Applying to Goldsmiths as a Mature Student

Applying to university, studying on campus, and taking part in student life is different for everyone.

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As a mature student you may have lots of questions about returning to study, managing university commitments alongside your job or caring responsibilities, and wondering if everyone else you meet on campus will be fresh out of college. At Goldsmiths, about half of our students are aged over 21 and we’ve been talking to them, and to staff, about what you need to know.

Edwin shares his experience and advice as a mature student at Goldsmiths.

Contacting us about studying or applying here 

Visiting campus, either on your own or with family and friends, is the best way to see what Goldsmiths has to offer. You can come to an open day or a campus tour

If you have any questions about our courses, returning to study or student life as a mature student, please contact our Course Enquiries team.

 If you have any questions about applying for a course, please get in contact with our Admissions team. If you would like some advice and guidance about your personal statement, please contact the Widening Participation team.

Frequently asked questions from mature students

How can you apply to university as a mature student?

To apply for a full-time undergraduate programme you will need to apply via the UCAS website. This can be done online by setting up an account and completing the online application form.

You can apply for up to five programmes on your UCAS form, once you have submitted the form, UCAS will send it out to all your choices.

 Once Goldsmiths has received your application we will assess your suitability for the programme. This can sometimes require you to attend an interview or submit a portfolio, but for most our programmes your application will be enough.

 We will let you know our decision and you will be able to see it on your UCAS Track.

For some of our undergraduate programmes we offer a part-time study option. If you wish to apply for part-time study you can do so directly on the Goldsmiths website. Simply click on the apply now button on the programme page to be taken through to the application form.

What are the entry requirements for mature students?

The entry requirements for studying at Goldsmiths for mature students are the same as the general entry requirements.

We are sometimes able to take work or other experience into consideration for mature students but we also need to ensure that students will cope with the academic aspects of our programmes.

The programme pages list the most common qualifications and grades accepted but we will consider many more UK and international qualifications at the same level.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications will make you eligible to apply please contact the Admissions office.

For applicants who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a programme, there are a range of options for you including four year integrated degree programmes and Access to HE programmes (which you can take a further education colleges). To find out more about the integrated degree programmes (including a foundation year) we offer, please contact the Course Enquiries team.

Are there university courses for mature students with no qualifications?

We have a range of four year integrated degree programmes that include a foundation year and have no specific entry requirements. 

For some of these programmes we may ask for additional information to assess suitability for the programme (such as a sample of written work). These are good options if you do not have any qualifications or your qualifications/grades do not meet the minimum entry requirements.

Our BA Education, Culture and Society and BA Applied Social Science, Community and Youth Work programmes are also very popular among mature applicants interested in education or who have experience of community work. These programmes have much more flexible entry requirements and can consider a range of qualifications and grades.

What is a mature student?

Mature students are defined as anyone over the age of 21 when they start their course.

What subjects can you study as a mature student?

All of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses welcome applications from mature students. 

Please use our course finder to explore the different subjects we offer.

Can I study a postgraduate course as a mature student?

Of course. As most postgraduate studies are taken after students complete their undergraduate programme, students are typically over 21-years-old already (although you are not considered a mature student within a postgraduate study context).

What is the social life like for mature students?

There are countless sports clubs, societies and communities to join (from the Chess Society to the Badminton Club, or the Gardening Society and the student-run Leopard Newspaper). 

Around Goldsmiths there is a bustling local community with restaurants from a wide range of cuisines, local pubs and drinking venues, and several live music venues to enjoy the local nightlife. 

Our campus is located in New Cross, Deptford which is just 10 minutes to London Bridge by train giving you fantastic access to all that London has to offer. London has been voted the world’s best student city twice in a row (2019 and 2020 in the QS Best Student Cities Ranking).

Local areas to Goldsmiths includes Greenwich (where you can enjoy the internationally famous Greenwich Market or enjoy unspoilt panoramic views across London’s skyline from Greenwich Park) as well as Peckham which is home to a busy high-street full of small shops and quirky places to meet friends.

What support is there to develop my academic skills?

If you haven’t been studying for a while, developing academic study skills can seem daunting. Goldsmiths’ Student Support team are dedicated to supporting you through your studies and the Academic Skills Centre runs a comprehensive range of study skills workshops and sessions. You can access some of their skills tutorials here.

Can I work whilst I'm studying?

Many of our mature students work part-time either for a local employer or for Goldsmiths, as a student ambassador. As an ambassador they get involved in a range of projects and events such as mentoring school students, meeting visitors at university open days, visiting schools and colleges, and providing admin support to different teams across the university.

What university accommodation options are there for mature students?

Goldsmiths has several different accommodation offerings for students on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Mature students apply for student accommodation in the same way as all other students. You can find out more information about our student accommodation and how to apply for it by visiting our student accommodation section

We typically house students who are studying an undergraduate degree and a postgraduate degree separately. During your application for student accommodation, you will be able to let us know if you would prefer to live with other students who identify as having a quieter lifestyle or have any other requirements of sharing preference. The Accommodation team will do their best to accommodate requests but these will be subject to availability.

Is there financial support for mature students?

Financial support varies depending on if you are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate course and if you are studying full-time or part-time. 

Undergraduate students can apply for a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan. You can learn more about these on the GOV.UK website. There is also additional financial support available for students with low household incomes or students with children or dependent adults. 

Postgraduate students can apply for a loan that can be used to cover tuition fees and living costs.

 Goldsmiths has a number of scholarships and bursaries available to help students during their studies. You can learn more about these for undergraduate courses and for postgraduate courses.

Once you're a Goldsmiths student you can apply for a TOTUM card from the NUS (National Union of Students), which gets you money off things like cinema tickets, shopping, eating out, fitness, and entry to museums and galleries.

Most full-time and some part-time students can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster card which provides 30% off travel costs in London. If you will be travelling around the UK, a 16-25 Railcard is a good option as it's available to all students in full-time education, including mature students. It will save you 30% off train tickets and you can add it to your Oyster card and receive a discount on off-peak pay-as-you-go travel in London.

Is there support for childcare?

Goldsmiths Students’ Union has a nursery on campus with 25 places for children aged 3 months to 5 years and a daily or weekly fee is charged, depending on how many days children are in nursery. Full-time students can apply for a Childcare grant, subject to eligibility.