Life as a Mature Student

Are you currently considering studying at Edge Hill University as a mature student? Deciding to go to university as a mature student was a decision willed with excitement and nerves for me. Part of me was worried what it would be like studying after years of being out of formal education, but I was also incredibly excited to start a new chapter of my life. I firmly believe that studying as a mature student is different than studying straight out of school/sixth form/college but it is possible and such an amazing experience!

Juggling your time:

As a mature student it is likely that you will have many responsibilities outside of university. From caring from a family, running your home, taking part in clubs or activities that you currently enjoy to having to work. Your time will inevitably be filled to the max! But this doesn’t have to mean it isn’t possible. I have fund using a diary, both on my phone and a paper version, as well as creating lists of what needs doing and when to be very helpful. It enables you to fit more into your days than you ever thought possible.

You will make new friends:

People of all ages study a multitude of courses at Edge Hill. You will make friends of all ages and find people who share your interests as well as others who will inspire you to try something new. There is so much to do and so many places to go both around campus and in Ormskirk too.

The environment is inspiring:

Edge Hill campus is a wonderful place. From my very first visit during an Open Day it felt welcoming, inviting and safe. There are many places to study around campus from the library to the Hub as well as specialist rooms such as those in Creative Edge. Then when it is time to relax there are loads of places to eat and spend time with friends, including a Subway! Being in an environment which is supportive and encouranging can be incredibly motivating too.

You’ll have a different perspective in lectures:

Having real life, often hands on, experience will mean you will be able to apply what you have learnt in the lectures to your real life experiences. This can give you a different perspective especially when completing assignments. As an Early Childhood Studies student, one of my first year module assignments was a reflective booklet. I found it very interesting being able to reflect on what I had learnt in my workplace and relate this to the skills I would need for future practice.

Open Days at Edge Hill

Hey all, I hope you are doing well!

One of the ways in which you can get to know a University before you actually go to it is an Open Day. These can sometimes be tricky to get to, as there can be clashes with other open days, however, the great thing about Edge Hill is that they have several Open Days throughout the year. They also have Applicant Visit Days, in which if you hold an unconditional or conditional place you get invited to check out the campus and its facilities. But if you want to do this before you apply, then Open Days are perfect for you.

The next Open Days are listed below, and if you wish to apply, the links are there for you!

  • Saturday 16th June 2018, 10am-3pm – Book Now
  • Saturday 18th August 2018, 10am-3pm – Book Now
  • Saturday 6th October 2018, 10am-3pm – Book Now
  • Saturday 3rd November 2018, 10am-3pm – Book Now
  • Saturday 24th November 2018, 10am-3pm – Book Now

There are a few reasons that Open Days are a really good thing to go to before applying for a University:

  • See the campus: you get to see where you’ll be spending your years at University! You need to be sure that it’s a place you’ll be happy with. There are so many different types of campuses and places they are in; some campuses have the accommodation on campus (i.e. Edge Hill!), some have accommodation off campus, some are in cities, and some are in quieter towns! I personally don’t feel my happiest living in a big city all the time, as I come from a fairly quiet town. So Edge Hill, being in Ormskirk and also having on campus accommodation, was perfect for me.
  • See the facilities: University isn’t a breeze, I’m not going to lie to you about that one. You get what you put into it, and the thing that really helps? The facilities. You need to make sure that there are the right resources you’ll need to do your best and get the grades you deserve. By attending an open day, you can check these resources out in person!
  • Meet your prospective teachers: at Edge Hill Open Days, you get given a timetable so you can attend any talks that your prospective course’s teachers will be giving that day. The teachers also take time to talk to students about any questions that you have. So this is a perfect opportunity to get to know the people you’ll be getting taught by for 3+ years. It’s the same as with the campus and the facilities; you need to make sure you’ll be happy with the teachers you will be interacting with.
  • Info on applying- applying for University can be a little confusing. Sometimes the guidelines and requirements might seem like they’re written in a load of Uni jargon, so speaking with the teams within the University is a great idea. As well as the talks with your departments, Edge Hill organise for stands to be in the Hub with all the different teams there- such as the Accommodation Team, the Careers Team and the Wellbeing Team- so you can discuss anything that confuses you.

If you have any questions regarding the Open Days, feel free to drop me a comment!

Firm & Insurance Decision Deadline

For many, making the final decision on UCAS of which universities are going to be your firm and insurance places is a difficult task. For some, it’s easy peasy. Others fall somewhere in between.

When I first began to look at my options for university, course content was one of the biggest aspects – I wanted to find just the right course that featured just the right modules. The BSc biology course had exactly what I was looking for – a mix of genetics and conservation – instantly making it one of a few in my shortlist. Looking back, I might’ve put less importance on the individual modules, and more on the general areas of the course – modules can change and so can your own interests and career aspirations. I switched from Biology over to Ecology & Conservation, before quickly changing to Genetics before 2nd year began.

