Undergraduate study

Mature students

Apply through UCAS
A mature student working on their laptop

Studying at Essex as a mature student

Impatient for change? It’s time for a fresh start. Join our diverse community of students who have decided to study for their degree later in life. Whether you’re 21 or 51, career-changers or first-timers, your dedication to education is all that matters.

We appreciate that starting your degree as a mature student can have its challenges, especially if you have other life commitments such as family or work. That’s why we offer a wide range of support to make your transition into education as smooth as possible.

Explore Essex

Getting settled in

During your first week at Essex, also known as Welcome Week, the Students’ Union hold an annual Mature Student’s Mixer to celebrate your entry into university. Here you can meet your peers, share your stories and make life-long friends. Over 30% of our students are over the age of 21 when they first apply, so it won’t take long for you to feel at home.

The Mature Students Hub is also run by the Student’s Union. Their aim is to ensure you feel supported within the community, by signing up to socialise with other mature students, sharing stories and social events.

Finance and funding

We offer a range of funding options, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries to help cover fees. If this is your first time at university, then a government-backed student loan is offered to help fund tuition.

If you’re a UK resident, check to see if you’re eligible. This loan doesn’t require up-front costs and you won’t be required to make any repayments until you’re earning over £25,000 per year. Once your annual salary rises above £25,000 you will only be required to pay 9% of the surplus amount e.g. if your annual salary is £30,000, you will pay 9% of £5,000 per annum, which is £450 per year or £37.50 per month. You can learn more on our fees and funding page.

If you have already achieved a degree and are looking to change lanes, then your student finance may be affected by “repeat funding” rules. This is explained further on the Gov.uk website alongside eligibility criteria. Alternatively, you can use our Scholarship Finder to search for funding opportunities

Childcare facilities

Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery is built on the award-winning Wivenhoe Park, just a five-minute walk from the main squares on Colchester Campus. Embracing the parkland regularly, they provide high-quality interactive and educational indoor and outdoor activities for children of Essex students and staff. The nursery offers both half-days and full-days and is rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted. If you have a child aged between 3-months and 5-years, you can study at ease, knowing your child is in great hands.

Student support

We love a chat at Essex, so if you ever need support, we encourage you to visit our Student Services Hub. No matter how big or small the issue, the team are here to answer your questions and give confidential advice. We also have dedicated professionals on-site to offer mental-health support including assessments and referrals for counselling.


As a mature student you may already have your own home and decide to travel to campus for lectures. Rest assured we have ample student parking on campus as well as access via nearby bus routes and train lines.

If you are looking to live on campus, accommodation is guaranteed to all first-year students, including mature students. Just apply before 20 August 2021 as an Undergraduate student to secure your housing. Explore our range of accommodation for both Colchester and Southend Campuses.

How to apply

Applying to Essex is easy with UCAS. Make sure you have your course code handy (or course codes if you’re applying to multiple courses) and click the button at the top of this page. Once we’ve received and reviewed your application, we’ll either email you with an offer, or send a request for further information if it’s required. Alternatively, if you want to apply for just one course, you can use our Direct Admissions form.

Our Mature Student Webinar Series

We are delighted to invite you to join us for our Mature Learners Webinar Series.

The webinars are designed to support mature students, or those who have had a break from education, in preparing to transition to study at university. The event will run over seven dates in June and July, providing information about financing your studies, connecting with current students and top tips from our Skills for Success team.

Waiting for you at Essex

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Writing your Personal Statement

Our admissions team have plenty of tips to help you to nail writing your Personal Statement, including advice on where to start, what to include and how to really stand out in your application! 

Find out more
Undergraduate admissions
Got questions? We are always open to chat. You can contact us via email, or give us a call on the number below
Telephone: 01206 873666