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The University of Southampton
Student ServicesSupport and wellbeing

Mature Students

At the University of Southampton we welcome students of all ages and are committed to supporting mature students to ensure they get the most out of their university experience.

Mature Students

Whilst there's no such thing as a typical mature student, starting university a bit later in life may mean you have particular worries about returning to education, the impact of this on your life or finances or how to balance university alongside other existing commitments. The information in this section is designed to support you during your time at university.

Students who are aged 21 and over, at the start of their undergraduate course, are defined as mature by the University of Southampton. Postgraduate students are defined as mature when they begin their programme of study aged 25 and over.

Connect virtually - Join our Mature Student Network

If you're interested in (virtually) meeting other mature students at the University, then you may like to join our online network for mature students.

Our private Teams group gives you a platform to engage with other mature students online from the comfort of your own home; so grab a cuppa and have chat. You'll also be able to ask any questions you might have to the Student Inclusion Team, who will be on hand to oversee the group.

If you’d like to be part of the UoS - Mature Student Network, then please email and will let you know how to join.

All new students, joining us in September, will be invited to join our online welcome network for new mature students once they have their University IT Account.

Getting Involved

There are many ways to get involved with university life and many opportunities to meet new people; try to explore the opportunities available to you, as these can be a great way of developing a peer support network. 

Mature Student Welcome Sessions

Each year we run Mature Student Welcome Sessions to help undergraduate mature students and those returning to education to understand more about life here at the University of Southampton, whilst offering the opportunity to network with other mature students. There will be a chance to hear from staff, from across a number of different services, and to share any concerns with other mature students currently studying at the University, as well as some that have recently graduated.

Eligible students will be contacted with more information and details on how to register for the event(s) before the start of the academic year. Due to current guidelines, for Welcome 2020 we'll be offering our new mature students the same opportunities through alternative online activities. For more information please contact Dulcie in the Student Inclusion Team.

Mature Student Coffee Mingles

Throughout the academic year we usually hold a number of Mature Student Coffee Mingles. All mature students can drop by for free refreshments and a chat with other mature students at the University. These are a great opportunity to get to know likeminded peers and to share your experiences. Due to current government regulations we’re unable to hold a Mingle for now; but we hope to bring you one a little later this academic year, when guidelines allow.

Clubs and Societies

The University of Southampton Students’ Union has over 200 societies covering a wide range of interests; these are a great opportunity to meet new people and maybe even try something new.

University Activities & Events

The University and Students' Union put on a range of activities and events throughout the year, from Pasta Nights to Mindful Fridays. To stay up to date with everything that is happening on our campuses make sure to check SUSSED, the University and Students’ Union Events Calendars, as well as the University’s social media channels

Become a Student Ambassador

Becoming an ambassador is great way to both meet other student and learn new skills, all while earning money. We are always looking for enthusiastic and friendly students to become Student Ambassadors to help with events organised by our Recruitment and Outreach team.

Working as a student ambassador can be fun and varied, providing you with a huge range of exciting challenges and opportunities to get involved with, alongside your studies. Further information and how to apply can be found here.

SUSU Postgraduate Events

The Students' Union host a number of postgraduate events, from PG Breakfast Club to Power Teas, these provide a great opportunity for socialising with peers. Keep an eye on the Students' Union website, as well as the Postgraduate Community Facebook to stay up to date with what events are on and when.


The University has a wide range of support available to you, should you need any advice or guidance, at any point during your studies.

Student Inclusion Team
The Student Inclusion Team are here to ensure every student feels supported and part of one engaged learning community. If you need any help or advice just get in touch - the team are always happy to help.

Look out for the Inclusive Connections e-Magazine, our termly publication which brings together information from across our University to provide you with content tailored to specific student communities. As a mature student, you'll receive each edition direct to your university email.


Academic Skills Hub

There is a range of study support available to help those returning to education to aid you in developing the skills needed for your course. The Academic Skills Hub offers a variety of workshops and tools, covering a range of areas including: critical thinking, essay and report writing, presentation skills and preparing for exams, to ensure you're equipped with the skills and techniques needed to be successful at university. You can book on to any workshops or book an online 1-2-1 appointment, as well as access a range of resources through their website.


You can also access advice and activities for building specific study skills online through skillsforstudy; you can work through the resources at your own pace including a handy 'Getting ready for Academic Study’ module particularly aimed at new students.

Personal Academic Tutor & Student Office

If you have any concerns about your academic studies, your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) is there to advise and support you. We encourage you to discuss any issues, which may affect your studies with your PAT, so they are able to support you and your individual needs.

If you are unsure how to contact your PAT, your Student Office will be able to help put you in contact and/or arrange an appointment.

