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Thinking of studying at university? It’s never too late. Whether you’re returning to learning after taking a break, looking for a change in career, want to explore a new subject or extend your existing qualifications, Brunel’s looking for students with potential, regardless of your age or background.

We believe that mature learners offer an invaluable contribution to our university and bring a wealth of life experience to the classroom. You’re usually considered as a mature student if you’re aged 21 or over when you start your undergraduate degree. As a mature student, you’ll become part of our vibrant community and join hundreds of other mature students who call Brunel their home.

We’re committed to helping you make the most of your time here. We have our Widening Access Officer, Karen Western, who can work with you and offers individual support and guidance with your university application. There are also dedicated teams at our Student Services, Study Support and Professional Development Centre departments who will help you during your studies. After graduation, you'll become a member of our alumni family, and will be able to take advantage of a range of benefits and support we offer to our graduated students. 

If you have any questions about university, the application process or being a Brunel student, please get in touch with Karen Western at karen.western@brunel.ac.uk or widening-access@brunel.ac.uk, or book for one of our on-campus or online open days to meet and chat with us. 

Considering applying to uni?

Returning to education can feel like a big step. You may also have other commitments outside of university and be balancing your studies around work, family or caring responsibilities. 

We realise that, as a mature student, you may not have standard qualifications, and that’s okay. There’s lots of support for you at Brunel and your path to higher education could be easier than you think. We recognise the diverse range of skills and attributes you may have gained through work, previous education or other life experiences. If, however, you need to top up your qualifications, our foundation courses can help prepare you for further education and allow you to progress directly onto one of our undergraduate courses. 

Supporting you during the application process

Applying for one of our degrees is the same for all students, regardless of your age. However, we understand that, as a mature student, you may find the application process a little more complicated. This is why we have a dedicated widening access officer, Karen Western, to help take the stress out of applying to university. If you'd like to get personalised support with your application and admissions process, or just have questions about applying to Brunel, please reach out to Karen by emailing karen.western@brunel.ac.uk or widening-access@brunel.ac.uk.

If you’d like to apply for one of our undergraduate courses, you’ll need to apply via UCAS. For more information about how to apply click here

Financing your studies and student discounts

We appreciate that studying at university is a huge financial commitment. There’s various support to help you fund your studies.

You can apply for student finance as a mature student. The amount you get depends on various factors - please check the government website for full details of what you may be entitled to. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may also be eligible for additional government support from council tax discount to variable financial support

As a Brunel student, you’ll be able to apply for a TOTUM card (the new NUS Extra card) which offers a range of discounts across a number of retailers. There are also lots of companies who offer student discounts for variable products and services. 

If you decide to commute rather than live on campus, you can get 1/3 off most train fares with a Railcard. You can save 30% on Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes with the 18+ Student Oyster photocard. We also have parking available on campus - you can apply for an annual parking permit or use pay and display

Each year we offer 10 Life Long Learning Bursaries to mature students who might otherwise be unable to undertake their undergraduate study. The bursary covers the tuition fees for the duration of your course. We also have a range of other scholarships and bursaries available to our students. Over 400 are given out each year to help with tuition fees and/or living costs, whilst at university.  

If you have children, we can help with childcare costs too. You can access discounted early years childcare close to the Brunel campus. 

We know that sometimes unexpected events can happen. If you find yourself struggling financially as a mature student, you can apply to the University Hardship Fund for extra support. 

After joining Brunel, you will have the opportunity to become a Widening Access Student Ambassador (paid part-time work). There are also many other opportunities for part-time work, both on and off campus. Brunel's Job Shop within our Professional Development Centre is here to help you find something suitable.

Preparing for your studies

For many of our mature students, the idea of completing assignments and writing an academic essay may feel rather daunting - especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been in education. We want to support you as best we can, so we’ve created a series of sample lectures and workshops to help get you ready for university and make you feel more confident about studying at Brunel.

Before you arrive, you’ll probably have already had a lot of contact with our admissions team and widening access officer, Karen Western, to help prepare you for life at Brunel. Karen will be on hand from the moment you start your application to offer any guidance and support you need; from completing forms to answering any queries you may have.   

You’ll have the opportunity to attend pre-sessional induction events before starting your studies at Brunel. At these events, you’ll have the chance to get to know other mature students ahead of starting your course, as well as attending informal talks from our support services. One of them you might be eligible for is our HeadStart programme. This runs before Welcome Week and is both an introduction to the academic study skills you’ll need to succeed at university and an opportunity to meet Brunel staff who offer different support services you can rely on while studying with us.  

 View our ‘after you have applied’ pages for additional information on what to expect once you've applied for one of our courses. 

Support during your studies

Our Student Services will be there to ensure you have a supportive environment whilst studying with us. The Student Centre will help you with a wide range of administrative enquiries and support services through your student journey from registration to graduation. Our Student Wellbeing team provides individual and group support to help you overcome certain challenges so that you can achieve your university goals. For help with housing, finances, information on local childcare, and general wellbeing, our Student Support and Welfare Team is available for advice and guidance during your time at university. We have an adviser dedicated to supporting mature students.

You’ll also benefit from our Academic Skills (ASK) service which will support by helping you to develop the skills needed to learn independently and thrive academically, whatever your level or subject.  It will help you with developing your study, writing, maths and numeracy skills, and many others. 

You’ll have access to our Professional Development Centre throughout your studies and three years post qualifying. They provide help and guidance to support with finding your placement, part-time student jobs and volunteering roles. Additionally, they provide services like career advice and employability courses, job interview preparation, help to start your business and learning a new language. 

In year 1, eligible students can join the Brunel Summer Internship Programme. This scheme offers you the opportunity to gain eight weeks relevant paid work experience during your first summer break. In your second or third year of study, eligible students can take part in Brunel Professional Mentoring, which links students with a business mentor.  

Our students' union is also there not just to provide you with advice in case you need it, but they organise lots of social and sports activities you can join. Their Mature Student Society is a great place to make connections. The society offers a platform for mature students at Brunel to network and support each other academically, as well as providing opportunities for socialising. 

Visit our campus life pages to explore life at Brunel. 

After you graduate

After you graduate, you'll become a member of our alumni family, and you will have access to our unique community to help grow and enrich your professional network. You can also take advantage of a range of benefits and support that includes access to our online alumni network, free careers support, discounts on further study, access to facilities on campus, and many more. 

 

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