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Mature and part-time students

The mature student community is a diverse one and if you're over the age of 21 at the start of your course, you're a part of it.

Your life and professional experience might vary from fellow students as may your individual needs. There are many facets to being a student and being a particular age is just one of them. We'll give you a range of support and guidance so you enjoy your studies and life as a student.

We appreciate that studying as a mature student can present challenges. This is particularly true if this is your first experience of higher education and you have other commitments and responsibilities, such as work and family, so we're here to help you.

  • Welcome events during your first term at Essex

    At the start of your studies at Essex, we run a couple of events specifically for you to meet other mature students:

    • a housewarming event at our Colchester Campus
    • the mature students' mixer held during Welcome Week

  • Money matters

    You might have additional financial responsibilities that you need to juggle but we're here to help with:

  • Accommodation and living arrangements

    We realise that living arrangements will create different experiences for you.

    Living in University accommodation

    All new undergraduates are guaranteed University accommodation, and this includes mature students.

    The Residence Life team provide support if you're living in University accommodation. They can tell you who your Residents’ Assistant is and run a programme of events throughout the year, so you can socialise with other students.

    Living off campus

    SU Homes can help you find secure, private accommodation if you want to live off campus.

    You may want to stay on campus for one or two nights for example during resit exams. We can't guarantee you short-stay accommodation, but contact your Student Services Hub to see what might be available.

  • Social opportunities

    Mature students' network

    You can meet up and get to know fellow students who share academic and social interests via the Students' Union mature students' network. The network is for mature students, student parents and part time students.

  • Study and social spaces

    Postgraduate Common Room

    Colchester Campus common room.

    Colchester Campus

    The postgraduate and mature students' common room is a meeting space for you to use. Located in room 5.401 on the Colchester Campus, it's easily accessible from the Mathematics entrance off Square 2.

    • Comfortable, informal seating.
    • Tea and coffee making facilities.
    • Microwave.
    • Newspapers delivered daily.

    Southend Campus

    The student common room, located in the Gateway Building (GB.2.32), provides a space to relax or study on your own or with friends.

    Places to study

    You have access to a plethora of study spaces, which are available for you to study individually or in groups.

  • Academic and skills support

    Peer mentor


    You'll automatically be assigned a peer mentor, who is a second or third student in your department. You'll meet them during Welcome Week and they can answer any questions about university life and help you settle in.

    If you'd like your peer mentor to be a mature student, please email


    You can contact fellow students for advice via the 'Ask a Postgraduate' scheme.

    Personal tutor

    You'll be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of your studies who can help with academic and personal concerns.

    Talent Development Centre

    As a mature student, you've also got access to advisers in our Talent Development Centre. They can assist you with the transition to university and help develop your academic, writing or study skills or get help with your maths or statistics.

Further advice

There's also advice and guidance on a range of topics, including:

"Talk to people on your course about the material you are studying. Many people will share ideas which stimulates both good academic discussion, developing ideas for essays and assignments but also friendships within departments."
Chris, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering


We conduct surveys, interviews and focus groups to make sure we're helping you, as a mature student. If you'd like to take part, please email

Employability advice

Our Careers Centre

Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.

Academic Skills Support

Two women discussing some papers

Our advisers can help you with all aspects of academic study and assignment preparation. Come along to our Helpdesk in the Silberrad Student Centre, ground floor to find out about our programme of workshops and writing clinics.

Student Services Hub

Lecturer and student

Our team of advisers are based within your Student Services Hub and can provide information, advice and guidance on a range of topics from accommodation and funding to exam stress and wellbeing. Drop us a line or pay us a visit.

Students' Union

Students' Union club night

Our Students' Union (SU) is one of the most active in the country and is run by students, for students. Our SU will be there to offer you support, plus the opportunity to join numerous clubs and societies and to enjoy lots of events and nights out.