Student Support

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Student Welfare Advice & Support

(Please note that the UCO is not responsible for the information published on the websites referenced below)

The Student Support Manager

The Student Support Manager is available to give advice and support with issues that may be affecting your studies both at and outside the UCO by:

  • Providing a confidential impartial service, where no information is disclosed without students’ written consent.
  • Providing a welfare and disability advisory service for all students and advising staff on related matters.
  • Providing specialist advice, information and support regarding student finance and disabled students allowance, health and personal issues and accommodation.
  • Advising on Higher Education student finance, bursaries, and loan schemes available within the UCO, and is able to provide students with assistance in sourcing other funding from outside organisations such as educational charities.
  • Providing support to all students with declared disabilities, initiating and supporting students through the process involved in applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), and ensuring that a student’s needs, once identified, are met by the UCO; this is a confidential and impartial service.
  • Co-ordinating and arranging the dyslexia provision within the UCO; if students believe that they may have dyslexia or another specific learning difficulty, they are advised to see the Student Support Manager who, if appropriate, may arrange for the student to undertake a full diagnostic assessment.
  • Referring students on to appropriate help within the UCO and the local community.

Financial Advice & Support for Students

Student Finance England

You may be able to borrow money to help pay for tuition fees and to help with living costs through Student Finance England. You may also be eligible to get extra money on top of this if, for example, you are on a low income, are disabled or have children. Click on the link below to find out more and to apply:

Funding for Postgraduate Study

You can get funding for postgraduate study through loans, studentships, bursaries and grants - you might also get help from your employer. More information is available from the website here:

Student Finance Extra Help

You may be eligible for extra financial help if you are on a low income or experiencing financial hardship. You can also apply for grants and extra financial support if you have children or dependent adults. More information is available from the website here: Extra Help

UCO Grants, Funds & Loans
We know that studying can be expensive and that changes to circumstances can often make it a struggle. We offer a limited number of grants and bursaries to students facing unforeseen financial difficulties as well as interest-free loans to those in need which are listed below. Our Student Finance Officer can also assist with student finance applications.​

1) Access Course Fee Support Grant

The UCO Access Course Fee Support Grant is available to students who are studying for our Access to Higher Education Diploma and are in receipt of a means tested benefit. It is a grant of £300 towards course fees. Please see the Guidance Notes and Application Form below to apply for the UCO Access Course Fee Support Grant.

2) UCO Bursary Fund (as part of our Access Agreement with OFFA)

UCO bursaries are targeted to help undergraduate students meet the additional material and equipment costs associated with study as well as helping students to cover their living and accommodation costs. In 2017-18 we are offering the following bursaries:

  • £200 to undergraduate students on household incomes under £25,000
  • A further £300 to students who are eligible for the bursary outlined above and who progress to our undergraduate courses from a relevant QAA recognised Access course
  • Students who are care leavers will be eligible to receive the bursaries outlined above as well as an additional bursary of £2,500.
Students do not need to apply for the UCO Bursary as the UCO assesses whether a student meets the eligibility criteria after they register on the course using SLC data. Bursaries are paid directly to the student in January upon successful completion of their first term, conditional upon their continuing to meet the criteria.

3) Access to Learning Fund (ALF)

The ALF provides financial support in the form of non-repayable bursaries to full or part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students who are facing extreme unforeseen financial difficulty or unexpected financial crisis.

The primary purpose of the Fund is to relieve financial hardship that might impact on a student's participation in higher education, including: assisting those who need extra financial help to meet particular costs which are not already being met from statutory (or other) sources of funding such as the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA); meeting specific course and living costs, other than tuition fee costs, which are not already met from other sources; providing emergency payments for unexpected crises; and, intervening in cases where a student may be considering leaving higher education because of financial problems.

Applications are welcome throughout the year.

Please see the Guidance Notes and Application Form below to apply to the ALF.

4) UCO Student Welfare Fund (SWF)

This is a one-off annual bursary awarded to students in financial need. The amount awarded is dependent on an applicant’s financial circumstances and may be divided between several applicants.

Application consists of a written personal statement, 3-months of bank statements and a completed yearly cash flow.

Please use the Guidance Notes and Application Form below to apply to the SWF.

