advice needed for studying to be a midwife, is it doable / affordable?

(28 Posts)
Monroe Tue 28-Jul-15 18:42:22

I'd love to hear others experiences of this. I have wanted to apply to train for years but there has always been something stopping me. DC'S too young, no reliable childcare etc. I now finally seem to be in a place where logistically it could be possible. Both dc's are full time in school and my lovely dm has semi retired and is helping out with school runs etc while we both work full time.

The problem now is we have recently moved and our mortgage has almost doubled meaning I cannot afford a massive drop in income at this time.

But I am so frustrated, I have wanted this for years and dread the thought of another 10 years going by and looking back with regret that I didn't just go for it.

So can anyone advise on what kind of bursary I could get, would I be entitled to tax credits and could I work alongside studying?

I realise there is a very real chance that I wouldn't get offered a place on the course, I just feel like I really need to try

Thank you

bunnie1975 Tue 04-Aug-15 13:54:18

Have you joined www.studentmidwife.net/ ?

Bursary etc will depend where you are in the UK, I am in Scotland so we get our course paid and a bursary of just over £500 per month, but it is means tested in England I believe.

Monroe Fri 11-Sep-15 11:34:32

Bunnie, thank you, I have only just seen your reply.

I will have a look at the website. I am so desperate to go ahead and apply (have even started completing the ucas application) but Dh has quite understandable concerns over finances.

I think if I could show him we would at least break even he would support me but I'm finding it really hard to get the information

Lj8893 Fri 11-Sep-15 11:37:37

I start my midwifery degree this month!
I get a small bursary, tax credits and housing benefit (although you won't get that as you own). They do pay up to 80% childcare fees if you need it.

Would you need to do an access course first?

Lj8893 Fri 11-Sep-15 11:38:23

If you go on the NHS bursary site there is a calculator you can use to work out approximately what you will get.

Lj8893 Fri 11-Sep-15 11:39:45

You would probably struggle to work alongside studying, although some people (usually childless) do work as bank staff. When you are on placement you will be doing all sorts of shifts so it would be difficult to commit to regular work.

Monroe Fri 11-Sep-15 11:57:27

Thank you for that. I looked on the bursary site and believe I would be entitled to a full bursary but couldn't find out about the dependants allowance (2 dc's) and how much if anything that would be.

Also my dm would be helping with childcare so would not be able to claim that but I think I would get child tax credits.

I have a degree in health and social care so wouldn't need to do an access course.

And congratulations on starting yours --I'm not jealous, no, not at all--smile

Monroe Fri 11-Sep-15 11:57:51

Strike out fail blush

Lj8893 Fri 11-Sep-15 12:01:41

How long ago was your degree though? Most unis require recent study.

Monroe Fri 11-Sep-15 13:35:48

Completed in October 2013 so quite recent

Lj8893 Fri 11-Sep-15 13:47:10

You should be fine then.

The bursary calculator will have told you if you are entitled to dependants allowance. It's all means tested.

You will also get a small non means tested student loan, it's about £2300 a year paid in 3 instalments.

Micah Fri 11-Sep-15 14:00:38

The warning I always give on threads like this is have you actually thought as far as doing the job?

The job is shifts, 24 hour. Can you do evenings, nights? Can you get childcare outwith 8-6? Weekends? 7am starts? What happens if you have to stay to the end of a delivery, will your childcare cover?

Do you have a DP? Will they do the out of hours childcare? Is their work flexible enough to go in late/leave early for drop offs and pick up? How do you both feel about you not being there in the evenings or at night- chances are there'll be times when you're working opposite shifts and you'll feel like you haven't seen dp or kids for weeks.

How would you feel about not being there on a morning, or at weekends?

If no DP is your mum amenable to the childcare demands of shifts?

I had a shift job, which was fine at nursery. I couldn't make it work once they went to school though, and it meant they couldn't do any extracurriculars as I never had a regular evening off. Plus I felt like a mole on nights in winter, never saw the sun!

Monroe Fri 11-Sep-15 15:37:55

Lj8993 - thank you very much for your posts. I have completed the online bursary calculator and if the figures are correct then I should be ok

Micah, yes I have fully considered the shift aspect. Dh is always around evenings and weekends and I am very lucky in that my dm is also willing to have them overnight if need be and already helps with school drop offs and pick ups.

I am also thinking long term. DS will have started secondary school before I complete my training and DD won't be far behind. Hopefully if I am successful in gaining a place it will lead to a better quality of life for all of us in the future smile

Lj8893 Fri 11-Sep-15 15:53:07

Sounds like there's no reason for you not to apply. Go for it and good luck!!

