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Age is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.  

The Equality Act 2010 deems it unlawful to discriminate against a person due to their age. The Act defines age by reference to a person’s particular age group, which can include people of the same age and people of a particular range of age.  

The University is committed to ensuring that nobody is treated unfairly because of their age, because they belong to a particular age group, because someone thinks they belong to a particular age group, or because of the age of someone they are linked with (such as a parent, child, partner or friend).  

It is a common assumption that all university students are young and just leaving home. However, this is not an accurate supposition of university population. At St Mary's, 26% of our undergraduate population are classed as 'mature' (which means over the age of 21 at the start of their studies), and just under half of these (12%) are aged 26 or over at the start of their courses. On PGCE programmes, we have many older, career-changing students: approximately 48% of our PGCE students are classed as 'mature' (over the age of 25 when they start their studies) and almost 20% are aged 30 or over.   

As well as students, we welcome staff or all ages and you will be fully respected and supported to help enjoy being part of our community. The University offers a range of benefits for staff of all ages and learning and development opportunities whatever stage of your career.