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Mature students

Mature students

Royal Holloway has a long tradition of welcoming mature students (officially anyone over 21), who may have spent a number of years outside of education. If you choose to develop your mind, life and career by going into, or back into, higher education we know that your experiences and energy hugely enhances our community.

Many mature students do not follow traditional routes into (or back into) higher education. If you don’t possess the normal entry requirements for undergraduate courses or you've been away from education for a long time, you may have to take an Access to Higher Education course before starting your studies here.

Our Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS) offers workshops for all students throughout the year which can brush up your essay writing, critical thinking, grammar, exam techniques, and presentation skills. They also have a variety of online resources to download and you can also book yourself in for 1:1 writing tutorials.

You’ll also have access to a range of special support and assistance measures specifically aimed at mature student needs.

Make the most of the careers service whilst you are here. With previous work and/or family experience in addition to your degree you have a lot to offer employers when you graduate.

As students of Royal Holloway, you’ll have access to all the support mechanisms in the College that are available to non-mature students.

Most mature students have a well-developed other life, and have to balance studies with work and family life.

Studying as a mature student is as much about using time effectively as finding time away from everything else. Find out what works for you and for those close to you because a work-style 9-5 pattern doesn't suit everyone.

Although there are no simple rules:

Think about what you can defer until a holiday, what you can delegate to other people and what you can delete completely.

Discuss study plans with family and/or friends. Make sure everyone sees it as your ‘work’.

Learn from your experiences. Do your study plans work? Do you need more/less time to complete tasks?

We recognise that having time to study and financial concerns are important issues.

Email for advice or support.

We understand that it can be hard to balance study with the full time care of young children.

The College has an arrangement with an adjacent nursery, whereby Royal Holloway students are given priority on places available. The independently-run facility is located close to the main campus and caters for babies to 5-year-olds.

The on-campus Sports Centre run an action-packed holiday play scheme for children aged 4-12 years-old, where activities range from sports to arts and crafts.

If you have concerns about finances for childcare, the Student Financial Welfare and Funding Office can discuss your circumstances with you and see if you are eligible for any additional financial support.

Further details about childcare provision in the local area can be found on the Surrey County Council website.

Entering Higher Education as a mature student can mean your income is reduced and you are more financially stretched. Monitoring your outgoings and budgeting is important for ensuring your financial welfare.

Make sure you have claimed everything you are entitled to. There is plenty of support and advice once you’re here.

Universities are an opportunity to enrich other non-academic aspects of your life by participating in sports, societies, volunteering & social events. Mature students often have other commitments in their life that need to be balanced with academic work and finding time for social activities can be difficult. We strongly encourage all students to get involved with events and groups on campus.

There is also a postgraduate and mature students’ society which acts as a social group by organising events and providing representation for mature students in the wider college environment.

Breakfast club is every Monday (term time) from 8am in Coffee and Cake, The Hub. It’s for all commuting students to attend, and is a chance for you to meet others who commute, get in early and get a parking space and maybe meet someone you can car share with, or walk to the train station with.


Tina Barnard, Student Financial Adviser (Welfare Responsibility for Mature Students)

01784 414633

Founder's West, room 150 (Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 3.00pm)

Helen Groenendaal, Senior Student Wellbeing Officer

01784 443394

Founder's West, room 170 (Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Cara Hens, Support & Retention Adviser

01784 443132

Founder's West, room 170 (Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm)

SU Advice Centre

For free, independent advice on a range of issues, speak to a Student Advisor

First floor, Students’ Union Building

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