Courses for Mature Students: Your Questions Answered

Adult students attending a workshop

Thinking about returning to education as an adult?

Whether you have career aspirations or a simple desire to delve into a subject you're passionate about, higher education is the perfect avenue.

If you’re nervous about your return to education, remember you are not alone! Mature students make up 37% of all undergraduate entrants, proving that age should never be a limiting factor when it comes to education!

In this blog, we'll explore the benefits of returning to education as a mature student, how to navigate the process, and the support available at UCEN Manchester.

1. Am I too old to do a mature student course?

We wanted to tackle this question at the beginning of the blog and let you know that it is NEVER too late to return to education! Life is a journey of learning, and what better way to learn than through an educational course. 

If you have career goals or simply want to learn about a topic you are interested in, a higher education is perfect for you.

2. What is the benefit of returning to education as a mature student?

There are rarely ever any cons to education and learning, but there’s a lot of very clear pros. These include: 

  • Opens doors to new job opportunities
  • Fosters confidence and a sense of accomplishment
  • Connects mature students with professionals in their field
  • Equips you with new skills and knowledge, enhancing adaptability in the evolving job market
  • Can lead to higher earning potential and increased job security
  • Allows you to pursue passions for personal satisfaction
  • Improved cognitive function in mature age.

3. How do I get into a course for adults?

If you have the right qualifications or experience, you can enter higher education by simply completing an application for your chosen course through UCAS. However, if it’s been a while since you have been in education, you might not have the right qualifications for a higher education course.

But don’t worry! There is a solution…

You can complete a Access to Higher Education course. Essentially, this is a year-long crash course on everything you need to know in your chosen industry and all the study skills you’ll require for a degree before you start your honours course. 

We have a range of Access to Higher Education courses in many industries, ranging from Engineering to Nursing. 

4. Do I need recent qualifications?

Depending on your chosen course, you may or may not need recent, up-to-date qualifications. In general, some courses may have specific entry requirements, including recent qualifications, to ensure that students have up-to-date knowledge and skills. Some courses may value your life experience or work experience if it relates to the course subject.

It is always important to check your chosen course entry requirements to make sure, but completing an Access course can help you get up to date!

5. Can I get financial aid as a mature student?

Adults in the UK are generally eligible for Student Finance England (SFE) if they meet certain criteria. SFE provides financial support to eligible students pursuing higher education in the UK. To be eligible for student finance, adult learners must:

  • Be a UK national or have settled status in the UK
  • Normally live in England
  • Be studying an eligible course at a registered university or college.

6. Is there financial support for living costs?

SFE provides financial support for living costs as part of the student finance package for eligible students in the UK in the form of a maintenance loan, which is intended to help cover living expenses.

The amount of the maintenance loan depends on various factors, including your household income, whether you live at home or away, and whether you are studying in London or elsewhere in the UK. The maintenance loan is repayable, but the repayment terms are income-contingent, meaning that repayments are based on your income after you finish your studies.

7. Are there part-time courses for mature students?

There are a plethora of part-time courses tailored just for you! Universities and colleges across the country, including UCEN Manchester, offer flexible study options, understanding the unique needs of mature students juggling work and other responsibilities. 

Whether you're eyeing an undergraduate or postgraduate programme, these part-time courses provide the perfect balance, allowing you to pursue education at your own pace. 

The diverse range of subjects and the convenience of a flexible schedule make returning to education a rewarding and achievable experience. How can I balance education with work and family?

Studying as an adult means balancing education with work and family requiring careful planning and effective time management. Firstly, consider pursuing part-time courses that fit your schedule, allowing you to maintain a balance between work, studies, and family commitments. 

Communicate openly with your employer about your educational ventures, exploring options for flexible working hours or support. Create a realistic study timetable that considers your work hours and family responsibilities. 

Prioritise tasks and set clear goals to stay organised. Don't hesitate to seek support from family members or friends when needed. Remember to allocate time for self-care to avoid burnout and maintain overall well-being. By proactively managing your time and seeking support, you can successfully navigate the challenges of balancing education, work, and family. 

Enrol on to a course for mature students

Do you want to start your adult education journey?

Enrol onto a course for mature students and embark on your adult education journey with confidence! At UCEN Manchester, we take pride in offering the best resources and dedicated support to help you achieve your goals.

Our commitment to your success goes beyond academics – we create an environment where you'll feel comfortable and supported every step of the way. 

Explore our Access to HE courses, enrol today and explore a world of opportunities tailored for mature learners.