Mature Students

I only have 4 years service full time and only 23 So my ability to relate is not that great to your situation, how ever there were a lot of the more mature students on my course and the lectures are pretty understanding.

They would use some of the older ones to use as an example, such as, "X has managed to hand in a excellent assignment that they have put a lot of research into, and they are managing to run a house and look after kids, and you lot live here and have no commitments apart to the bar and still can not get them in on time!". I think they seem to like the maturity that comes with mature students, also being forces then you already have an ingrained sense of discipline and good work ethic.

Mature Student is counted over the age of 21, you should get a slight discount on the fee's also, you do not need the full A-level qualifications to gain access. As long as you have the relevant work back ground and alot of other cases the HnG's/NVQ's etc or some sort of higher education.

Admissions Tutors will normally make an assessment of your potential and suitability for a course based on an interview, although you may be asked to provide a short piece of written work. They can also give you an idea of the learning support you can expect in the early stages of your studies, there is a national framework for recognition of Access courses.

But you'd already know that lol

Unfortunately Mature students are not given first choice of accomodation but this depends on the university you are attending.
BlotBangRub said:
No worries about a place to stay, I live in the same city as my university.
Have you found out if the uni your with will suppliment you funds towards your rent?
I started a university degree at age 44 after 18 years military service followed by 6 years as a stay at home mum (I'm Mrs Fifth Columnist and I don't approve of his avatar!). I did Archaeology and found that there were several mature students doing the course although it was very popular for the young students too.

The mature students tended to stick together, we always sat in the front row of the lecture hall, we asked the questions, and we made copious notes while the back row of young students would spend the hours texting!
The tutors were all great and very approachable.

However, the seminars were dire in the first year with none of the youngsters ever doing any preliminary reading and few of them willing to speak in the seminar. The second and third years were much more productive, with far fewer students in the lectures, and many of the young students were really excellent.

The first year does not count towards your degree mark. It is a year of finding out what's what - doing essays as you think they should be done and learning from the feedback, ready to be more focused in the second and third years (although you had better check on that, it might have just been my university!)

It is all quite relaxed but in the first term you may find that you have to run around finding things out for yourself - you are not always spoon fed which does come as a bit of a surprise to those who have just left the school system.

Good luck, contrary to public opinion, it is hard work but Graduation Day makes it all worth while!
BlotBangRub said:
Have you found out if the uni your with will suppliment you funds towards your rent?
It isn't rent, it is a mortgage, but I have seen the finance advisor, read all the latest lit and I am sure I have applied for everything I could be eligible for.

Once I have started I will also be applying for a reduction in my council tax.
Ah that's all the good parts, I'm not to sure with mature but I know students don't pay taxes, however, if they are living with some one who works they need to pay some sort of tax, I suppose that's what you going for then?

Get your student discount card yet :lol:
I started Uni aged 27 about three years after leaving the army. There were about ten mature students out of approx 60 odd starters on my course. I didn't have any trouble with the staff, they are there to help you so its not in their interest to feck you about. Some of the younger students used the get on my thits but for the most part they were good lads.

Not sure what your situation is but for me it was all or nothing, I could'nt afford to waste the opportunity the fact that I was married, skint and lived 20 odd miles away prevented me from getting in to the whole 'student liefstyle' thing, so it was study, revise, coursework, exam, study pretty much solid for three years.

It might sound stupid but I approached it with the same work ethic the forces gives you. I attended all lectures and study periods was allways early, took time to see the lecturers, used the facilities to the max, read around the subject matter etc etc. It was worth it

Looking back now the extra couple of years I had on most of the students and the army background made all the difference.

Good luck
Course work, if you can keep up good scores on your course work! I can tell you alot more, if your going in for computer science or elec eng, I can point you inthe right direction :wink: But it's an all over thing with the courses, keep in mind your dissertation is the main part, you also have your many exams and your course work, presentations. It all counts to the final score.


Anya1982 said:
Course work, if you can keep up good scores on your course work! I can tell you alot more, if your going in for computer science or elec eng, I can point you inthe right direction :wink: But it's an all over thing with the courses, keep in mind your dissertation is the main part, you also have your many exams and your course work, presentations. It all counts to the final score.
Try and do some of the course reading in the holiday preceeding the module/semester. That way if you dose off for 5 mins in a lecture you won't get lost. Let me tell you its easy to do...

