• University of York

Returning to Education as a Mature Student

Thinking of returning to education as a mature student? Make sense of higher education and reflect on your next steps.

3,133 enrolled on this course

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Returning to Education as a Mature Student

3,133 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Understand how to succeed as a mature student

What is a mature student? What life and work experience can mature learners bring to the learning environment? Answer these questions and more with this course.

You will consider the perceived barriers that mature learners face and potential solutions to those barriers. You will learn about the skills you need to develop as a mature student, the support systems you can gain access to, and the guidance that is available to you in making an application to a course of interest.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Everyday life is changing for everyone. We as individuals are increasingly living for longer, and as such, patterns of study, work, family and leisure are shifting - there is no better time than now to start thinking about returning to education and pursuing an interest you have always had. You may have seen in the media talk of the fourth industrial age and an anticipated increase in automation, issues which may render the workplace as we know it unrecognisable within our own lifetimes. Many people are now thinking about how returning to education might support their employability aspirations.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds Equally, some are recognising that as they enter different aspects of the life cycle, their values and views have changed, and that a return to learn represents an opportunity to take a different path. For others, coming back to study is a chance to try again now they feel more prepared. Here at the University of York, we value learners from all backgrounds and of all ages, and this short course will help you explore what routes might be available to you as a mature learner, what may have changed since you were last in education, what factors may influence your decision, and what support is available when you make the decision to come back.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 seconds Learning is increasingly a life-long activity, and not necessarily linear, so join us on the next step of your own journey as we explore what it now means to be a mature learner, and how to take your next steps.


  • Week 1

    Are you mature?

    • Welcome

      Welcome to the course - let's get the housekeeping out of the way quickly

    • Who are mature learners?

      We will explore what our understanding of a mature learner is and what it means to be a Mature Learner

    • Assumptions and barriers

      Many mature learners may be put off by their own preconceptions and perceived barriers to returning to learning. This activity we help unpick some of the common myths and will increase your confidence that learning may be for you.

    • Benefits of returning to learning

      There are many benefits to returning to learning. Many are obvious, some may take some time to be realised.

    • Closing thoughts and what's happening next week

      We have explored what it is to be a mature learner; the barriers and benefits of returning to learning. You may be starting to believe that you could be a returner learner yourself so we will look at what support you will need.

  • Week 2

    So, education might be for me... what next?

    • Goodbye barriers...time for next steps

      Welcome to week 2. We now know what it is to be a mature learner, our preconceptions of, and barriers to, education, as well the benefits. Now, we will look at choices, what research is needed, and what support is available.

    • Ready, steady... go!

      What tools, skills and resources will you be bringing back to the learning environment? What will you need to make the best of the learning experience?

    • Information, advice and guidance

      This section guides you to the support services that are available both inside and outside of education institutions, to help you plan your journey.

    • Digital and academic expectations

      This section explores the digital and academic skills we are expected to bring to a learning environment or experience. You may be surprised at the support systems that are available within and outside of education institutions.

    • On course for success

      There are so many courses within a range of academic levels, situated in a number of Further or Higher Education Institutes, or Training Organisations. This section will help us consider the right one for success.

    • Closing thoughts and next steps

      As we bring the course to an end, we reflect on the topics we have covered, and the next steps that you can now take.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Engage with other mature learners
  • Develop a timeline of the history of mature learners
  • Evaluate their own barriers to returning to education including, those related to a sense of belonging to an education setting
  • Design an action plan to prepare for the skills and support networks learners will need in advance of, and during, their course
  • Apply the skills learned to begin making a UCAS application

Who is the course for?

This course is for mature students who have been out of the education system for a significant period of time who are considering their future educational and career options with a view to doing a university course.

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$89/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 1 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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