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16 October 2020

Leapskills – supporting the transition to shared accommodation

Unite Students has spent the last three decades helping young people thrive in new situations and manage the ‘leap’ to university life.

Over the last few years, our insight reports identified a significant gap in student expectations of what life will be like living away at university, and the reality they find when they arrive.

To support young people, Unite Students has used this insight and student resilience research to develop Leapskills, a programme which helps prepare prospective students and young people for living away from home.

Drawing on video content and a digital game, it introduces student life scenarios to provoke group discussion on conflict resolution, problem solving and gives an insight into shared living.

The resource includes scenarios which focus on:      

  • Finance
  • mental wellbeing
  • anti-social behaviour
  • conflict resolution
  • health and safety.

We have run workshops with nearly 4,000 young people across the UK and tested it with teachers.

Young people report feeling better prepared for moving away from home after completing the workshop. The Department of Education has endorsed the resource describing it as,

A great opportunity for our students to gain an insight into student life at university. The workshops allowed students to discuss how they were going to live in an environment with new people and potentially deal with problems that could arise in unfamiliar settings. I feel these workshops are a great tool in bridging the gap between sixth form and university and preparing our students for the future.

To continue supporting young people during Covid and the recent school closures, Unite developed a version of Leapskills accessible to parents/carers remotely. To access the remote learning version of the Leapskills programme please visit the TES website or to register to use the digital game, please go to our Leapskills website.

For further information, please email