Current Students

Mature age students

Further information

Looking for help?

Starting at University can be a daunting time. There are new systems to navigate, unknown terminology to learn and new ideas to consider and explore.

  1. What to expect
  2. Mature Age Welcome
  3. Support
  4. Challenges for mature age students
  5. Tips for succeeding at uni

What to expect

It is normal in this new environment to feel unsure and sometimes anxious about making the transition to being a confident and capable student, but most students also feel excited about the challenges ahead.

When you start at UWA, you will need to be focused on managing the administrative aspects of your enrolment, as well as ensuring you attend the relevant orientation activities. Once semester starts, you will need to develop your time management skills to meet deadlines and keep up to date with study.

Class attendance can be a difficulty for mature age students with work and family commitments. Classes at UWA fit within normal business hours with very few exceptions, so plan to be on campus during the day. Working full-time is not recommended in your first semester – even if you are only studying one unit – unless you have flexible work arrangements.

During your first semester you will find a lot of time and energy will be spent on administrative tasks and settling in. This time is far more enjoyable if you select fewer units and allow yourself this adjustment period to learn what’s expected and how to best succeed.

If you do take on more than you can handle, there is the opportunity to adjust your enrolment without academic penalty. However, this is easily avoided by selecting only one or two units.

Once you’ve settle into your study pattern, you will find UWA has a vibrant campus culture that offers excellent opportunities to become involved and expand your social network.

Back to top


There are a number of areas within UWA where help is available for students.

Each faculty has Faculty Advisers and programs tailored for students within the faculty. It is important that you seek the assistance of these staff if you are experiencing difficulty during semester.

Student Services has excellent programs and services that are specifically designed to support students through study. There are a number of programs to help when you first arrive and through your study years:

We are here to help you succeed in your studies and are always willing to support you where possible or point you in the direction of someone who can.

The UWA Student Guild has a long history of support and advocacy for the student population. All students have access to these services.

Back to top

Challenges for mature age students

For some students, university is a big change that brings with it many challenges. It can be difficult understanding exactly what is expected of you in terms of study and assignments. And it can be difficult balancing work/home and study life. Remember, this is a transition period and once you settle in, things will be come easier.

Spending time on campus outside the classroom has many positive benefits for a mature age student.

It will help you meet people and build a social support system. Getting involved in campus life will help you succeed as a student because you will become connected to the university and your fellow students.

Staying on campus and using the Libraries on campus for research purposes and as a quiet space to study is a good idea. This can be a welcome haven if studying at home is difficult.

Back to top

Tips for succeeding at uni

We asked our existing mature age students what advice they would give to new students starting here at UWA. These were their key responses:

  • Persevere – even if you feel overwhelmed, stick with it and you will be amazed what you can achieve
  • Choose something that interests you – it will sustain you for the duration of your course
  • You decide – what you choose to do and how you do it in all aspects of uni life is up to you
  • Ask questions – and keep asking if you don’t get answers that make sense to you. Sometimes you will need to ask more than one person before finding the right person to answer your query
  • Ask for allowances – if you are struggling, seek an assignment extension. Provisions are there to help you
  • Ask for help when you need it – people will be responsive and there are lots of support mechanisms available
  • Read your Unit Outline – it contains very important information about the unit structure and assessments
  • Join programs that can help you – this includes UniMentor and any faculty-based programs. Find out about these at Orientation
  • Attend free lunchtime concerts and social events – they will give you a welcome diversion from the books and keep you balanced
  • Join a first year study group – these are offered through some faculties for some units
  • Be organised and don’t leave things to the last minute – a little bit of planning goes a long way
  • Keep a copy of your timetable on hand when you are on campus.
Back to top