mature students

over 21?

A mature student is anyone who is over the age of 21 who decides to study an undergraduate degree. If that’s you, we’ve got lots of insights and information below to help you. Whether it’s advice on juggling family or work life alongside your course, to blogs from mature students already studying at Beckett, find out what being a student over 21 is all about. You can also chat to some of our current mature students on today's live chat to find out about their experience of studying at Leeds Beckett University.

Applying to university as a mature student Hear from our Schools and Colleges Outreach team and student ambassador Dan about applying as a mature student.


Around a third of undergraduate students at Leeds Beckett are classed as mature students - So if you're over the age of 21, you certainly won't be alone!

Challenges and misconceptions of being a mature student

Often, mature students will have similar worries and preconceptions about what university will be like for them. These can sometimes be based on truth. For example, it’s likely to be true that you will need to budget your money more effectively than before, especially if you are going from full-time employment to full-time study. However, there are plenty of preconceptions which we hear which are simply not true and are absolutely nothing to be worried about. Take a look through this list to see which these are - we think you may find it reassuring.

Image of two female postgraduate students listening to a lecture in a classroom

Misconception #1 - you'll be the only person over 18

Something which we hear a lot is that mature students worry that they will be the only person on their course that’s over 18 years of age. While this may be true in a few (very rare) cases, it’s definitely the exception to the rule. In fact, almost a third of Leeds Beckett’s student population is made up of mature students, meaning you’re likely to make friends of all ages on your course, regardless of which subject you choose. In addition, we often hear that mature students are surprised at how well they get along with their younger course mates. You’re all in the same boat after all - you have a shared love of a subject, you’re going through the same challenges and everybody is looking to make friends.

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Misconception #2 - you'll struggle to make friends

This is something which we hear people worrying about a lot, but it is definitely not true. People worry that their age will mean that younger students on their course will not want to interact with them, which is simply not the case. You’ll soon find that the only person worried about your age at university is you. Don’t see yourself as a ‘mature’ student, simply a student – and make the most of all of the opportunities available to you in the same way that anybody else would.

There are many ways to make friends at Leeds Beckett. Our course leaders provide plenty of opportunities for people to bond with their classmates. For example, some courses host welcome parties, organise residential trips away or run intensive induction weeks. Outside of your course, there are also plenty of opportunities to make friends, and it’s not all about big nights out (although there is room for that if that’s what you’re into!). There’s Freshers Week, where Leeds Beckett’s SU hosts lots of activities – from tea parties, to club nights, to the Freshers Fair. Then there’s our societies and teams, and we’re almost certain that there will be one to suit you. If there isn’t, you can always form your own.

It’s inevitable that heading to university after a break in education will come with some challenges. It’s a big change, but don’t worry – Leeds Beckett can offer you an array of support to help you to manage. Here are just a few examples:

  1. Study skills

    If you’re worried that your study skills won’t be up to scratch after taking a break in education, then Leeds Beckett has plenty of resources available to assist you. Our library can help you build a variety of skills, such as digital literacy, academic communication, maths, statistical analysis and using IT. Then there’s your course tutors. They are dedicated to helping you succeed on your course and will be happy to help if you’re struggling with any skills.

  2. Financial

    Financing your studies can be a challenge for everybody – no matter what their personal situation. As many mature students entering education have previously worked full time, it can be even more daunting to give that up and enter full time studies. However, there are ways of ensuring you can manage your money effectively. Firstly, you could get a part-time job alongside your course, it's a great way to earn some extra money and boost your CV along the way, lots of our students are able to find work to suit their schedule. In addition, we have our student money team who can support you with budgeting, money management advice, and even advise on things such as scholarships and bursaries.

  3. Juggling family life

    We know that it can be difficult to fit in time for study when you have a family to take care of. It’s really important that you have a strong support system around you to support your learning, and that includes at home and at university. At home, you may need to let your friends and family aware of any big deadlines, so that you can plan childcare or any other responsibilities well in advance. You don’t want to be panicking before a large exam! At university, it’s vital that you inform your tutors of your family commitments from the beginning, so that if you ever do run into any difficulty juggling your commitments, they can help you. It’s worth letting your new course mates know too. If, for example, you were to miss lectures one day due to a family issue – it would be great to have people to share their notes with you. It’s worth remembering that plenty of people do well while juggling many different responsibilities, and with the correct support around you, you can too.

  4. Working

    If you’re planning on studying alongside employment, we can support you with this too. We have plenty of flexible study options, such as part-time degrees, flexible start dates, or distance learning. In addition, in some circumstances professional qualifications or experience can count towards the degree – meaning you don’t have to cover the entirety of the course content. Get in touch with our admissions team to learn more about any of these. In addition, our course tutors are there for support during your studies. If you know that you will be working alongside your studies, let your tutors know as early as possible. There may be ways that they can help to support you to be successful.

Student view

When you join Leeds beckett, you'll be joining a diverse community including lots of other mature students. Hear about their experiences of studying with us and how they settled into university life.

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Want to hear more from Be Beckett Ready?

Hear from our students on anything from being the first in your family to go to university, to dealing with learning difficulties, disabilities or mental health concerns while your away from home, in our podcast series - Be Becket Ready.

Explore the full podcast series

Student vlog | Why I chose Leeds Beckett Hi, I'm Ian and in this vlog I'll be talking about the reasons why I chose to study at Leeds Beckett University.

Having a mature student on the course is great. They tend to bring a new perspective to discussions that couldn't necessarily come from other students.

Hannah BA (Hons) Teaching and Education
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Connect with others

Mature students facebook group

Our Facebook group for mature learners is a great way to connect and engage with each others. As well as getting to chat to fellow students, we post content aimed at improving your university experience.

next steps

get in touch

If you're interested in joining us or want to know more about the application process, your chosen course or what to expect when you get here, there's lots of ways to get in touch. You can call or email our Admissions team, chat to one of our amazing Student Ambassadors or stay in touch by providing us with a few contact details to get all the latest information about courses, events and student life!