5) UCO Student Loan Scheme (SLS)

The UCO offers loans primarily to undergraduate students but also to students studying for our MSc Osteopathy (Pre-Registration) whose change in financial circumstances makes it difficult for them to pay their tuition fees.

These loans are interest free, repaid on completion of the course over 60 monthly instalments. The committee awarding this loans meets annually in November.

Please use the Guidance Notes and Application Form below to apply to the SWF.

6) The Osteopathic Foundation

The Osteopathic Foundation is able to offer interest-free loans to students in the final two years of their degree course in osteopathy. The amount of the loan for each academic year is dependent upon the fund available and the number of students requiring help. Priority will be given to students who find themselves unexpectedly in financial difficulties through no fault of their own and who, previously, had a reasonable expectation of being able to fund the course.

The application closing date for these loans in normally in July / August of each academic year and application forms are emailed to students prior to the closing date.

7) The UCO Hardship Loan Fund
Short-term emergency loans of up to £300 are offered to students who find themselves in unexpected financial hardship and are unable to pay for everyday expenses such as travel to college, food, rent. Each individual case is assessed on student need and should be discussed with the Student Support Manager.

Student Bank Accounts

As a student you may wish to apply for a Student Bank Account that generally cater for students' needs and may offer incentives such as savings on travel cards, gift cards and cash back from well-known retailers. It may be helpful to apply for an account that is local to you or the UCO so that it is easy for you to visit, especially if you may need to make a cash or cheque deposit, provide any documentation or visit the bank personally. Below are several websites comparing student bank accounts that you might find helpful :

The following websites provide some information about opening a bank account in the UK for overseas students:

Student Travel Discounts

As a student you may be eligible for various travel discounts. The following are currently available for travel in and around London and the UK:

The 18+ Student Oyster Photocard Discount

If you're 18 or over, live at a London address during term time and in full-time education you may be eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard. This gives you 30% off the price of adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets. Learn more here:

16-25 (or over 25 and in full-time study) Railcard

This railcard is for anyone aged 16-25 or over 25 and in full-time study. With this railcard you get a third off Standard Anytime, Off-Peak, Standard Advanced and First Class Advanced rail fares. It costs £30 for one year. Learn more here:

Other Travel Discounts for Students

The following websites provide more information about other travel discounts for students (including holiday operator and hotel chain discounts):

Student Guide to Travel in London

Click on the link below for Trasnport for London's Student Guide to Travel in London. This guide provides advice about travel safety, Sanander Cycles, cycling and walking in London, buses, tubes, maps and a helpful journey planner.

General Financial Information

The Student Support Manager can also provide you with information and leaflets on student bank accounts, and budgeting.

It should be noted that second degree students are not eligible for government funding for a tuition fee or maintenance loan, but they may be eligible for one of the supplementary grants such as Disabled Students Allowance, the Childcare Grant or the Parents Learning Allowance (depending on their personal circumstances). Drop in to Room 3.08 if you’d like to know more about this.

To find out more general information about student finance, click on the links below: - (An information website for overseas students)

Finding Accommodation
The Student Support Manager offers advice on where to look for accommodation and types of accommodation available and can advise you on your rights as a tenant and look at tenancy agreements.
Please also see our Accommodation pages on our website here for further information:
Below are some other websites that may be of use to find accommodation:

Your Health & Wellbeing
Your personal health and wellbeing is important to us. It is important that you register with a GP and dentist local to where you are living as soon as possible.
Click here to find a GP near you: NHS - Find GP Services
Click here to find a Dentist near you: NHS - Find Dentist Services
There is an NHS Low Income Scheme to help with NHS costs should you require medical or dental treatment, prescriptions, sight tests and optical vouchers, travel costs and wigs and fabric supports. Please find out more here: NHS Low Income Scheme
The Student Support Manager also offers an impartial confidential support service. If you are feeling that you cannot cope or that you have a health problem that is affecting your studies then please speak to the Student Support Manager; they are able to refer you on to an outside organisation or the counselling service if needed.
If appropriate the Student Support Manager can also request Special Circumstances on your behalf and liaise with the Academic Registrar and your Course Leader, and can arrange reasonable adjustments in classes and exams for you if needed.

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