Mature Students' experiences of degree outcomes
Jennifer Rushfirth supervised by Helen Bowman
About the student researcher
I have just finished my BA in psychology. As a mature student with a background in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), I am aware that educational experiences are different for everyone. I have a particular interest in how individuals’ experiences shape their future and supporting individuals to reach their full potential. Conducting this research has enabled me to explore and better understand mature student experiences and perspectives leading to final classifications. This rewarding experience will provide valuable information to support future mature students.
Nationally there is a persistent awarding gap between the proportion of mature and younger students gaining classifications of 2:1 and above at undergraduate level. The project aimed to identify whether the lived experiences of mature students, gaining 2:1 and above, differed from their peers who gained 2:2 and below. To understand the experiences of mature students and how these may contribute to final classifications, initially, a literature review and analysis of a previous pilot survey were conducted, the findings of which informed question development for semi-systematic interviews. Interviews were then conducted with Alumni mature students and university staff members who had experience working with mature students. The intention is that this project will contribute to the Access and Student Success Strategy 2025 and inform the development of the Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) and university services. The planned outputs, at present, for this project are:
• An Executive summary
• A full report, including a literature review and project findings