Professor Graham Henderson
Around 47% of our full-time students and 90% part-time students are mature. Whether you’re joining us to enhance your career or for your personal development you’ll find we have something for you.
A number of years ago I was a mature student myself. I can understand the concerns you may have as you embark on this exciting experience. I feel confident in saying your studies, this University environment and the people you meet will enrich your life just as you enrich the University by being part of our community.
Returning to education can be a challenging experience if you have not studied formally for some time, and it may require some significant changes in your lifestyle. There could be effects on your family and financial commitments as well as new challenges to you as a student.
Jayne Tidd, senior lecturer
I came into higher education after having taken a break from work to bring up my children. Although I had studied for an A level the year before I still had doubts about whether I would make it as an undergraduate student:
- was I really capable of writing a good 3,000-word essay?
- would I fit in?
- how would I find everything I needed?
- could I juggle children, home and study?
On that first day there were so many people about who all appeared a lot younger than me and looked like they knew what they were doing. Of course we were all in the same boat, but I would have appreciated having someone I recognised to say ‘hello’ to. As well as learning about my discipline I learnt a lot about myself during my studies and made some lifelong friends. I now have a psychology degree, a master’s degree, a teaching qualification and I’ve been working at the University since 2002.
As a mature student you bring with you skills and experiences from your time in the ‘real world’. Staff and fellow students appreciate and value this particularly when you are highly motivated and determined to enjoy the academic experience.
If you have not been involved in any formal study for a while you may feel your skills are a little rusty. There is no evidence mature students have less effective study skills than anyone else and in general results are as good as, if not better than younger counterparts.
Resources to help you
The University is committed to ensuring all our students have the support and guidance to complete their course and gain employment. Your main source of academic support will be your course and/or personal tutor and many courses provide modules that incorporate study skills. But check out the menu on the left for information on our student support.
You can also refer to our online student handbook for information.
From mentoring to volunteering and advice about your future career be sure to check in with our careers service.