What is Student Support and What Can it Do For You?

31st October 2023 Lottie Salako Study

Being a student can be challenging when you have so much to balance. Not only do you want to do well in your studies, but you want to make friends, pick up new hobbies, and get to know your new home. If you’re struggling to handle everything, there are many support options. Here, we explore university student support services, explaining what they are, what they can help you with, and how to access them.

Academic Support Services

There are a range of options that universities offer to support you with your academic skills and performance. The increased expectations between school and university can be difficult to manage, but your university and subject department should offer resources such as:

  • Personal tutor/academic advisor
  • Staff office hours
  • Academic writing sessions (usually with a postgraduate student)
  • Self-study courses on academic skills, e.g. note-taking, revision, planning, etc.
  • Mental health support such as counselling and therapy

These are open to all students, so if you want to improve your grades or need extra help, get in touch and make an appointment.

Disability Support Services

Every university will have a disability service that helps students get the accommodations they need to excel during their studies. If you have a specific disability, you will need to contact the university and provide evidence of your disability (usually a letter from your doctor). They will then work with you to make a personal plan to specify what kind of support you need. There are lots of different levels of help you can get; here are some of the most common accommodations:

  • Priority registration for courses
  • Note taker or arrange copies of notes
  • Extended time on exams
  • Use of laptops for tests and exams
  • Use of calculators for tests and exams
  • Permission to make audio recordings of classes
  • Reduced course load
  • Access to assistive technology such as audiobooks, text-to-speech, and a microphone for hard-of-hearing students

If you are not diagnosed with a learning difficulty but suspect that you may have one, then some universities also help with the assessment process. However, at many, you will have to go through your GP or get a private diagnosis, which is separate from the university system.

Financial Support Services

University is a big financial undertaking, especially if you have moved away from home and to a major city like London, where living costs are high. Thankfully, universities do offer support services for students who are struggling to manage their money or afford necessities for their studies. This typically includes grants, bursaries, and schemes that allow you to borrow equipment or access what you need for free. Many also have support groups and mentoring services that focus on teaching you how to budget and manage money better.

You can get several grants, such as the government’s Disable Student Allowance or contact your university about hardship funds designed to help everyone access higher education. If you are struggling with your finances, the best thing to do is to reach out as soon as possible so that you can get back on track.

towers of coins and graduation copy referencing student finance

International Students Support Services

When coming from abroad to study, it can feel like there’s too much to think about, but there is a lot of support for international students. These services specifically assist with the following:

  • Applying for visas
  • Understanding your entitlements and access (such as healthcare and banking)
  • Advice on working and volunteering during your studies
  • Support with work after graduation

International student support services often organise societies, trips, and events to help you find and build a community away from home. Check out our guide for international students for more help planning your studies abroad.

How Do You Access Support Services?

As mentioned, student support services are open to all students enrolled at the university. Your university should signpost it, but if in doubt, search the website to find where to go. And if you’re unsure who you need, get in touch to be directed to the correct department. These services are free and designed to give you the extra support you need to be successful at university, so you should never worry or delay contacting them.

We hope you’ve found the help you were looking for. If you haven’t yet secured your uni accommodation, take a look at our student accommodation in Zone 1 London – we have everything you need to make your stay comfortable.


Lottie Salako

Lottie Salako

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