There was another reason why Edge Hill was my firm choice, however. After attending an open day, I fell in love with the campus and felt a sense of familiarity from Ormskirk. After already strongly considering Edge Hill University, the open day cemented it in my mind that Edge Hill would be one of my two choices. Not only did the campus feel right, but the biosciences department also fulfilled my expectations – the facilities were clean and modern, and the welcome talk was… well, welcoming! Maybe you didn’t attend an open day but instead made it along to an applicant visit day? Although I didn’t make it to an applicant visit day when I was applying, I did help the biology department during one last year, so know that they are worth going to if you’re unsure in this decision.

The Biosciences building at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk campus.

These factors combined with the realistic entry requirements pulled me towards choosing Edge Hill University as my firm place. If you have received all your offers by the 31st March, then May 4th will be the date that you need to make this decision by.

Edge Hill Open Days

Hello everyone! It looks like Spring isn’t here just yet… but I have to admit I have been enjoying this Winter weather!

You may have been to an Edge Hill open day before or may have chosen the university from the prospectus. Considering I visited the uni about 3 times before starting here, I thought I would share my experiences with you! Open days are a great chance to learn more about the university and explore the campus. If you are able to travel there, I definitely recommend visiting (even if you have confirmed your place already).

Edge Hill’s open days were part of the reason why I decided to come here. The organisation of the day, the lecturers and seeing the accommodation first-hand, allowed me to experience Edge Hill in all its greatness!

The lectures – This was a good chance to sit in the place of a first year student, and ask any questions you may have.

Seeing the accommodation – Before seeing it for myself, I didn’t realise how nice the university’s student accommodation really is. All block of flats are modern with everything you need and it’s up to you to choose your 5 accommodation preferences.

The student guides – There are lots of lovely students to guide you and answer your questions throughout the day. After meeting someone also doing primary education for their course, it was really helpful to ask the specific questions I wasn’t sure who to ask!

You can find more information about open days and campus tours here. The next campus tour is the 7th of March. Hope to see you there! Thank you for reading, goodbye to February!

Anna 🙂



Fastrack: My experience (part 2 – the course)

I’d bought a new back pack and filled it with stationery, pads of paper and files…I was ready to go back into education!

The first day of Fastrack I have to admit to being slightly nervous, walking onto campus not knowing anyone was quite daunting. Everyone was to meet in one of the lecture halls, as you get there you start to see familiar faces that you were maybe interviewed with when applying for the course. The nerves soon disappeared as you realise most other people are in the same boat as yourself and the mood is quite jovial.

While in the lecture hall you are introduced to the Fastrack team, given talks from previous Fastrack students and assigned your tutors. You are also given your timetable for the course. You will have work to do in you tutor groups (DASS – developing academic study skills), as-well as having seminars on your chosen subject with other DASS groups.

You learn so much during the course and after being out of education for so long I found everything to be a great help in preparation for starting my degree in September. The best thing to take out of Fastrack though is the friendships created. You form a close bond with the fellow students on the course, as the SU bar will probably confirm! This is also of great help when you start in September as you don’t have that nervous feeling you had a few months before because you’re looking forward to getting to see your new friends again.

For me personally, knowing other students, lecturers and staff around the University when starting my degree in September felt like it gave me an advantage over other people already. I can’t quite do justice to how great a decision taking the Edge Hill Fastrack course was for myself, but if you are considering getting back into education at whatever age then seriously consider this option. I still can’t quite believe that this time last year I was sat with only a handful of GCSEs to my name and now I’m currently in my second semester of an actual degree course!

Fastrack: My experience (part 1 – applying)

In my last post I talked about Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education and what it is. Now I’ll talk about my experience of applying for this course.

During the beginning of 2017 I was contemplating a career change and started off by trying to find out what jobs I would like to do and what qualifications would be needed. After deciding I would like to be involved in advertising I set upon looking about for courses and came across Edge Hill Universities BSc (Hons) Marketing with advertising course. Perfect…..well nearly. I hadn’t taken any A-levels or any form of education since leaving school in 2001.

Worried that I may be too old and it could now be another couple of years and cost quite a bit of money to achieve the qualifications necessary to just get on my desired course, I e-mailed Edge Hill to find out just exactly what the entry requirements were.

I received this e-mail in response. Unfortunately I held none of these qualifications. The thought of the Fastrack course really appealed to me though, especially as it meant I would be able to start my actual degree course in September that year, something I really didn’t think possible!

