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What is it like to study as an adult?

Whether you entered employment at 16 or studied at college or university before starting a career, the prospect of returning to education having spent time in employment can be daunting.

From worries that you may have forgotten how to study to how you will fit your studies alongside a job or family responsibilities, there is undoubtedly a lot to think about when it comes to adult education. 

However, it’s important to remember that at UCEN Manchester you won’t be alone; in returning to education with us, you’ll be joining hundreds of others that have chosen to enter higher education after a long absence from the classroom. We'll help you get started no matter your background. 

So, what’s it like to return to education as an adult? Here are six things that you’ll need to know:

It really isn’t that different from studying when you are younger

While this may be hard to believe, studying as an adult isn’t too dissimilar to studying straight out of school. You’ll have lessons with passionate and dedicated tutors, either in a classroom or online. You will make notes and participate in debates and attend practical workshops where appropriate. So, while the subject area or vocation might be new, unfamiliar or more challenging, the basics of learning and studying will be the same.

Of course, your experience of studying as an adult will depend on the quality of teaching and the programmes of work provided – just like when you were younger! At UCEN Manchester you’ll benefit from choosing to study with a holder of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Silver status. This recognises our excellent courses and high quality of teaching and learning.

You’ll have acquired skills in employment that will make it easier

While studying as an adult won’t be that much different to when you were younger, there is a good chance that you will have acquired skills in employment that might actually make it easier. While working, you will have become more disciplined and developed an ability to focus on tasks to make sure that they are completed to a high standard.

You will have also become used to setting, and working towards, goals. And you will have enhanced your teamwork skills – all things that might not have been as developed when you were younger.

In addition, you will also have gained experience of a variety of situations that you will be able to apply to your adult studies. This combination of better honed skills and experience will serve you well in adult education and might even make it easier than first time round.

It’s flexible to fit around you

Most education providers understand that fitting your studies around adult life (the bills, children, responsibilities) is not just daunting but also a potential barrier to learning. As such they go the extra mile to make sure your studies are as flexible as possible so that they can fit around you. We ensure flexible timetables which are generally condensed across two to three days to ensure that our courses are as accessible as possible for you. And while you will still have to attend some sessions, at UCEN Manchester, every effort is made to provide flexible timetabling. 

You’ll be surrounded by highly focussed people

One of the best things about studying as an adult is that you will be surrounded by highly focussed people. Returning to study is a serious commitment and this is reflected in people’s attitudes and approaches to their courses. This means that not only are there fewer distractions but that you will also be surrounded by people that understand the challenges you face and will be able to provide you with support.

In addition, at UCEN Manchester we try to keep session sizes small. This not only helps to maintain focus within the group but also helps maximise the time and attention you receive from your tutor.

You’ll have an expert, passionate tutor to guide you every step of the way

When it comes to adult education, all of our tutors are incredibly knowledgeable. They are also likely to have lots of professional experience in their specific fields. They are incredibly passionate about sharing this experience and knowledge with you and thrive by helping to teach and train the next generation.

As such they are highly dedicated and will guide you through every step of your adult education journey. Not only will they deliver lessons, but they will also be on hand to answer your questions and provide constant feedback. Furthermore, they will help you to make valuable connections and links that will help you to secure employment.

At UCEN Manchester our tutors are experts in their chosen industries and are passionate about ensuring you benefit from their experience to gain the right knowledge and skills for your chosen industry.

There’s so much support ready to help you succeed

The support you will receive won’t stop with your course tutor. You’ll also have access to a wide range of support to give you every chance of success. At UCEN Manchester, this covers everything from accessing student finance and funding, health and wellbeing, help with childcare, advice and guidance services on courses and careers and a wide range of campus resources including IT and libraries.

By going the extra mile to make you feel comfortable and providing you with everything you need to succeed, our aim is to make it as easy as possible to restart your studies. And that’s probably a major reason why 95% of our students go on to work or further study within 6 months of leaving us!

Visit our Get Started in Higher Education Event for more information on student finance, making and application and writing a personal statement to help the return to study. 

Find out more about the wide range of courses at UCEN Manchester or call our Enquiries Team at 0333 222 444.

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