Mature students

Getting started

Adult learners bring a wealth of experience and make a valuable contribution to the diversity of the student population.

There is no such thing as a "typical" adult learner. You may be studying full-time or part-time at college, you could be following a dedicated access to university programme such as the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP), or you may be studying online with the Open University or another insitution.

Mature students

An adult learner can be any age, but is most likely to be over 21. Students aged 22 or over are generally referred to as mature students.

Around 20% of our new undergraduate students each year are mature students.

Adult returners

Adult learners return to education from a wide range of backgrounds and for all kinds of reasons - to enhance their career prospects, to develop new skills, to pursue a lifelong interest in a particular subject, or to achieve a personal ambition or goal.

Some adult learners will be returning to education after a break. We consider students who have had a break of three years or more in their formal education to be adult returners.

Wherever your journey has started from, we know that you bring a wealth of skills, experience and knowledge which make a hugely valuable contribution to the diversity and dynamism of our student population.

We hope these pages will provide you with the information you need to find the right degree programme for you, and to submit a successful application to study here at the University of Edinburgh.