Support for mature students

We know that starting at university a bit later in life can be a major change and you may feel apprehensive.

When you start your degree, you’ll become a part of the Leeds community from day one. You’ll benefit from dedicated support provided by the University’s Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC), including pastoral support, tailored financial advice, one-to-one study skills support, a personal tutor and social events.

From the beginning of your time at Leeds and until you graduate, you’ll have access to all university facilities and services such as the University library, our sport, fitness and wellbeing facilities, Leeds University Union, our careers service and much more.

The Lifelong Learning Centre have been incredibly supportive and have helped me study with dyslexia.

Katie, BA Child and Family Studies

Support before you apply

Free one-to-one advice appointments

We offer free advice and guidance appointments for adult learners where you’ll receive confidential advice on routes into higher education, financial support, your choice of courses and how to apply to university.

Application and personal statement support

If you’re thinking of applying to Leeds, we can help you with your application and give you tips on writing your personal statement. 

We offer weekly applicant drop-in sessions for those applying to all foundation courses (except the Gateway to Medicine and Social Sciences foundation year courses), all part-time courses and the full-time BA Professional Studies course.

In these sessions, we’ll help you with completing your application, applying for student finance and writing your personal statement and anything else relevant to your application.

Please email the Lifelong Learning Centre at for more information.

Taster and information events

Our free on-campus and online events cover topics such as student finance, returning to education and support for mature students.

Alternative entry scheme for mature applicants

The alternative entry scheme scheme applies to all foundation courses (except the Gateway to Medicine and Social Sciences foundation year courses), all part-time courses and the full-time BA Professional Studies course.

The scheme is for you if you meet all of the following criteria: 

  • you’ve been out of formal education for three years or more
  • you haven’t returned to study three A-levels or equivalent
  • you don’t meet the typical requirements for entry to these courses because you don’t have formal qualifications like A-levels, or GCSEs in English and Maths.

We’ll automatically check your eligibility for the scheme when you apply for your course. You don’t need to send a separate application for this.

Every year, about 100 learners join the University of Leeds through this scheme.

If you’re eligible, instead of the GCSE requirement, you’ll complete our maths and English tests. We’ll give you sample papers and online resources, and offer you one-to-one and/or workshop support to help you understand the exam subjects. You can choose from face-to-face and/or online support to suit you.

Instead of having A-level or BTEC-level qualifications, we may ask you to write a 1,500 word essay on a subject related to the course you’re applying to.

Please note that some undergraduate degrees, such as Medicine and Nursing, require GCSE qualifications so the alternative entry scheme may not be suitable in such cases. Our admissions team can advise you about this when you apply to the foundation course.

Support to prepare you to study

JumpStart taster course

JumpStart is a free short course for adult learners. It offers a fun and immersive experience of being within a higher education setting. It’s designed to fit around your other commitments and build the skills, understanding and confidence in yourself as a learner that you’ll need for university. 

Find out more about JumpStart.

Kickstart – pre-entry academic skills programme

Kickstart is a pre-entry academic skills programme that includes online lessons and activities to develop your study skills for university assignments. We’ll send you information about Kickstart when you’re offered a place on your course.

We’ll invite you to a live session, either online or on campus, where you can meet with staff and other students who’ll be on the same course as you. After the session, you’ll write a short piece of work to practise the skills you have learned.

Enrolment/welcome support

During the lead up to you joining us at the start of September (the beginning of the academic year) – or February for students on our apprenticeship programmes – we’ll be in touch with useful information such as where and when to enrol, your academic timetable for the first semester and invitations to events to get to know students and staff from the Lifelong Learning Centre.

Support while you study

We have two spaces on campus open to all mature learners as well as a range of online support options.

Financial support 

The following financial support might be available to you after you’ve registered as a student:

University Financial Assistance Fund

You may be eligible to receive financial support to help with study or living costs at Leeds if you are experiencing financial hardship. Find out more about the University Financial Assistance Fund.

Lifelong Learning Centre Student Bursary Fund

You may be able to apply for further support from the Lifelong Learning Centre Student Bursary Fund. For more information, please email the Lifelong Learning Centre at

Lifelong Learning Centre Opportunities Fund

The fund helps you with costs related to professional development opportunities. For example, funding towards the cost of childcare, travel costs, attendance fees or other expenses associated with courses, conferences and residential training events. For more information, please email the Lifelong Learning Centre at

Undergraduate funding 

Find out about the different types of funding available if you are a UK student. 

You can apply for Government student loans and funding from the University. You won’t need to pay for your study or living costs up front. 

