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Prepare for university

How to help your child prepare for university

Sending your son or daughter to university is a big milestone - it’s when they become independent and begin to find their own way in the world. Although our relationship is with the students themselves - and we encourage them to take responsibility for every aspect of their university experience - we understand that you want to help and support them as they begin this new chapter in their lives. 

Helpful external website links

Here are some specific links that are relevant for parents and carers:

Careers Advice for parents: This site is specifically aimed at parents/carers and offers advice on qualifications, jobs and planning for their children's future.

Parentadviser: Advice for parents/carers about career options for their children.

Behaving responsibly during Covid-19

September 2020 has been a unique time to be starting university due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is always BU’s first priority and we have put in place a range of physical distancing and hygiene measures across our campuses. However, students also have a role to play as part of the BU community to promote and protect the health, safety and wellbeing of one another and the wider community.

We know this is an exciting time with the chance to meet new friends and explore new places. However, we are asking students to do so in a sensible manner and to follow the latest Government guidance at all times. Our teams are working hard to provide students with the best possible experience, but please discuss with your son or daughter their responsibility to comply with Government regulations around Covid-19.

You can find out more on our ‘We’re in this together’ page on the website.

Keep on top of deadlines

There is a lot to remember during the university application process, from submitting their UCAS application and organising student finance to applying for accommodation. As most students are also deep in their school/college studies, when coursework deadlines are looming and exams are approaching, it can be hard to keep on top of the various dates.

If you make a note of the key university deadlines, you can remind your son or daughter what they need to do when, if it slips their mind.

Run through how to budget

This will probably be the first time your child has had to take control of every aspect of their finances. It’s worth taking a bit of time to talk them through the basics of budgeting to help them keep on top of their money once September rolls around.

Although a lot of expenses - including utility bills and internet costs - will be included in the price of their rent if they are staying in university accommodation, they will still need to budget for food and other day-to-day expenses, as well as having fun. You can find more information on budgeting in the fees and funding section.

Help them find the best student bank account

All the major high street banks offer student accounts and some provide better benefits than others. Helping your son or daughter compare the various options and work out which is best for them is a good exercise for both of you - you’ll know they’ve got an account that will provide them with all the financial services they need at university and they will hopefully have learned a bit more about financial services and how to compare them.

Offer them cooking lessons

Even if you’re not the world’s best chef, you will probably still be able to offer your son or daughter some useful tips on cooking. Find out if there’s anything they’d particularly like to learn how to cook themselves. Make sure they at least know the basics and have a few meals that they are comfortable preparing.

You should also help them buy the basic cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery that they’ll need when the arrive. All BU-managed accommodation will have a kettle, microwave, oven, hob, fridge and freezer, but basic cooking equipment won’t be provided. However they may want to check with other housemates before buying anything - no house needs six woks!

Talk to them

One of the most important things to do is talk to your child about how they feel about their forthcoming university experience. They will undoubtedly be excited but they’re also likely to have some concerns about living away from home for the first time.

Discuss everything well in advance of them leaving - they might be worried about little things that you can help with, such as cooking for themselves or doing their own washing, or may have bigger concerns about money and how they’ll fit into university life. All you can do is be supportive, but that may be enough to help them settle in initially.

If your son or daughter has any questions about life at BU, or university in general, they can contact us to discuss their queries.


We understand that sending your son or daughter to university can be a worry, particularly if it is their first time living away from home. At BU, we have a wealth of services in place to support the wellbeing of our students, which are signposted to them throughout their study.

We are only able to give you information regarding your son/daughter where we are permitted to do so by data protection laws. If we are aware that your son or daughter is experiencing health or welfare difficulties, we may suggest they contact you or do this on their behalf if they provide us with a signed statement of consent. We will only contact you without their express consent in exceptional cases where doing so is in their vital interests e.g. a medical emergency.

If you are concerned about your son or daughter and contact us, in some cases, we may be able to contact the student to tell them that you have been in touch, but generally we encourage you to talk to them directly about how they are finding the university experience. You can also use the provided information about our student wellbeing services to direct them to support and activities that they may find helpful.