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Support for mature students

An undergraduate student who is aged 21 or over is considered a mature student. This is much younger than some people expect. Mature students encompass a wide range of ages and experiences.

How many mature students are there at Cardiff University?

Many mature students worry that they will be the only ‘older’ student at the University. Over 20% of undergraduate students who study with us are mature students. The range of courses that they study is also varied, however there is a higher proportion of mature students studying Healthcare related subjects. You may be the only mature student in some of your modules but there are also many other ways to meet other mature students at the University.

Meeting other mature students

At the start of each academic year the University hosts a mature student’s induction event. This is an informal event that allows mature students to meet one another prior to starting their course. There are also informative talks from university support services and academic support information.

Cardiff University Students’ Union has a wide variety of societies which cater to all manner of hobbies and sporting interests. There is also a Mature Students Association as part of the Student Union who arrange social events, meet-ups and coffee mornings. The Students’ Union has a Mature Students Officer whose role is to represent mature students' interests and to campaign on any relevant issues.

Social media

There is a Facebook group called Cardiff University Mature Students' Association, which welcomes mature students and can be used as a platform to find others in a similar situation.

On Twitter, @LearnCardiff provides information regarding continuing and professional education. This includes part-time and short-term courses for adults in a variety of subjects and pathways to undergraduate degrees. The account posts updates on how you can get the most out of your time at university and provides dates for events such as open days and workshops run by the University.

Living with younger people

If you are considering moving into student accommodation in your first year, you can request a room in a shared flat/house with other students who have also expressed an interest in a quiet living environment. This might be more appealing for some mature students, but others may prefer living in a larger, busier environment.

Returning to study

Pathways to a degree courses aim to widen access to Higher Education for adults from groups who might not normally consider university as an option. These include those from socially and economically deprived backgrounds, those who missed the chance to study at university when they were younger and those disadvantaged by physical disabilities and mental health conditions.  We now have over 100 students a year joining full-time courses in a range of subjects through this route.

We have a dedicated Academic Study Skills Centre that provides a comprehensive study skills programme which is accessible to all enrolled students. The Centre provides support and information on many areas of study including:

  • referencing
  • presentation skills
  • revision tips
  • note taking
  • essay writing
  • critical reading
  • English language support
  • maths support
  • skills classes.

Once you enrol with us you will gain access to further information on the student intranet.

Financial help

To be considered an independent student by Student Finance England or Student Finance Wales, you must be over 25 at the beginning of the academic year.There are some exceptions to this rule, including if you can evidence that you have supported yourself financially through working or benefits, for 3 years before you start your course. Otherwise, you would be assessed based on your parent’s income for your funding entitlement.

For students funded by the NHS, you have to be able to demonstrate you have supported yourself independently for 3 years or 36 months in aggregate, regardless of your age.

The Student Funding and Advice Team based in Student Support can help you find out how best to finance your studies and what sources of funding you can apply for. They are happy to take enquiries from prospective students wherever you are in the process of deciding to come to university.

The Student Funding and Advice Team can support you in applying for funding, checking your entitlement to all elements of student finance, including benefits and tax credits, that are particular to your circumstances. Their expert help will be invaluable in working out the package of funding that will support you over the course of your studies.

Contact us

Contact our Enquiries team if you have a question about one of our courses.

Find out more about support for mature students:

Student Connect