Becoming a mature student, sometimes known as an adult student in places like the United States, could be considered to be quite complicated as you will have more going on in your life than you did as an undergraduate.
Taking the time as a mature postgraduate student to study isn't easy, but there are plenty of benefits to being a little older. Most university, such as King's College London and Pennsylvania State University welcome mature postgraduate students and have lots of information available on their websites.
Here are five reasons why we think becoming a mature postgraduate student is a great idea.
You've got some solid plans
Now that you are a little more mature, well that's what students over 21 are referred to as being (or over 24 years old in the US) you are likely to have some solid plans. You probably have an idea about where you want to be based, you might even have people that you want to live close to or with, this simple part of life makes picking courses and careers a little easier as you can align your plans with the local industries.
You're probably more financially stable
If you've done well and been properly organised, you should have saved enough cash to cover your postgraduate tuition fees, course costs and living expenses Alternatively you might have someone who will pay for you to do your studying, or rather you share your finances with them and you both agree it's a good investment. There are also postgraduate loans from a range of organisations, including some governments and some of these loans do not have age limits.
You can develop your career
There are a great deal of part-time and distance learning options available to postgraduate students who don't have the time or the career space to stop working altogether for a year or more. Many employers might see your desire to study as an investment and might help with additional time off or even offer to pay for some or all of your study as an investment to your future career with them.
Your time management skills will be better
If you did your first degree fresh from school, then coming back as mature student will make you realise how much you have learnt. Time management skills are a major part of successful studying and if you've held down a job, time management skills will have undoubtedly played a part in your success.
You’ll be in good company
Many postgraduate courses are full of mature students and other courses attract students straight from their undergraduate students. However, there are plenty of mature postgraduate students about and you will not be alone as many universities have societies or communities of mature students. This means there will be other people to have a chat with who have similar experiences to you and since you're a little older you hopefully won't find meeting all these new people as daunting as it once was.
Postgrad students in the UK
Here is a table showing the ages of postgraduate students in the UK in recent academic years.