A Guide for Undergraduate Mature Students Welcome So you are thinking about studying and making the step into higher education? It’s a tough decision, at any age. Before going to university most students will have questions like: “Have I chosen the right course?” “Will I make friends?” However, as a mature student you may have additional concerns and questions of your own, for example: “How will I cope financially?” “Is age a barrier?” “Am I academically able?” “Will it help me to get a better job?” This leaflet intends to answer some of the questions that you, as a mature student, may have about entering the world of higher education at the University of York. What is a mature student? Returning to learning The University of York welcomes applications Access and Foundation courses, There are many reasons for deciding to return from mature candidates. A mature student is Apprenticeships, or direct from work and to study: typically someone who is entering university for voluntary activity. • to develop individual skills the first time following a break from education. • changes in employment field Additional Introductory Years are also available • retirement/children left home In recent years about 13% of new students at in some subject areas at the University of York, • enjoyment/interest in subject/dream the University of York have been over the age as an alternative entry route. This initial year • unemployment or career break of 21 and in some departments the proportion may be studied at York College and is much higher. Overall our student population prepares you for entry to your chosen degree. University is for anyone with the academic ranges in age from 17 to 79! ability and motivation. It’s never too late to For more information contact Admissions and fulfil your potential. Higher education opens Mature students come to us from a wide range Schools Liaison – see the back page of this up a range of opportunities to gain experience, of backgrounds with qualifications ranging leaflet for details. knowledge and the confidence to achieve from A levels and BTEC National Diplomas to your goals. Choosing a course The programme is geared towards adult part- It may be a relief to know that living on a There are numerous courses to choose from at time learners who may not have studied for budget is easier at York than many other the University of York. Roughly 30 departments some time. You study at the same level as new universities. Accommodation and transport and centres offer a range of subjects in undergraduate students in a supportive costs are relatively low, and most places, the Arts, Social Sciences and Science and university environment and have access to including the centre of York, are in walking or Technology. The University also offers a degree a range of student services. Subjects include cycling distance. Students also benefit from in Medicine through the Hull York Medical Humanities, Local History, Citizenship and second-hand bookshops and discounts in many School. York is highly regarded for the quality Creative Writing. For further information visit: restaurants, bars and shops across the city. The of its programmes and has an exceptional www.york.ac.uk/lifelonglearning or telephone University Careers Service also provides help teaching record in external assessments of 01904 434620. with looking for and finding part-time work. teaching quality. The wide range of courses available should mean that you study what’s Financing your studies Additional financial advice can be found in the right for you and a subject that you enjoy. When you become a student one of your Undergraduate Prospectus or at: biggest concerns may be how you will manage www.studentsupportdirect.co.uk The University of York’s Undergraduate financially. Your lifestyle may change if Prospectus will give you a full list of the adapting to a large cut in income from courses available – see the back page of this previous employment. Most full-time students’ leaflet to request a copy. tuition fees and living costs are covered by government loans, which are repayable once you have graduated and earning above a In Proﬁle... How long will it take? Most degree courses take a minimum of three certain level. years; however it may take longer if you take, In addition to these loans, there are also many Neil, Medicine for example, a foundation year, introductory year, a study year abroad or a sandwich course sources of assistance that may be available to I moved to York from London with a year in industry. you: • Household income based grants “ with my 12 year old son, to What if a degree is not for me yet? • Childcare Grant start medical school. York seems You may not be at the stage where you are • Parents’ Learning Allowance a great place to raise kids with a ready to start a degree programme but would • Adult Dependants’ Grant mixture of both old and new – the like the challenge of studying on a more • Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) amazing history is very well flexible part-time basis. The Centre for Lifelong • Subject-specific grants and bursaries complemented by some state-of- Learning runs a number of evening and day • University bursaries the-art attractions. There are some courses in various subjects. Short one hour For further information contact your Local really good primary and secondary interest sessions may also be available. Authority (LA) or the University’s Student schools around and the beaches are You could also choose to work towards an Support Office on telephone: 01904 433730 not that far either! accredited Certificate of Lifelong Learning. or