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Best universities for mature students

Mature studentSome universities have facilities and options that are more suited to the needs of mature students than others, especially if you consider that nature students are more likely to have a range of responsibilities in addition to work considerations on top of their studies. This means that sometimes they need some additional help. 

Universities with adjusted entry requirements

Many postgraduate courses, especially those programs that are career-focused, will have a range of qualifications that are accepted as entry requirements. One of these is work experience and there are postgraduate courses that consider a strong history of relevant experience as equal to an undergraduate degree. In fact, you might be surprised at which universities will accept lower qualifications with decent work experience. The University of Cambridge, for example, often values experience over qualifications, as does the University of York and the University of Exeter. In the US, mature students are welcome at all the large universities and it's best to get the conversation going early with regards to your qualifications so you can work towards the qualifications you need if you don't have them. 

Are some universities better for mature students? 

Some universities have options such as discounted child-care facilities to help mature students with children to access courses. The University of Aberdeen in the UK is an example of this and you should spend time researching which options are available to you if child care is a consideration. Mature students are also more likely to have a known disability than younger students, so if you do have a disability ensure that you are going to get the support you need from the academic staff and the institution to help you complete your postgraduate studies. 

Are evening classes or online modules a good idea? 

Classes in the evening are more common in the US than they are in the UK and offer great flexibility for mature students who need to work during the day. Online modules offer another option for mature students as these can often be completed in the evenings or at any time that suits the student. Of course, you need to have an excellent internet connection to consider it. 

What about online universities? 

Some universities offer their courses entirely online or by distance learning. Some, such as the Open University in the UK, have residential portions to the courses often during the summer, so you need to check these details before you accept a place on the course. Online postgraduate study is not for the faint-hearted as students must be very self-motivated as you will not get the same interaction with other students as you do for an on-campus course. There won't be any people to remind you when you've got assignments due. Many online courses have portions that are done through video conferencing and this offers a combination of traditional interactive learning with an online element as well. 

What extra considerations do mature students have? 

Mature students often have a greater sense of their financial situation so mature postgraduate students need to consider the tuition fees and other costs carefully. There is plenty of help out there with PG funding in the form of loans and scholarships, including the Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 each – but you need to be sure you have budgeted to cover all of the costs along with your other financial responsibilities. Postgraduate students are also more likely to choose to apply to just the one course or one institution as they are often less flexible about location, so make sure you apply to a course that is right for you and not just in a convenient place. 

Age of postgraduate students

Here is a table illustrating the ages of postgraduate students in the UK in the academic year 2018-19. 

Mature students age



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