CalliopeTorres Fri 11-Sep-15 16:06:02

It depends how much your husband earns as to how much bursry you'll get, the calculator should give you a rough idea although I'm not sure if you'll be able to claim tax credits as you won't be working? I worked part time during my training as a barmaid in a local pub that had a landlord that was very understanding about me picking and choosing and workin around placement.

In terms of childcare you need 100% reliable childcare plus backups, you never get out of work on time, although that's slightly better as a student. Midwifery is a seriously full on degree, you need to treat it as a full time job and more, not many other courses require you to do a full 37.5 hours of shift work per week for blocks of up to 10-12 weeks at a time whilst completing essays.

Good luck. I wouldn't do my training again for all the tea in China!

Lj8893 Fri 11-Sep-15 16:15:49

You don't need to be working to get child tax credits, although the amount the op gets in them is down to her husbands wages. Working tax credits at least one of the couple need to be working at least 16 hrs but only someone on a very low wage would be entitled to them so probably not applicable.

CalliopeTorres Fri 11-Sep-15 16:25:40

Ah cool, I wasn't sure about the tax credits thing as I don't claim, I think during my training you could either claim for the childcare component of the bursary or child tax credits. Or something like that. It was a good few years ago now!!

Monroe Fri 11-Sep-15 16:26:13

I'm fully committed to taking on the workload and I know it won't be easy but I'm a stubborn bugger and if I'm lucky enough to get a place there is no way I won't complete it.

I studied my degree over 6 years while working full time with 2 jobs and having 2 babies along the way. Obviously with fantastic support from Dh and my family so hopefully going into this with my eyes open. I really appreciate all your posts

MissDuke Thu 17-Sep-15 17:08:00

I am just starting my third year. When I gave up work I became entitled to tax credits - not for childcare, just the normal monthly payment that anyone on a low wage gets. It is tough there is no doubt about it, but I actually really love my training and don't really look forward to it ending. I get great support from my husband and parents, without that it would be impossible for me.

Different unis do structure the programme differently, some timetable a mixture of uni and placement each week while others do it in blocks - maybe 6-8 weeks of rotating between uni and placement. If you search for the uni you wish to attend on the student midwife.net website you will find lots of others applying there or already attending and you can find out more about where your placements might be etc.

Monroe Thu 12-Nov-15 20:46:21

Sorry Miss Duke, only just seen your message, thank you for replying.

Well I applied, completed my application on UCAS 3 days ago and had confirmation they were being processed. Then this evening I received an email saying I have an interview at one of the uni's in 2 weeks time!

I am extremely excited / scared / nervous / chuffed to bits. Just hope I can get through the next couple of weeks without completely falling apart and I can do a good job at the interview smileconfused

TribbleNamedDave Thu 26-Nov-15 18:39:30

Monroe where have you applied? I'm in my first year and although financially it's hard, it's doable. Work load is a bugger, but so far so good.

For interview, current issues at the moment would be the bursary issues, RCM conference was about the need for 'continuity of care,' and going back to a case loading model rather than the model we have at the moment. There were also some issues raised around the access of maternity care for those who don't speak English.

knittedsoxer Thu 26-Nov-15 18:56:22

Have you been to uni before ( no student loan if you have). Household income?

I did two years of midwifery degree having dreamed of doing it for 10 years...previously nurse, left to have three children,
I got no bursary or childcare and at the end of 2nd yr I was traumatised by what I had seen, just wasn't hard enough

Monroe Wed 02-Dec-15 22:49:46

Thank you Tribble and knitted.

Yes, I applied and was invited to interview last week at Salford. I have to admit it was much harder than I was expecting and I felt particularly old. Did the maths test, wrote an essay than had the interview which seems to be where I fell down the most. I was pretty much told I wouldn't be considered as I have no recent voluntary experience despite having worked in the settings they were recommending I volunteer in for the last 20 years confused

I have also applied to Manchester uni. No not been to uni before so hopefully would qualify for help but realistically it might not be enough.

I'm really glad I tried though, I least I won't be wondering what if in the future.

Monroe Thu 07-Jan-16 11:20:19

Update - despite thinking I didn't do so well at interview I have been offered a place starting in September 😮😮😮

I am thrilled and terrified at the same time.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to post

YouBastardSockBalls Thu 07-Jan-16 11:31:38

Congratulations OP!

I've just sent UCAS a few days ago. Can only apply to one uni, have 2 children aged 1 and 3 and just found out I'm pregnant again. Live in the middle of nowhere, husband works extreme hours and only childcare option would be live in nanny.

But I WILL GET THERE!

Congratulations again. You must be over the moon!

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