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    Hi all, so I'm returning to studying to do my masters at the age of….33 (gulp)!

    One of the things I'm slightly concerned about is feeling a bit old and not fitting in with my classmates on my course, especially if they're all in their early 20's! Everyone says I look a lot younger than I am at least (hehe)!

    Does anyone know what the typical age range of a masters is?
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    The average graduate student today is 33 years old ...

    apparently.

    I would think it would be 25-28.

    Ultimately, if your within the age range between mid twenties and mid thirties for postgrad I wouldn't worry.
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    Thirties is very 'normal'.

    Most people do a first degree, work for a few years, and then do a Masters and/or PhD.

    I have Masters students ranging from 21 to 68 years old. Age is not an important marker - motivation to study, and
    determination to succeed at that study IS.
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    Some programmes publish average age of class. At my uni, master's students range from 21-35. Most are in mid 20s, they fit in well. Younger students value mature students experience for career advice
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    I didn't see a 'typical' Masters student on my course. There were three 21-25 years olds who'd come straight out of a degree or had taken a couple of years to save after their degree, I'd come straight out of a degree but was 47, and we had a part-time student who was a retiree in his late sixties.

    Age was a complete illusion. We all had the same coursework crises, the same moans about lecturers, the same worries about what to do afterwards etc. We formed a mutual support society and I was never made to feel like an outsider. There wasn't much time for an evening/weekend social life, but we made sure we ate lunch or had coffee together whenever we could during the day.

    Basically, you just fit in, whatever your age. Go in with an open mind. Nobody will set you apart unless you do it for yourself.
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    Even at undergraduate level, there is quite a lot of variation in age (i.e. not everyone came straight from school). At postgraduate level, this is even more so, as lots of people work after their degree before returning to do a masters. There will probably be more people younger than you than older, but there will likely be a wide range of ages.
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    (Original post by Pongo1)
    Hi all, so I'm returning to studying to do my masters at the age of….33 (gulp)!

    One of the things I'm slightly concerned about is feeling a bit old and not fitting in with my classmates on my course, especially if they're all in their early 20's! Everyone says I look a lot younger than I am at least (hehe)!

    Does anyone know what the typical age range of a masters is?
    On my course there were 3 of us straight from uni aged 22 when we started, then the others were mostly late 20's to 40's, many had worked for several years first.
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    It depends on the course. I've seen some, especially Comparative Religion and Philosophy with genuine old people on it, like pensioners. Others like NatSci are quite young as a lot of people are going straight on from BSc.

    Oldies are just the worst tho, you can rely on them to always be there and pick up the slides, but they have a tendency to ask really dumb questions - especially on tangential points that they have completely misunderstood.
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    I wouldn't worry about it. I've just graduated from my BSc at 32, you just crack on with it. Also in fairness, we had Social Marketing Masters students in our group for our elective research project. They were all aged between 25 and 44, I think the mindset of Masters students is a lot more study oriented anyway. I also think a good proportion of Masters students have worked after graduation and then decided to go back.
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    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    Most people do a first degree, work for a few years, and then do a Masters and/or PhD.
    Well, that's the way people are supposed to do it.

    With the tough job market, I think more and more people are doing the postgrad degree right after their undergrad degree.

    This is certainly the case in my home country of Germany where the whole Bachelor/Master system was introduced only a few years ago and replaced a single four-year degree program. Employers consider a Bachelor's degree as inferior to that, so virtually everyone does BSc and MSc as a package to get the same level of (perceived) qualification.
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    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    Thirties is very 'normal'.

    Most people do a first degree, work for a few years, and then do a Masters and/or PhD.

    I have Masters students ranging from 21 to 68 years old. Age is not an important marker - motivation to study, and
    determination to succeed at that study IS.
    Woah!
    Are you doing a Masters of Arts (an MA)?
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    I'm 21 and about to do a masters, and I'm expecting everyone to be a lot older!
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    (Original post by bexxii)
    I'm 21 and about to do a masters, and I'm expecting everyone to be a lot older!
    You are going to be among the young ones, miss.
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    I was 28 when I done my first degree. I wasn't the oldest and I fit right in. After a year of working I'll be starting my Masters next month aged 32...and I know for a fact I still won't be the oldest because I already know a previous classmate older than me that will be doing the course too. You'll be fine
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    (Original post by Pongo1)
    Hi all, so I'm returning to studying to do my masters at the age of….33 (gulp)!

    One of the things I'm slightly concerned about is feeling a bit old and not fitting in with my classmates on my course, especially if they're all in their early 20's! Everyone says I look a lot younger than I am at least (hehe)!

    Does anyone know what the typical age range of a masters is?
    I'd just been wondering the same thing when I saw this! Although on both my undergraduate ones 90% of the people were 30+, so I'm kind of assuming it will be similar.

    I'm 30 and about to return to do a masters.

    What are you studying?
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    Hi, I returned to do Partiii Math at 50, had a really great time, got a first. I'm very anti-social anyway and I was there to study, as were most people, not to make friends as such, but had no problems talking to people or studying with them. (Hint: Krispy kreme works wonders to get 18yr olds out of bed for a study session at 8am on Saturday). Once, in the middle of winter term, someone to whom I'd never spoken (or even recognized) ambushed me as I exited the bathrooms to ask point blank: "I've seen you in many of my classes, and you seem older than the rest of us; what's your backstory?" I mean, no "Hi , I'm Bob" or "Hey, great weather today!" or even "Did you manage Q14b of the latest assignment?" or anything at all as a prelude. I thought it was really rude, but he was, after all, American. I bit my tongue and stopped myself from retorting "Hi, I've seen you in a lot of my classes, and you seem a lot stupider than the rest of us; what's your backstory?" and instead politely tried to answer his questions the best I could. Another time, there was a (much nicer) guy, and I was in the middle of some intense discussion about some HW problem with him, and as we exited the building into the rain, he put his umbrella up to cover me, which I thought was funny in a sweet way. Although, he wasn't European - maybe that was cultural.

    I imagine I was the oldest person on the course (although not the stupidest) (which is really the more important marker). But if you want to talk about lack of diversity, I was much more conscious of the fact that, e.g., in one class of 20, I was the only F. I heard it's even worse in physics. Certain ethnic groups were very underrepresented, although, curiously, being blonde seemed also to be a rarity. It's not uncommon in the US for teenage mothers to attend lectures with their babies in prams - but I can't see that happening much here.

    I found it irritatingly disrespectful that a few people would sit in the front row and then text or mess around on facebook throughout lecture, but I've seen this in many other settings - there are immature people at any age. You'll probably find that you have a big advantage in being focused on your purpose in being there, so you'll be a lot more efficient. You'll also be able to view things in context - e.g. it's not the end of life as you know it because someone you've been dating for three whole weeks (!) has dumped you - (seriously, look at some of the top trending threads on this board - and what kind of person averages 20+ posts a day on an internet chat forum anyway?!) - just roll your eyes, and realize these people (i call them "kids", not people, if they behave like that) are in competition for marks - so they can happily fill out the pass3 slots, while you get on with getting the job done and achieve your qualification. Having said that, the vast majority of students that I met were exceptionally bright and motivated and inspired, and I learned a great deal of math from them (in exchange for doughnuts). Age didn't really come into it.
 
 
 
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