At the beginning of March I completed my Fastrack application form online. Not really sure what to expect, but with doubts over my suitability for the course. I had resigned myself that to getting an e-mail back about not being suitable or maybe being told to ‘try next year’…why would they want someone in their 30’s, with no qualifications, who has been out of school for over a decade on this course?!

During the middle of March this e-mail arrived inviting me to attend an interview and complete a test. I was a bit shocked, in my mind I wasn’t a desirable student and was just waiting to be told this but here I was being invited in for an interview and test…maybe it must be easier for them to tell me face to face I’m not student material.

How wrong could I have been, from the moment I arrived for the interview I felt welcome straight away. Helped by the fact I was joined by around another 10 Fastrack applicants, from all walks of life and from all parts of the country…Manchester, Lake District and London to name a few. This put me at ease straight away, knowing it wasn’t just me here. We had a mini tour of the campus, talked about our hopes and expectations from University as-well as what was expected from ourselves. After a short written test, we were told that we would be told over e-mail if we had been accepted onto the course.

The very next day I was greeted with this e-mail in my inbox. Edge Hill did want someone who was over 30, with no qualifications and that had been out of school for over a decade on their course!

Up until the course starts, the communication from Edge Hill in superb as you are guided through enrolment onto Fastrack and the pre-course web page is a great help for any questions or queries you may have. Now that we’ve applied for and been accepted onto Fastrack, my next post will be on the course itself.

Again, if anyone has anything they would like to know or would like a bit more information then feel free to get in touch.

“What Should I Do on a Campus Tour?”


Choosing what university to study at is no easy task. A lot of time and research goes into finding the best one, and once you have narrowed down your choices you have to take a tour around at least one or two of them to get a general idea of what they are like. That’s why today I will be giving you some handy tips on what you can do on a campus tour which will hopefully make your decision process a lot smoother.

First off, don’t be scared to ask questions, the more the better! There are no right or wrong questions to ask, as it’s better to ask then and there, than travel home wishing you had asked about what food is on campus, for example. However, if you’re stuck for questions to ask, here are some ones you might find handy:

  • What is the accommodation like?
  • What are the biggest differences between the most expensive and cheapest accommodation?
  • Are there many local takeaways?
  • What is the nightlife like?
  • What are the best and worst things about this uni?
    And the list goes on really! So no matter what it is, make sure you ask every question you want on the day.

Another good idea is to talk to other applicants in your tour group, this may seem strange, however, they’re just as nervous as you are and talking to someone friendly your own age will really help the both of you from being nervous. It’s also nice as you can both discuss the things you like and dislike about the university, which you may feel awkward doing with your parent/guardian if they’ve driven you miles and miles to get to the uni. And who knows, maybe you might end up living together in halls down the line!

Take notes. This doesn’t have to be with a pencil and pen, just note down anything interesting that you like or dislike about the uni in the note section on your phone, as it might come in handy later if you can’t remember every detail.   

Don’t just focus on your subject building, it’s easy to focus on the building that you will be spending most of your time in and ignore everything else, however, by doing that you’re missing out on everything else that makes up student life, like the shops, gym, food outlets, library, and other campus facilities. So make sure that you are checking out all the other things that the university have to offer! 

While walking around the campus ask yourself ‘would I be happy living/studying here?’ As it’s important to remember that you will be potentially living and studying at this one location for 3+ years of your life, so if you can’t see yourself enjoying yourself at the university, then you might need to rethink your options. 

After you’ve visited the campus, make sure if you have time to walk or drive around the town/city surrounding the campus if you are not familiar with it already. This small decision can make a huge impact on how you feel about the university, as if there are no supermarkets near the university, or you can’t see much transportation options, you might not want to choose that university as after all you will be spending 3+ years of your life at that university, so it needs to feel right for you. 

Finally, when you go home after a long day of looking around the campus, make yourself a cup of tea, relax, and write a pros and cons list of the university you just visited and compare it to other universities you are looking into. By doing this you’re giving yourself a fair chance to be critical of your options, thus letting yourself make the most logical decision for your future.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it or found it somewhat interesting/useful. If you wanna know more about university life, make sure to check out my other blog posts, I update every Tuesday.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Okja (2017)

Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education

I’m currently beginning my second semester of my first year in Edge Hill University. Being in my 30s and only having a few GCSE qualifications to my name, I didn’t even believe it to be possible!

Around this time last year, and with my partner pregnant with my second child, I decided I wanted a career change. I wanted a job with better career prospects and hopefully more money. I searched round at potential jobs/career paths I would like but was met with the same answer over and over…I didn’t have the necessary qualifications. I left school over 17 years ago with a couple of GCSE ‘C’ grades to my name and had been working full time in a number of jobs since.

