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Study at Bath after a break from education

If you're 21 or over and thinking about studying an undergraduate degree, find out how to apply for our courses as a mature student.

Applying to Bath

We welcome applications from mature students and value the additional experience in life and work that you might be able to bring to our courses.

We consider you a mature student if you're 21 or older when you start your course. You might be applying to university after a break or taking a slightly different route to get to university, but you still need to apply through UCAS, where you'll find specific guidance for mature applicants.

We want to make sure you're prepared to cope with and enjoy the academic challenges of our courses, so we advise that you've completed some recent and relevant study within the three years before starting your degree.

Completing your application

How to complete the UCAS form, including your personal statement and academic reference.

Completing the UCAS form

You should complete all sections of the UCAS form. You need to include details of all qualifications, even if you got them a long time ago.

You also have the opportunity to provide your full employment history in the 'Details of paid employment to date' section. You should include reasons for gaps in employment (like travel or unemployment) even if these don't seem relevant to the application.

Read our guide about applying for an undergraduate course.

Your personal statement

As well as assessing your academic history and any pending qualifications, we also look in detail at your personal statement and take into account any relevant experiences you mention.

Your personal statement is a good opportunity for you to explain all of the additional experience you've gained since you left school and how this has informed your decision to study your chosen course at university.

Read our guide about writing a personal statement.

Academic reference

As part of your application, you'll be asked to supply an academic reference from a teacher or tutor associated with your recent study. If you can't get an academic reference, we might be able to consider a detailed reference from an employer.

How we assess your application

We take a holistic approach when assessing a UCAS application, taking into account academic history, predicted grades, personal statement, and academic reference.

People apply to Bath from a wide variety of different routes and we assess your academic performance based on the context you've been studying in.

Which qualifications we accept

We consider a variety of qualifications, including the Access to HE Diploma and Open University credits. Each of our courses has different entry requirements and you can find full details on our course pages. For some courses, you'll also need to meet additional requirements like GCSE grades.

If you're considering studying an Access course or modules with the Open University, check our course pages to make sure you study subjects and units that meet our typical entry requirements. We may also be able to consider alternative Open University units to those listed.

Applicant interviews

For some of our courses, we might invite you to an applicant interview if you're studying a qualification that makes it hard for us to assess whether or not we can offer you a place, for example, if you're studying:

  • an Access to HE Diploma
  • a BTEC Extended Diploma
  • another non-traditional qualification

We might also invite you to an interview if you have an educational history or a gap in studies that isn't typical, meaning we're not able to consider your application using our normal criteria.

Application support

If you're not sure whether your qualifications (achieved or pending) are suitable for progression to Bath and you'd like more information, email our Progression team at

In your email, please tell us:

  • the syllabus or module information
  • the full list of credits and units you plan to study
  • information about any other Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent), Level 3 (A level or equivalent), or university-level qualifications you hold with scanned copies of any relevant certificates and academic transcripts

Funding your studies

You could be eligible for one of our scholarships or bursaries to help you pay for your studies, including support for:

  • students with caring responsibilities
  • refugees and asylum seekers
  • care leavers, Foyer residents, and estranged students
Find out about scholarships, bursaries, and other funding
A mature student in a seminar.

Supporting your academic and personal progress

At Bath, you can get advice, support, and guidance on a personal level to help you study to the best of your ability.

If you have children, you may be able to use our on-campus nursery, which provides high-quality childcare to children of students and staff.

Read more about being a student parent
Two mature students studying in a lecture.

Steph's story

Hear about Steph's experience as a mature student at Bath.

Contact us

Email our Progression team if you have any questions about studying at Bath after a break from education.