Each year, thousands of mature students apply through UCAS to study at a UK university. Unsure if this path is for you? Check out the inspirational stories from mature students studying at Staffordshire University to see if it’s the right journey for you!
Claire Wilkinson, Business management
I’m a single mum with two children – and a mortgage – living in Tamworth near Birmingham. I’ve worked for several years in a variety of different jobs, but I started to realise that the only way I was going to make real career progression was with a qualification as formal ‘proof’ of my skills and capability.
Studying an accelerated degree really appealed to me. It meant I could complete it in two years rather than three, reducing the pressure on family time and allowing me to get back into full-time employment sooner.
Like a lot of my peers at Staffordshire, I work part-time alongside my studies. The flexible, self-led learning across the summer months also combines well with school holidays, meaning I don’t need extra childcare. It allows me to balance my time between study, work, and family.
Before starting my accelerated degree in business management, I had been out of education for quite a few years and had doubts about my academic ability. I’m now at the end of my first year and the doubts are gone – I’ve really enjoyed every aspect of the course so far. Our course leader is dedicated and positive, and I think his real commitment to his accelerated students is a key part of why it works so well.
The process of accelerated study has also helped us as students to form a close team bond, where we support each other throughout the study challenges. I get the sense that we’re closer than our peer taking the three-year option. For me, the biggest success of the year was the ‘Willingam winners’ team competition – where my team took first place.
Grace Thomson, Business management
After finishing my A levels, I didn’t plan to study further. I wanted to get straight into work, and I did. This was good at first, and I really enjoyed where I worked, but after a while, I started to feel I would be able to make better and faster progress in my career if I had a degree.
The idea of an accelerated degree at Staffordshire really appealed to me. I’ve moved to Stoke-on-Trent to study and get back into work one year sooner than if I were taking a regular degree.
I’ve continued to work part-time whilst studying, which is great for keeping in touch with my colleagues from work for weekend trip and holidays (and for continuing to earn and support myself).
Danielle Nugent, Business management
I never planned to study at university after finishing my A levels – I wanted to get a job and start earning. I spent a few years in France, then moved back to the UK to work in insurance, before taking time out to go traveling. When I got back, I decided that I needed a qualification to progress further in the workplace. I chose to do an accelerated course so that I could get back into work sooner, and moved to Stoke.
I am now at the end of my second year, about to graduate, and have been headhunted by recruitment agencies specifically because I have ‘accelerated degree’ on my LinkedIn profile. Other students on this course have had similar experiences – having an accelerated degree has been seen by employers as a positive selling point, and as graduates they’ve been fast-tracked through recruitment stages because of it.
Amy Lambeth, English
I went straight into university after finishing my A levels but didn’t enjoy the course I initially chose. I wanted to complete my university education alongside my peers, but I also wasn’t happy with what I was studying. When I realised I could switch to English and complete the course in two years, the decision was easy to make.
I’m the type of person who likes to keep busy, so working through a summer term isn’t a problem. I’m studying at the same rate each week as students taking a standard English degree, so I haven’t had any problems keeping up with any of the study requirements or timescales. I still work part-time alongside my studies. The accelerated degree is simply the ideal option for me.