Education Higher Education

Attending University as a Mature Student: the Advantages

mature student graduate holding their certificate

As children, many of us dream of becoming independent and attending university, getting a degree and then a top job. However, often life gets in the way, but attending as a mature student could work for you.

Most people envisage a young person eating beans on toast, studying all night and day just before an exam, borrowing books from the library at the last possible moment and writing an essay in two hours. Very few people think of someone who has children and has already been into the world of work. However, being a mature student is actually an increasingly popular endeavour. In fact, there are many advantages to taking this route a little later in life. Continue reading to find out more.

Life Experience

There is absolutely nothing wrong with attending uni straight from school. However, for those who decide to study a little (or a lot) later in life as a mature student, they will have gained a significant amount of life experience. Whatever subject they choose, they will likely have seen it applied within the workplace or be able to draw comparisons between it and everyday life. Having the life experience and already being independent means that the focus could be more on the studying aspect rather than being a fresher and enjoying being ‘free’ for the first time in life. However, if you opt to live in uni digs, that might be a little trickier to achieve – enjoy!

Flexible Entry Criteria

When it comes to planning your uni dreams as a teen, the anxious time waiting for A-Level (or equivalent) results can be hideous. The devastation when results aren’t as expected or a university turns you down can be overwhelming. For a mature student, often universities will take into account additional things as well as your qualifications from school and college. To assess whether you are capable of being a student and writing extensive texts, for example, some applications will require an essay to be written. Although it may be a long time since GCSEs and A-Levels, universities will require copies of your certificates, so it is important to track them down if you don’t still possess your trusty maroon Record of Achievement folder that all ’90s secondary school pupils seemed to have.

Life Plan

It is likely that if you are considering becoming a mature student and increasing your knowledge in a certain area that you have a plan when it comes to your career. Perhaps, you have already established yourself within a particular industry and wish to further yourself by gaining a qualification. Alternatively, maybe you are pursuing something new. Whatever reasons you have for attending university, most involve the desire to do something different within working life.


University studies are far from easy, and everyone knows and understands this. The decision to undertake an undergraduate degree is rarely an easy one. Therefore, it is assumed that anyone wishing to throw their life into disarray in some way by becoming a mature student will have a high level of dedication and commitment to doing well and securing decent grades on their course, developing themselves.


Being back in an educational establishment can be an enjoyable thing if you allow it to be. There is no doubt that a mature student willing to throw themselves back into the world of academia does so after a lot of consideration and with a whole heap of enthusiasm. The chances are that, although it will be tough going, you will enjoy being pushed and challenged. And even if there are aspects that you don’t enjoy, think about the moment when you can proudly stand on stage, receiving your degree certificate.

These are just a few of the many advantages of being a mature student at university. Different people have different experiences, of course, and it depends on your own personality, strengths and weaknesses as to how you will perform. If in doubt at all, speak to someone from the relevant department at the university you are considering attending, and they will be able to answer your questions. Many universities also have mature students’ associations, where you can meet other like-minded people, which might be useful.

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