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Mature students

NTU welcomes and supports mature students (those aged 21+) to join our diverse student community. Whether you are looking to change career, return to education or develop your skills, you’ll be joining hundreds of other mature students whose personal and professional experiences enrich our university’s community.

We understand that as a mature learner your needs may differ to those of students aged 18-21 and we have developed a range of services, resources and programmes that support your university experience. We’re committed to helping you make the most of your time at NTU.

How to apply

We welcome students from all walks of life and recognise you will have taken different paths to get here. From Access to HE courses, to experience gained from the world of work, our students have their own unique experiences, which enhance our community here at NTU.

The application process for mature students is the same as for all other students. Undergraduate applications are made through UCAS and postgraduate applications are made direct to NTU. You can check all entry requirements, other qualifications and experience that we accept on course pages. Follow our handy guides below on how to apply to NTU.

If you are using work experience in the place of qualifications gained through education, we recommend you use your personal statement to your best advantage. You can also use a professional reference in place of an academic one if required.

If you have questions about your qualifications and experience, we encourage you to attend one of our open days and visit the Admissions stand, or the academics in your School of interest.

If you can’t attend an open day, you can also use our Ask NTU form to ask any questions, or speak to academics from your course of interest on our live chat.

Getting back into education

Four mature students in their graduation gowns, smiling and holding prosecco flutes.

We have a variety of specialist support services on-hand to help you transition back into learning if you've had a break, and to guide you through learning at university in general.

Academic skills support

Studying for your degree can be challenging and exciting as you discover new knowledge and develop new skills, such as critical thinking. However, there are also times when you may feel outside of your comfort zone and in need of some help and advice.

The Learning and Teaching Team provides access to a wide range of academic skills support, including referencing, finding subject information, study skills, academic writing, maths, and statistics. You can also book a one-to-one appointment to meet with one of our friendly members of staff for support.

Mature Student Booster

We know that sometimes mature students feel less confident about their studies than students coming straight from school. This optional scheme offers you personalised support to help you succeed. You will have the opportunity to identify the aspects of university study that you feel least confident about and a Library Student Mentor from your School will work with you to find ways to boost your confidence in these areas.

Student Mentoring

Every first year, full-time undergraduate student at NTU is assigned a Student Mentor. Your mentor will be a second-year, final-year, or postgraduate student who studied the same course as you.

It’s not been long since they were in your position, so they’ll understand how you’re feeling, and are on-hand to answer questions and have a chat.

In addition to this, first-year mature students can opt into our Mature Mentoring scheme and be allocated a mentor who is also a mature student. Our Mature Mentors will share their own experiences of returning to education, and helpful tips on balancing university life with other responsibilities. They'll be able to point you in the direction of the right university departments so that you have everything you need to be able to succeed at university.

As an older student I felt out of place because I was 15 years older than most students, but once I got to know the younger students, I felt accepted. Be yourself and talk to everyone. Don't think because the students are so much younger you will not get on with them.

Chantelle Fisher, BA (Hons) Childhood (Psych)

Student life

Discover the ways to get involved, find support and advice, and truly settle into student life at NTU.

Mature Welcome events

From online Q&A sessions to pre-arrival bespoke campus tours, we hope to answer all your questions before the start of term. We also offer lots of opportunities for you to meet like-minded students in our common room area and at events such as our mature student BBQ and comedy nights.

Learn more about Welcome

Commuting to university

If you’re planning on commuting to one of our campuses, we’ve got lots of helpful tips and tricks for making the most of your time at NTU. Visit our Commuting webpage for everything from advice on how to get here to finding quiet study spaces and student kitchen and locker facilities.

Commuting to University

Mature, Postgraduate and Non-traditional students’ network

This NTSU network is a community of students who come together to share experiences as mature, postgraduate and non-traditional learners, and to organise events and campaigns to enhance the university experience of the students in this demographic.

Visit the NTSU network page

Accommodation for mature students

We realise that you might appreciate living with other students in the same situation as you. Many of our residences have flats and studios that are suitable for mature students. We currently do not provide accommodation for couples or families.

View accommodation options

It can be strange being a mature student, even though I am only twenty-five, it can often feel like a big gap. However, depending on what you want out of university you can find it. If you are looking for like-minded individuals or even better people who you would never have thought of meeting, there are societies and groups to get involved in. There are lots of resources available at uni and the longer I have been here the more I have realised how beneficial it is to get involved.

Kai Northcott, BA (Hons) Creative Writing

Financial support

Below are a few financial support options available for specific circumstances. You can find out more about student finance on our money, fees and funding pages.

If you’re a full-time undergraduate, you may be entitled to a higher amount of Maintenance if you’re a parent. This is called ‘special support’.

The amount you can receive varies. It depends on your household income, and which national student finance service you apply to.

You may get special support if either of the following apply while you’re on your course:

  • you're a single parent
  • you have a partner who is also a full-time student, and either you, your partner or both are parents.

If you’re a parent, or have care of a child, you may also be eligible for a grant to help towards course-related costs. This is known as the Parents’ Learning Allowance. Your eligibility depends on:

  • your household income, and
  • the household income of your partner.

Full-time undergraduate parents may also apply for help to pay your childcare costs. This is called the Childcare Grant. Please note that eligibility criteria applies.

If you have an adult dependant, you may qualify for the Adult Dependant’s Grant. Your eligibility depends on your age, your marital status, and your household income.

NHS Learning Support Fund provides additional funding for eligible healthcare students.  It is supplementary financial support to the mainstream student loans system.

NHS LSF is made up of the following allowances:

  • Training Grant
  • Specialist subject payment
  • Parental Support
  • Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses
  • Exceptional Support Fund

To apply, please visit the NHS Learning Support Fund for further information and eligibility criteria.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long-term illness or any other disability.

This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get.

The type of support and how much you get depends on your individual needs, not your household income. You do not need to pay back DSA.

We offer prestigious, competitive scholarships worth up to 50% off your tuition fees to new international and European postgraduate students. You must have an offer to study a full-time postgraduate course with us to apply for a scholarship. Find out more.

Open days

With so many factors affecting your decision, it's worth seeing us for yourself. Going to university is a life-changing commitment, and visiting us in person can help you get a feel for what living and studying as an NTU student would be like.

International students

Discuss your study options with your NTU Country Advisor. Our specialist regional teams offer advice to future international students and their families.