Top Tips for Mature Students

The first thing for a prospective mature student to understand is that you are not alone. Over half of our students are classed as mature (over 21 at the beginning of their course).

As well as being among the most academically successful, mature students bring valuable experience and enthusiasm to our university community.

The pages within this section will hopefully provide you with some useful advice and guidance.

Give yourself time to settle in and find your feet

Don't feel like you have to hit the ground running and be able to manage everything perfectly from the first moment. Don't be too hard on yourself. Find time to settle in and find your feet.

You will need to be organised

Throughout the semester when you attend lectures and seminars you will be writing notes and given lots of handouts, make sure you organise and file your work for each module into the topics/themes covered. Then when you come to revise at the end of the year all your work will be in order and it will make revising a lot easier.

Work to your strengths

Ask yourself what time of day you find it easiest to work, and in what environment, how long can you concentrate without needing a break? Then plan your work accordingly. Remember to keep some time for yourself. You will need to keep a balance in your life.

Make connections

Making connections on campus can help you feel more settled and that you belong. Get to know people on your course, no matter what their age, this can help you feel more socially connected and enable you to chat with other students about assignments or set up study groups.

Recognise your maturity as an asset

Your experience of life, both in education and the wider world, will bring an extra dimension to seminar and tutorial groups. Bear this in mind, but take care not to dominate group discussions unnecessarily.

Face your fears

For some mature students, a big fear is walking into the lecture hall to find they are the oldest person in the room. Such concern is understandable, but too much emphasis on this will only increase anxiety. It's important to be realistic. You may appear older than other students, but though you may be nervous, everyone else is new to the institution as well.

Involve your family and friends in your new life

Going to university will have an emotional impact on you and your family. As you grow in confidence and self-belief, you may become more assertive in the way you deal with everyday situations. Ensure those close to you don't feel excluded by this, by involving them in what you do.