Adult Learners 19+

Information for mature students wishing to take a geology degree

We welcome applications from mature students. Every year we typically graduate a number of students who were 19 or over when they started their degree. As a result we have extensive experience of dealing with the particular needs that being an adult learner brings. We aim to make returning to study an enjoyable and rewarding experience. You are welcome to arrange a visit to see what we have to offer, to meet some of our present mature students, and discuss your qualifications in more detail.

Am I a mature student?

Anyone 19 or over who has not come direct from school or college via the “standard” route of A-levels in year 13 is a mature student. Whether you are over the ages of 21 or 25 may have some implications for entry requirements and funding respectively, but otherwise age is immaterial.

Will I fit in?

We often find that mature students may be slightly nervous about going into Higher Education, one reason amongst many being that they are concerned as to how they will fit in with younger students straight from college. Geology at Leicester is an extremely friendly and interactive environment for all our students and mature students settle in quickly. We find that our mature students, with their broader perspectives and experience, are very much valued by their peers.

Entry requirements

Our principal criterion for entry is to ensure is that mature students will be able to manage the course and complete it successfully. Some background in science is essential for our degrees, but equally important are flexibility, determination and organisation, skills that mature students often have in abundance. Every mature applicant comes with a unique set of qualifications and skills and we deal with each case on an individual basis. We therefore encourage you to contact us as early as possible, preferably before making an official application, with a detailed listing of all your qualifications and experience so that we can advise you on the best route into Higher Education.

Please try to be as comprehensive as possible, so include qualifications such as GCSEs, CSEs and O-levels, and please give the grades of all qualifications. Many mature students have considerable work-related experience, for example in ICT skills, which are relevant in our decision to make you an offer.

Occasionally we may offer you an informal interview to assess your suitability for our courses. Remember that you are also interviewing us to see if we are suitable for you!

How can I get into University if I don’t meet your entry requirements?

If we feel that direct entry onto a degree course would not be appropriate then we can advise you on the best strategy for you to gain qualifications suitable for entry.

Possible routes might include:

1. College/evening class. You may be able to obtain some science AS and A-levels locally to broaden your knowledge. This may take a while and not be the most time efficient route.

2. Access to HE course. These entitle you to direct entry to our degrees.These are usually 1-year full time. You would need to get a minimum of 18 credits at level 3 on a kite-marked course in relevant subjects.

Part-time degrees

At present Geology does not offer part-time degrees. The Open University is a leading provider of part time science degrees. Some OU modules may be considered towards entry requirements for our degree courses.


  • For a general introduction a good place to start is UCAS who have a section on student finance. The University of Leicester fees site sets out the fees and support available at Leicester.
  • The Learning and Work Institute website is dedicated to adult learners..
  • The DFES website has information about the ways in which students can be funded, including extra support if you have children for example.

At the University of Leicester specialist Mature Student Advisors are able to offer advice to applicants on childcare, accommodation, disability, special learning needs and finances based upon individual circumstances.

More information

Stuart, Mature Student
Stuart, Mature Student
Being inspired to study geology after visiting Yosemite and wanting to understand the processes that shape our planet, I came to Leicester to study geology. I have really enjoyed the course, and being a mature student has definitely proven to be a benefit rather than a barrier. I was attracted to Leicester due to the excellent reputation of the teaching staff and the world class research. Given the added pressure of having a family, the support given to me by Leicester has been fantastic. Opportunities to apply course-learnt skills in the field (my favourite part), really enhance the overall depth of the course, and after my degree I would like to specialise in sedimentology
Stuart, BSc Geology


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