When you're over 21, making the decision to return to education as a mature student can bring with it a lot of questions.

Whether you're looking at returning to study from a break, or changing career later in life. Here are some of the answers to questions you may have. And you can find out so much more by attending an Open Day.

1. What qualifications do you need?

Edinburgh Napier University recognises a broad range of qualifications and is happy to accept applications from those returning to learning after a break.

However, if you have concerns about holding fewer, less relevant or older qualifications than detailed in your course of choice’s Typical Entry Requirements, a quick chat could put your mind at ease.

Talk to a member of the Admissions team. They will be able to advise if you already have what you need and recommend the steps needed to boost your application.

2. How many mature students usually enrol?

You may be worried that you'll be the only mature student on your course. You'll likely have more questions, or possibly just different questions to ask us. We're here to help you, some of our courses are extremely popular with returning learners. Overall, more than a third of undergraduates at Edinburgh Napier are considered mature students (HESA 2017/18).

As a result, you may find yourself learning with more people your own age than you might expect. However, the prospect of having more experience than your peers certainly shouldn’t put you off – you’ll undoubtedly make new friends either way!

Talk to a lecturer or subject leader about the usual make-up of their classes. They can give you a feel for how it balances out and what you can expect.

3. Is the course structured flexibly?

We understand that many mature learners have other commitments outside of their degree, whether that be work, family or other demands on their time. Talk to a subject leader to understand the timings and schedules of courses you are interested in. 

Depending on the course, you will likely be required to balance a certain amount of time on campus with online lectures and classes. You will also need time to study and complete coursework. Some aspects of learning will require you to be on campus, whilst other personal study time can be fit in flexibly around your other commitments.

At an Open Day you can engage with the content for your chosen subject and speak to current students about the split between class time and self-study. The Student Support team can also provide information on the funding, learning and wellbeing services available to you.


For more information about applying to Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, see our Application advice and support pages.