A to Z guide: Cost of living
support for UCA students

Navigating the cost-of-living crisis is a challenge that’s on everyone's mind. We know you may be facing financial pressures, and we’re here to provide support so you can focus on your studies without unnecessary stress.

01 Feb 2024

So, we’ve put together this A-Z guide to help current and future UCA students understand some of the support available.

A - Adobe Creative Suite
We provide Adobe Creative Suite for free so you can download programs like InDesign, Premier Pro, Photoshop, and Illustrator to your personal laptop or desktop.

B - Budgeting tools
Creating a budget showing your income and costs can make it easier to identify where savings can be made and help you make smarter financial decisions.

C - Cheaper printing
We’ve cut printing costs by as much as 25 per cent, making it cheaper to print everything from black-and-white A4 essays to A3 colour prints.

D - Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
Do you have a long-term illness, mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty? You may be able to receive funding to cover your study-related expenses.

E - Equipment hire
UCA students can hire course-related equipment, including industry-standard cameras, lenses, lighting, and more, all for free.

F - Food savings
Our campus cafeterias offer free breakfasts (Tuesdays and Thursdays during term time) and a daily £2 hot lunch deal. 

G - Government grants
We encourage you to explore government grants that align with your circumstances, as they can provide additional financial support for educational and living expenses. 

H - Hardship Fund
UCA has a dedicated Financial Assistance Fund available to all full or part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students from the UK. This provides extra support for students facing unexpected financial challenges. 

I - International Student Fund
Our International & EU Student Fund supports students from overseas who are facing a financial crisis, such as losing their main source of income or needing help covering unavoidable costs.

J - Job search support
Welcome to UCA Creative Futures. Our career advisors can help you secure a placement or job (including part-time work to fit around your studies), develop your business idea, improve your CV, and much more.

K - Knowledgeable financial advisors
Every UCA campus has a Specialist Adviser who is a member of the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA). They provide confidential help with budgeting or financial problems and can give advice about bank accounts, tax, national insurance, and student funding.

Email: advicecant@uca.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1227 817 307

Email: adviceeps@uca.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1372 202 441

Email: advicefarn@uca.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1252 892 612

L - LinkedIn Learning
Students often like to develop their skills outside the classroom or studio, which is why we provide LinkedIn Learning for free. This online platform can help you discover and develop business, technological, and creative skills.

M - Maintenance loans
You may be eligible for a government-provided maintenance loan to cover your living costs. We recommend that you take the time to understand the loan options available so you can make informed decisions about your finances.

N - Networking and social opportunities
Build a network of support and find your tribe through UCA's community. Run by students, for students, you can join a club or society and take part in fun social activities for less.

O - Office 365
You don’t have to worry about the cost of popular software like Word, PowerPoint or Excel, as all UCA students get free access to Microsoft Office 365 with 1TB of cloud storage.

P - Pick up a free tea
Did you know that you can bring your own mug or reusable cup to a UCA canteen to grab a tea bag, breakfast bar, and porridge pot, all for free? What are you waiting for?

Q - Quick financial tips
Access a wealth of online resources provided by UCA. From eBooks and magazines to information on financial aid, these resources can help you stay informed and save money.

R - Renting advice
Explore UCA halls of residence or get guidance on affordable renting options in the local area from the UCA Accommodation team.

S - Scholarships
We offer several scholarships and fee discounts to assist you with the cost of your studies. There are options for every level of study and support available for new and current students.

T - Travel savings
Travel by bus, train, bike or car? There are loads of ways to save on your travel, from student railcards offering one third off journeys nationwide, to discounts on parking near campus.

U - Unidays
Student discounts. You can’t beat them! With a Unidays account, you can save at brands like Apple, ASOS, Hollister, and more. It’s also worth exploring NUS TOTUM, Student Beans and other student discount schemes.

V - Virus protection for free
It’s not sexy but it is important. We encourage you to install Sophos Home or Malware Bytes antivirus on your personal devices to protect your data and identity.

W - Wellbeing app
The UCA Wellbeing app has lots of tools to help you build healthy, positive habits in your everyday life, including budgeting and money management. Take part in challenges and become part of a global wellbeing community, track your progress and gain awards to recognise the positive steps you're taking.

X - eXplore the UCA blog
Our blog features many articles with tips to help you reduce costs and save money, including features about budgeting, sustainable living and essential phone apps.

Y - You’re not alone
Everyone is feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. If you ever feel overwhelmed and need to talk to someone, report a concern, or chat online with other like-minded people anonymously, then you can.

Z - Zero-cost entertainment
And finally, the UCA library subscribes to several streaming services, including BoB (which includes over 75 free-to-air channels and more than 2.2 million recorded TV and radio broadcasts), BFI Player, Kanopy, Digital Theatre Plus, and Drama Online.

Please always remember that help is here when you need it. And, if you’re not sure where to begin, book an appointment with a UCA Specialist Adviser.