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    Hi all. First post so please be gentle!

    A few years back I dropped out of my degree (Mech Eng at Uni of Sheffield) due to it just not being right for me, me being a bit young and foolish amongst other reasons.

    Well, Having spent a few years in the working world and enjoying it immensely, i've reached a point where I feel like I'm missing something. My partner is a nearly phd graduate and the career path I'm now more interested in would benefit from a mathematics degree.

    I'd really love to reapply to uni of sheffield considering we live in sheffield, I was there once before and I love the city. I'm concerned as the course requirements have changed since I first applied and also I don't know what financial help I'd be entitled too if any!

    Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
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    How much of the degree did you complete? I know that some universities allow students to come back and take the rest of their degree rather than starting over again.
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    (Original post by jbronze)
    Hi all. First post so please be gentle!

    A few years back I dropped out of my degree (Mech Eng at Uni of Sheffield) due to it just not being right for me, me being a bit young and foolish amongst other reasons.

    Well, Having spent a few years in the working world and enjoying it immensely, i've reached a point where I feel like I'm missing something. My partner is a nearly phd graduate and the career path I'm now more interested in would benefit from a mathematics degree.

    I'd really love to reapply to uni of sheffield considering we live in sheffield, I was there once before and I love the city. I'm concerned as the course requirements have changed since I first applied and also I don't know what financial help I'd be entitled too if any!

    Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Welcome to my world! I tried uni aged 18, had a complete nightmare and dropped out at the end of my second year. Went back to a completely different uni and subject aged 44. Completed that, did a Masters and am now on a PhD. Whilst my savings will run out before I complete, I'm hanging onto study/research until forced to let go - so you can see that it's been a success second time round!

    Be aware that as a mature student, the published entry requirements don't necessarily apply to you. Sometimes you'll find that subsequent life experience, work experience and training can be taken into account. Sometimes mature students will have to do a one year Access course, but not necessarily. You could find that you're an excellent candidate without the paper qualifications asked of school leavers.

    Fact is that mature student entry is decided on a case-by-case basis, sometimes even within the same course. I was one of two mature students on my undergrad degree - I didn't have to do an Access course and was given an Unconditional offer. However the other person had needed to reach a certain grade on an Access course before they let her start.

    The only way you'll find out is to approach the university and ask about the likely requirements for the specific course that you have your heart set on. It might be an idea to track down the Programme Leader and email them direct - you can usually winkle that out of the ui website with a bit of digging. It's worth getting your name known as an enthusiastic candidate, in advance of your application hitting Admissions' desk.

    As for finance, that's a potential sticking point. The equasion for entitlement to Student Finance is:

    Number of years in your proposed degree, plus 1 year, minus any years of funding that you've had before

    So for most people doing a 3 year degree, that means they're entitled to 4 years of funding in their lifetime. In my case, I'd had 2 years of funding when I was younger, meaning that I only got 2 years of Student Finance support (3+1-2) and that was given for the last two years of my most recent undergrad degree. I had to fund the majority of my first year myself, with a minimal Maintenance Loan. Funding entitlement is calculated on household income, so if you live with your partner and she's working, then her wages will be taken into account when your entitlement is calculated.

    Plus it's worth bearing in mind that (possibly) unlike your last attempt at uni, accessing Student Finance is going to mean that you end up with a pretty substantial debt. With fees generally now at £9k a year, that looks scary on paper. Even for two years and on earlier lower fee rates, I owe nearly £20k. That's quite mild by comparison to what faces some folks at uni now.

    Regardless of that, going back to uni is the best thing I've ever done. I've loved studying, I've picked the right subject this time, I've worked with some fantastic academics, and my fellow students have been amazing. It takes a huge leap of faith (mainly in yourself) but if you have the enthusiasm and opportunity, don't pass it up!
 
 
 
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