For more advice on student finance, read our blog: Nine things to know about student finance as a mature student.

Wellbeing support

If you have any worries or concerns, in addition to the support you may be able to access by your teaching school, our dedicated Student Support and Wellbeing team can signpost you to services across the University, give advice on topics such as student finance as well as ensuring any necessary support is in place for medical conditions and disabilities. 

Email our Student Support and Wellbeing team at for more information about our support.

On-course guidance and career development

Impartial information, advice and guidance is available to all part-time and mature undergraduates currently studying at Leeds, as well as all students enrolled on courses taught by the Lifelong Learning Centre.

You can book an appointment by emailing the Lifelong Learning Centre at

Mature Student Advisory Board

We recognise that your journey to higher education and experiences as a mature student can differ from those of younger students.

We aim to make the University of Leeds a place where mature students can better feel like they belong, are valued, and are able to thrive academically and socially, with equal access to opportunities to achieve their goals. 

The Mature Student Advisory Board (MSAB) recognises the diversity of our mature undergraduates and creates an environment where your voices and experiences can inform and direct the development of what's done across the University.

The board is made up of mature undergraduate students representing different subjects and the diversity of student experiences across the University.

The Mature Student Advisory Board allows you to voice concerns or suggestions that make a real difference to the mature student experience at Leeds.

MSAB member

Middle Ground Network

The Middle Ground Network is here for you if you feel a bit ‘stuck in the middle’ – feeling a little older than your 18-20 year-old peers, but maybe not identifying as a mature student either. 

You’ll be able to meet people of a similar age and life experience through regular events and meet-ups throughout the year. 

Check out our Middle Ground Linktree for more information.

Academic skills development

The academic skills team can work with you to gain confidence in your abilities, develop strategies to approach your academic work and help you to develop skills to achieve your academic goals.

We also have a specialist who works with students with Specific Learning Differences. You can book an appointment or ask a question by emailing the skills team at

Skills@Library supports taught students to develop academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one consultations and drop in sessions. Find out more on our Libraries website.

Leeds University Union (LUU)

Leeds University Union (LUU) brings together our student community and is 100% student-led. Its mission is to make sure you love your time at Leeds.   

The Union building is in the middle of campus. It’s a place where you can make friends, join societies, gain new skills and experiences, and have fun.  

Societies, such as the commuter society, events, including the student-parent and carer coffee mornings, and independent and confidential advice available from the LUU Help and Support team, help to ensure that LUU is inclusive to all our students.  

Social events

The Lifelong Learning Centre provides regular opportunities for students to meet at social events both on campus and across Leeds – for example, meals, film nights, trips to art galleries and more.

Family events, such as the Family and Friends Fun Days, are a great way to spend time on campus with your family and take part in a range of activities.

Administrative support

Many of our services are online, including registration, timetabling and library resources. We can provide support if you have trouble accessing any of these services online – email the Lifelong Learning Centre at and we’ll be happy to help.

Our fantastic support team is on hand to provide individual support online or in person. You’re welcome to drop into the Lifelong Learning Centre and talk to our welcome desk team and make use of our common room spaces. You can find our address on the contact us page.

Website for students

To make your journey through the University as smooth as possible, there are resources and information to help you and support you through every step.

You can explore the range of information and support available on our dedicated website for students

Support after your studies

Careers advice

Leeds graduates (also known as alumni) benefit from access to lifelong careers advice, resources and job listings. 

This includes: 

  • free access to LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform providing 15,000 self-paced learning courses to aid your career development. 
  • help with your job applications, interviews, and finding work experience. 
  • opportunities to attend job fairs, alumni networking events and more both online and in person. 
  • an exclusive job database with opportunities for our graduates.

Post-graduation services and support

Alumni support

Once you’ve graduated, you’ll become a member of the Leeds alumni community. That’s more than 312,000 Leeds graduates from over 197 countries are forever by your side. 

You’ll be invited to reunion events, be able to network with other alumni in your industry and stay up to date with news and events with our alumni newsletter. 

Our alumni draw on their knowledge, experience and expertise to help the next generation of Leeds graduates to succeed through volunteering, mentoring and donations. 

On-campus resources 

You can continue to use the library free of charge for reference purposes, or take out a membership to borrow books. 

You can also join The Edge sports centre and visit Leeds University Union

Alumni bursary for postgraduate study 

We offer Leeds graduates a 10% tuition fee bursary. Whether you’re looking to further your career, boost your employment prospects or change direction, a Masters course at Leeds can help you to achieve your ambitions. 

If you have any questions about the support we offer, please email the Lifelong Learning Centre at