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Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Higher education

Cystic fibrosis (CF) doesn't need to hold you back from following your dream of continuing your studies. People with CF are living longer and healthier lives, and as a result more are attending university or college than ever before.

There are a few things to consider when choosing where to apply, and it is important to make sure you keep up your treatments and care routines whilst away from home.


It is worth thinking about where the nearest specialist CF centre is to your college or university.

An exposed campus and frequent bad weather can make symptoms worse, and it may be worth visiting the campus to get an idea of the location and health services provided.


You won't always get exactly what you want in student accommodation, but there are a few key features to look for. Don't be afraid to contact accommodation services to ask for their advice on the facilities available, particularly if they offer many different types of accommodation.

  • A building with a 'no smoking' policy. 
  • Self-catering rather than hall food.
  • A fridge in your room for food, medication and IVs.
  • Windows that open if you need to nebulise antibiotics.
  • Facilities for intravenous equipment.
  • Avoid damp rooms.
  • Ground floor, if required - although bear in mind that this could increase the risk of cigarette smoke entering through open windows.

Choosing a course

Choosing the right course for you isn't just about picking a subject that interests and motivates you - although it is important! Consider if part-time study would be more appropriate, and whether or not the course is made up of modules that you could retake if you had to take time off during term. Check the timetable and location of lectures to make sure it is practical for your level of fitness and dietary requirements.

Take a look at our Higher Education factsheet for more information (PDF 372KB).

Additional resources

The Joseph Levy Education Fund helps young adults with CF over the age of 18 with the costs of higher education, vocational training or other professional qualifications. The Fund also accepts applications from people with cystic fibrosis aged 16 or 17 who are not moving into formal further education and who wish instead to undertake vocational training. For more information, visit their website or contact:

Maria Zava
First Floor
1 Bell Street
Phone: 020 7616 1207   

Applications can be submitted all year round. Those received by 31 May are assessed in June and those received by 30 November are assessed in December. 

If you need more information, or want to share tips, support and advice, check out our Forum. You will need to sign up to access the Forum.