Sapphire Skillen


This study investigates the experiences of mature students in university. Mature students are high achievers, despite their experience of competing responsibilities alongside their university degree study. Using photo elicitation and thematic analysis participants captured their experiences in photographs and provided context and narrative for each photo in the interview. The research found three master themes; stress and conflict of multiple responsibilities, productive attitudes to study, and valuing and prioritising wellbeing. The study found that participants were highly motived despite the stress experienced from their multiple responsibilities. Their motivation was reflected in participants productive attitudes to their studies. Participants were also found to use their own well-being practices and resources to alleviate stress. The study concluded that mature students experience a positive association with their abilities and wellbeing.