Information for looked after young people and their supporters

We're here to help looked after young people and their supporters

We know that the journey to higher education is exciting but can be challenging, so our aim is to help make the process as clear and simple as possible for you if you're a looked after young person or a care leaver considering applying to University of Plymouth.

We want to raise awareness of the range of courses and careers available, raise aspiration and motivation to attend university, provide support and signposting for potential students and those that are going through the University of Plymouth application process, and support the transition of care experienced students into life at the University of Plymouth.

What we offer

Looked after young people

We offer the following activities through local authorities, virtual schools and schools and colleges. The majority of events are offered to prospective students within Devon and Cornwall due to travel logistics, but we will consider requests from further afield.

If you're interested in attending any of these events, please get in touch to let us know. Please also let your social worker/personal advisor and school know that you're interested.

  • Taster days are a great opportunity to get a fun and interesting insight into student life, meet current students and attend taster sessions from various subject areas.
  • Shadowing provides an opportunity to shadow a current student for a day. School students are matched with an undergraduate student in a subject which interests them.
  • Come on a campus tour and meet current care leaver students and care leaver service staff.  An opportunity to ask questions and find out what financial and other support is available to you.
  • Information and support around finances, applications, UCAS forms and a range of other issues either face-to-face or by email or phone chats.
  • Access to university-wide events and activities including UniExperience residential summer schools.

Foster carers

  • Find information about upcoming events on or NNECL.
  • We welcome visits to the University throughout the year by foster carers and the young people they care for who are interested in attending the University of Plymouth.
  • The Care Leavers' Service has a stand at each Open and Applicant Day and we welcome you to come along and find out more about our service.
  • For more information, to make an appointment to come along and see us or just to have a chat, please contact us using the contact information on this page.

Social workers and schools

  • We work closely with Plymouth Local Authority and the Virtual School here to support local looked after young people prepare for and progress to higher education. We also have connections with Cornwall, Devon, Torbay, Somerset and Bristol Local Authorities and are always keen to extend and develop existing and new links.
  • We work with many schools and colleges in the local area to support their care leaver students and are always keen to make links with more, both locally and nationally.
  • We can offer taster days, visits, student shadowing and access to many university outreach activities. We're keen to encourage more looked after young people to come to the University of Plymouth and as a priority group there are often ring-fenced places reserved for them on outreach events. Find out more about the sorts of events on offer.
  • We work with a range of other organisations such as Young Devon to provide higher education experience opportunities for care experienced students. Watch this film we made in partnership with local looked after young people and Young Devon.
  • We liaise closely with personal advisers and social workers of care leavers who are in the process of applying for, enrolling at, and currently studying at Plymouth in order to best support those students.

If you know a young person who is interested in studying at Plymouth, and you wish to arrange a visit to the University for an individual or group, or have ideas about how we can work together, please contact us.

Further resources

  • NNECL – National Network for the Education of Care Leavers. Higher Education activities and resources for care leavers, children in care and those who support them.
  • Propel – Use to find out what support care leavers can expect when applying to University or College.