visit www.york.ac.uk/studentmoney ” Entry requirements Essentially, the Admissions Tutor wants to Accommodation The specific entry requirements for each know as much as possible about you and your Over half of the University’s undergraduates department or course are listed in the interest in the subject, including what relevant live in University accommodation and all new Undergraduate Prospectus. However, mature activities you have been involved with since single undergraduates are guaranteed a place students are not required to have the same leaving education. A handout entitled The in University residence for their first year, if academic qualifications as school-leaving Persuasive Personal Statement is also available requested. A limited amount of family applicants. from Admissions and Schools Liaison – see the accommodation is available. Some back page of this leaflet to request a copy. students may be able to live in University Departments are looking for: accommodation for two years, although rented • enthusiasm and motivation Why the University of York accommodation close to campus is easy to find • evidence of your ability to study at the The University of York was founded during and reasonably priced. For more information required level the period of university expansion in the early contact the Accommodation Office on • evidence of relevant experience or interest in 1960’s. A relatively small university, there are telephone 01904 432165 or visit: relation to the subject currently over 11,000 students, 8,100 of whom www.york.ac.uk/admin/accom are undergraduates. Departments have a great deal of experience in advising mature students and you may find The main campus at Heslington, within it helpful to contact the Admissions Tutor of walking distance of the city centre, is situated the department you are interested in for advice around a large lake in 200 acres of landscaped before you apply. Contact details are provided parkland. There are fast and frequent bus in the Undergraduate Prospectus - see the back services to and from the city and an effective page of this leaflet to request a copy. network of cycle paths. A smaller campus, King’s Manor, is located in the city centre Application where the Department of Archaeology is based. Applications for all undergraduate programmes are made through the Universities and The University of York combines the Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) - advantages of a university that is large www.ucas.com. enough to provide a vibrant social and cultural environment, with the welcoming and friendly Your application should provide evidence of atmosphere found in a smaller community. the entry requirements criteria detailed above. York has earned an international reputation You may show your ability to study at the for teaching quality and research to become required level through previously achieved one of the UK’s most popular and successful qualifications or recent study as a mature universities. student at a preparatory level suitable to higher education. Relevant training and work York itself is a beautiful historic city visited and or voluntary experience may also be taken into admired by people from all over the world. consideration. Student Support available to help all students with any In Proﬁle... The University of York takes care to provide many strands of support to meet the needs problems they may have; emotional, personal and academic. www.york.ac.uk/admin/scs of all students. Mature students may have additional concerns regarding finance, time- Childcare facilities Sandie, Educational Studies management, integration and returning to The University and the Students’ Union jointly academic learning, which is perfectly run York Campus Nursery which caters for I came to the University of York understandable, and there are many services children aged three months to five years. “ with no preconceived ideas but and members of staff available to support you There is a reduced fee for student parents. I knew, wanted and expected, that I through your studies. The Nursery is situated in the grounds of the would have to work hard. My degree University and operates for 50 weeks of the Student Support Office year, between 8.30am to 6.00pm, 5 days a experience has been brilliant! I The Student Support Office is there to provide week. enjoyed the introductory sessions, information, support and advice on money and the variety of teaching styles and debt issues, funding, housing, employment, The Nursery is fully registered with the Office the progressive links that the benefits and many other areas including: for Standards of Education and complies with sessions followed to build up our healthcare, childcare, legal and consumer the national standards for Full Day Care. It is learning. In addition, the core skills queries. www.york.ac.uk/admin/sso run by professionally qualified staff, assisted by that I have learnt, developed and volunteers and trainees; all working to provide Collegiate support system a safe and caring environment. For further renewed, have also underpinned The University of York has a collegiate system, details telephone 01904 433737. my degree and I feel very prepared which means that each student is a member www.york.ac.uk/univ/nrsry (despite also feeling daunted!) of one of the eight colleges. Each college for the PGCE course that I am now provides accessible help and support to Computing Service undertaking. students through college tutors and welfare The Computing Service promotes the use of representatives. computing campus wide. Each student at York The Educational