University Courses For Mature Students With no Qualifications; Areas to Consider

The university courses for mature students with no qualifications are for individuals who are going to university or college after a period of time out of full-time education.

Mature students are known for their ability to bring a wealth of life experiences with them which enriches their studies, as well as that of those who study with them.

Getting a degree is something you can achieve at any stage of your life and there are so many reasons to a university as a mature student, they are:

  • you might want a career change;
  • to improve your career prospects;
  • to develop your knowledge and skills with like-minded students.

If that is what you want, in this article, we will be discussing a lot, and that includes all about choosing university courses for mature students with no qualifications.

Who are mature students?

The term mature students are used when referring to people who are going to university or college after a period of time out of full-time education.

Typically this will mean students who are over 21 years of age at the beginning of their undergraduate studies or over 25 years of age at the beginning of their postgraduate studies.

Over half of mature students are between the ages of 21 and 24, and from research around 40% are over 30.

A lot of times, these mature students balance their studies alongside work or caring responsibilities.

I Want To Go To University But Have No Qualifications

Some mature students may have few or no previous qualifications and may be taking access to HE diploma courses.

Other times, they enrol on their first-degree course based on their life experiences or based on their work experiences.

Others return to do a postgraduate qualification; a degree in a new subject area as part of their career progression.

Deciding to study as a mature student

There are many ways you can experience higher education. Around one-third of undergraduates are mature students, and they are of all ages and backgrounds.

The first thing to do while studying as a mature student is to explore a subject that you personally find interesting and rewarding.

Afterwards, you progress your career by increasing your skills and knowledge. Finally, you must change direction to take on a new challenge.

Approaching higher education as a mature student can be both exciting and daunting.

You should consider a number of factors when you are choosing if you want to go, and then later where and how you want to study.

Your personal circumstances

As you might have known, mature students are a diverse group. Mature students can be in their early 20s and have a few other commitments, this makes starting university relatively straightforward. However, there are mature students who have a lot to consider, such as their job and family.

Therefore as a mature student who is looking for university courses for mature students with no qualifications, carefully consider your current situation and determine whether going to a university will be feasible for you or not.

After that, it is also important to determine what type of degree you can study and how. If the regular full-time degrees aren’t manageable, you might want to research part-time and evening courses, or distance learning.

Your ideal study environment

If you’ve decided on what degree you want, the next thing is to figure out where you want to study.

A lot of mature students prefer to study at universities local to them. However, if your choice is not limited to a location, it is worth considering what type of student body is suitable for you and which you want to be a part of.

All universities accept mature students, just that some have a small mature student population, while the others have a large one.

Available student support

Universities differ in the number of mature students they accept, the amount of support they offer their mature students vary also.

To know what support mature students get, visiting the university’s website and going for open days is advised.

How to return to study as a mature age student

It is no news to you that studying a new course can be challenging, not just for mature students, but for all types of students.

If you are looking after children and family members, it becomes even more overwhelming.

However, there are ways in which you can make the process of going back to school enjoyable. Here are the best practices to take:

  • Choose a flexible study program
  • Plan your time effectively
  • Build a social and professional network
  • Rely on the support available to you
  • Embrace new technology

Choose a flexible study program

As a mature student who is juggling other commitments such as family or work, studying part-time might be the best option.

Courses offered entirely online could be alternatives. There are online courses that are self-paced which you can complete at any time that suits you best.

Plan your time effectively

When it comes to managing your time, a good organization is very important.

Before choosing any of the university courses for mature students with no qualifications, ensure you have a clear picture of the weekly timetable in order to make your arrangements.

Build a social and professional network

You need not be told that being in a new environment gives you the make new connections.

Having passion-driven friends makes the whole journey more enjoyable, this is because, with them, you can be able to share your ups and downs of the course.

It is also an opportunity to network with people who are in your industry, and trust me, this can pave your way towards landing a great job.

Rely on the support available to you

Most universities that you are interested in studying offer different kinds of support, such as counselling or extra tuition for those who are feeling overwhelmed.

You are free to contact any school and ask what university courses for mature students with no qualifications there are.

Take advantage of these and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Embrace new technology

The need to embrace technology cannot be overemphasized in the world of education.

You need to watch YouTube tutorials as a mature student sometimes as they give free step-by-step advice on how you can build your proficiency in that chosen field.

Knowing important software will also make the work less daunting and familiar with time.

For instance, personalized learning has been shown to be effective, as it leads to better outcomes for students.

It is also a great way to get students engaged in their learning, as they are more likely to be motivated.

There are many tools helping the cause, for instance, text to voice converters help students to choose a voice they can relate to and digitize their learning content.

How to get into higher education as a mature student

For full-time courses, you do all your research and apply for courses online through the university’s website. However, for flexible and part-time courses, you would apply directly to the universities and colleges.

You do not need to worry about whether you are qualified or not because there are University Courses For Mature Students With no Qualifications.

Your original education or work experience may be enough, and if not, there are access foundation courses you can complete to gain entry.

Entry requirements for mature students

The main difference when applying to a university as a mature student is in the entry requirements.

A student who is mature can be as young as 21 but many are in their late 20s or in their early 30s or even older.

There are others who might have left school without the necessary certificates.

