Mature Students


At Staffordshire University we extend an especially warm welcome to all our mature students. A mature student is normally classified as an undergraduate student who is at least 21 years old at the start of their course and usually having been away from school for at least two years.

The first thing to understand is that you are not alone – far from it. Nearly half our students are aged over 21 and, like most universities, we value our mature students for the enthusiasm and experience they bring. As a whole, they are highly motivated and successful in achieving their goals.

Nevertheless, we recognise that you may face different pressures than many other students, such as school leavers. You may have different financial and family circumstances, especially if you have children.

So while you possess many advantages due to your maturity and experience, starting a higher education course can still be daunting. In particular, some mature students are concerned about coping with the academic demands of a degree course. For others, family or work commitments can cause a headache. We appreciate this and will do all we can to support you, wherever you need it.

Access to Education

Access programmes are designed for adult learners and returners to education - the courses are 'adult friendly' and recognise your existing skills. They concentrate on the skills you will need for university, such as English, numeracy and information technology.

Access programmes are flexible, and can be studied full-time or part-time, to suit your individual needs. Many students who have completed Access programmes go on to study for a degree at Staffordshire University. For more information on Access programmes, contact the Student Hub.


Mature students come to us through a variety of different routes and we have a flexible, progressive approach to the admission. Your qualifications and experiences are likely to differ from those of an 18 year old, so each application is considered individually.

Don’t write yourself off if you lack the normal entry requirements – you may still be able to apply. It may be that your previous experience (in work or other areas of your life) will have prepared you for some of our awards – so please contact us.

Before You Start

Our support to you begins before your course starts. You are invited to participate in our ‘Step Ahead’ summer school programme to gain a feel for student life and familiarise yourself with the university and its systems.


We offer a well-established and high-quality childcare service at our Stoke campus, ranging from long-term placements to emergency and single-day bookings.

Student Advisors

Our student advisors and welfare officers are here to help you. We have advice centres serving Stoke and Stafford sites, providing free, confidential and up-to-date information on a wide range of subjects from grants and loans to courses and legal matters. If our trained advisors cannot deal with your enquiry immediately they will point you in the right direction.


Our student mentor support system is geared to help not only recent school leavers but students of various ages and from all different backgrounds.

Financial help for mature students


The help available to independent or mature students is broadly the same as for dependent students going into higher education.
There are two main expenses you’ll need to consider whilst at university:

  • Tuition fees

  • Living costs

For further information please see our detailed guide to what studying with us costs and the help that's available to pay for it.

Should you have any questions about what support you might be eligible for please contact our enquiries team on

Support Group

Mature student support group on Facebook (external site)

There is also a Staffordshire University mature student support group on Facebook. Please note that the Mature Student Network is independently managed by students; Staffordshire University is not responsible for this external site.