Student Development and Support

Whether you’re starting to study, enhancing your academic success or planning for employment, our package of support is designed to help you at every stage of your university experience.

Support Schemes

Pre-entry Support for Effective Preparation for HE Study

Our free Head Start online courses will help you develop your academic skills early and better prepare for university study. You may also want to join our summer Get Ahead campus events for early orientation into university life and study. It’s a great opportunity to meet other students who will join the same campus.

Induction and Orientation

Our comprehensive Welcome Week programme introduces you to all aspects of university life and study with dedicated online advice and guidance. We also have a number of campus-based Help is at Hand events - a ‘meet and greet’ opportunity to get to know how various student services staff can help you enjoy a happy and successful university experience.

1st Year Transition

All 1st year students are paired with a Cumbria Mentor – a 2nd or 3rd year student who can answer your concerns and show you the ropes. Many university programmes are part of the Peer Assisted Study Support scheme (PASS) whereby higher year students are trained as PASS Leaders to run weekly group discussions with new students.

On-Course Support

Our Skills@Cumbria service provides academic study support, online and face to face through timetabled workshops, individual appointments and online self-help resources. You may also want to join our Student Success Scheme, offering proactive and dedicated support for students experiencing difficulties with their studies.


Based on what employers look for in their ideal candidate, our Career Ahead employability award will identify any gaps in your skill set, let you reflect on your experiences and have the opportunity to participate in exclusive programmes and mock interviews with employers.

Support for Mature Students, Part-Time and Distance Learners

With 52% of undergrads and 85% of part-time students aged 21 or over, we understand the pressures that you may face as a mature student. Juggling work and family commitments with study requirements is no easy task, and many of our students are distance learners which can mean very limited access to campus based facilities and services. Luckily we here to help you no matter what your needs.

Young Care Leavers

We want to ensure that all young care leavers are able to access higher education, and that they can participate effectively in all areas of University life. That’s why we are incredibly proud to have been awarded the prestigious Buttle UK Quality Mark in recognition of our commitment to young people in and leaving care. Our care leavers’ work has won the National Education Opportunities Network Access initiative of the Year.

Young Adult Carers

Young Adult Carers are people aged 18-25 who provide care and assistance or support to another family member on an unpaid and unsupported basis. This could be any relative who is disabled, has some chronic illness, mental health problem or other condition. We recognise that people in this situation face particular circumstances that may impact on your ability to study.

In recognition of this, we offer a dedicated point of contact in the recruitment team and in support services so that you can prepare effectively ahead of joining your university course. Support advisers are available to identify effective strategies to help you combine university study with the demands of caring for someone.

Feel free to get in touch to find out about recruitment. If you'd like more information, contact our Support Services.

Download the Adult Carers booklet