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The University of Chester is committed to welcoming and supporting mature students to get the most of their time with us. We know that it was a big decision to return to education but we recognise the value that mature students bring to the University experience. UCAS defines a mature student as someone aged 21 or over who didn’t go to University after school or college.

We recognise that a mature student may have additional considerations whilst at University such as have family commitments, caring responsibilities or a change in their financial situation. With this in mind we have a dedicated staff member who is available to answer any queries that you may have. If you would like to get in contact to discuss support then please email

At the start of every academic year we distribute a Mature Student Guide detailing support available to students alongside tips from our current mature student community on how to make the most of student life. Additionally, the guide details information on childcare at the University and funding support available to students. This guide will be sent to you in your first couple of weeks at University. If you have any questions on this then please email

Mature Student Story: Kelly McCleave, Final year Psychology student

“Deciding to go to university as an older student was one of the biggest decisions I’ve made, not only in recent years but possibly in my life. Unlike a younger person, who is likely to have less financial obligations and emotional need for the security of full time employment; I was not only choosing to return to study but I was also leaving a secure job with all the risks that entails when you have a mortgage and bills to pay. However, like most ‘risky’ endeavours my excitement level when I got the email from the widening participation team to say that they could offer me a place on my chosen course was off the Richter scale. With the support of my partner I knew that I was making the right decision.

“Going to lectures was very daunting in the first couple of weeks mainly due to the sheer size of them and not being used to that environment. However, they became easier to cope with after a few weeks and I can only say that if you hang in there it does get less stressful but the thing that you must not do is avoid going to them. Eventually you will make friends and sit with familiar people but until then just make yourself as comfortable as possible and enjoy the lecture, some lecturers are even quite funny!

“When you get your assignments don’t panic, take advantage of all the learning resources that the university has to offer and try and plan early or at least think meaningfully about how you are going to do them. Remember we are not robots and won’t do them all the same way. We are all different and there is no perfect plan as long as it works for you and you meet your assignment deadlines then that is the right way for you.

“I have loved my first year and believe it’s because I am older that I’m able to appreciate this opportunity and get the most out of it. It’s brilliant and I can’t wait to get back to start my second year of adventure.”