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Mature Students

(15 Posts)
maturestudentsbristol Tue 28-Nov-17 11:15:44

Hello all,

I am working in a new job as the University of Bristol's Mature Student Recruitment Officer - and would love to hear from any mature students or anyone considering re-entering HE.

What made you decide to go back?
What helped your decision about where/what to study?
For those who did an Access to HE course, did you decide what degree you wanted to do first then choose an Access course or the other way around?

Thanks so much, really excited to get to be working with mature students! I am also available to give advice to people considering getting back in to HE - just let me know!

Anna smile

donajimena Wed 29-Nov-17 21:58:49

I'm a mature student. I'd be happy to help out with any questions you might have. My reasons for going to university are to retrain. I'm happy to explain more on a pm smile

gemdrop84 Thu 07-Dec-17 19:15:07

Hello I'm also a mature student, 11 weeks into my degree. I'd be happy to answer any questions in more depth if you have some just send a pm. It's something I've wanted to do for quite a few years but have put on the back burner due to personal circumstances. I am passionate about the area my degree is in so it seemed like the natural choice. I attended the uni open day, I decided I wanted to attend the one most local to me. It has an excellent reputation for the course I wanted to do and it was ideal location wise as I don't drive and rely on public transport. The next day I started the access course at college. Am now here can't quite believe it! Starting uni has coincided with my youngest dc starting school so it's all fitted in place really.

Rhynswynd Thu 07-Dec-17 19:39:16

I'm 38 and just completed my first year at uni here in Australia (I am British)
I tried access courses twice while in the UK but never got the right feeling from them. The Access course I did here in australia is called the FAST programme at Federation Uni. It was amazing and every bit of info has assisted me in getting the highest marks in every one of my courses(which reminds me...exam results are released today).
I decided to go to uni because my husband has become an officer in the defence force and when his colleagues asked what I did for a living, they actually ignored me and my views once they found out I worked in retail.
I am doing a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and I love it.

dramallamakarma Thu 07-Dec-17 19:53:31

Welcome to PM me too.

First degree completed over 6 years part time at 32 whilst working full time. Now I'm just looking at my UCAS application to apply for 2018 entry to career change at 37.

In fact I'd like some pointers on personal statements if you've got any wink

Lolimax Fri 08-Dec-17 11:30:55

I did my original degree a hundred years ago 1988-92. I’m going back in April to go Nursing at the ripe old age of 48. Happy to help in any way.

mumoffour1716154 Sat 09-Dec-17 04:52:54

42, Did Access in to HE Social Sciences, I knew I wanted to complete undergraduate study in Sociology. In 2nd year and very glad I did.

Decided to go back as I didn't want to be working in admin, doing something I don't enjoy. If I had known of child care support
Availability for Access course then I surely would have started earlier. Only started looking into it while a SAHM with then 9 month old, and started making plans

Would be happy to answer any question

ThatWasNotLove Sat 09-Dec-17 06:42:42

I'm a mature student after doing a degree straight out of uni. I'm now 38 and in the third year of a part time degree to retrain. Not in answer to any of your questions ) It is FAR harder this time round than it was the first time, even though I am totally passionate this time and enjoyed my first degree, but wasn't passionate. Having kids and little/no support where I live makes it a totally different ball game. Just getting the mental space to put ideas together, never mind not being able to start studying until 8pm most days.

I think many mature students face similar obstacles. I remember moaning about spending days in the library studying first time round, whereas now that seems a luxury! I actually dream about it!

TheDrsDocMartens Sat 09-Dec-17 06:45:56

I went to retrain. Post degree career advice would have been useful as people kept saying ‘wait til you’re further on’ but I needed to come out on a decent salary.

LEMtheoriginal Sat 09-Dec-17 07:02:56

Been a mature student many times! retraining again at 47 although not at university level this time.

I would say that mature students often have a different set of issues to the younger ones. So they may have childcare issues or financial constraints. They equally may be more financially stable with support of partners etc.

They tend to be the ones who fret over producing the highest standard of work they can. I would say generally meeting deadlines regularly but possibly needing extensions due to things at home (rather than procrastinating and partying!

They may be working towards a new caterer or just doing the course for personal development. Both equally valid.

Generally more likely to stand up and be counted if there issues with the course and often supportive to other younger cohorts.

Lidlfix Sat 09-Dec-17 07:19:26

I was a mature student of 31 with 4 DC when I commenced my Access course. I knew I wanted to do a combined English and Prof Education BA to qualify as a secondary teacher.

Loved my student experience, I don't think I would have valued it as much if I'd gone straight from school.

My DH, DM, DMIL (before she passed) were hugely supportive. The uni's childcare and hardship funds combined with tax credits meant that it was financially viable.

Love my job and having a larger than average family on of the best decisions I ever made smile

MrsDrThorne Wed 13-Dec-17 12:52:45

I am currently considering whether or not to go back to uni part time to do an MA in a subject I don't have a first degree in. It would be quite a financial gamble and I am really struggling to make a decision.

I have already had to abandon plans to retrain in a different career from that I work in because I am worried there are not enough jobs.

I have friends who have taken MAs in their 40s and built successful new careers as a result but I am so unsure about what to do!

TheDrsDocMartens Wed 13-Dec-17 12:58:24

I fell in a gap between well off enough as a family to afford to support ourselves and not working enough for TC.
Couldn’t claim childcare for children from uni as we had an income over £16000 and couldn’t claim TC as I didn’t work enough hours (<15).
This meant I had to work as often as possible during term time and holidays.

duriandurian Wed 13-Dec-17 13:03:53

Just started back in September aged 39 (am third oldest on my course of 60- most are immediately post degree).
Masters but over two years so I can ease myself back in slowly. I have had eight years at home with kids.
Oxbridge for first degree, now at uni which is about 7th in world rankings- but amongst first for this area.
Husband also started back but he will do PhD rather than just masters. I may return as an even more mature to achieve a PhD.
Commuting to best uni rather than local uni. Hoping this will help career prospects.

duriandurian Wed 13-Dec-17 13:04:50

And I am really really grateful for the chance to study. It is exciting and intimidating in equal parts. Discipline of home study vs domestic chores is surprisingly tough for me

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