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Adult learners

At Bradford, we use the term 'adult learner' to describe anyone who is considering applying to university after a break in education, and/or is applying with non-traditional qualifications.

Adult learners currently make up around a third of our undergraduate community and we welcome their contribution to life at the University of Bradford.

Support for adult learners

We are committed to making higher education as accessible as possible for adult learners and can support you in a number of ways:

  • Step Up to HE: our Step Up to Higher Education (HE) programme provides the perfect opportunity to meet other students and members of staff, whilst beginning to develop some of the key skills you will need to make a success of your studies
  • Academic Skills: our team helps students with all areas of academic study and interpersonal skills, including maths and numeracy, note-taking, reading, time management and presentations
  • Career and Employability Services: experienced careers advisers can help you to decide upon your career direction, find job opportunities and develop your employability through accredited modules, seminars and one-to-one career guidance interviews
  • Nursery: our nursery offers affordable and high-quality childcare and educational experiences to children from 12 weeks to five years for University of Bradford students, staff and members of the public
  • Bursaries: we have a number of bursaries available for home students, providing financial support throughout your studies
  • Dedicated adult learner advisers: to offer support and guidance throughout your time at Bradford

Progression Scheme

The progression scheme is designed to benefit undergraduate applicants whose personal and educational circumstances mean they could be less likely to receive an offer based on our standard entry criteria.

As part of the scheme, applicants who are adult learners will automatically receive an offer which is the equivalent of one A level grade (8 UCAS points) lower than our standard entry criteria.

In profile - married couple achieve top grades together

Pamela and Anthony Richardson returned to education as adult learners and studied Access Courses in Social Work and Engineering respectively at Leeds City College before joining the University of Bradford.

Both graduated in July 2019, with Pamela achieving a first-class degree in BA Social Work and Anthony achieving a first-class degree in BEng Mechanical Engineering.

We caught up with Pamela and Anthony at graduation to chat to about their experiences of studying at the University of Bradford as adult learners.

Read more about Pamela and Anthony

An image of husband and wife, Anthony and Pamela Richardson, on the day of Anthony's Graduation.

This is where I want to be

Ken is an adult learner on our BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science course and returned to education after an 18-year gap. Find out about his experience of studying at Bradford in this video.

Chat to an adult learner

The best way to find out what it's really like to study as an adult learner at Bradford is to speak to one of our current students. 

Chat to them on Unibuddy to get advice and tips about studying as an adult learner.

Kulchuma is a first year BA (Hons) Social Work student:

Chat to Kulchuma

Tendai is a first year BSc (Hons) Midwifery Studies student:

Chat to Tendai

Meet our Adult Learners

Contact our adult learner advisor

Caroline offers free, impartial advice to anyone considering applying to university.

She can give you the information you need on qualifications, course options and how to make your application stand out.

As well as this, Caroline can also help you to organise a campus visit and answer any questions you may have about coming to Bradford as an adult learner. 


Telephone: 01274 235113