Going back to Uni

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  • Going back to Uni
  • mikey74
    Member

    Has anyone done it later in life? If so, what, where, how etc.

    How did you finance it (if you don’t mind me asking – apart from a student loan, which isn’t an option as I already have a degree).

    Did a one year conversion mastera degree.
    Saved for the course fees, then rented out my house and went to live with my folks for a year. That provided living expenses.
    APF

    Anna B
    Member

    Am currently doing a degree full time through the OU. Very fortunate to be sponsored by the company I work for but means I also am working full time as well. So it’s possible to study and work at the same time, degree I’m doing (social work) is costing about £5.5k pa. I was in the same position as you ref student loan which was really frustrating. OU is cheaper than going to a brick uni so may be worth a thought? you and I very similar age if your user name is a clue! 🙂

    Went back aged 30 to do an arty farty photography degree at an art school. Just because I could. Financed it by living in Scotland and getting my fees paid (although uni was in England) and then by working at least two shit jobs at all times (supermarkets / pubs / local council parks).

    Anna B
    Member

    I did the arty farty photography degree first, now I’m doing something I can actually get a job in!

    2hottie
    Member

    I went to Uni the second time aged 24 I dropped out the first time aged 21 as well I was in a mess and didn’t know what I wanted from life so it was something to do after I returned back from travelling the world.

    Student loan and working a boring job part time. I did quit my full time call centre job as I was depressed a really unpleasant place to work. I made a point of not doing loads of hours as well I wanted to treat my degree as full time. I never missed a class and never missed or failed an assignment. I did get close mind.

    Also sold my car and the now wife was very supportive. It was hard watching friends finish UNI and get on with life ie nice cars and holidays and I was the one working every weekend to make ends meet. I missed out on many things but now I am comfortable and live and work in Aus so it was worth it in the end.

    Currently studying again as I want to get on even more…. work are paying for this one. Distant learning online. It’s pretty bad and shockingly delivered no contact time and or updates etc. I can’t see the point as non of it is relevant to my career but that’s the course the institute I am with wants me to do.

    Anyway make sure you do something worth while if it’s career related and make sure it’s an accredited course if you are looking to apply for work else where.

    Good Luck

    mikey74
    Member

    Where are you doing your DL course?

    I went back to uni at 33 to do a 4 year physio degree. Best thing I ever did. Happy as a pig in shit now. How can you not get a student loan? That’s how I funded my return to uni mostly.

    mikey74
    Member

    You aren’t eligible for a student loan if you already have a degree.

    I was. Might be different in Scotland though.

    mikey74
    Member

    Not in England.

    That’s unfortunate.

    mikey74
    Member

    Yes, yes it is.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Did a part time 4 year business degree at Nottingham Trent in the early noughties. Employers funded 3 years and gave me time off for the actual exams. Working full time, two evenings a week at uni and additional study time was challenging – see below.

    My tips are to check how much of your course is groupwork. Not altogether happy at having my grades partly determined by less motivated fellow students.

    Don’t get married at the end of year one. Don’t have a baby at the end of year two. I was on track for a first before Jnr came along, just missed out on a 2:1.

    Never been any direct use to me since, but doing a degree whilst working gave me a lot of kudos and got me interviews

    MrSalmon
    Member

    I went back for an MSc conversion for a year just as I turned 31, 7 years after I finished my BSc. I had something called (I think) a Careers Development Loan, which was basically a bank loan that you didn’t have to start paying back until a month after you finished, and I think there was some flexibility with how much you had to pay back a month. Dunno if they still do those though.

    crankygirl
    Member

    I’m currently studying for a diagnostic radiography degree, aged 39 with a 3 year old. I’ve done a degree before, but healthcare degrees are exempt from the ‘no 2nd student loan’ rule and you also get a bursary (partially means tested), and the NHS pays the tuition fees. No way I could have done it otherwise! Worth knowing about if you’re interested in any of the allied healthcare professions or nursing.

    mikey74
    Member

    Unfortunately I’m not.

    mikey74
    Member

    Arrrgggghh Just doing my head in looking at courses.

    I want to do something in science, but not sure about the prospects afterwards.

    Fees: OU are looking at around £16K; Birkbeck are £27K 😯

    I’m not sure whether a strictly distance learning course is the right option, though: I think I’d miss interaction and face-to-face discussions.

    Premier Icon gazza100
    Subscriber

    Went back to college at 38 to do an access course which got me into university and I’m now in my final year. Fees paid as I live in Scotland but I’ll have approximately £22k to student loans to pay back.

    I looked at doing an OU course a few years back but things started going well at work so I knocked it on the head. I’m now thinking about it again, work is fine but I fancy a change. Dropped out of Uni the first time round due to various issues mostly of my own making so I’d like to finish what I started.

    m360
    Member

    It’s my first time at Uni, at 36. I did a foundation degree and a now on my third year top-up. Worth considering a foundation degree first as they are at colleges and often cheaper. Also, if you quit after 2 years you at least have the FdSc to add to your CV. Mine is funded by working 25 hrs a week and student grants/loans, but that’s a fine balance between work/uni (not much “life).

