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Mature Students

What type of student are you?

Jargon buster

Definition of FE

FE stands for Further Education and includes apprenticeships, traineeships, and college.

Definition of HE

HE stands for Higher Education; this is optional after you turn 18 and complete your FE studies. It includes some courses studied in college, university, and apprenticeships.

Definition of Undergraduate

You are an undergraduate if you are studying your first degree (which usually takes 3-4 years).

Definition of Prospectus

Printed or online brochures produced by a university or college to advertise themselves and their courses to encourage students to apply.

Definition of Sandwich Course

This is a four-year degree course where you spend one year on a work experience placement between your second and final year of studying.

Definition of Graduate

Someone who has successfully completed their degree.

Definition of Personal Statement

A personal statement supports your application to study at university or college. It is a chance for you to share why you would like to study a particular course and what skills and experience you have that show your passion for that subject

Definition of UCAS

Short for ‘Universities and Colleges Admission Service’; it is the organisation that handles most applications for undergraduate courses in the UK.

Definition of Course

This is what you will study at university or college. There are many different courses across different levels and subjects – including joint honours, where you combine two subjects.

Definition of Students' Union

An organisation found in all universities and colleges that is run by students and is dedicated to the representation and support of students. In addition they actively promote social opportunities and ensure student voice is heard.

Your questions answered

A mature student is classed as somebody starting their degree at the age of 21 or over. Over 40% of students at the University of Wolverhampton are mature students.

Most full-time courses involve no more than 12 to 16 hours each week in class (although nursing, social work and teaching courses will demand more of your time). You can arrange the study you’ll need to do outside the classroom around your own commitments. Many universities also have childcare facilities, and you can apply for a means-tested childcare grant from Student Finance England which you will not have to repay.”

More information: Student Finance England – Childcare Grant

Funding your studies may seem complicated at first, but we’ve put together some information to help make things clear. A degree is a great investment in your future, but it’s important to take the time to find out about the cost of living and studying, so you know what to expect.

You can apply for help towards the costs of university. If it is your first degree, you will not have to pay anything up-front and your tuition fees are paid by Student Finance England directly to your university. Everyone is entitled to a maintenance loan to help cover the costs of living (food, books, transport, rent etc.) and how much you get will depend on your household income.

Find out more about Student Finance here

Many students choose to live at home while they study in order to save money, or to be with their families. Some mature students do choose to live in university accommodation and many universities have a great variety of halls, including specially designated flats for mature learners.

Universities and colleges provide comprehensive support for mature students to get back into learning or to progress their current studies. This includes support and guidance before you apply, to help you choose the right course for you, and in-course support from a dedicated personal tutor or mentor. You can also access comprehensive careers advice and guidance, whilst you’re a student and after you graduate.

As a mature student, your life and work experience may mean that there are alternative entry routes available to you other than formal qualifications, for example, a validated access course and the Access to Higher Education Diploma. You could also use an alternative entry scheme to demonstrate your readiness for university study, or apply for a foundation course. Specific entry criteria can be found on university websites.

The UCAS website is the centralised service where all students can apply for university. It offers a variety of support and information relating to various universities, different courses, assisting with your application, and comparing your top choices to find the perfect combination for you!

Most students are able to work alongside their course. How much you can work will depend on the type of course you’re studying, your mode of attendance (if you are studying full-time or part-time) and the type of work you plan to undertake. For the majority of undergraduate degree programmes you can expect to be at university two or three days a week. However, some students may need to spend more time on-campus to use specialist facilities for independent project work, such as laboratory space, library, and art studios.

If you are considering studying a Nursing programme, or another professional health care course, it is recommended that you do not undertake additional work, or that this is kept to a minimum.

Most university courses look for level 3  (like A Levels or BTECs) and level 2 (GCSEs) qualifications.

If you are worried about not having the right formal qualifications, or if you’ve been out of the education system for a while, you can consider a foundation year course or you could study for an Access to Higher Education Diploma. Offered at colleges across the country, the Diploma allows you to choose from a variety of subjects depending on what you want to study at university.

Many universities also offer 4 year degrees in some subjects, which include a Foundation Year, for those who do not meet the entry requirements to go straight onto a degree. There are a range of Foundation Year courses and these are usually considered as year zero courses (level 3), giving you the opportunity to progress on to undergraduate degree courses.

Got more questions? Why not chat to a current student at the University of Wolverhampton on Unibuddy 

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