Online course in Teaching

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.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $59 Find out 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 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 secondsEveryday 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 secondsEqually, 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 secondsLearning 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.

What topics will you cover?

  • Who are mature learners? The history of mature learners
  • What is involved in making the decision to return to education – breaking down perceived barriers
  • A sense of belonging – the range of support systems available to mature learners such as finance, child care, mature learning networks, academic skills development
  • What a mature learner may need to succeed in the learning environment – digital and academic writing skills; finance support; child care support; making a successful UCAS application

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

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 will you learn with?

Julie Knowles

I am Julie and have been working with, and on behalf of adults who are returning to learning for 20 years. I also teach a range of Psychology modules. I am looking forward to meeting you.

Who developed the course?

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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Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

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  • Access to this course for 4 weeks

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  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
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