Regarding coursework what Anya said, plus maybe (in these days of word processing) have a rough underway a long time before submission date, adding content and thus references as the module proceeds.
Thats the words, credits!! Sorry :oops:

If you also show a keen eye, this will also count towards your end of course score.
BlotBangRub said:
I went to the Uni of Leeds aged 36 to do a MEd and was looked down on by 1 professor in particular, he asked me and another guy (copper) what we were doing there in a discerning way, this guy went to the Uni as a student and hadnt left and had no outlook on life whatsoever, most staff were great though
Interesting. I don't expect any favours or credit for anything (apart from the fact I was able to be admitted to a history degree without history "A" level due to "Life experience" ) but nor do I expect to be treated less favourably either.

My experience so far has been the application process and an interview ( the university I am to attend was the only one to insist on an interview rather than making an offer or otherwise on the strength of my UCAS application) followed by an open day and some correspondence from the university.

The fact that they were alone in requiring an interview may have been related to the fact they are considered more prestigious than the other institutions, but it also aroused suspicians in my mind regarding their general attitude to mature students. I was interviewd by 2 members of staff, one who I found to be engaging and witty, and obviously supportive of mature students and satisfied with my desire to take the course, and another who I found to be patronising and dismissive. I don't know if this is a true reflection of their attitudes or if they were simply playing "Good Cop, Bad Cop"

I enjoyed the open day, although I did feel ancient, being in my thirties, and I have found some of the correspondence to be amusing, especially the letter that arrived recenlty addressed to "The Parent or Guardian of BlotBangRub"

I am very much looking forward to the experience, so any other comments are most welcome.

Would be interested in your experience as a mature student ...I am currently doing Modern Languages (Hons) degree with Open Uni . with the intention of taking a PGCE in about 2 years by which time I will be 47 .

Any idea how an OU degree is regarded ?
Depends. People appreciate the effort that has gone in but will not generally rank it alongside a traditional full time degree from the likes of Manchester or Edinburgh. The Open MBA is a bit of an exception and is quite well regarded (although again the full time version from Manchester is better).

For you though, I take it that teaching is the objective and your PCGE will be more important. I don't think your prospective employers will be as interested in your paper qualifications as your personal qualities.
BlotBangRub said:
Eggbanjo, was your effort reflected in your degree?

I have wondered how much difference there is between a first and a 2:1 and 2:2?
I managed a 2:1, we only had one lad get a first. Overall I was chuffed to feck with it as it refelcted the effort I'd put in. But........its only a means to an end. If you get a vocational degree its likely that you will end up having to obtain membership of a governing Institution which requires further study, exams etc. Then theres the never ends :x
BlotBang I served for 11 years before taking the plunge and going to Uni.

I spent the last 6 weeks of my service at Uni and found the sudden transition from army life to Uni life rather frustrating. I went from a position of responsibility to being the equal of spotty jumped up little fockers who couldn’t wipe their own arses! I found it incredibly frustrating when students would turn up to lectures 20 or 30 minutes late and then either talk or subject me to their MP3 players, phone texts etc. I gripped a few but had to remind myself that these scrotes were not in the army and neither was I any more. I also felt like an old basta*d surrounded by 19/20 year olds (I am 30!).

I adjusted (and mellowed) eventually and now enjoy being there. If you can adjust and accept that the whole university experience is different for those fresh out of school with little life experience under their belts then I am sure you will enjoy it.

Never forget the golden rules:

1. Always turn up for a lecture (parade!) 5 minutes early.
2. Sickies and skiving are not an option.
3. Always put best effort into the continuous assessment, you have maximum control over that part unlike the exams.
4. Make the lecturers earn their money, ask questions.
5. Organise your notes and work with military precision.
6. Do not drop off the pace, always stay ahead.
7. Take time to help other students and try to foster some sort of team spirit, you will reap the rewards.
8. Join the TA, retain your rank and enjoy spending the beer tokens!

Good luck


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