Preparing to study

There's plenty you can do to prepare for higher education.

First of all make sure you've sorted your application, accommodation, finances, travel and any childcare arrangements well in advance. Once these are in place you can focus on the course itself.

Many mature students have a few worries about starting their course, so here are some tips that might help.

Najib Rasooli

'Education was the only way to survive' – Najib fled Afghanistan at 15; higher education gave him strength and direction in the face of adversity. Watch his video and read his story in the Related case studies below

Getting started

  • Draw up a schedule – it might be helpful to map out your timetable, responsibilities, library time and social events so you can keep on top of everything.
  • Meet other students –you'll meet a lot of new people who can help with sharing ideas and problems – not to mention providing light relief!
  • Take time to settle in – it's quite a big adjustment, so give yourself plenty of time, especially if you're balancing other responsibilities too.


I struggled with language, and although I didn’t want to mix with other people at that time, I realised that having a life with no education was not what I wanted. I enrolled for English classes because it took my mind off of my problems and, I found, gave me fun and enjoyment."

Najib Rasooli, Sheffield Hallam University

Getting help

  • Gain new skills – your course provider will have various programmes and support if you find you need to update your skills.
  • Ask for support – often there's a combination of peer support, student services, mature student groups and social societies.
  • Ask for financial advice – many course providers employ specialist staff who can help with debt management and budgeting.

Useful resources

Starting your studies

A checklist to make sure you're all prepared to get started.

Managing money

Financial advice covering bank accounts and budgeting.

Individual needs

There's plenty of practical and financial support on offer.

Astudio yn y Gymraeg

Mae nifer o gyrsiau yn cael eu cyflwyno yn yr iaith Gymraeg.