Mature and part-time students

The mature student community is a diverse one and if you're over the age of 21 at the start of your course, you're a part of it.

We appreciate that studying as a mature student can present challenges. This is particularly true if this is your first experience of higher education and you have other commitments and responsibilities, such as work and family, so we're here to help you.

Welcome events during your first term at Essex

At the start of your studies at Essex, we run a couple of events specifically for you to meet other mature students:

Money matters

You might have additional financial responsibilities that you need to juggle but we're here to help with:

Accommodation and living arrangements

The Residence Life team provide support if you're living in University accommodation. They can tell you who your Residents’ Assistant is and run a programme of events throughout the year, so you can socialise with other students.

SU Homes can help you find secure, private accommodation if you want to live off campus.

You may want to stay on campus for one or two nights, for example, during resit exams. We can't guarantee you short-stay accommodation, but contact your Student Services Hub to see what might be available.

Social opportunities

Mature Students' Hub

You can meet up and get to know fellow students who share academic and social interests via the Students' Union Mature Students' Hub. The network is for mature students, student parents and part-time students.

Study and social spaces

Colchester Campus

Postgraduate common roomThe postgraduate and mature students' common room is a meeting space for you to use. Located in room 5.401 on the Colchester Campus, it's easily accessible from the Mathematics entrance off Square 2.

  • Comfortable, informal seating.
  • Tea and coffee making facilities.
  • Microwave.
  • Newspapers delivered daily.

Southend Campus

The the SU Lounge and The Mezz are good spaces to relax or study on your own or with friends.

Places to study

You have access to a plethora of study spaces, which are available for you to study individually or in groups.

Academic and skills support

Peer mentor


You'll automatically be assigned a peer mentor, who is a second or third student in your department. You'll meet them during Welcome Week and they can answer any questions about university life and help you settle in.

If you'd like your peer mentor to be a mature student, please email


You can contact fellow students for advice via the postgraduate mentoring scheme.

Personal tutor

You'll be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of your studies who can help with academic and personal concerns.

Skills for Success

As a mature student you can also access Skills for Success, a range of workshops and individual support if you want to further develop your skills in writing, maths, research, study skills and English language.

Further advice

There's also advice and guidance on a range of topics, including:

"Talk to people on your course about the material you are studying. Many people will share ideas which stimulate both good academic discussion, developing ideas for essays and assignments but also friendships within departments."
Chris School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering


We conduct surveys, interviews and focus groups to make sure we're helping you, as a mature student. If you'd like to take part, please email

Two woman talking at a helpdesk
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.