Skip navigation

Mature Students

At Northumbria University we understand that approaching higher education as a student is an exciting time. Whether you are looking to develop your passion for study, enhance your current skills or change your career, you have applied for the course to help you get you where you need to be.

As one of the largest Universities in the country with just over 35,000 students, Northumbria University is committed to offering educational opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds and has a long history of welcoming adult learners progressing to Higher Education.

Once you are a student at Northumbria University after joining one of our degrees, there are several support channels available to support mature students through their studies such as student support and wellbeing, personal tutoring and there is also our award winning Mature Student’s Society run by the Students’ Union.


From when you begin studying and beyond graduation, our Careers and Employment Service is here to help. We want you to achieve your ambitions and make the most of your experiences, develop your skills and manage your future career.

They will help you to:

  • Plan your career. Confidential one-to-one support to enable you to focus your career plans, enhance your employability and work towards application success.
  • Find a job. Sign up to JobsOnline and discover part-time jobs and volunteer roles that build your work experience and enhance your employability. Search from thousands of opportunities, which include graduate jobs and internships, in the North East, the rest of the UK and worldwide.  
  • Meet employers on campus. Introduce yourself to potential employers at one of the many employer visits or fairs held throughout the year.  Organisations targeting Northumbria students and graduates include Turner & Townsend, EY, Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the NHS and Ward Hadaway.
  • Become a global graduate with support on finding opportunities to work and study overseas

Who do you contact?

If you have any more questions or queries then get in touch with our admissions team.

0191 4060901

From Semi-retirement to Top Performing Student

Despite semi-retiring a couple of years ago, Mike McGoldrick, 58 has achieved a First-Class degree in Building Surveying from Northumbria University along with three final year prizes - including ‘Top Performing Student.’ This has led to him embarking on a new career as a building surveyor at Eddisons in Newcastle.

Formerly, a finance and accounting professional, having worked for the Department for Education, Ministry of Defence and the Small Business Service, Mike undertook a degree placement year with Eddisons back in July 2017 as part of his Building Surveying degree course at Northumbria University.

He graduated this year, with his high level of knowledge and commitment to learning and upskilling recognised with the prizes for Best Dissertation, Best Design & Economics Construction Project and, the RICS 1947 Club Prize for Top Performing Student.

Mike initially decided to undertake a degree in Building Surveying after semi-retiring to work on small scale property development projects with his brother, an architect and his sister, an interior designer. It had also been a long-held ambition of his to pursue a formal degree course.

Mike commented: “I needed to improve my technical and professional knowledge of working on property developments, and with semi-retirement giving me more time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally get on and pursue a degree.

“The thirst for knowledge that the degree gave me was, I think, what enabled me to achieve such a good degree outcome. I was a bit shocked at having secured three final year prizes, but most importantly to me was to see the joy my graduation brought to my parents who finally got to see me achieve my potential.”

Being a mature student amongst mostly younger students didn’t put Mike off studying for his degree, and he admits they taught him a lot about the rapidly changing world of work they will face after graduation, including their hopes and fears regarding sustainability and advances in technology that the surveying industry is increasingly facing. Young students also benefited from Mike’s extensive work experience as he was able to provide some mentoring to others within the course’s group-based activities.

Since graduating, Mike has gained permanent employment as a building surveyor with Eddisons in Newcastle, responsible for project managing a range of renovation and condition improvement schemes for schools in the North East.

Mike commented: “My experience of pursuing higher education and a career change at my age has been a wholly positive one. For that, I have both Northumbria University and my employer, Eddisons to thank. Both showed me nothing but support and encouragement throughout and never saw my age as any kind of barrier. Eddisons positively saw it as a strength as my wider life experience proved particularly useful to them when setting up and establishing its new Newcastle office.”

Mike is now aiming to develop his practical surveying skills and experience with Eddisons, with the goal of achieving RICS Chartered status – the mark of a surveyor’s high ethical standards and technical expertise - before he finally decides to retire for good.

Barry Cullen, Head of Future Talent, Diversity & Inclusion at RICS commented: “Mike is an inspiration; to win one of the top prizes on a Building Surveying degree course is an outstanding achievement – let alone three! Age should never hold anyone back from pursuing higher education or a career change and Mike is testament to just what can be achieved, if you are willing to work hard and put the commitment in.

“It’s fantastic to see employers such as Eddisons realising the value of a wider pool of talent of all ages too. I hope more employers follow suit and reap the benefits of a diverse team as our research demonstrates that they perform better.”

About RICS

RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional qualifications and standards in the valuation, development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Our name promises the consistent delivery of standards - bringing confidence to markets and effecting positive change in the built and natural environments

"It was a daunting experience going back to education after 21 years however the staff and former students at the university made me so welcome and were very friendly. This course has allowed me to believe in myself, my confidence has grown. My academic skills and knowledge have increased and I have been able to follow my dreams. I will soon be a Staff Nurse, so exciting."

  - Karin Barron – Nursing (Adult) FT

a group of people around each other

Undergraduate Open Day Events

Looking to study in with us in September? Our Undergraduate Open Day Events are the perfect opportunity for you to find out as much as you can about our wide range of courses and world-class facilities.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

Back to top