duck logo hi res_new

Image courtesy of  imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

type 1 Diabetes Young People Whilst Studying

"You may also want to ask someone you trust to check in on you in the morning to make sure you are ok."


Moving Away


Make sure you register with a General Practice (GP) before you start or as soon as you arrive. It’s easy to do all you have to do is pop into a GP surgery close to you, pick up a form and register – it only takes 2 min! Remember your records will take some time to arrive at your new surgery - so ask for their advice on what to do in between.


You will also have to make a decision on which Hospital Diabetes Centre you will be in contact with. You may be able to register with a hospital close to your college as well as using your home clinic when you are at home during holidays.


Student Welfare Services


Student welfare services can offer students support, information and advice on a wide range of issues. These include accommodation, health, finance, personal and disability issues,  childcare etc.




You can get support from lots of different people at college/university and it’s really important to use these people to help you adjust to your new life!


Advice and information is available from a variety of places although Student Welfare Service might be a good starting point as they can advise you who is best to speak to.


Disability Adviser


The Disability Adviser will be able to tell you about the sorts of support that other students with diabetes have found useful.


Academic Staff Can Help With: 


• Course deadlines, remember to give yourself extra time – a hypo the night before is not a good enough excuse!


• Examination arrangements, make sure you can take all your hypo stuff in! Invigilators can be a bit curious…


• Adjustments, changes to your exam and coursework conditions, if necessary, can be implemented to help you


You may need to show some supporting evidence from your GP. University/college is not like school, you have a lot more personal freedom and trust placed on you – you don’t have to put your hand up and ask to go to the bathroom!


Your Rights


The Equality Act 2010 protects someone with a disability being put at a substantial disadvantage.


Some students think that it’s cheating the system to ask for your diabetes to be taken into account; however these arrangements are in place so that everyone has the best opportunity to show their academic potential.


For Example:


• If you were staying in Halls of Residence, you may be entitled to a mini-fridge in your room to allow you to keep your insulin chilled, without having the risk of it being stored in a shared fridge.


• If you are staying in a catered Halls, you should be able to ask for and get a suitable varied diet.




If you feel you have suffered discrimination in your studies as a result of your diabetes, you should contact your Student Association or NUS Scotland for advice.



You may be entitled to extra support (called Disabled Students Allowance) from LEA or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This can be used for equipment and for a special diet etc.

Advisors at your college/uni will be able to help you with the forms you need to fill out.


Time Out


Everyone can struggle at times when they leave home and university/college can at times be very stressful. Most courses will allow you to take time out or study at times that better suit you. The University and perhaps the Student Association will be able to arrange for you to visit someone to talk to.


If you find yourself not progressing through your course due to complications from your diabetes, get advice from the Students Association’s welfare service. They will be able to help you if you need to attend a meeting with your department to discuss your progress.


Diabetes doesn’t in itself make it more difficult for you to be a successful student, however if you are finding it difficult with studying and your coursework, you should feel no shame in contacting the support staff on campus.


Things to Consider


• Is it the right time to leave home? Everyone is different and there's no 'normal' time!


• Do you know anyone going to study at the same Uni/college or course?


• Do you need to move – can you travel or commute?


• Cost – can you afford to live away from home? Think about the cost of Hypo treatments!


• Do you have enough supplies?


• Do you have somewhere safe to store your insulin?


• If you decide to study outside Scotland, e.g England, you will not automatically get your prescriptions for free - speak to your new GP


• Make sure someone you live with knows you have Type 1


Additional Information / Support


For information on the funding available to you in Scotland, contact SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland)


To find out more about counselling, have a look at the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) website.


You can also find contact details for services at your college/uni on the Student Counselling website.


You can also find out details of other sources of help for a variety of problems/issues on the Student Counselling website.