Your Student Office deals with the administrative aspects of your programme, including those relating to coursework, assessments and exams. If you are unable to attend any timetabled lectures or seminars for any reason, you may need to inform your Student Office. You can find out how to contact your School’s Student Office here.


If you find yourself struggling with something whilst you're at University, it can help to talk to someone about what you're going through. Talking to someone about what is troubling you can make a big difference to how you feel; Enabling Services and Student Life are both available for you to speak to about any emotional, mental health or wellbeing issues. Contact the Student Support Hub, if you ever need to reach out to them.


The University’s Student Support Fund is designed to help should you find yourself in financial hardship at any point during your studies. Further information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

Advice & Tips

  • Ease your transition and prepare for University life by getting involved in Welcome Week, held each year before the start of Semester 1.
  • Download our official MySouthampton app onto your phone or tablet; this gives you easy access to your timetable, campus maps, university emails, travel information and more. 
  • Take the opportunity to build your network - all students bring a range of experiences and interests to university regardless of their age or background.
  • As you settle in to university life take some time to familiarise yourself with your campus.
  • Try not to worry about being the most mature person in your lecture or seminar, whilst this is understandable remember that everyone else will be new as well.
  • Everybody’s life and demands are different but managing your time effectively and making a plan that fits your study and home life commitments will help keep things on track. It can be challenging to balance work, university, parenting, home life, social life or any combination of these, so plan your time accordingly and remember to keep some time for yourself.
  • To help you study wherever you are, a number of University systems can be accessed remotely. The Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE) gives you access to your University desktop including all your files and the most popular pieces of software, from any device in any location. Microsoft365 can also be downloaded to your personal device free of charge as a student at the university. 
  • For those who struggle with IT systems, iSolutions can help, they can also be contacted on for general advice and queries. There's also a number of online skills guides and tutorials.
  • Your family and friends can provide an invaluable source of support and it can be useful to share with them aspects of your university life. Speak to those around, share with them your study plans and agree a time and space where you can study undisturbed.
  • Remember you can use as much or as little of the additional student support available to you as you like.

University Accommodation


Mature undergraduates who wish to live with other students of a similar age in our University accommodation can either apply as an undergraduate who would like to live in a postgraduate area or alternatively apply as a new undergraduate student and detail in the additional notes section, of the application, that you would prefer to live with other mature students. The Accommodation Team will try to allocate you a room that meets your needs, though this cannot be guaranteed.


Mature postgraduates who wish to live with other students of a similar age in our University accommodation can apply to live in a postgraduate area and include your request in the additional notes section on the application. The Accommodation Team will try to allocate you a room that meets your needs, though this cannot be guaranteed. 

Further information on the accommodation available and how to apply can be found here.

On campus study space & facilities

If you looking for the perfect study spot or the best place to grab a coffee, then you will find plenty of places and resources available to you on campus.

  • You can prebook a study space in one of the University libraries. Study spaces are two metres apart and cleaning materials will be provided. There are also some bookable PCs available.
  • Room Finder can be used to find any rooms on campus that have not been booked and are free to use. Any of the empty common learning spaces can be used for studying or group work.
  • There are a number of catering outlets on our campuses, use the online campus maps to show our catering outlets, by selecting the catering layer; some of them even feature opening times and menus built directly into the map.
  • The Faith & Reflection Centre, on Highfield Campus, offers a quiet space for you to relax with a tea or coffee.

Students Experience

Read how one of our mature students has found her experience at Southampton - Debbie is a Year 3 Psychology Student:

"I have really enjoyed my time so far at the University of Southampton, so much so that I’m hoping to stay for my postgraduate studies. The lecturers in the School of Psychology have been so welcoming and supportive and it has been amazing to be taught by some of the world’s leading Psychologists!  Some parts of the course have been challenging, but there is always plenty of support available and so many ways to access information.

As a mature student it's very important to approach university with the right attitude. Some mature students can find themselves feeling isolated when they do not engage in the student community. It's not about behaving like a twenty year old, but about recognising your value, you have earned your place, and deserve to access all the resources and activities on offer. I personally think it is important to spend quality time at university, don't just attend for lectures but also use the library and study spaces (many courses also offer study rooms specially allocated to mature and postgraduate students), enjoy the social activities on offer and make the most of the sporting facilities. All the university staff are welcoming, academic and support staff alike, and appreciate the more active role mature students often take in the learning process. Make friends with your student colleagues, you have a lot to offer in experience and life skills, some young students will appreciate that and want to learn from you, but do not dismiss opportunities to learn from them too."

Helpful Resources

There is additional information on our website for student parents and for those living at home whilst they study.

The following websites have some useful advice and tips for mature students and those returning to education.

UCAS - Mature Students

Student Room

Complete University Guide - Mature Student Guide

The University cannot accept responsibility for external websites.
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