Information for Care Experienced Young People >

The Glasgow School of Art welcomes and actively supports applications from care experienced young people. Care experienced young people are those who have been looked after by a local authority for any length of time, including:

  • adoption
  • foster care
  • residential or secure care
  • formal kinship care (i.e. living with someone other than either of your parents)
  • being looked after at home with support from social work 

Before you apply to study at GSA

If you have spent time in care and are thinking of applying to GSA, there is a range of support we can offer you before, during and after your studies. If you are still at secondary school, you should register with Widening Participation to benefit from a range of support.

Building your portfolio

We know that producing a portfolio can be made more difficult by wider issues, including spending time in care. If you are still at secondary school and tick the care experience box when you register with Widening Participation, you will be given first refusal for our S5 and S6 Portfolio Courses.

Application Support

When you are applying to Higher Education via UCAS, the Widening Participation team can provide one-to-one support at every stage of the application process including help with:

  • writing your UCAS Personal Statement
  • composing your digital portfolio slides
  • writing your digital portfolio statement
  • preparing for interview

Tick the box on UCAS

When completing your UCAS application form, it is vital that you tick the box which asks if you have been in care. This will only ever be used in a positive way, to allow GSA to provide you with extra support. If you don’t tick the box, GSA won’t know your circumstances and you may miss out on the help you are entitled to.

Contextual admissions

If you tick the care box on UCAS, admissions selectors will assess your digital portfolio and interview fairly, by taking your care experience and other relevant contextual information into account.

Academic Entry Requirements

If you tick the care box on UCAS and pass the digital portfolio and interview stages, you will receive an offer with adjusted entry requirements of Scottish Highers at BBCC, including a literate subject.


We know that money can be a barrier to going to university. Scottish students have their tuition fees paid in full by SAAS and care experienced students are eligible to receive a non-income assessed Care Experienced Students Bursary, currently £8,100 per year.

GSA also has a Discretionary Fund which is intended to provide assistance to students experiencing financial difficulties to enable them to access and/or continue in their studies. These funds may be awarded in addition to other forms of financial support to contribute towards essential living costs such as food, rent and utility bills. GSA students can submit one application to the Discretionary Fund each year from October – March inclusive, subject to available funding. Care experienced students who apply to the Discretionary Fund are given priority.

You can also apply for two scholarships each year. The scholarship application deadline is 4pm on Tuesday 31 May 2022. If you are a GSA offer holder and would like help with your scholarship application, you can email and a member of our team will work with you to get your application submitted on time.

Our Student Welfare team can also offer students advice about budgeting and managing your money. You can email them at


We know that accommodation can be especially important for those who are care experienced. We endeavour to offer all of our care experienced undergraduate students 365 day a year accommodation for the duration of their studies. If applying for GSA student accommodation, remember to indicate that you are a care experienced in the ‘special considerations’ section of the application form. You may also be eligible to receive a Care Experienced Accommodation Grant from SAAS to help you with the costs of accommodation during the summer break. 

Counselling Service

GSA offers focused short-term counselling to enrolled GSA students who require it. Appointments with a counsellor normally take place once per week and last 50 minutes. The demand for the service can be very high during certain periods of the year. However, the counselling service seeks to arrange an initial appointment within a week of a student contacting them. You can contact for more information.

Learning Support 

The Learning Support and Development Service is available to all GSA students throughout their study at GSA. They provide learning support in a number of different ways:

  • learning and study skills guides and tips online
  • learning and study skills workshops in person. 
  • individual learning support appointments.
  • assessment and support for students with disabilities that impact on learning, including dyslexia.

Many students at GSA have disability related needs. The term disability includes any of the following:

  • Long standing illness or health condition
  • Physical impairment or mobility issues
  • Mental health condition
  • Social/communication impairment such as autism
  • Sensory impairment - such as a hearing or visual impairment
  • Specific learning difficulties - such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D

If you have a disability, please email so that they can work with you to explore how your disability might impact on your learning and to ensure that you get the support that you need. If you have accepted an offer on a programme of study at GSA we would encourage you to contact them as early as possible so they can put the support you require in place for your arrival. 

Finding work and planning your career

GSA Careers Service can give you information or assistance regarding part-time employment opportunities while you are studying and help you to identify and progress into your chosen career when you graduate. You’ll also be able to the join GSA Creative Network when you graduate.

Register with Widening Participation

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