Hereford College of Arts pro-actively welcomes applications from students who are Care Leavers. We aim to do all that we can to help you in your creative journey, to make sure that you thrive and enjoy your time at HCA and ultimately achieve your full potential. 

We offer a package of support for Care Leavers.

We offer dedicated support for Care Leavers. If you are a Care Leaver your key contact is our Wellbeing Development Lead, Melissa Williams. If you have any questions about HCA, or the support we provide, please contact Melissa at or

All care leavers will receive a Cash Bursary of £1,000 in their first year and will also receive a Care Leaver Bursary of £1,000 in both their second and third year. This can help with the cost of graduation and travel, as well as living costs.

We seek to offer one year’s free accommodation for Care Leavers in our new halls of residence

We will work with you to find a guarantor to support with moving into privately rented accommodation

Our Level Four ‘Art School 101’ programme includes support with budgeting and bursaries are paid to students in 3 instalments: 25% is payable in the Autumn Term, 25% in the Spring term and 50% in the Summer Term to help you manage your finances.

We pro-actively encourage Care Leavers to apply for our Graduates in Residence scheme and our Academic Mentoring Team will offer you support with the application process.

We offer one-to-one careers advice after graduation through Launchgrad, our graduate support programme, so that we can continue to support you once you have graduated.

Am I eligible for support?

We define ‘Care Leaver’ as someone who has been in care for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and are:   

  • still being looked after, or   
  • have been looked after sometime after their 16th birthday and who have now left care  under the age of 25   
  • in the care of the Local authority, or  
  • have been in the care of a local authority within 3 years prior to commencing their course, or  
  • have left the care system but are still receiving support from their Local Authority or an organisation such as Barnardos   

If you fulfill these criteria and can provide proof (usually in the form of a letter from your local authority) then you are eligible for Care Leavers Support at HCA. 

If you are applying by UCAS, we encourage you to tell us you are a Care Leaver on your UCAS form. 

You can read more about how to apply to HCA here