Mature students

Group of mature students working in a library

Mature students

At Kent we believe that mature students with the ability to benefit from our courses should be able to come to the University. We support and encourage life-long learning for everyone, and 21% of our undergraduates in 2017/18 were over 21 when they enrolled at Kent.

If you're applying to Kent after the age of 21, we consider you to be a mature student. You could be in your early twenties and applying a few years after leaving school or college, or between 30 and 50 and 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.

Two mature students look at a computer screen together while one holds a notebook

How will I pay for it?

You can apply for student funding as a mature student. We offer a range of funding options, from a generous financial support package designed specifically for mature learners, to selective scholarships for applicants from partner colleges and our Access to HE programme.

See all scholarships and funding opportunities

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 £140 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, fine art, 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?

Head Start is held on both the Medway and Canterbury campuses in the week before Welcome Week. It is an an event for newly enrolled mature students to find out about learning and teaching methods on degree programmes. If you are over 21 and hold a confirmed place at Kent you will be invited to attend this event.

For more details, contact Ruth Westbury on or 01227 824147.

The Mature Student Society offers a social environment to discuss curricular, financial and personal challenges that are unique to students with dependents and financial commitments beyond study.

The Kent Union Buddy Scheme helps both new and returning students settle into life at Kent. It brings together students who can provide informal support through regular meet-ups, sharing their experiences and tips.

Groups of students chat and sit on colourful sofas inside a brightly-lit atrium

Where can I get help?

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Childcare facilities

Childcare facilities are well placed for access to year-round childcare for under-fives, as well as holiday sports and play schemes for older children.  See students with families.


Accommodation suitable for families is not available on campus. We offer advice for living off-campus.


Parking is operated by a permit scheme on both campuses, see the Transport website.

Campus shuttle

The University operates a free coach service between Medway and Canterbury campuses, 7 days a week in term time. For timetables and booking, see Campus Shuttle.  

Mature students working in a library

Get in touch

Many of us in the Adult Learning Team were mature students ourselves so we know how it feels to go back into education after a break. We work with adult learners from a range of age groups and backgrounds across Kent and Medway. 

If you would like advice about going to university please get in touch.

Telephone: 01227 824147