Returning to education

Information on further education and returning to the classroom as a mature student.

Laptop and pad Sometimes you can aid your career progression by taking time out to returning to learning and furthering your education. If you decide to undertake a period of study to enhance your career prospects, there are many things that you will need to consider. These include choosing a course that is right for you and funding.

What to consider before returning to education

If you decide to become a mature student you will need to consider what the implications will be. Things you may wish to ask yourself include;

  • Will you have time to study?
  • will you have to travel or move away?
  • will you have to arrange care for children or dependent relatives while you study?
  • do you need a particular qualification or can you complete a module or two to gain the knowledge you need?
  • how will you fund the course?

The answers to these questions will help you decide which course and method of learning may be right for you.

If you are still unsure about which route to take why not discuss your concerns on IET Engineering Communities or consult a Learn Direct [new window] careers adviser.

Choosing a course that is right for you

When choosing a course you will need to consider what it is you want to study and why you want to study it. Do you want to pursue an academic course or a vocational course? You should also consider whether you meet the entry requirements for your chosen course because you may need to complete another course before you can gain entry on to the one you want.

Part-time study and distance learning

If you do not want to return to study full-time, many learning providers offer part-time and distance learning courses. For further information about a course, you should contact the learning provider directly. If you are seeking professional registration and wish to undertake an accredited course, you can find details of courses on the IET’s accreditation pages.

Funding your further education

There are various funding options available for further study, however, the funding you may receive depends on the course you do and your personal circumstances.

Some of the main sources available include career development loans, adult learning grants and learner support funds. The IET also offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships as well as a range of travel awards. For further information on other sources of funding contact Learn Direct [new window].

If you intend on remaining in employment and completing your studies part-time or through a distance learning provider, your employer may sponsor you or pay part of your fees. For further information, you should speak to your human resources department.