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The University of Southampton
The Student HubSupport 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 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 undergraduate mature students.

Students who are aged 21 and over, at the start of their undergraduate course, are defined as mature by the University of Southampton.

If you have any questions about studying at our university as a mature student, please email us at

Hear from our current students

Hear from our current students

A few of our current mature students share their experiences of university, as well as one of our graduates.

Learn more

Applying as a mature student

If you are 21 years or older and looking to continue your education you are welcome to apply through University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). We consider all applicants who have been in some form of education within the past three years and have completed a level 3 qualification.

One of the most popular routes for mature students is the Access to HE Diploma. It is a great way to prepare you for university life.  It not only gives you Level 3 qualifications, but it gives you the practical skill that directly relates to studying at Higher Education level.  Anyone over the age of 19 can take an Access to HE course and they are available at many local Further Education Colleges.  
Each University of Southampton degree programme will have its own academic entry requirements, you can look through our undergraduate courses and find more information here.

Everyone’s situation will be different, particularly in the case of mature applicants, so if you'd like to discuss your specific circumstances and qualifications it's best to get in touch with the Admissions Team directly, on

You may also like to read through our information guide for mature (21+) learners.

Open Days

As part of the university’s upcoming undergraduate Open Days, in Southampton, we’ll be offering a Mature Student Life Talk at 2:00 pm on each Open Day; where you can hear from current mature students about their experience at the University and ask them questions about life here at Southampton. The talk will be held in Building 4 (Law), Room 1033.

There will also be a Student Inclusion stand in the Student Life Hub, where you’ll be able to speak with members of our Team in person about studying here at Southampton and the support available to mature students.

Getting started

Your Adventure Begins Here Transition Day

The Transition Day is specifically designed to support new mature undergraduate students with their transition to university life and and to help to give you the best possible start at Southampton. You’ll find out more about studying at the University of Southampton and the support which is available to you when you join us. You'll also have the opportunity to meet other mature students, tour Highfield Campus and pick up a welcome pack.

It will take place before the start of term giving you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with University before your first day. Eligible students will be contacted with more information and details on how to register for the Transition Day during August.

If you believe your eligible to attend but haven't received an invite for the 2023 Transition Day, please contact

Welcome Activities

During Welcome Week there will also be series of mature student activities centred on providing opportunities for new mature students to socialise with each other and hear from their peers, as well as get support with any questions you may have as you start your student journey.

Eligible students will be contacted with more information on these activities during September. Look out for our communications in the run up to Welcome Week, as we'll be sharing information and guidance to help you prepare for the start of term.

Alternatively you can contact if you have any questions.

Connect with other students aged 21+

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

Our private group gives you a platform to engage with other mature students at the University of Southampton online. Pop a post into the group if you have a question for other students or looking to meet others.

You can join the group here.


Get 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 network.

Mature Student Coffee Mingles

Throughout the academic year we hold a number of Mature Student Coffee Mingles; where mature students can drop by for refreshments and a chat with other students. These are a great opportunity to get to know likeminded peers, across all years, and to share your experiences and ask questions in an informal setting.

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 . To stay up to date with everything that is happening on our campuses make sure to the University's Student Events SharePoint and Students’ Union Events Calendar.

Guidance and support

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 engaged; if you need any help or advice just get in touch - the team are always happy to help.

Academic Skills Service

There's 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 Service 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.

Getting Ready for Academic Study course

You can also access advice and activities for building specific 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 and 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.

Student Disability Team

The University’s Student Disability Team provides support to students with specific learning differences or disabilities; and offer a variety of services including learning support, assistive technology facilities, mentoring and help with applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance. If you already have a SpLD diagnosis or suspect that you might need one; the team can help you get the support needed. This might be with additional study support or exam requirements. If you have flagged up a learning difference or disability on your application and accepted a place at the university, the team will contact you to discuss your specific requirements.

Wellbeing Support

If you find yourself struggling with something whilst you're at University, then talking to someone about what is troubling you can make a big difference to how you feel; the Student Wellbeing team is available for you to speak to about any emotional, mental health or wellbeing issues. Contact the Student Hub, if you ever need to reach out to them.

Help with finances

Funding your studies

You can find general information regarding student funding, bursaries and scholarships at the University of Southampton here. This includes information on the University of Southampton Bursary for undergraduate home UK students who have a household income of under £30,000.

For information on Student Finance and what you may be eligible to apply for, click here. You might be able to get help to pay your tuition fees and could also get a maintenance loan to help with your living costs. If you're aged over 25 you'll be assessed independently on your own household income rather than on your parents income; if you're aged under 25 you may still be able to apply as an independent student, further guidance on this can be found here. A household income assessment will be used to determine how much maintenance loan you are entitled to.

There is also additional funding such as the Parents’ Learning Allowance and Childcare Grant available to eligible students through Student Finance, which don’t need to be repaid. You can find more information on funding for student parents here.

If you are considering studying for a health related undergraduate degree, then you maybe able to access additional financial support through the NHS.

Financial support

You can find information and help on financial support and budgeting here.

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

There's also the Commuter Fund for students which can provide up to a £250 contribution, each academic year, towards the travel costs of eligible students who remain living at home and commute to university campuses for study.

For 2022/23 the University is also offering a Technology Grant and Health & Wellbeing Fund. More information on both can be found here.



Mature students who wish to live with other students of a similar age in 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 living in a undergraduate area 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.

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

Private Accommodation

If you wish to look for private accommodation, SUSU Lettings can assist you with this and point you in the right direction. You can also search for private accommodation on SASSH.

Handy hints and tips

  • Get off on the right foot and attend one of our Transition Days, which help you prepare for university life! 
  • Come along to campus and get involved in Welcome Week, which is held each year at the start of term.
  • 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 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.
  • There's a wealth of opportunities available to you as a student at the University like internships, SUSU representation and the Student Advisory Board - explore these and get involved where you can!
  • 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.
  • Remember you can access as much or as little of the student support available as you like.

On campus study space and 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 find lots of spaces to study in one of the University libraries. 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. Empty common learning spaces can be used for studying or group work.
  • You can find lockers in the Hartley Library on Level 4 - all students are able to access these to store their belongings for the day - just ask at the help desk for a key.
  • 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, is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through to Friday; the Centre is a welcoming space, where you can grab a spot for some quiet time or arrange to meet up with each other. There’s even tea, coffee and biscuits available free of charge. Based in Building 6 near the Bus Interchange.

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

Complete University Guide - Mature Student Guide


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