Mature students

Mature students are often employed and have caring responsibilities, too. We know how to help and support you through your time at Abertay.

Coming to Abertay as a mature student

Getting here may be different for you, but we really appreciate your valuable life and work experience. There's more than one path to a degree, such as coming from college or an access course like our AHEAD Programme, and these may be more suitable for mature students like you.

We appreciate that some mature students may also work part-time and have caring responsibilities to juggle alongside their studies. We do our very best to provide the extra help you need because we understand the difference a degree can make to your life.

I came to Abertay University from college after being out of school for 10 years. You get as much from university as you put into it, and coming to Abertay as a mature student has taught me that having the drive and motivation to learn is much more important than what age you are when you start. Knowing where I wanted my degree to take me as a mature student has really helped me network, find opportunities to develop myself, and apply more effort than 18-year-old me would have had the maturity and motivation for.  - Josh Raybould, Mature Student, studying BSc (Hons) Forensic Sciences

Working and studying

Many of our students work part-time and study for a full-time degree. 

You can do this because there's normally about 10 hours of face-to-face teaching and the rest is online. This means you may be able to fit your study time in around part-time work. But please remember, to be a successful student you’ll need to do about 35 hours of study each week.

Finances and funding

Getting your finances rights will be crucial when you’re thinking about returning to education.  Find out what kind of funding is available and how to apply for student loans and bursaries.

Coming from college

If you have been out of education for a while and know the subject what you want to study, you could do a SWAP course at college and then join us in first year.

Find out more about SWAP courses.

We work closely with colleges throughout Scotland and beyond to make sure we have a variety of routes from college to university.  Check out the College Qualifications page for all the info you need.

Doing an Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND)

We work closely with colleges make sure where possible your HNC or HND will lead to starting directly in second or third year. 

Find out more about advanced entry on the College Qualifications page or contact us.

Access courses

Access courses are designed specifically for anyone who has been out of education for a while and/or has few or no formal qualifications. This approach gives you the academic qualifications you need to get into a degree, along with specific study skills and support.

So if you're not ready to study full time just yet, our AHEAD Programme is ideal. This is a one-year, part-time evening course that leads to a guaranteed place on one of our undergraduate degrees. 

Find out more about access courses on the alternative entry routes page.

Relevant work experience

If you have been out of education for a while, your relevant work experience may mean you can join one of our degrees. This is called 'recognition of prior learning' or RPL.

Find out about relevant work experience aka recognition of prior learning.

Mature student support

We know that returning to education can be daunting so we're here to help and support you every step of the way. Find out more on our student support page.

The week-long online Abertay College Transition programme (ACT) is for you if you're coming from college into third or fourth year. It is designed specifically to help you settle into university life.

Once you get here, the 'Being Successful at Abertay' modules are designed to help with any academic issues that come up.

Contact us

Contact our friendly team.


Tel: 01382 308080

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