    You could do part time, and continue to work perhaps?

    bol
    Member

    I’m about to embark on an MSc part time over two years, which I am pleaded to say is being funded by my employer. I Don’t think I would ever have justified the cost of funding it myself. Having not done any academic qualifications for nearly 20 years it’s a bit daunting.

    I’ve just started my FD at 37 I do intend to continue for my BSc(hons). Luckily I have funding via work but the work/life/study balance is “interesting” however I am interested in the subject so that helps!!

    mikey74
    Member

    What subjects is everyone doing?

    luke
    Member

    The wife went at to uni at 29 and I supported her through it, one month after graduating and getting a job, I got made redundant so am currently being a kept man.

    I’m now planning to go back in September 2016 but need to get better A level results and some relevant experience to stand a chance of getting on the course I want.

    mikey74
    Member

    And what course is that?

    freeagent
    Member

    I went back to Uni at 31, to do a Design technology/Engineering degree.
    That was 10 years ago.

    Got straight into YR2 as already has a HND from the same establishment + 10 years of reasonably relevant work experience.

    I travelled down to Southampton from Kent for 3-4 days per week, and lived in a cheap B+B.
    I worked various part time jobs and was supported by my Mrs.
    It all worked out well as I got a 1st, and landed a reasonable Engineering job 4 months after graduating.

    8 years into the job, I’m still at the same company, but had a couple of promotions, and now earn almost twice what I started on.

    Best thing I ever did.

    chewkw
    Member

    Don’t do it if you are studying a degree that is not related to the followings especially if they are shite social sciences:

    1. Promotion (company sponsored …)
    2. Job prospect (retrain for new job or change of career)
    3. Hobby (too much time on your hand with good disposable income)

    😯

    luke
    Member

    The wife is now a paediatric nurse, and I’m aiming for paramedic science.

    mikey74
    Member

    It’s item 2 on your list chew so I’m good to go.

    Oh, and it would probably be Earth or Environmental Science, or something of that ilk.

    mikey, are you looking at OU/distance learning or full time?

    Coincidentally I have just been looking at the BSc (Honours) Environmental Management and Technology on the OU website for pretty much the same reasons as you (done the same job for 8 years, need a change). Think I’ll be in the same boat as you with finances as well, I went to uni but dropped out so it counts against any funding you can get.

    OU offer a monthly payment option which works out at £220 per month for a part time (16-18hrs a week) course, 6 years to finish.

    mikey74
    Member

    That was one I was looking at Matt, although I’m not totally sold on the idea of distance learning.

    Premier Icon schmiken
    Subscriber

    I went back at age 28 top do a BSc in Maths with Maths Education. Did do three years prior in Aerospace Engineering but flunked the final year. Student Finance paid my tuition fee for my final year of the Maths degree, so lived off my wife’s salary (she’s a social worker) and stayed with parents for the first two years.

    I’m now doing my PGCE so it worked well for me!

    frogrocket
    Member

    Hi,

    I work for a university delivering advice and guidance to prospective applicants.

    If you want to find out more around student finance have a look here http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/money-matters/

    Our Kid had a couple of goes at traditional university study and is now just about to finish his OU degree. He’s thoroughly preferred it to the 2 attendance based unis, so worth considering, especially for mature applicants.

    If agonising over course choice, narrow it down to something you enjoy and actually want to study for 3+ years, rather than something you think will be useful but is actually a major ball ache to study. Otherwise, fraid to say, you may not get through it.

    Once you’ve got a general idea, visit the uni- open days are happening right now – check out http://www.opendays.com

    PM me for any clarification nor further advice – happy to help in any way I can.

    Cheers,
    Alex

    mikey74
    Member

    Thanks for the great reply Alex. I’ll have a think and maybe contact you further.

    I’d prefer DL as I can make it fit better around work/life commitments. Looking round the OU site you do get a tutor but most of the correspondence is done either online or by phone with some face-to-face or day classes.

    They have Learn to Study things on at quite a few places so I’m going to try and get to one of those as soon as I can to see if I can get myself into gear.

    http://www3.open.ac.uk/contact/events.aspx

    mikey74
    Member

    True. I still haven’t ruled it out. However, I am also considering some form of mechanical engineering which may be better off part time, rather than via DL.

    mikey74
    Member

    I’d forgotten about the monthly payment plan the OU offer. I guess I’m just a little sceptical about the gravitas of an OU qualification.

    Short review of that course we were both looking at here.

    I originally went for a BEng in Mechanical Engineering the first time round. I must admit the complex maths (thermodynamics mainly) completely flummoxed me.

    Anna B
    Member

    I guess I’m just a little sceptical about the gravitas of an OU qualification.

    I used to be. Maybe it depends what you study and I can only talk about social work, but having an OU degree in SW makes you highly regarded in this field, as it means you can a) work really hard and multi task b) have relevant experience already. I don’t see why these wouldn’t apply to whatever subject you studied. I have a tutor and tutorials roughly once a month. I have work books, text books, DVD and online. OU was the only way I could get the qual I wanted, due to having a previous student loan as you do.

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