Many adults feel that higher education is not for them. You may feel that you're too old, you don’t have the qualifications, or it is just not for someone like you.
What you may not realise is that you've a wealth of valuable life and work experience that universities appreciate. We're happy to help anyone who is interested at studying at university whatever your age and background. We can help with advice on the qualifications you need to get into a degree, what support you can get, how to apply - basically almost anything that you might need to know about coming to university. All you have to do is ask.
There are a lot of different ways you can get into university; you just need to find the right one for you. If you already have some qualifications and want to know if they meet our entry requirements then get in touch and we can check them for you. If you don't have any qualifications, or don't think you have enough, there's a range of courses you can choose.
There are a lot of different courses you can use to get into university. No one course is any better than the other so you need to find the right course for you. Some courses are taught in college, some at university, whilst others may be taught distance learning like the Open University courses. Some are taught during the day, some at night. Some have costs attached whilst others might have financial support available. If you are not sure what course to do then get in touch with our Widening Participation Manager, Tracey Kerr.
What is important to find out before you choose what the entry requirements are for the degree you want to study. There might be a specific subject you have to study, or some extra requirements you need on top of your studies, and you need to know this before you decide what to study.
At Stirling this would mainly be our Science subjects. Our Education, Social Work and Nursing degrees also have specific requirements.
For most of our Science degrees we look for a specific subject at Higher with a B or above, or the equivalent - usually one of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics. For some of the Environmental subjects we would also accept things like Environmental Science or Geography. You can find out exactly what by looking at our pages - you are looking to see if there is an 'essential subjects' section in the entry requirements.
By 'or the equivalent' what we mean is we would accept something other than a Higher. For instance if you are doing an access course or an HNC/HND then it should be science based, unless you already have a relevant higher.
There are also some qualifications that you specifically need that are tied into registration with the relevant professional bodies. When you look for a course to study you should make sure that the one you choose includes all the relevant subjects: -
N.B. these qualifications are not included in the University's own access course so this might not be a suitable route for you if you want to become a teacher.
Degrees in these subjects also require work experience and knowledge of the profession: -
You can study Highers and A Levels at your local college. Most of our entry requirements ask for a minimum of four Highers or three A Levels; Nursing requires three Highers. The specific entry requirements differ for each degree so you should look at our course pages or get in touch before committing yourself to a specific course.
If you have old Highers or A Levels we might be able to accept them, however we also look for applicants to have studied something recently. This is because studying is a learned skill and as time goes by you can forget how to do it. This means that even if you already have the entry requirements for a specific course you might want to do some form of studying, even if it's just a short course or online module, just to get back into the habit.
Access courses are designed specifically for mature students who have few or no formal qualifications, and who've been out of formal education for some time. They provide both the academic qualifications to get into a degree and tailored support, guidance and study skills throughout the course to make sure you're ready for university.
The university accepts applications from a range of approved access programmes. Not all access courses are suitable for all our degrees so if you're not sureget in touch with our Widening Participation Manager, Tracey Kerr, who can help you decide.
N.B. Please note we don't currently accept NC courses on their own for entry to our degree courses. We will look at any highers included within an NC course.
The university has an Access to Degree Studies programme for mature students. There are three streams: -
N.B.This course might not be suitable for students who want to become Primary and Secondary teachers. Get in touch if you want to use our access course to get into our Education degrees.
SWAP is a consortium of colleges and universities across Scotland working together to provide dedicated access courses for mature students. The university is a member of both SWAP East and SWAP West and we warmly welcome applications from SWAP students. To find out more about courses in your area please go to www.scottishwideraccess.org.
We accept a number of access courses run by other universities. Please get in touch with our admissions team before deciding on a course to make sure we can accept it for your degree.
We accept Access to Degree Studies courses approved by the QAA. Courses need to have a minimum of 60 credits, with at least 45 credits at QCF Level 3. We ask students to get an average of 60% or above. Please get in touch with our admissions team before deciding on a course to make sure we can accept it for your degree.
We welcome applications from HNC and HND students for entry into year one of our degrees. Some HNC or HND courses might also get advanced entry into year two or year three of our degrees, depending on the course and the degree. For more information, including advice on possible advanced entry routes, please go to our coming from college pages.
We are happy to accept Open University credits. Typically we look for a minimum of 60 credits at OU Level 1 in a related subject. Please get in touch with our admissions team before deciding on a course to make sure we can accept it for your degree.
If you want to apply to one of our undergraduate degrees you must apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you're studying at college or on a university access course you should apply through them. The lecturers on your course will tell you how.
If you're applying on your own you can use our ‘How to Apply’ section for more information.
If you want to apply to our access course use the link on the access course page.
We encourage everyone to come and see us to find out more about the University and our degrees. Use our visit us pages to find out about about your options.
If you can't make it on to campus our Widening Participation Manager, Tracey Kerr, is happy to talk to you about what it's like to be a mature student and help you decide on the right route for you. Get in touch and Tracey will give you advice online, or can meet with you face-to-face if you need to.