My first task was to find out what I would like to do for a living that would give me both job satisfaction and better career prospects. Next was to find out what qualifications etc. I’d need to get this job. Once I discovered that I’d really like a job being involved in marketing & advertising and I knew my C grade in GCSE Biology wasn’t going to be enough to get me my dream job, I had to look into how I could achieve the necessary qualifications.
University was the answer but the problem was I couldn’t start the course I wanted until I had a few more qualifications.

After searching for how to obtain these qualifications, and being met with answers that involved year/s studying or large sums of money, I came across Edge Hills Fastrack course. It was a 7 week intensive course starting in June that would give me the opportunity to attend University and my chosen course in September. It sounded too good to be true, and I was even more shocked to find out it was free of charge!

This is the link to the Fastrack course for anyone who might be interested. I’ll post a new blog detailing my own experience of Fastrack for anyone who would like to know as to not bombard you with information now. I will say now though that taking this course was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

If you would like to know more or have any questions regarding Fastrack then feel free to ask.

Open Days at Edge Hill

When deciding if a uni is the right choice for you, open days can be a huge contributor. Universities and their staff will go out of their way to make sure you have a great time and see everything they have to offer in just one day. At some places, this can all feel a little forced and fake, but at Edge Hill, you feel like you’re home already.

A usual Open Day at Edge Hill will consist of pre-registering before hand, and then on arrival booking in and receiving a bag full of everything you will need for the day, including times for subject and general talks, a map of the campus, and most importantly, a pen!

The general talks will take you through a little bit of history of the uni, the values Edge Hill stands for, and what the uni has to offer you. More specialised talks also take place throughout the day in different departments, and then individual subjects, which gives you a chance to meet and interact with your future tutors and ask any burning questions you may have.

Student Helpers will also be around the campus, helping you to find where you need to be going and offering Campus Tours and Accommodation tours so you can see what life at Edge Hill will be like. On the Accommodation Tours there will be current (usually first year) students in their own accommodation waiting to show you round and answer any questions that haven’t yet been answered, or questions that are student specific, things that the lecturers won’t know, such as ‘how’s the night life?’ or ‘what’s the food on campus like?’ – the answer to both is very, very good!

Speaking of food, on your open day you will be treated to free food around virtually every corner, but with the bulk of it being in the Hub- hosting a massive buffet of lunch time snacks and drinks. During the summer months, there is also usually a free ice cream van which is great for eating whilst having a stroll around one of the two campus lakes, or taking to the campus beach to sit and enjoy.

Lastly, you’ll get to say hello to the famous campus ducks, and if you’re lucky, you might just spot one of the campus cats lurking around in the trees.

That’s all for now, I hope to see you at an upcoming Open Day soon!

Edge Hill Accommodation – Palatine

After applying to Edge Hill, you’ll soon be asked to rank your choices for on-campus accommodation, if that’s what you chose to do. For me, it was an easy choice. My family live about 200 miles away from Edge Hill, so it was important for me that I knew I had somewhere to live that I would feel safe, comfortable and secure in – so on campus was the obvious answer.

Other than those requirements, I didn’t really need much else- but I did want my own bathroom, and fortunately for me, Edge Hill has a range of accommodation types, which include the option to have an en suite. I also knew that (as I like to eat, and therefore cook) I would want to be in a place that was self-catered, rather than have money on a card for the different food outlets on campus- which is perfect if you’ve never cooked before and are worried about surviving on just pot noodles and beans on toast!

I then, on my audition day for my course, asked some questions about accommodation and had a tour round, found out which clusters where the newest built, and therefore had other little comforts, such as a shower door instead of a curtain and white wardrobes and cupboards instead of bright colours, and used that to help in whittle down where I would want to be.

For the rest of my decision-making, to help rank my preferences on my accommodation application (because yes, Edge Hill has that much accommodation that even after splitting it down into self catered and en suite- there’s still plenty to choose from!) I decided to take the geography of the campus into consideration. As I study Musical Theatre, I knew I would mostly be based in the Arts Centre, so would like to be close to there to be able to roll out of bed for a 9 am lecture as late as possible.

This all led to me having Palatine as my first choice, and luckily for me, when the email arrived in August, that was where I was placed, and despite having to climb three flights of stairs to be on the top floor of out building, the views alone were worth it! It was also a joy to find out (especially during fresher’s week!) that we had a cleaner come into out flat every week day morning to clean the communal areas, and take the rubbish out for us.

Having looked around other universities accommodation on other open days that I visited, nothing ever quite matched up to the high standard the Edge Hill has in all of the clusters- it definitely deserves to hold the title of Best Accommodation in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards, and the winner of Best Value for Money Student Accommodation in the UK.