Student Plus

Applicants returning to education

Queen's also welcomes applications from students who have interrupted their studies for several years or did not have the opportunity to enter higher education at the normal time.

Candidates will be considered on their individual merits. Modified entrance targets may be set but these would not apply to applicants who have studied A-level or equivalent qualifications continuously since leaving school.

Life experience is not in itself sufficient grounds for admission and we normally require evidence of recent academic study at a suitably high level which has led to some positive results. The qualifications most frequently offered by such candidates are Access/Foundation courses, A-levels, Edexcel Certificates and Diplomas, modules of the part-time BA degree and Open University credits. It is our experience that candidates stand a better chance of making a success of their course if they have been able to acquire or improve skills of reading, analysis and writing beforehand.

While many subjects can be taken from scratch at university level, there are others, particularly in Science and Engineering, where considerable background knowledge is essential. For this reason, it is understandable that the majority of students who have entered university from this background are to be found in Humanities and Social Science subjects.

You should be aware that undertaking a period of full-time study can have serious implications. Think it through carefully. It's a good idea to get some guidance and counselling from organisations such as the Educational Guidance Service for Adults (, the Department for Employment & Learning or from the University’s Careers Service, in order to establish where your best interests and chances of success lie. You can also contact the Admissions Service for advice.