:

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed.
  • Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
  • Helping to give someone their medication.
  • Managing the family budget.
  • Collecting prescriptions and managing medication.
  • Helping someone communicate.
  • Looking after brothers and sisters.
  • Providing emotional support.

Please note that most of the support listed below is not conditional on satisfying this specific definition.

Applying to LSE

Undergraduate applicants

LSE operates a contextual admissions process. When our admissions selectors review applications, they consider an applicant’s personal and educational circumstances, as well as achievement and potential. This applies both when making offers and when confirming them after results day. If you think that your caring responsibility has had an impact on your education, we encourage you to mention this to your referee. This way, they can include this in the “Applicant context” section of your reference for the attention of the admissions selector.

You can find out more about our undergraduate admission processes on our Admission information webpage.

Postgraduate applicants

We do not run a contextual admissions process at postgraduate level, but our assessors take a holistic view of all applications. Therefore, when completing the application form, we encourage you to include any information about how your personal circumstances have impacted on your education to date.

How can you let us know that you have a caring responsibility if you are a student?

You do not have to tell us that you have a caring responsibility. However, if you do, we might be able to support you if and when you need it.

The easiest way for you to tell us about your caring responsibility is via the Registration Portal. Ahead of each year of your studies, you will be sent a link to this portal and asked to fill in your registration information, including a question about any caring responsibilities you may have. Alternatively, you can reach out to us at ard.lsecares@lse.ac.uk.

Childcare

From September 2021 onwards, LSE students who use one of our three partner nurseries will receive a 25 per cent discount off the standard nursery rates. These nurseries are all located near the LSE campus. You can find more details about the nursery partnership on the LSE Nursery partnerships website.

Accommodation

If you are planning to stay in LSE halls of residence during your studies, our Residential Services team can offer the following support:

  • An Accommodation Bursary paying up to £2,500 towards your accommodation fees in the first year of your studies, if you’re in receipt of a higher value LSE Bursary.
  • Support from our in-house warden teams throughout the year. This includes advice, guidance, and support with navigating life at LSE, plus connections to activities and services available to our students.

After you have accepted your offer to study at LSE, you can book your room via the LSE Student Accommodation System. Students with caring responsibilities can use the ‘personal circumstances’ part of the booking form to let us know that you're a carer and if you have any accommodation requirements in relation to this. For more information on the booking process and our halls of residence, please check our Accommodation webpages.

If you are a caring for a child who will be living with you during your studies, you might also be able to apply for dedicated family accommodation.

Financial support

LSE’s Financial Support Office provides a range of financial support to students, pre-enrolment and during their time at LSE. The Financial Support Office host regular drop-in sessions that are a great starting point to find out more about what financial support is available to you and how you can apply for it.

Below are some examples of the types of funding that might be particularly relevant, if you have a caring responsibility:

-          LSE Bursaries guarantee non-repayable financial support to UK undergraduate students with a household income below a certain threshold. Currently, new and returning undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales with a household residual income of less than £42,611 are eligible to receive the LSE Bursary. The bursary amounts range between £500 and £4000.

-          LSE’s Discretionary Bursaries can provide additional support to undergraduate students facing exceptional financial needs, including caring responsibilities. The value of the award may vary according to need, but is not expected to exceed a total of £4,000 combined with the LSE Bursary.

-          LSE’s In-Course Financial Support provides further financial support to registered students. This funding includes the LSE access fund, which is available to UK undergraduate students (and in particular student parents, who require assistance with general living costs); and the Student Support Fund, which supports students on all levels of study facing unforeseen financial hardship.

Wellbeing and mental health

The Disability and Wellbeing service (DWS) offers confidential advice and support to all disabled students. This includes support for students with physical impairments, long-term health conditions, mental health conditions, specific learning difficulties, and autistic spectrum conditions. 

DWS also has a team of Mental Health Advisers who can provide advice and support to students whose mental health condition is impacting or may impact on your studies. The Mental Health Advisers can offer practical support around managing your studies while coping with a mental health condition, as well as helping with support if you are having a serious crisis or need urgent help.

LSE also has a Counselling Service that offers a private and confidential space for students to talk with a trained professional about anything in your life which is impacting on your psychological wellbeing and daily life, counsellors don’t provide advice or solutions but work with you to reflect on whatever you are finding difficult and help to identify healthier strategies to manage.

Academic support

We provide a range of academic support to students during their time at LSE, both on a departmental level and School-wide.

Within the departments, your central point of contact is your Academic Mentor. They can give you academic guidance and feedback, but also guidance on non-academic issues.

If you are an undergraduate student, you can also reach out to your Departmental Tutors who act as an alternative point of contact and can assist with more complex queries. For postgraduate students, the Programme Directors can assist you with further support.

Outside of the department, the LSE LIFE team offers a range of academic support, including one-to-one support and group workshops. Further help is offered by the Academic Support Librarians,  and the Digital Skills Lab.

Support and advocacy from the Students’ Union

The LSE’s Student Union (LSESU) provides free advice and support to all LSE students as part of its Advice Service. The LSESU can advise you on a range of academic and housing issues; the Student Union also administers its own range of financial support in the form of the Hardship Fund.

As the LSESU is independent from LSE, they are able to offer impartial advice. They can also help you to get your voice heard and advocate for issues you think the university needs to address.

External support

Outside of LSE the Carers Trust is a good source of information, advice, guidance and advocacy.

UCAS also provides information and advice for prospective and current undergraduate students who are parents or have caring responsibilities.