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Returning to education

Returning to education

There are a number of reasons that mature students decide to return to education; from career progression to a simple personal interest.

Whatever your reason for wanting to study at Wrexham Glyndwr University, we recognise that your needs may be different from that of an 18-year-old school leaver, so we hope that the following information will help you to find the right pathway.

You can study full time or part time at university as a mature student even if you don’t have traditional qualifications – you can also apply for funding.

Entry requirements

Course entry requirements vary - some may require professional qualifications or relevant work experience. Others may need:

  • A-Levels
  • an Access to Higher Education course
  • NVQs, BTEC or other work-based qualifications

You may also be able to apply for student finance. The amount you get depends on your family situation and the type of course you’re doing - you may get extra help if you have children.


A 22-year-old who didn’t go to university after college

Whilst being over 21 may technically make you a ‘mature’ student, you shouldn’t let that put you off at all.  You needn’t worry that you’re going to be the oldest person in your lecture theatre either; a good proportion of our students are over 21 and get just as much out of their university experience as those students who come to us straight from college, often benefitting from the extra couple of years of work and life experience that they’ve got compared to their fellow students.

As you’ll already have studied your level 3 qualifications you’ll already have your results, so that puts you in a great position; you already know what you achieved and can check how many tariff points its worth.  So, if you’ve got 112 tariff points then you’ve likely met this part of our three-year degree entry requirement already.

One thing to definitely bear in mind if you’re in this position is that the UCAS tariff since 2017 is different to the tariff that has been previously used. Previously, if you had a ‘B’ at A-Level this was worth 100 tariff points but for 2017 onwards it’s going to be worth 40 points.  Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that your ‘B’ is worth less than it was last year; the entire tariff system has changed, and our entry requirements have changed to reflect this.  You’re not going to be at a disadvantage because you didn’t go straight to university after finishing your college course.

A 30-year-old with ‘on the job’ training and vocational qualifications

An NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) doesn't traditionally equate to UCAS tariff points but that doesn’t mean that it’s worthless when thinking about university study.  At Wrexham Glyndŵr University treat each application on its own merits and are happy to consider applications from those with less ‘traditional’ qualifications on an equal footing with those coming to us with A-Levels.

Vocational qualifications will show us that you’re able to study alongside a job, emphasising your time-management and commitment to your own development, as well showcasing your desire to learn.

When you’re completing your UCAS application, make sure that you include all of the work-based learning you’ve done, particularly in the last 5 years.  Your Personal Statement will give you the opportunity to show us how this training has helped you develop and improve in your job role, so make the most of this opportunity.  Show us what skills you’ve gained from the qualifications you’ve done, and how this will help you in your time with us as a university student.

After we’ve considered your application it may be the case that we don’t feel you’re quite ready for degree level study just yet.  If this is the case then one of our foundation year routes may be the way forward for you.  Our foundation year programmes are generally 4 years long, with the first year designed to get you ready for university study.  When you pass this first year you will progress to the first year of the degree programme with us.

A 35-year-old professional without a degree

Settled with a career, family, financial commitments?  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a path into university that can fit in with your busy schedule.  Many of our undergraduate programmes are available part-time, and indeed some are specifically designed to fit around your working patterns.  Our FdEng Industrial Engineering, for example, is an extremely popular programme that caters for professionals currently working in a variety of engineering fields.  Attendance at the university is on a day release system whereby students attend university one day a week with the support of their employer.  When back in their work environment, students continue to develop the academic skills they’ve learnt by applying them practically to their day-to-day jobs, with assessments being conducted in the workplace as well as in the classroom.  This type of course benefits both the student and the employer, with the added bonus of you being able to complete a part-time degree in three years.

A 40 year old getting back into education with an access course

The Access to HE diploma has become a very popular route into university study, particularly for those without recent, relevant qualifications in the subject area that they wish to pursue at university.  The access course fully prepares you for study on year one of a bachelor’s degree, and this has been proved by the good results achieved at the university by students coming to us with the diploma.

One of the most popular access programmes we see is the Health and Social Care route, and applicants coming to us with this diploma have gone on to do Social Work, Criminology, Health and Social Care…there are plenty of options available to you at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.

Whereas previously the access course didn’t gain you any UCAS tariff points, from 2017 entry onwards they will - very good news for new applicants.  If you gain a majority of Merit and Distinction grades from your level 3 modules then is very likely that you’ll satisfy our academic entry requirements of 112 tariff points enabling you to start on one of bachelor degree programmes. If it’s mainly Pass grades that you’re achieving then our admissions team may suggest that you start on one of our foundation years. 

Whatever your situation, we’re happy to discuss your options with you.

45-year-old professional with a degree

If you’ve already got your degree and are working in your dream job but fancy a new challenge, then you’re in an ideal position to consider one of our professional or postgraduate programmes.  Working in education and feel like expanding your knowledge?  Why not consider our MA Education, taught on a Saturday to fit around your working week?  Holding a management position but considering how to progress your career?  How about our Executive MBA, designed to enable you to build on your existing skills and experience and develop your managerial and entrepreneurial skills alongside other like-minded professionals.

There are plenty of options available to you at Wrexham Glyndŵr University so why not check out the professional and postgraduate sections of our website and head along to one of our open evenings coming up later this month; we’re sure you’ll find something that appeals to you!

55-year-old looking for a change of direction

We’re increasingly getting enquiries from people who have had a successful career but feel like a complete change of direction.  Perhaps you’ve worked in sales for a while but want a change of pace to explore that long-held dream to be an artist?  Our BA (Hons) Fine Art may be just the course you’re looking for!

The phrase ‘UCAS tariff points’ can seem quite off-putting if you’re considering university in later life, but remember that formal qualifications are just one aspect of the admissions process.  You will have gained vital skills and experiences from your previous career, and these skills will likely be highly transferable to university study.  Worked for several years in a target-driven sales team?  This shows us you’re good at working with others and good at achieving time-sensitive targets.  That group-based presentation as part of your assessment should be no problem! 

It may be the case that you need a bit more preparation before degree level study of course, and that's where our foundation year might be the best route for you.  When you’ve sent us your application we’ll carefully consider it and if we think you need a bit of additional support first then we’ll automatically consider you for the relevant foundation year rather than simply rejecting your application.  If you’d like to discuss the best entry point before applying then our admissions team will be happy to help.  Just give us a call!

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