UCAS reference as a mature student?

(19 Posts)
CurlyRover Tue 23-Jan-18 14:26:13

Who on earth am I suppose to ask? I left education a few years ago and I can't ask my employer as he gets arsey if I so much as mention looking at retraining/ other opportunities.

I can't send off my application without one though sad

OP’s posts: |
Lolimax Tue 23-Jan-18 16:57:38

Hi Curly. I asked someone who used to line manage me but no longer worked for the company (actually neither of us did!). Totally acceptable and I’m going nursing in April (at 48!).

TheDrsDocMartens Tue 23-Jan-18 17:38:56

Anyone else at work that can do one? Previous employer?

Leeds2 Tue 23-Jan-18 19:23:05

When you say you left education "a few years ago", could your former school/college provide a reference?
Someone you have done voluntary work with?
Someone at church, if you attend?
A friend, preferably one with a generally perceived to be good job?
Who would you ask to sign your passport application?

OCSockOrphanage Tue 23-Jan-18 19:32:02

When I applied for a course, at 48, I asked the person who had been my agent for several years to be a referee. We were on good terms, but not friends and she gave me a respected professional colleague write up. Which was sufficient.

PurpleDaisies Tue 23-Jan-18 19:34:42

What are you applying for? Have you got any work experience etc/know anyone in a similar field?

LadyLance Tue 23-Jan-18 19:35:29

If you left education within the last five years, I'd try to contact a tutor/teacher who might remember you and be able to write one, most are happy to help even a few years down the line. Otherwise, could you ask a colleague or a previous employer?


CurlyRover Tue 23-Jan-18 20:45:16

When I say left education I meant university. I finished my first degree, went back and started my PhD and then realised it wasn't for me. I'm not sure my old supervisor would write me a reference as she didn't take me leaving too well.

Immediately after leaving my PhD I started working where I am now. Things get passed around my current workplace so much I think if I asked anyone else for a reference it'd get back to my boss and he would make my life hell. Which would be manageable if I knew I'd be leaving soon but if I don't get accepted onto the course I may be stuck at my current place for a while.

The course I wanted to apply for is healthcare sciences. I'm looking at doing volunteering over the next year and then hopefully they would be able to write me a reference but that would be for next year's entry. I really wanted to apply this year and it would be an added bonus if I got on and not the end of the world if i didn't. But I can't apply without a reference.

Unfortunately I can't use a friend as UCAS specifically states:

Don’t ask family, friends, partners or ex-partners though – if you do your application may be cancelled.

Church person is a good idea.

OP’s posts: |
PersianCatLady Tue 23-Jan-18 22:09:59

OP - When did you leave university the last time, more than or less than five years ago?

CurlyRover Wed 24-Jan-18 06:37:20

Persian it was less than 5 years ago.

OP’s posts: |
PersianCatLady Wed 24-Jan-18 08:14:55

Persian it was less than 5 years ago
According to the UCAS website you are supposed to get a reference from the university.

"If you’re still at university or got your degree within the past five years, one reference must be from someone at your university who can comment on your academic ability and potential"

That is the information I had when I did my Teacher Training application just before Christmas but I am now thinking that perhaps it is different for UG / PG study??

CurlyRover Wed 24-Jan-18 08:56:36

Ooh I don't know Persian

I'm only applying to one university due to family commitments so perhaps I should give them a ring and see what they advise.

OP’s posts: |
PersianCatLady Wed 24-Jan-18 09:30:04

Ooh I don't know Persian

Here are some links that may (or may not) be helpful to you -






OCSockOrphanage Wed 24-Jan-18 20:20:42

I asked my agent, who retired shortly after but was deeply professional, and a friend of my DH's who is a senior officer in the army and has known me as a friend for 20-plus years, to be referees. One was a colleague in the same field, the other personal, but both understood the rigamarole involved and sent the right sort of recommendation, which is

"Sock is intelligent enough to take/ace your course; she has often expressed interest in the subject, and I have little doubt that if selected, she will fulfil the promise you perceive." It doesn't need to be much fancier than that. A couple of paragraphs is all that's needed, one personal and one professional.

OCSockOrphanage Wed 24-Jan-18 20:22:17

Good luck with the application.

AlwaysColdHands Wed 24-Jan-18 20:33:14

Definitely contact the university admissions department directly for advice. They’re very helpful. Often it’s much more flexible than UCAS portray
Best of luck

LadyLance Thu 25-Jan-18 16:50:23

Most universities do want a reference- but it's worth asking if they'd consider your application without one, the worst they can say is no.

I think contact your old supervisor and see how she reacts. If she doesn't seem keen, then perhaps see if there is anyone who remembers you from your undergraduate degree (e.g. a tutor). Your referee doesn't have to know you that well, you can send them a copy of your PS/CV and they can probably find your academic results on their system (or you could provide a copy of your transcript).

CurlyRover Tue 30-Jan-18 12:03:12

How long is a reasonable time before following up with admissions tutor?

I phoned early last week, was told he was interviewing so email instead. No response to email yet though.

I don't want to seem like I'm badgering him but I really would like to know where I stand.

OP’s posts: |
SheepySheepy Tue 30-Jan-18 12:07:56

I left uni over ten years ago and got one from my old department for a Masters. Also found the work aspect tricky, was lucky to get one from a manager who'd left.

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