Mature students

The University considers you to be a mature (or independent) student if you been out of formal education for three years or more prior to applying to study with us. 

Often applicants have taken a varied path to university, and there are a wide range of options available to you. We recommend you contact the Lifelong Learning team by emailing lifelonglearning@st-andrews.ac.uk with information about yourself, your educational background and your plans for study; we can then provide guidance as to the best route for you, tailored to your personal circumstances.

Choosing your degree

The first step to returning to education is deciding what and where you would like to study. You should research all the institutions you are considering carefully, the courses that they offer, and the facilities available not just for academic matters, but for student activities and engagement.

If you are considering part-time study, you should visit our part-time study pages.

Once you have chosen the courses that look right for you, familiarise yourself with the entry requirements for those courses. It is likely you will have to undertake a preparatory course in the year prior to applying. This could be an HNC/HND, a SWAP Access Course, Access to HE Diploma or some further relevant qualifications. For more details about these types of courses, you should contact your local further education college.

It is also important to familiarise yourself with the university application process, including any relevant deadlines. All applications to university are submitted via UCAS, and planning is crucial. Make sure you have allowed yourself enough time to prepare a competitive application.

If you are considering St Andrews, you can see the wide range of subjects that we offer by using the course search facility. We will consider a wide range of alternative qualifications than the standard minimum entry grades. 

You should also consider our General degree, which is a bespoke entry route for students living in Scotland who are attending a further education college or studying towards other alternative qualifications.

Entry qualifications

If you are thinking of applying to St Andrews after a significant period of time out of education (typically over three years), we will accept alternative entry qualifications.

Full-time mature students


Part-time mature students

Entry requirements for part-time study can be more flexible than for full-time study.

If you wish to study during the day, we will require some evidence of recent study, similar to that for full-time applicants, and some subjects may have specific entry criteria. We will, however, also take relevant work experience into consideration.

For evening study, no formal qualifications are required.