Mature students

Mature students

We support and encourage life-long learning for everyone, and welcome applications from people who are over 21 and want to return to education.

If you're applying to Kent after the age of 21, we consider you to be a mature student. You could be applying a few years after leaving school or college, or studying as part of your professional development. You may want a career change or you may even be retired.

We know that finding information tailored to your needs can be a challenge, so we're here to reassure you and help you to take the next steps in your education.

How can I get the entry qualifications?

If you don't have traditional qualifications, the Access to Higher Education Diploma prepares you for university study. It is a nationally recognised qualification that is accepted by universities across the country. At Kent, we run our own Access Diploma programme. Our course is:

  • an evening course for adults
  • in Medway and Thanet
  • only £150 for a two-year programme

Classes focus on coursework and discussion led by helpful, supportive tutors. Inspiring sessions and regular guidance will help you to reach your full potential. Subjects may include creative writing, English literature, politics with law, psychology and sociology.

To find out more, see our Access to Higher Education website or contact us at or 01227 823662.

Featured story

Mature student Muyunda writing in a notebook while sitting outside the Templeman Library

Preparing for university

Mature student Muyunda found the Access Diploma was an excellent stepping stone

How do I apply?

Applying to university can seem daunting when you’re a mature student, especially if you’re not currently at college, but it may be easier than you expect. The University of Kent and UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, offer step-by-step advice to help you through the admissions process.

See our How to Apply guide >

UCAS advice for mature undergraduate students >

Featured story

Mature student Kate works on a computer at the University of Kent

What's it like to be a mature student?

Kate shares her experience of returning to education at the University of Kent

How can I meet other students?

The Mature Student Society is for any student who is age 21+ at the start of their degree, has had a working life prior to returning to education, or is part-time or a commuting student, has dependants or caring responsibilities, or identifies as a mature student. The Society offers a social environment for all members and acts as a forum to discuss the challenges and promote the needs of mature students.

The Society has regular informal drop-in style lunch meets and coffee mornings where students can come along to relax, meet up with others, and chat about university, holidays, hobbies, or indeed anything else. They also hold an end of term meal or get together at least twice a year, and also regularly attend other events together on campus. Since the society began, many mature students have met and made new friends, formed small study groups, and enjoyed each other’s company socially.

The MPCC common room (mature, part-time, commuting, and carer or parent students) is located centrally on Canterbury campus and is open Monday to Friday.  As well as a social room and meeting room, there are two quiet study rooms, lockers, and kitchen access with a refrigerator, microwave, and kettle.