Studying at Oxford University for Older or Mature Students. Image courtesy of Tejvan Pettinger via Flickr Commons.

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Can You Get Into Oxford University If You Are an Older or Mature Student?

Studying at Oxford University for Older or Mature Students. Image courtesy of Tejvan Pettinger via Flickr Commons.

If you’re over 21 years old when you start your Oxford course, you will be considered a mature applicant. In general, the process of applying to the university is similar regardless of your age, but some parts of it can be a little more complex. 

Can You Study at Oxford if You're Older?

The short answer is: Of course! Oxford University doesn’t really care for your age or background, they are looking for academic potential. If you can demonstrate you’re committed to studying and you have academic ability, you can apply to the University and will have a good chance of getting in (you can find out more about the application process in this guide). 

Study Skills and Life Experience for Mature Students

If you’re a little older than the average student, you will probably have a wider range of experiences under your arm. This experience can be in formal education or can relate to working and volunteering. If you apply to an Oxford course, tutors will look at your life skills and anything they consider relevant to your subject of interest. Of course, you will still need to demonstrate academic curiosity and independent motivation. There is still some standard formal entry criteria. 

Qualifications for Mature Students

Anyone can apply to Oxford, but you want to make sure your submission is competitive. For example, you will need to demonstrate you can handle intensive, independently-driven academic study in the subject you like. Normally, tutors will look at your formal education in the last three years before applying. These could be A-levels, an Open University course, foundation degrees, Higher Education qualifications, or equivalent. If you haven’t taken any formal education in that time period, it’s a good idea to refresh your skills and have some A-levels. 

Can You Study at Oxford Part-Time?

The University does not have part-time options (or distance learning ones) for undergraduate degree courses. If you are looking for one, you will need to live in Oxford during term. There are, however, a variety of part-time and distance learning options for certificates, diplomas, and graduate courses. In this case, you should check the University’s Department for Continuing Education.

Financial Support for Mature Students

There are numerous financing options for mature students. For example, the Crankstart Scholarship offers support to all UK residents with a household income of £27,500 per year or less, who will be studying for their first undergraduate degree. If you are not eligible for (or don’t want to take up) the Crankstart Scholarship, you may be eligible to receive an Oxford Bursary. UK students may also be eligible for further assistance from the Government to support, such as the Childcare Grant, the Adult Dependant’s Grant, the Parents’ Leaving Allowance, and the Disabled Students’ Allowance

Childcare for Mature Oxford Students

The University of Oxford can assist students with children wherever possible. For further details, you can see their childcare pages.

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