A substantial proportion of new management students are "returners" to education, sometimes building on skills and learning they acquired previously, sometimes embarking on a whole new programme of study aimed at broadening their career choices or shifting them into a different setting. For these mature students, re-entering education, sometimes after a gap of several decades, brings its own, quite daunting challenges. Perhaps the most common problem reported by mature students is that they find it hard to get back into the mindset of studying: reading textbooks, retaining information heard in lectures or found in articles, making notes that you can still make sense of when you read them back later.
High school and adult level education programs differ significantly. As a result, different types of skills and qualities are required to succeed as an adult student. The primary difference between high school and adult education programs aren't the programs themselves, it's the students.
In recent years there has been a significant growth in the number of mature students taking up both online and classroom based courses. More and more people are studying for degrees after starting a career. There are a number of reasons for this, the primary one being the wide variety of options now available to help adult learners fit studying in with their lifestyle and career commitments.
It may seem like light years since you left school. So even though you're excited at the prospect of returning to education, you may be starting to feel anxious. Take comfort. Your tutors will be very glad to see you because mature students generally work harder than everyone else.
Adults can apply to attend colleges or universities as mature students. Applications by mature students are evaluated differently from applicants who have just finished high school. Many schools recognize that mature students have life experience that younger students may not have, such as work experience, experience as a parent or independent learning.
Oxford is looking for the candidates with the most academic potential, irrespective of their age or background. Just like everyone else who applies, mature students need to demonstrate academic ability and commitment to study. As well as using the information below, you can read more about what it is like to be a mature student here on our current students' website.
If you'll be aged 21 or over by 1 October in the year in which you hope to come to Cambridge and haven't already completed a higher education course then you'll be applying as a mature student. We have around mature undergraduates studying for their first degree at Cambridge, many of whom are in their 20s. If you're considering returning to full-time education, you can find more information about the structure of our coursesand how you're taught and assessed in the courses section of this website and in the individual course outlines.
Are you a mature student considering applying to university? Our guide will help you decide if it's the right step for you, and why you shouldn't be put off if you're uncertain. Although it may seem university is only for those who are 21 or under, these days this is far from the case, as more and more people are applying for higher education courses at any stage of their life. Mature students choose to study for a variety of reasons, for example they may want to change their career, improve their job prospects or just learn more about a subject they really enjoy.
After going through a divorce, Ella McManus, 36, decided to leave a minimum-wage job and study a degree in business at Nottingham Trent University while looking after her three children. When I started university I was nervous about being older and not fitting in. But it all depends on your personality — you can ostracise yourself, or you can decide to blend in.
Being a mature student seems well, grown-up. But when are you classed as a mature student and does it make any sort of difference? Well the simple answer is yes — it can make a difference when with your application, where you might want to live and what types of funding you can access. Generally, a mature student is one who begins their undergraduate degree after the age of 21, and as a postgraduate student you will almost certainly be over the age of