Why return to study?

Nathanael – BSc (Hons) Psychology student

There are lots of reasons to become a student...

Enhance your career and employability prospects, improve your self-confidence by either revisiting a subject you once loved or by tackling a completely new one, or simply become inspired by meeting new, like-minded people.

With the help of some of our students and graduates, we've compiled a helpful insight into some of the reasons why returning to study could be perfect for you. 

"Returning to education has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has opened my eyes to new pathways and given me the confidence to move forward with my life."

Nathanael – BSc (Hons) Psychology student


Immerse yourself in a whole new subject area

If you decide higher education is for you, a world of new and exciting experiences await. Higher education offers you the opportunity to explore subjects that extend beyond the national curriculum, so you'll be able to immerse yourself in a subject you love, or even explore an area that's brand new to you. Towards the end of your course, you may also have the opportunity to do an independent piece of research into a topic that particularly interests you.

Some courses are very academic and you'll focus on reading and research. Others incorporate practical elements like field trips, placements and studio and laboratory work – allowing you to develop and apply new skills.


"I have a newfound look on learning, since coming back to education at the age of 25. The University has allowed me to build a completely new set of skills. It has been a great experience."

Niall – BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)


Enhance your career prospects

While many professions like teaching, social work and nursing require a higher education qualification as a starting point, a degree in any subject has the potential to open up a variety of new career prospects.

As a graduate, you'll enjoy a wider range of employment opportunities. Your chances of finding a job that's fulfilling – and fits with your values and motivations – increases, although instant employment paradise isn't guaranteed. But combined with your skills and experience, a higher education qualification can help you build on your current career or explore a range of new options. It’s worth remembering that the majority of graduate employers don't look for a particular degree discipline; they look for analytical graduates that can think critically and show creative problem solving skills.


"Watching a lot of the friends I graduated with accomplish amazing things from their own masters studies, I found out about postgraduate loans, and it opened up all the doors I felt had been closed."

Kirsty – ResM Art History

Meet and enjoy the company of like-minded students

The people you meet will be a key feature of your higher education experience. University and college communities are incredibly diverse and you'll make friends of all ages, from all backgrounds, from all over the world. However you'll all share a common goal – to enjoy and succeed in your studies. Over the years this shared interest will cement your friendships while you're at University – and long into the future.


"Coming out of my degree, and after four years, I found that my appetite for study was still there, I wanted to learn more, and the option to drill down further into some of the areas my undergrad had touched upon and that really interested me, was something I continued to harbour even as I entered the world of full time work post-uni."

Dan – MSc Planning

Achieve personal satisfaction and enjoy learning again

Gaining a higher education qualification can be a goal in its own right. Maybe you feel you missed out the first time around and now's your moment to show the world – and yourself – what you're capable of.

A lot of mature students put their education on hold to work or raise a family, finding that it's a distinct advantage once they start their course. The time away gives them the opportunity to reflect on themselves and what they want from life. They make a considered decision to enter higher education, think carefully about what they want to study and ensure that the course matches their goals and aspirations. Ultimately, they gain much more from the experience.

These are just some of the many benefits to studying in higher education. Our students tell us that studying at university or college has transformed their lives for the better and that they undergo a huge amount of personal change. They also find that their studies and extra-curricular experiences help them to develop new ideas and confidence – encouraging them to focus on new horizons.

Support for mature students

Being a mature student at the University of Plymouth means that you will not be treated any differently during study, but there may be very specific levels of support that you will require when you choose to return to study.

Whether you have concerns about how to fund your study, need access to childcare facilities, or if you require specific disability and dyslexia support, we've compiled a useful guide containing everything you need to know about the support we can offer. 

Find out more about the support services available to our students