There are many reasons why people come to Higher Education later in life. It might be that they didn’t have the opportunity to study when they were younger, they might want to gain qualifications that will help improve their career prospects, or they might simply want to learn for fun.
Whatever the reason you’re applying for a degree course as a mature student one of the most daunting parts of the application process is the personal statement. It might be many years since you’ve written an essay and a personal statement can seem like a tough obstacle to overcome.
As a mature student you’re probably going to have more workplace experience that is relevant to your chosen degree subject than academic qualifications, but don’t think that that will put you at a disadvantage.
If you’re following a more ‘non-traditional’ path into a university course it’s important to give some detail and explanation about why you’ve chosen to do it that way. Whether you took a break to have children or you’re changing industry and need qualifications to get a job there are always relevant skills or experience that you can bring to the table.
You can also talk about why going to university will benefit you and why now is the right time in your life to return to education. Your reasons are entirely unique to you and your personal statement is your chance to explain them.
Universities appreciate that your personal statement won’t look the same as someone who has come straight from school or college so don’t worry that you’ll be pipped to the post by the younger generation.
Speaking to the admissions tutors is the best way to find out what they’re looking for in a personal statement. Once you know this you can tailor your qualifications, skills, and experience to fit the course criteria.
You may also find you’ll need professional or academic references to support your application. Your personal statement is your time to shine so really push the boat out when it comes to demonstrating your passion and dedication.