University and epilepsy

4th May 2019

It’s around this time of year that many students will already be making plans to go to university at the end of Summer. There’s a lot to consider: which university to go to, where to live, what to study and much more. It’s an exciting time and is often the first time that a young adult will step out into the world on their own and start to gain their independence. Similarly, for older students, it can be a chance to retrain and pursue a different career path. However, for those living with epilepsy, there are a few additional things to consider.

Should you attend university?

We would answer this question with a very clear, yes, if that’s what you want to do then there is absolutely no reason to let your epilepsy stand in the way of seeking further education. Of course, like most things in life for people with epilepsy you may need to weigh up your decision a little bit more carefully. In this post, we’ll some up some of the key considerations to help you make the decision that is ultimately best for you.

Which university should you attend?

For people with epilepsy, it may come down to a lot more than which city has the best reputation. It might be that you want to consider those universities that are closer to home so that you have family and support nearby should you need it. However, if you have your heart set on travelling further afield then universities have a duty of care to ensure you have the support you require on campus. This can include specialised residencies, on-campus healthcare and ensuring all of your tutors are aware of your epilepsy and trained to respond in the event of a seizure.

Staying near home gives you the option to carry on living at home and commute. For many though, this isn’t the independence that they are seeking and we would advise that you make your own choice here, but ensure that if you are further afield (and even if you are close to home) that you ensure the university is aware of your epilepsy and steps have been taken to meet your requirements.

Disruptions to learning

University may be academically tough, and many people with epilepsy will, unfortunately, have their learning interrupted. This could be due to seizures and recovery that simply means missing classes and deadlines. The possibility of falling behind in a university environment can be a very real concern for many,

Only you will truly know whether this consideration affects you. Although many do experience disruptions, it’s entirely possible to stay up-to-date with course materials. It’s also highly likely that you could be given some special considerations in respect of your epilepsy which can often lead to longer deadlines and additional tutoring if required.


Finally, as previously mentioned, choosing to go to university is a big life decision that can have an effect on your wellbeing, whether positive or negative. There is a multitude of things to take into consideration in this area, including a possible change in sleeping and eating patterns, increased alcohol intake (in some cases) and additional stress. If you do choose to attend university, it’s incredibly important that you take steps to ensure your wellbeing, both physical and emotional, is also considered.

National Epilepsy Training can help…

For additional information on further education and epilepsy or to enquire about any of our services, please call us on 01706 373075 or email

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