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Questions mature students should ask

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Published: 19 April 2021

Mature student taking notes in class

The University of Sunderland in London is a higher education institution for everyone – regardless of background, age or work experience.

We’re proud to help students study without impacting the other parts of their lives – from two days of classes a week to up to four start dates each year.

That’s just one of the reasons many people with experience of the working world choose to study here.

So, what should you be thinking about when deciding if coming to the University as an older person is right for you?

Will I be the only one?

The answer to this is very simple – no.

Over 95% of our students are classified as ‘mature’, meaning they’re older than 21.

In the UK generally, 40% of students fall into this category, with a significant number of these having been out of education for many years.

That’s why we don’t just consider your educational qualifications when you apply. For a lot of our courses, we look at your work experience too.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the process of getting academic credits for things you’ve learned in the past.

It means you might not even need to study a particular module on your course and comes from either previous learning or past work experience.

Before you apply, talk to our Admissions team to find out if you can get APL.

Will I have the skills?

Returning to or starting higher education as an older person can be daunting in terms of the skills you’ll need to achieve your grades.

At the University, we have several support systems out there to help you along.

The Library, in particular, offers a wide range of study skills to get your academic writing, referencing and presentation up to a high standard.

Take a look at these to get started:

You can find the full list on the Study Skills section of the Library website.

We also publish regular articles on our site, many of which include tips and tricks for getting the most out of your academic experience.

Find what you're looking for in the Growth Mindset section of our News pages.

What about money?

Although it’s fair to say that university is a financial commitment, there is no age limit to the funding available.

As long as you’ve not studied for that course level (i.e., undergraduate or postgraduate) in the past, you can apply for a Student Loan.

At the University of Sunderland in London, we also offer several scholarships and financial support packages.

That includes the Senior Scholarship, which you can find out more about on the Scholarships you have to apply for section of our Fees, Scholarships and Discounts pages.

Are you studying as an older student? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

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