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A Day in the Life of a Mature Psychology Student

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 9 Jul 2021 | comments*Discuss
Psychology Student Mature University

Psychology is a popular choice for mature students as it is a subject which suits having additional life experience.

Students From Different Backgrounds

Many people that choose to study psychology as a mature student have gained experience from their career, raising a family or through voluntary work. As psychology is a subject which many people have an interest in, places at university can be oversubscribed, although, as a rule, universities are keen to accept applications from mature students as they tend to stick out the course, and so pay their tuition fees.

To be classed as a mature student, you need to be over twenty one years of age when starting your university course, although the majority of mature psychology students are in their thirties and forties. However, there is usually no upper limit on the age of applications from mature students, especially as many people choose the subject as a form of ‘hobby’, rather than because they aim to practice as a psychologist.

A Popular Subject For Mature Students

It is also a popular subject choice for people wanting a ‘second career’, such as women who are looking to return to the workplace after bringing up a family or people that have been made redundant and are now keen to follow a long held interest in psychology. Mature students of psychology come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with varying careers and experience, however they all tend to have high degrees of motivation to study psychology as it is a rather ‘vocational’ subject, as opposed to one that you just decide to study for the sake of it.

Many mature students have backgrounds in natural sciences, social sciences and the arts, having gained experience in these areas often leads to a need to understand more about people’s behaviour. As such, mature psychology students often enjoy lively debates. Popular career paths after graduation include clinical psychology, forensic psychology, child psychology and general practice.

Psychology Degree Modules

Mature students will be given a timetable for each university semester, usually taking three years to complete, although some postgraduate courses can vary. Different modules will usually include Developmental and Biological Psychology, Applied and Social Psychology, the History of Psychology and Effective Research.

The modules will usually be taken by a different professor and it is common for mature students to get on better with more experienced university lecturers, as some can be a little inflexible with the life experiences of mature students. Consequently, there may be some areas in which mature students flourish more than others, as is to be expected.

If you are thinking about becoming a mature student of psychology, it is worth looking at the content and bias of different universities as they can vary tremendously. If you are not already determined by geographical location, you will notice that certain universities have a background or reputation for being particularly scientific or non-scientific manner, often connected to their sources of funding.

As psychology can be approached in very different ways, if you are keen to study in either a scientific or non-scientific manner, be sure to ask your admissions secretary or a lecturer from your potential course. They will answer your honestly because, as mentioned earlier, they are keen to make sure you finish your course successfully.

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My son, who is 21 has taken a keen interest in psychology with a view to studying it at university. Please can you tell me if he needs to do Alevels or if there is another route as a mature student?
Sunshine - 9-Jul-21 @ 9:54 AM
Hi all, This forum looks really useful, I have a lot of questions about psychology. I'm 27 with a background in social science and I work as a policy analyst. I've wanted to be a counsellor for a long time and I'm considering counselling psychology. I know I can do a conversion course part-time while working. But doing a doctorate in counselling psychology sounds impossible when I look into it. Has anyone got any advice on doing a doctorate part-time while working? Is it possible? I don't think it's feasible for me to give up working for 4 years although I know the reward on the other end would be worth it. I need to keep working to pay my finances. Does anyone have any insights? Is competition on Doctorates very high? Appreciate any advice, thank you.
Tgall93 - 13-May-20 @ 10:49 AM
Hi I’m in the very early stages of considering studying psychology as a mature student. I am at the stage in my life where I feel the need to do something for me educationally. I feel apprehensive and would like some advice. Where would you start... Would I need to do an access course as I have little qualifications. I also think I have dyslexia but have never been diagnosed or had support surrounding it. I feel fearful Though would like to see what my options are.
Maggie - 27-May-19 @ 8:48 PM
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