Welfare and support

The Astrophoria Foundation Year Programme has a dedicated Welfare Lead for students. Cat Purtell provides confidential 1:1 support and advice for all students on the Foundation Year Programme for matters relating to student wellbeing. Cat can be contacted on welfare@foundationyear.ox.ac.uk.

Book a meeting

Students currently studying on the Astrophoria Foundation Year can book 1:1 welfare meetings with the Welfare Lead. Please see our booking page.

Before you start

Once you have your offer letter from UCAS, you may wish to start looking at resources which support the transition to starting at University. Helpful resources can be found on the University website.

Student Minds is a charity that also offers useful resources:

Support resources

The Astrophoria Foundation Year, your colleges and Oxford University offer a range of specialist support for situations including harassment, sexual violence and further mental health support. Please see the list below for a range of useful resources.

  • Contacts for emergency services and non-emergency health, welfare and academic support services can be found on the University website.
  • College websites: Each of the participating colleges have welfare and wellbeing sections of their websites to signpost to the specific advice available in college. Links to the websites for each participating college can be found below.


Other forms of support associated University services

Counselling Services The University has its own Student Counselling Service. You can self-refer by emailing counselling@admin.ox.ac.uk. You can access a range of resources through their website including podcasts addressing common student issues, and information about workshops addressing common mental health problems.

Disability Advisory Service

The University’s Disability Advisory Service offers a wealth of support, information, advice and guidance for disabled students. More information can be found on their website.

Information, support and advice from the central University for students who feel they have been harassed or bullied can be found here:

Sexual violence

The University of Oxford and the Astrophoria Foundation Year are against any form of sexual harassment, assault or violence.

Consent Matters: Learn how to recognise and ask for sexual consent, look out for others in the Oxford community, and know where to find support if you need it with the new online course Consent Matters. Find out more information and book the online course on the University website.

The Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service: This is a University run provision for any students, regardless of age or gender, who have been affected by sexual harassment or violence. It provides free support and advice, along with a safe place to be heard independent of your college or department. For more information please visit the University website.

Race and ethnicity

The Astrophoria Foundation Year and the wider University are committed to working towards an institution that is representative, inclusive, fair and welcoming to all of our students.

The University’s Equality and Diversity Unit has information about race equality resources, networks and initiatives. The University of Oxford also has a number of support networks for BAME staff and students – more information can be found on the the University’s Equality and Diversity Unit's website.

A reading list of anti-racist resources (created in liaison with the Bodleian Libraries, College Libraries and JCR Welfare reps) can be found online.

LGBTQ+ support

The Astrophoria Foundation Year and the wider University are inclusive environments that support LGBTQ+ students. See more information on the University's Equality and Diversity Unit's website.

LGBTQsoc aims to provide a safe space for all members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer community and is focused on providing welfare and social events for students.

Find information about the University’s support for transgender staff and students and initiatives to promote a more inclusive workplace on the University's Equality and Diversity Unit's website.

Oxford University also has a number of support networks for LGBTQ+ staff and students – more information can be found on the University's Equality and Diversity Unit's website.

Stonewall, the national charity, has useful links and information on their website.

Oxford University Student Union Support

The Oxford University Student Union Student Advice Service is the only independent advice, information and advocacy service exclusively available to Oxford University Students. The service is free and confidential, and they have a team of friendly Advisors to help find solutions to any problems you might face, including academic concerns, accommodation, health, relationships, visas and mental health. More information can be found on their website.
First Generation Support and advice for students who are the first in their family to go to university can be found from the SU's Class Act campaign, as well as the First-Gen Society for Oxford first-generation students. If you’re interested in joining or finding out more about the society visit their Instagram and Facebook page.
Religion and belief The University has a list of resources for different faith communities on its website. There is also a list of the faith societies at the University on the University's Equality and Diversity Unit's website.

Access to health services is predominantly through a student’s college nurse or college GP. Information on accessing medical advice and guidance for staying healthy while studying at the University can be found on the University website.

NHS online provides a range of health information.

Care experienced, estranged students and student parents

Support is available for students who are care experienced, estranged or student parents.

Please see our guidance for additional details of support the Astrophoria Foundation Year provides care experienced and/or estranged students.

Further information regarding this can be found on the University website. Further information can often be found on college websites.

Other forms of support from local and national services

Mental health and wellbeing The Samaritans: Listening support in distress or risk of suicide: 24-7: free-phone call 116123 or (24-hour response time): jo@samaritans.org

Nightline: Nightline is an independent confidential listening, support and information service run by and for students during term-time. It is open to Oxford and Oxford Brookes students from 8pm-8am Monday to Sunday, 0th week to 9th week during Oxford University term time.

Student Minds Charity.
Together All: Clinically supervised online Mental Health Support Community (NHS and Oxford University approved; access with your University email address).
Drugs and alcohol Talk to Frank: Honest Information about alcohol and drugs.
Sleep Sleepio, recommended by the NHS, is a digital sleep improvement programme (available via web and mobile), clinically proven to help overcome even long-term poor sleep.
Eating disorders Treatment and support for eating problems can be found through the Mind charity website.
The UK’s Eating Disorder Charity.
Stress A self help guide on stress available on the NHS website.
Anxiety and panic attacks A self help guide on panic available on the NHS website.
A self help guide on anxiety available on the NHS website.
Perfectionism Advice around perfectionism can be found on the Centre for Clinical Interventions website.
Mindfulness A range of advice and recommendations can be found on franticworld.com.


We take reasonable steps to ensure that any external website that we provide links to or any information provided by third parties is not offensive or defamatory, however we are unable to take responsibility for the content or information on websites maintained outside of the University of Oxford.

Advice for supporters of current students

Please see our advice for supporters of current students which provides useful links and includes the answers to frequently asked questions.

Financial support

There are a number of sources of financial support that students on the Foundation Year are eligible to receive and apply for. Details of these sources, the eligibility, application and approvals processes are outlined on this webpage which can be accessed by current students.