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I'm thinking of applying to Oxford University as a (very) mature graduate student. Any advice?(4 Posts)
I've found the Masters that I want to do which would lead onto a DPhil (finances permitting) so I'm ok on course info and I've researched the colleges. It's more that I'd like to hear from anyone who applied in their 40s/50s, preferably with older/teenage children, and how they got on. The website is full of 'mature' students who are 26 or who are parents in their 20s with nursery age children or international students and I don't seem to fit into any of these categories. Things like accommodation and schooling are all pitched for younger graduates.
Just to bump this for you - you’re right, Oxford does seem to have a very tiny proportion of the properly mature. You do meet many more middle aged researchers at the graduate colleges - are you going to one of those?
Thanks! Yes, I'm drawn to Wolfson - probably because it seems the most inclusive and inviting. Some of the others seem less so...
What exactly are your concerns? There were older graduate (and undergraduate) students when I was at Oxford. They all lived in privately rented accommodation with their families, rather than college accommodation. I have friends, now in their eighties/nineties, who met as graduate students at Oxford when they were in their late forties/fifties with adult children. One went on to become a lecturer in the same department. Although their experiences (and mine) are somewhat out of date...
I don't think the situation at Oxford is any different from other universities though - you are always going to be in a very small minority. I have a few friends who have done PhDs later in life, I don't think their experiences at other universities were different from Oxford.
It is an expensive city though and, if you have teenagers, the state schools aren't the best. From a social point of view, I don't think your experience will be any different from that of someone in their thirties with children. You probably don't just have work/professional friendships with people the same age as yourself do you? And there is so much going on in Oxford, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends outside of college.