Everything you need to know about college as a mature student

Man in his thirties in a college classroom.

You might have a lot of questions about coming to college as a mature student, so we’ve answered some of them in this blog. If you have a question and don’t see it answered here, email us at courseinfo@edinburghcollege.ac.uk so a member of the team can help you out.   

How can I fit college around my job, family and other commitments?

Returning to education is a balancing act, especially if you are fitting your studies around work or family commitments. There are different study modes available which can help you fit your studies around your life.

  • Full time courses typically require you to attend classes three and half days a week.
  • Part-time courses typically require you to attend classes one or two days a week.
  • Evening courses typically require you to attend classes one or two evenings a week.
  • Open learning courses allow you to study in your own time and at your own place, so these are our most flexible type of course.

How much does it cost to study at college?

When you study at college you will need to consider how to pay for course fees and living costs like travel, accommodation and materials.  

Funding options to help with living costs include:

  • Bursary (full-time students only)
  • Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
  • Childcare Funding
  • Discretionary Funding
  • Care Experienced Bursary
  • Further Education Bursary

Funding options to pay for course fees include:

  • Fee wavier
  • SAAS (for Higher Education courses only)
  • Home or International Tuition Fees

Find out more about course costs, funding and fees on the Funding and Fees section of our website.  

Is childcare available at the college?

Childcare funding is available for full-time courses and part-time Further Education courses. You can find out more about this in the quick guide on our website.

The Waterfront Nursery is based at our Granton campus and is open to students and staff of the college, as well as the general public. The nursery offers term time only contracts to students, so you can apply for funding without paying for non-funded student holidays.

How long does it take to get a qualification?

This depends on the type of course you study. A HND, for example, takes two years to complete if you are studying full-time, but we do offer shorter courses where you can get a qualification within a year.

Start and end dates will be on the course listing on our website.

When would my course start?

Your course start date will be on the course listing on our website. You will receive your timetable after you have enrolled online. If you are applying for one of our January courses this will start in January 2021.

How do I apply for a course?

You can apply for a course online through our application system. Go to the course you want to apply for and click the ‘Apply now’ button on the top-right of the page.

Read our blog for more information about how to apply for a course.

Will I learn at a college campus?

For session 2020/21, we are using a blended learning approach with the majority of classes delivered online. Only a small number of classes for specific courses will take place in college where it is necessary and safe to do so. It is likely that you will learn online from home and you will get more information about this when you enrol.

I don’t have access to a computer for learning at home. Can I still study at college?

The College will make every effort to arrange help in accessing equipment you need to study from home. You will be asked to complete a survey before your course starts to establish your needs. In this survey you can let us know what you need in order to learn from home.

I have an additional support need and/or a disability. Is there support for me at college?

Our learning support team can create a personal learning support plan with you to make sure you have all the support you need during your studies. If you include information about a disability or additional learning support need on your application, a member of the team will be in touch to talk with you about this. You can also get in touch with the team after you have enrolled.

I’ve been out of education for a while and I’m worried about writing essays and studying. Is there any support for me?

There is lots of support available at Edinburgh College to help you throughout your studies.  

Our Student Services team are committed to helping you throughout your time at college by providing information on a range of topics. Teaching staff and Learning Development Tutors (LDTs) can help with specific queries relating to your course and any work you are expected to complete.

What facilities can I get access to?

There are libraries and recourse centres at each of our campuses that you will be able to access throughout your studies. At the moment, our libraries can be accessed virtually through Moodle. Access to our campus libraries are strictly for our click and collect service only.

As a student at Edinburgh College you can also take advantage of our training salons, training restaurants and leisure facilities at reduced prices. Find out more about our health and leisure facilities on our website.

Ready to start your application? View our courses.