Student Carers' Policy

This policy provides advice and guidance to:

  • Students who, at any point during their studies at the University, provide emotional or practical support to a relative, close friend, or neighbour, who is unable to manage alone,
  • University staff who have a role in advising or supporting students who already are or who anticipate becoming carers.

Policy and Guidelines

The policy covers any current or prospective student who has sole or shared responsibility for a relative, close friend or neighbour because they are ill, have a disability, are experiencing mental distress or affected by substance abuse (as described in Caring Together: The Carers Strategy for Scotland 2010 - 2015). This responsibility for emotional or practical support may occur at any point in their university career and may not be predictable, or have a set timescale.
The need for care can often be differentiated as ‘short’ or ‘long’ term. The University acknowledges that requirements and demands on the carer may fluctuate and can often intensify over time and recognises that each carer’s needs are unique.

The scope of this policy does not include parental responsibilities, unless for a disabled child, or any caring responsibilities as part of a voluntary placement or where payment is received.

The policy focuses primarily on the responsibility of caring and impact on study-related matters. Sources of help and advice on related issues can be found at the end of the document.

Student Carers who wish to request special arrangements to support them in their studies should complete the Student Carer’s Plan form.


For the Attention of

Any student or member of University staff in the foregoing categories.

Approval and Amendments

Date effective: Session 2011-12
Recommended by: Student Support and Development Committee, 14 January 2011
Ratified by: Senate, 3 February 2011