Over 60

Further Education

Your age should be no impediment!

Can the over-60s really go to college/uni?

Did you know that there are over 130,000 over-sixties in further education throughout the UK? With retirement ages set to increase in the near future, improving employability for over-sixties is absolutely vital. With so much to offer regarding further education, there is sure to be something for everyone.

What's available to me and how far can my studies take me?

There's a wide range of further education options available for over-sixties from day classes to undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD studies.

Regarding degrees, subjects vary wildly depending on your interest. So whether you've always been partial to astrophysics, enjoy horticulture or you've wanted to expand your creative prospects then there is definitely something out there for you. If you're uncertain of how much free time you have to complete any further education, then distance learning may also be an option for you. The Open University is one example of distance learning, although many universities offer distance learning options, especially regarding postgraduate level studies and beyond. Distance learning gives you flexible options regarding your further education and in some cases, you can tailor your study exactly to your needs and interests.

Also, with distance learning, there are next to no entry requirements for undergraduate degrees! So if you have no previous experience or qualifications, there's no need to worry. Although if you are uncomfortable about launching straight into study if you aren't used to it, there are access courses available to introduce you to learning and managing your time. Some of them are free!

How long will it take me?

Depending on whether you study full-time, part-time, a day/evening course or via home study, how long your further education will take to complete is variable. A full time undergraduate degree which isn't distance learning will generally take three years to complete, whereas you could complete a part-time distance learning degree within 16 years of you starting it.

How much will it cost me?

If you are applying to do a degree in the UK, you can apply for a loan to cover your tuition fees. Depending on where you study, there may be a concession applied to fees for over-sixties, but its best to ask the institution in which you will be studying at because this will vary. Despite over-sixties being unable to claim a maintenance loan towards living costs, you could still be entitled to apply for a special support grant. For classes and courses, study fees vary depending on your course and the materials involved, although there are also many free classes and courses for over-sixties.

Further reading

1) Age UK's guide to higher education for over-sixties
2) NUS guide to money and funding for mature students
3) UCAS course search
4) Information on classes and courses for over-sixties
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