Students in such conditions, who want university courses for mature students with no qualifications can look at alternative ways of meeting entry requirements, such as:

(1) Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma, which is for students who left education without the needed qualifications to enter higher education.

(2) Foundation courses, which will help you to get up to speed with the subject which you are planning to study. Foundation courses are ideal if you have had some time away from education.

Fees and funding

Finances can be an obstacle for mature students, who often have to consider how funding their studies will affect their household budgets.

However, there is a wide range of funding options available for mature students in order to help them mitigate this.

There are also government loans for student finance and university scholarships aimed specifically at them.

As a mature student, it is also important that you consider some overlooked ways of saving money while studying for your degree.

Check out students discounts that businesses and institutions offer to students, as well as public transport discounts.

Study Options For Mature Students

Before choosing that course in any of the schools you have in mind, you must ask yourself the following questions:

  • What interests you?
  • What are the things you want to achieve?

It is worth taking out quality time to research the best degrees for mature students, such that will meet your needs and aspirations.

Also, you can attend the open day of the schools you are interested in to discuss your options with their tutors and their facilities.

University Courses For Mature Students With no Qualifications; Areas to Consider

Choosing a subject that you will enjoy as a mature student is interesting, a few areas that you may wish to consider are:

+ Art and Design – you can consider courses such as Interior Design, Fashion Design, Fine Art, Architecture

+ Business and Management

+ Acting – includes Community and Applied Theatre, Stage Management, Acting

+ Music – includes Music Technology, Music, Jazz

Other interesting areas mature students can consider:

For the following courses, foundation courses will help you to get up to speed with the subject which you are planning to study.

Foundation courses are ideal if you have had some time away from education.

  • Education
  • Construction – includes Surveying, Planning
  • Law
  • English – includes English, English Literature, English and Drama
  • Social Sciences – includes Criminology, Sociology and Psychology
  • Computing – includes Forensic Computing, Computer Science
  • Health – includes Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Nursing
  • Media – includes Media and Communication, Interactive Entertainment (Digital Marketing, Digital Art and Games Development)
  • Engineering – includes Automotive Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

What are the things you want to achieve?

Before picking any of the courses listed above, you must have plans of what you want to achieve.

For instance, a mature student who wants a career change, then such student will probably be looking at courses that offer professional qualifications, such as nursing, speech and language therapy, surveying, or teaching.

Are there other university courses for mature students with no qualifications you know about? Please share them below.

Great Things About Being a Mature Student at University

Your first moments at university in a fast-paced city can be terrifying, especially if you come from somewhere far smaller and less diverse.

That feeling of nervousness and uncertainty is even greater when you’re a mature student though.

You’ve left a secure job behind you and plunged into a new life, but all you can think about to start with is whether you can buy a return ticket home.

1. You relish the chance to be back in an academic environment

To start with, you’ll probably have occasional panic attacks and doubt whether you should have quit your job and returned to academic life, but over time you’ll realize being back at uni is one of the best experiences in your life.

One of the benefits of being a mature student is you feel more relaxed than your academic peers who are younger, and also have a clearer motivation to guide you in your studies (hopefully).

Even if you have no idea what you will do after you’ve finished your degree, take comfort in the fact you’ve been through many situations in your life already and survived.

2. Your extra life experience is both your friend and your enemy

As a mature student, you benefit from a range of experiences that you can carry forward into your new academic life.

These experiences can help you a lot, but they also create certain blocks that can entrench your thinking and attitudes.

3. You’re able to understand lectures in a different way

There will be times when you will cry secretly about not understanding a single idea of a professor.

It’s normal, so don’t panic.

You’ll find a way to deal with it.

Those moments occur far less frequently than the times when you will actually understand what your lectures are about because you’re able to apply what’s being taught to reality.

It might be because you’ve already worked on a similar project in your working life, or for a particular employer.

Whatever the reason, you’ll be far better equipped than many of your coursemates.  

4. You’re really good at bonding with your professors and tutors

In contrast to your younger and greener peers, you’ll notice that you bond with your professors and tutors much more easily.

It helps that you can talk with them about various concepts in both theories and in practice, and also relate their teaching to your working life.

5. You forgot how amazing student discounts can be

Being a student means having access to a load of discounts and promotions you haven’t been able to claim for ages.

6. You’re much better at organizing your time than everyone else

Being able to prioritize things was crucial and are much easier when you’ve already learned to value your time and pick and choose events that will be of interest to you.

Of course, that doesn’t mean your interests might not get refined, with newer exciting ones appearing on your list.

Even so, you’re probably well-placed to realize reading a book by the riverside could be a better way to spend your time than an all-night party in your dorm.

7. You’re the King/Queen of networking

Coming to uni with a little bit of extra life experience makes networking and building relationships with people so much easier.

Your campus will offer hundreds of events every term for you to potentially get involved in, as well as countless societies and clubs.

Some of these may even be exclusively for mature students.

After a few weeks, you’ll be stunned at how much wider your network of friends and contacts has grown.

8. You’re able to get a really good part-time job

Working while studying is an increasingly popular option, especially in money-draining London.

As a mature student, you’re able to work many “serious” jobs that other students don’t have the experience for.

If you need some extra money, consider applying for jobs that require extra responsibility.

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