Mature Students

If you’re an undergraduate student who hasn’t come to university aged 18 straight from school or college, we hope the information in this section will help you adjust to university life, meet other mature students and know where to go to access support if and when you need it. 

If you are a mature student who is living off campus please visit the section of our website for local and commuting students. This includes information on how to choose a college if you are a non-resident student. 

Meeting other mature students

As a mature student there will be many events taking place on campus through the academic year that appeal to you. These might be events organised by your college, your department or one of the YUSU societies you decide to get involved in. 

For details of our regular mature student coffee drop ins, and to chat with other mature students, join our University of York mature students Facebook chat group.  

The Mature Students Association (MSA) is a student led group for all students over the age of 21. The MSA represents mature students' interests and runs some socials and events. For more detail, follow the University of York Mature Students' Association Facebook page or email


Accessing support

Studying as a mature student can be challenging, particularly if you are trying to juggle other commitments with university life. It is normal for there to be bad days as well as good days. However, if you feel like you would benefit from talking to someone, there are plenty of people you can approach for advice or a chat when you're at York. This includes your college team, your academic supervisorYUSU and colleagues in Student Services

The University also offers a range of specialist support for all students when they arrive at University. The information below outlines the main support areas typically of interest to mature students:

Academic support

  • As a mature student you may be worried about coping with the demands of academic work, especially if you’ve been out of education for a few years.
  • The Student Skills Hub helps students improve their key writing, maths, language, IT and other academic skills.
  • Sometimes things happen that can seriously impair your performance in an assessment or prevent you undertaking the assessment at the scheduled time. If these events are unforeseeable and exceptional (i.e. serious and unusual) you may be able to defer an assessment or take it again. It is very important that you note the deadlines for submitting a claim. Refer to our guidance on exceptional circumstances.

Financial advice and support

  • Finance is an issue for all students but as a mature student it can be particularly difficult to manage, especially if you are faced with a range of competing commitments. If you are worried about how you are going to manage financially we would encourage you to make appointment with one of our Student Advisers at the Student Hub.
  • If you do find yourself in financial difficulty mature students, especially those with existing financial commitments, are one of the groups the University gives priority to when allocating the University's Hardship Funds
  • If you are a mature student with children, or you live with a partner, you may also be entitled to claim benefits and tax credits.

Disability and dyslexia support

  • Let us know if you have, or think you may have, a disability or dyslexia and we can talk to you about the support you may be entitled to.

Careers advice

Although you have protection under the Equality Act 2010, some employers may have concerns about recruiting an older graduate. It is your challenge to focus on the positives from your life and work experience and really understand how to market your skills and experience to employers. 

Be clear about what makes you right for the role you are applying for and understand your strengths and abilities. Research jobs carefully and know how your skills and experience relate to it.  You will need to be able to convince an employer you are right for the job - so a strong CV or application form is essential.  Strong interview skills are vital - book a Mock Interview to practise your technique.

 Things to consider

Useful websites

Our Careers and Placements service can help you start developing your skills, think about your future career and find work experience or part-time work.