Studies is provided with a computer account and has Supervisors free access to email and the Internet. Department has been wonderful. At the University of York a member of your IT training is available through the University’s I have felt welcome, supported and main teaching department acts as a supervisor Illiad Programme. involved and I have developed, both throughout your course. They can advise on academically and as a person; both academic and personal problems. They Additional services and support I certainly would not be training will usually be involved in your course and so Students can also get support and use of the to be a teacher now if it was not will be familiar with your academic work and Students’ Union, National Union of Students, for my positive experience at the your personal interests and progress. Library, study skills workshops, social activities, pastoral advice, out-of-class tutor University of York. Student Counselling Service support, nightline, spiritual support, and a ” The University’s Student Counsellors are campus health centre. Careers support Mature student life The Careers Service is experienced in providing students with support throughout your time Students at the University of York are of all ages and background so everyone should feel In Proﬁle... here and also after you leave. Information included. There are lots of activities for you to and guidance is available about jobs, get involved with on campus, catering for a employers, qualifications, postgraduate study wide range of tastes and interests, and there James, Biology and research, vocational courses and selection are plenty of people on hand to help you processes. The centre hosts presentations by settle in. After performing pretty badly local employers, careers workshops and events. “ at school, I always doubted Mature students are also invited to a tailored whether I would be able to make a The Careers Service can help mature students introduction and welcome to the University at success of a degree, especially as a in specific areas of interest and provide the start of the first term. Here you can gain mature student in an entirely new personal advice and guidance tailored to your information to help you make the most of your time as a student. professional direction. The needs. www.york.ac.uk/services/careers combination of excellent staff here For more information on student activities at at York, and my own self- York visit www.yusu.org determination, enabled me to achieve something I had never dare dream of - a ﬁrst class degree. Despite plenty of life’s usual distractions; children, house sales, health and money problems, many of which are used as excuses for people not following their dreams, I am now on my way to becoming a scientiﬁc researcher in a discipline I am passionate about. I would encourage you to take the plunge and do what you really want to do. My time at University has been a great all round experience, and the help and guidance I’ve received from my department has provided the best possible support for my change in career. ” Career prospects Visit us Contacts The University of York regularly appears You are welcome to visit the University’s For further information on anything high up in the league tables and has an campus at any time. Please contact Admissions mentioned in this leaflet contact: exceptional reputation with local, national and Schools Liaison for further details on Admissions and Schools Liaison and international employers. As a result, the making an independent visit. 01904 433196 University has an impressive graduate firstname.lastname@example.org employment record. University Open Days are usually held twice a year; check the website or contact us to find To request an undergraduate prospectus: Many students choose their courses with career out when they are. www.york.ac.uk/admissions/ugrad/ improvement in mind and for some careers prospectus it is essential to have a specific degree, like The University is situated on the south-eastern 01904 433539 Medicine or Engineering. However, you may outskirts of the city of York and is easily choose to study a more general course not accessible from the city by bus, taxi, bicycle or www.york.ac.uk directly linked to a particular career. This type on foot. of course will still provide you with a qualification and skills that you can use to York itself is easy to reach by: progress into many areas of employment. Rail: On the East Coast Main Line. Trains from An outline of the diverse range of employment London take under two hours; two and entered by York students, immediately after a half from Edinburgh. Direct trains also graduation, is provided by department in the link Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Undergraduate Prospectus and on the Careers Manchester. Service website. www.york.ac.uk/services/careers Road: Approximately 30 minutes from Leeds, and an hour and a half from Manchester Next step and Newcastle. York is easily accessed Hopefully this leaflet has gone some way to from the A1, M1 and M62. answer your questions and encourage you to follow your wish to enter higher education. Air: Close to Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Researching extensively about the courses and Teesside and Newcastle airports for support systems will ensure that you make the international destinations. right choice for you and feel confident when taking the next step to apply. Useful maps can be found at: www.york.ac.uk/np/maps If you have any further queries, or wish for additional advice, please contact Admissions and Schools Liaison - see right for details.