Skip to main content

Mature student support

Considering starting university as a mature student? Everyone has the potential to study at university. It’s never too late to gain new skills, improve your job prospects or change your career path.

Did you know?

Around 40 percent of mature students are over 30 and have work, family or mortgage responsibilities.
Around two thirds of our students are over 21 years old when they start their degree.
We have a six-week programme that is delivered part-time and free to successful applicants
Receive expert coaching to support a successful application to a relevant degree starting in September 
students sat talking at a tablet in the student centre

Discover our Return to Study entry programmes

Our free six-week short courses will help you make the transition to university study. Refresh your skills and gain the knowledge you need to progress onto one of our foundation entry programmes or even a full degree.

Find out more
Students laughing sitting around a table in student centre

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Your previous work experience may have equipped you with transferable skills. Depending on your experience or previous qualifications you could benefit from our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) scheme. This scheme allows you to receive credit for your work experience, helping you on your new course. 

Find out more
students sat on table discussing

Support every step of the way

If you’re considering a return to education, you might have lots of questions about: 

  • Mature student courses
  • Entry requirements
  • Managing your other commitments, from work to childcare
  • Whether you’re capable of taking on a university degree
  • Mature student finance

If it’s been a while since you last wrote an essay or worked on an assignment, don't worry. We’ll help you make the step up to university-level study and develop the core skills you need.

Frequently asked questions

Mature students are defined as any student aged 21 or over at the start of their studies. For Postgraduate study this is anyone over 25 years old.

At the University of Central Lancashire, over 50% of mature students are between the ages of 21 and 24. 40% are over the age of 30.

Mature students might be returning to study after a break from full-time education. They also might be leaving employment to return to full-time education. Or be planning to study part-time alongside existing employment.

Part-time study is available for mature students in some course areas. Part-time study for mature students offers you flexibility, helping you plan your life around your studies

Entry requirements are specific to each course. They usually include either an A Level, Access to Higher Education course, NVQ, BTEC or other work-based qualifications. In some cases, Maths and English GCSEs are required.

Mature students may not have gained the same traditional qualifications as someone who has been through college, sixth form or an apprenticeship, including A Levels, BTEC and other Level 3 qualifications.

Many courses will also look at experience gained in employment or training. Courses may consider this experience through Accreditation of Prior Learning.

We have free Return to Study entry programmes available across a range of subjects that will help you take the next step towards a full degree. If you lack the formal qualifications to apply for a related degree, join our free fast-track Return to Study programme.

You can study at university as a mature student even if you do not have traditional qualifications. You can also apply for funding.

You may be able to apply for student finance, Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. The amount you get depends on your family situation and the type of course you’re doing. You may get extra help if you have children.

Bursaries and Scholarships may be available whilst studying. Bursaries are awarded depending on household income. Scholarships are available for several areas, and are based on academic excellence.

For more information on Bursaries and Scholarships, please see our related page.