Welcome to BGU!

Welcome to Bishop Grosseteste University!

The start of a university degree is an exciting time, but it can be a little daunting too. As mature students, we know that you might have particular questions or anxieties about beginning your studies. Perhaps it’s been a while since you were in education and are wondering about how to dust off your academic skills, or perhaps you’ll be working alongside your degree and are figuring out how you will balance everything. Many of our mature students are also parents, and we know that pursuing a degree while raising a family can pose particular challenges.

If this is you – don't worry! BGU has a whole range of support services who can help to guide you with any concerns you may have. This page has been carefully put together to address some of the big questions or anxieties that you may have. There are videos you can watch which will give you some ideas and inspiration about starting your degree with the right mindset, as well as links to the relevant support services who can answer specific questions you may have. We’ll also be running a number of online ‘Teams Catch-ups' through the term, which will give you the opportunity to chat with your fellow students and ask questions of key support staff from the comfort of your own home. Keep an eye on the student portal and your emails for more information about these catch-ups.

Please do take some time to browse the information on this page and don’t hesitate to drop us an email at studentchange@bishopg.ac.uk if you have any questions at all. We look forward to meeting you very soon!

Hear from one of our academics - who has been in your shoes!

This video was produced by Dr Sacha Mason, Head of Programmes: Education & Lifelong Learning, to welcome mature students to BGU.

Hear from our current mature students

These videos were produced by our current mature students, to welcome mature students to BGU. You can read more about what our students have to say by clicking here.

You can also find an article on Emotional support for students who live off campus by current mature student Victoria Dalton by clicking here.

It’s normal to have concerns ...we’ve got you!

Studying at university involves a lot of independent learning and there are a number of services which can help you to develop the skills for this. The Library is a great place to start familiarising yourself with – they have a lot of online resources to explore and you can even book appointments with Library staff to learn how to use their facilities and locate resources for your assignments. Explore everything the Library has to offer via their LibGuides site here.

The Learning Development team offer lots of support with developing your academic skills. They also have a range of online resources which you can access and often provide skills workshops in your classes. You can also meet with the Learning Development tutors in one-to-one appointments to get more personalised support, including getting feedback on your assignment drafts and top tips for studying effectively. For more information about what Learning Development can offer you, click here.

The BGU Student Advice team offer a wealth of support on personal issues, including health, counselling, and finance. Check out their web page dedicated to finance here for information on everything from tuition fees to applying for additional funding bursaries. Student Advice are also available for all students to meet with them one-to-one if you need more personalised advice.

We know that balancing a number of different priorities can be one of the most important challenges to tackle as a mature student. Learning Development can provide you with strategies to help develop your time management skills, and the Digital Learning team can point you in the direction of useful apps and digital resources that can also help you with this.

All BGU students can also expect to receive support from their subject teams, so communicating with your tutors about any issues that crop up is key. You will also be allocated a Personal Tutor in your subject, who you can meet with for more personalised academic support. For more information about Personal Tutoring at BGU, check out the web page here.

As part of your course, you will engage with a number of digital services and programmes, some of which may be unfamiliar to you. Blackboard is an online learning space where you’ll find all of your course materials, including Turnitin, an online submission service for submitting work. Don’t worry if that seems daunting – our Digital Learning team provide a wealth of guidance and support on how to use these services and can even meet with you one-to-one to show you how to make best use of all our digital services. You can find out more about our Digital Learning service here.

BGU’s IT Services can also support you with technical queries or issues, including if you have issues with computer hardware or software. Once you’re enrolled as a BGU student, you will have access to a number of software downloads to support you with your studies, including Microsoft Office 365. Find out more about the services and guidance provided by IT Services here.

Anxieties about fitting in with other students is a really common concern that we hear from new mature students. No need to worry, though – BGU is a really inclusive community with a diverse range of students from all ages and offers a lot of opportunities for all students to get involved.

The Students’ Union represents the interests of all students at BGU and also deliver a whole range of activities which you can get involved with. There are plenty of student clubs and societies if you have a particular hobby or interest that you want to develop – or you can set up your own! Get to know the SU members and what they do here.

The Chaplaincy team offers support and activities for all students, regardless of denomination or faith. They always have lots of fun things on offer, including Tea & Toast, quizzes, craft clubs, and much more! Visit their web page here for more information or drop them an email at chaplaincy@bishopg.ac.uk if you’d like to speak to them directly.

Student Engagement at BGU offer opportunities to get involved in projects which contribute to the ongoing development of the university. They also offer a number of paid opportunities available if you’re looking for some casual work. Student Engagement projects are a great way to have an influence on how the university runs as well as meeting like-minded people. The Student Engagement Facilitator posts a weekly round-up on the student portal of all extra-curricular opportunities on offer across the University. When you start at the University, click on the What’s On banner on the student portal to bring up the listings. Find out more about Student Engagement’s activities and projects here.

If you are a parent, you may also want to join the BGU Student Parents Facebook group, a supportive community of student parents at the university. Contact studentchange@bishopg.ac.uk for more information about this group.

Hear from Learning Development – just one of the teams here to help you

This video was produced by Dr Hannah Grenham, one of our Learning Development Tutors, to introduce mature students to two key skills needed for successful university study.

Have a question you need help with right now? Have a concern you would like to discuss?

Get in touch with us!

Useful contacts

For anything else please contact studentchange@bishopg.ac.uk and we will signpost you to the correct support service.

Further reading