Information and advice for our mature students

If you started your undergraduate degree when you were over 21, or your postgraduate degree over 25 years old, you’re not alone – approximately 20% of our undergraduates fall into this category, and bring a wide range of motivations for study along with a breadth of experience. This might be your first degree, or you may have decided on a career change. You might be balancing your study with other commitments and rising to the particular challenges this brings. If your goal is to move from study into new employment, you’ll be offering an attractive combination of qualities, skills and experience to recruiters – and we’re here to support you with your planning and applications. 

Direct and indirect discrimination against candidates or employees on account of their age contravenes the Equality Act 2010.  

When advertising graduate schemes, employers can’t set an age limit, although they can advertise them as suitable for recent graduates and could specify graduation within a certain timeframe e.g. within the last two years. However, our advice about graduate schemes is, as always, that they represent only a small proportion of graduate recruitment, and if you restrict yourself to looking at these you’ll miss out on many other attractive opportunities. 

Where to look for graduate jobs

As a mature student or graduate you’re likely to be able to give evidence of qualities such as determination, the ability to manage your time and commitments and to cope with pressure, flexibility – and you may have a wealth of previous work experience. Keep all this in mind when you’re applying for jobs. Be positive, and objective, when reflecting on what you have to offer. 

Our advice to you – as to all our students – is to not include your date of birth, or your age, on your CV. You’re unlikely to be asked for it on an application form. If you have a range of experience a skills-based CV is likely to work well for you, putting the emphasis on your skills and achievements with less of a focus on chronology. 

Equality and diversity issues and your graduate job hunt (information from Targetjobs) 

How to write your CV  

Skills-based CV    (Prospects)

We have some example CVs for mature students available on Careers Service Plus:

Example CVs for UoE students

For more tips on what to avoid in your CV or application watch this short film:

How old does your CV make you look?    (University of Edinburgh login required)      

Online resources

We provide access to information and advice on e.g. unconscious bias, investigate the culture of an employer,  being your true self at work and more, via a suite of e-learning resources. 

Culture and Diversity e-learning  (University of Edinburgh login required)