Student carers

two young men - one in wheelchair

What is a student carer? 

A student carer is a student aged 18 or over who provides unpaid support to someone who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner, or friend who is ill, frail, disabled, or has mental health or substance misuse problems.

Types of caring you may be doing:

  • keeping someone safe
  • worrying about them when you are not with them
  • managing the bills and household finances as they cannot
  • staying in the house a lot to be there for them
  • helping them to get up, get washed or dressed, or helping with toileting
  • doing lots of the household chores like shopping, cleaning and cooking
  • providing emotional support or a shoulder to cry on.

If you are a student aged under 18 please see our young carers pages


Your rights as a carer

As a carer, you have the right to: 

  • a carers' assessment
  • request flexible working from your employer (for employees with 26 weeks service or more)
  • receive financial support through a carer’s allowance if you are eligible
  • have your views taken into consideration by social services when they are deciding how best to meet the needs of the person you care for.

You may also have the right to:

  • receive assistance from social services, such as practical help at home
  • respite care to give you a break.

See our advice pages for more information.

Carers’ assessment

If you are aged 18 or over and you are a carer you are entitled to an adult carers' assessment. This will look at your caring role and you can request support for the person you care for if you feel it is impacting on your life.quote

Carers' self-assessment form.

To request a telephone assessment or to arrange face to face support:

*If the person you support does not live in Oxfordshire, please contact the county council in the area they live to get a carers' assessment. You can still register with Carers Oxfordshire and access our support groups and courses.

Supporting you

Carers Oxfordshire can help if you need support around college courses /getting a job or just need pointing in the right direction. Please telephone Merisha Anderson at 07557 430 882 or email

Emergency Carers Support Service can support carers by providing replacement care when they (the carer) suddenly or unexpectedly becomes ill, or has an accident which prevents him/her from providing care.

young woman student

Support at college/university

There are 6.5 million carers in the UK, making up 10.5 per cent of the population. There are no official statistics on the number of students who are also carers, but it is estimated between 3 and 6 per cent of students across the UK are carers, with some universities and colleges having an even higher proportion of student carers attending.

There are likely to be significant numbers of students at your college/university who are carers; some will be unknown to services, some may have recently become carers and some will have been caring for many years.

Some universities and colleges have dedicated support for student carers in the form of a carers’ group or a policy relating to students with caring responsibilities. Oxfordshire County Council and Carers Oxfordshire are working in partnership with the following local colleges and universities, please contact the named person for more support:

A good place to find out whether there is support available at your institution is to ask student services or your students’ union advice centre. If there is no carer-specific support, you can take advantage of all of the general student support available.

The National Union of Students (NUS) provide information and advice to carers about benefits, support and caring while studying.  Find out more on the website.

There is support for universities who would like to increase their support to carers. This new resource will enable universities and services supporting young adult carers, to gain a greater understanding of the challenges that this group of students face and how they can be better supported to access and succeed in higher education. Resources and information for professionals who work with carers.

Online support

  • National Union of Students
  • Carers UK  Offer free Guides, practical help, information about health and care technology, your rights at work and much more.
  • Free Online Resource Rally Round.  Sometimes we all need a little bit of extra help and this is where family and friends can come in.   Rally Round is a simple online tool that can help.  You start by inviting friends, family and if you like professionals too, to form a support network. They can all add things that need doing, discuss details and volunteer to help. Texts and emails alerts remind everyone in the network who is doing what and when things are done. Rally Round is free for anyone supporting someone who lives in Oxfordshire:  Try it out and see how it can work for you.


Being a carer is hard work, you need to look after yourself. There are so many demands on your time every day that can make it difficult to find time for yourself.  Stress can build up.  Looking after yourself is important when you're a carer.

Carers Oxfordshire offer free information and advice sessions, therapies, activities and wellbeing events for carers and former carers. To find out about the sessions and events that are currently available please check out our events calendar or contact Tracey Desmond on 01235 520463 or email

Health and wellbeing advice.