Warning: Adult Content!

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The term ‘adult learner’ is used to describe anyone who is considering applying to university for the first time and who has had a break from education and/or who is applying with non-traditional qualifications. Over 20% of our students at the University of Bradford at are adult learners, so we have built a brilliant support service to guide staff and students through the process. Our resident Adult Learner specialist, Caroline Priestley, shares her expert advice.

CarolineI work with Adult Learners giving them help and advice to ensure that they have all of the information that they need to make the right course choices and have support with their university applications.

When they first start their courses in September, the team visits them to chat to them about the University of Bradford and the fact that we have nearly 30% adult learners. We also offer advice on their Personal Statements, which is critical for all subjects, but especially Health subjects. We then visit again around November time and do a talk and workshop to students who will have an interview as part of the selection process. The feedback from this session is always fantastic:

Tutor at a local college:

“Thanks to the workshop that Caroline did one of my very shy students got into Children’s Nursing. The student said without that talk and workshop she would not have had the confidence to shine at the interview and would not have achieved her dream of becoming a Nurse”

Access Student (she gained a place and is starting with us in September):

“Thank You for a wonderful afternoon yesterday. It was great to see the university and facilities, and to get a feel for the atmosphere. I feel a lot less nervous now for my interview on Monday!”

I then keep in touch with students via various methods which includes emails, phone calls and visits to the campus. This happens from September to December. Often this is just giving them extra confidence and advice to ensure that they can achieve their goals. As we know around December to February is a hard time for Access students as some of them start to receive interviews, offers and rejections. They are also under pressure on their course to achieve the required results. Again I offer an ear to help them through this process and other options and ideas too if their plans change or they hit any problems with their applications.

From March onwards, I am helping students who need advice for Clearing.

We also offer a fantastic Trans:it Refreshers Summer School for all adult learners:


Laura from Keighley College shares her experience:

After 10 years out of education going back into the access course at Keighley College, I found it to be quite intense. I felt that this course is the best way for me to get back into education and prepare for university.

When Caroline first came to college to give us information on courses at the University of Bradford and advice on applying through UCAS, I really became excited about university because she was so enthusiastic and helpful.Caroline really went out of her way to arrange a meeting with the tutor of the course. This enabled me to find out more about what the Tutor has planned for the course.

Caroline also attended college to give us a talk on interviews she explained all possibilities of what to expect and hosted a role play group discussion, I found this again to be really helpful and settle my nerves slightly for my upcoming interview. I am so excited about both the new course and the University of Bradford.

For most Adult Learners they just need some extra advice and guidance to help them through the process and we are very happy to provide this.

If any students needs any information for 2016 entry, please tell them to contact me.


Telephone: 01274 235113