We welcome applications from mature students and our entry requirements are flexible. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend for interview on one of our open days in March, where you'll also be able to meet some of our current students. If we invite you for interview, we also ask you to send us examples of written work, usually essays on a literary topic. We particularly value the opportunity of talking to you at interview where we're interested to discuss what you have been reading and studying and also to answer any questions you may have about the course. If your qualifications are CSE, GCE, GCSE and A-levels, we may set different requirements from the ones used for school-leavers. For example, we do not expect you to be taking three A-levels (though please note that all applicants, including mature applicants, are required to have a qualification in English above GCSE level). Many excellent mature students come to us with professional qualifications such as RGN, or with BTEC, or OU credits, or from Access courses.
If you have any doubts at all about your qualifications, please get in touch with the Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Admissions Office before making your application.The School of English holds a welcome party for new mature students each year. There is also a University Mature Student Society (MatSoc) that you can join to meet other mature students both in the School and from other departments in the University.
Support for mature students
All students in the School of English have a personal tutor allocated to them from the academic staff in the School; this may or may not be someone who also teaches you. Whenever possible, your personal tutor will be the same person throughout the three years of your degree. (When this is not possible, if a member of staff leaves for example, you will be allocated to another tutor.) If you have a difficulty, either in your academic work, or in some aspect of your personal circumstances affecting your academic work, you should arrange to see your personal tutor.
Timetables are flexible: Single Honours English students average between six and eight contact hours per week (i.e. timetabled seminars and lectures). Although lecture times are fixed (you'll have anything from between two to four hours of lectures per week), seminars are more flexible, and if you experience problems or clashes with your allocated seminar times, we will do our best to rearrange them. All students take lectures together, but seminar group sizes remain small - no bigger than 12 in your first year and no bigger than 10 in your second and third years.
There are a number of booklets published by the Student's Union Welfare Office specifically for mature students, providing advice about financial matters and study skills, as well as an introduction to University life. The University Student Counselling Service is freely available to University of Leeds students, and provides professionally-trained, experienced counselling staff for you to talk to if you need the help of a Counsellor about any issue during your studies.
Financial information for students and potential students is available from your Local Education Authority (LEA).
The Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre is located on campus. You can contact them directly for information about childcare services on campus. Enquiries about other private nurseries and nursery schools, play schemes, and childminders in the Leeds area can be directed to: Leeds Children's Information Service, 9th Floor West, Merrion House, Merrion Way, Leeds LS2 9DT. Tel: (0113) 247 4386 or see the Leeds Childcare Information Service.