Access to HE

Mature Students
Frequently Asked Questions

We always welcome applications from mature students, who make up a high proportion of our university learners. Mature students may come to us to expand their current knowledge in order to enhance their career prospects or to embark on a new career path altogether. 

What will it be like studying with a group of young people?

Our student population is made up of different ages and many different backgrounds, so it is in fact unlikely that you will be the only mature student in your group. We find that many of our students value the opportunity to study in a group with a mixture of age and backgrounds, as the dynamic encourages different ways of thinking and learning.

To study at undergraduate level, you’ll typically need a Level 3 qualification, such as A-Levels, an Access to HE Diploma, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a recognised equivalent. However, many of our programmes consider other qualifications and/or any relevant experience you may have and some programmes may require different or additional qualifications, so please check the entry requirements for your chosen programme. If you don’t yet have a Level 3 qualification, the Access to HE programme is designed to help you progress to university, offering the equivalent entry qualifications to A-Levels.

Government funding is available for students from England to help you to afford to learn. The support available includes grants and bursaries (which you don’t have to pay back) and loans (which you do). There is also support available to help with living costs as well as additional support for those with children, those with adult dependants and those with disabilities, learning difficulties and health conditions. If you are aged 19+ and are interested in the Access to HE course you may be eligible for the 19+ Advanced Learning Loan. Visit our sections on Fees and Financial Support to find out more.

Many of our programmes, particularly our Foundation Degrees, are designed to fit in around your work commitments as their aim is to enhance your current job prospects. Wherever possible, we provide flexible timetabling including evenings, weekends and online distance learning.

Group sizes are typically much smaller than at large universities, allowing staff to get to know their students well and enabling them to support individual needs. The programmes help you to develop appropriate study and research skills and you will also have support from our HE Advisors and the Student Services team leading up to and during your time with us. We understand this can be a big commitment and we’re there every step of the way to make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy a rewarding and successful time with us.

As a mature student you will want to be assured that you will be getting the most out of the investment you are making. Being sure that you have chosen the right course is imperative, as this will impact upon both your success with the programme and your future career. Our impartial, professional careers advisors are available to discuss your options. They can advise on considerations such as entry requirements, the demands of the different programmes and the potential job outcomes. Contact them by email on