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Am I too old to do an MA?

(37 Posts)
pigeonsandperfume Tue 12-Jun-18 15:34:19

If you did an MA later in life - how old were you and do you think it was worth it?

I'm thinking of doing a distance-learning MA in English Literature, a) for the love of it and b) it will help me in my job - I'm a teacher.

However, I'm 45 and I'm wondering - would it be worth it? I probably want to retire when I'm 60 (I'm not rich, I just don't need much...) when I intend to become a mad old drunk bat.

Would like to hear your experiences....

Ohsuchaperfectday Tue 12-Jun-18 16:46:46

Bumping for you as I was thinking exactly same thing

donajimena Tue 12-Jun-18 16:49:36

I'm 46 and an undergrad. I'll be 49 when I graduate. If I hadnt done it I'd still be 49 (one hopes) wink

MiddlingMum Tue 12-Jun-18 16:59:39

The oldest person on my degree course was 69 when he started, 72 when he graduated. He went on to do an MA after that.

Theshittyendofthestick Tue 12-Jun-18 17:01:33

I'm doing one. I'm 45. No idea if it'll make a difference career wise but I'm really enjoying it.

Norugratsatall Tue 12-Jun-18 17:02:23

Am 54 and currently completing my final MA thesis (due next month!).just taking a break now with a cuppa and opened this thread! So no....not too old! I've found it a challenge but that's because I am juggling work and personal issues too. Go for it! Good luck.

ThePeopleVersus Tue 12-Jun-18 17:03:21

When I was an undergrad there was a lady in her late sixties doing a degree, she'd done evening courses for years and decided it was time she got a degree! If it's primarily for the love of it then it's never too late.

Battleax Tue 12-Jun-18 17:04:38

Absolutely not. It would be enough remaining working life for it to be worthwhile even if you were doing it for career reasons but doing something for the sheer love of it is the best reason to do anything

Go for it smile

Mishappening Tue 12-Jun-18 17:09:10

I retrained at 50 and had a whole new career.

darklady64 Tue 12-Jun-18 17:09:11

I did mine part-time aged 50 and it was also an English lit based one also done pretty much for the love of it. It is a big time commitment and at first I had a "what have I done" feeling, but once I realised I could keep up, it was great and I loved it. The dissertation was stressful but I did love being able to really get into a subject. And the feeling when you hand it in was brilliant!

So you are a spring chicken by comparison and I'd say go for it. There was a whole range of ages in my class too, so it wasn't like I was an ancient crone among all the young 'uns and actually, even if I had been I don't think it would have mattered. Everyone just wanted to geek out with fellow literature lovers.

Good luck!

scrunchSE18 Tue 12-Jun-18 17:20:19

Started my Masters at 47 - loved it! Got the studying bug again and have now started a PhD. I’ll be well into my 50s by the time I’m done. It’s never too late to start- good luck!

pigeonsandperfume Tue 12-Jun-18 17:33:46

Ah thanks for all your replies, they are very encouraging. I was put off by the fact that I only really have 15 years working life left (teaching is a young person's game in my opinion...) and I want it to have some benefit for my job. I want to do it over two years so I would be 47/48 when I finish......

I think I'm going to do it! Thanks you lot

SocksRock Tue 12-Jun-18 17:36:47

My Mum used the lump sum from her pension to fund a PhD just because she could. She'll be 72 when she finishes it. Go for it!

2up2manydown Tue 12-Jun-18 17:40:56

My father did a Masters in his 40s, also a teacher.

spiderlight Tue 12-Jun-18 17:52:41

No, you are not too old at all! I used to teach for the OU and one of my best ever students was 84 and an absolute joy to teach. She became firm friends with a lass of about 19 and they used to have weekly study sessions in the pub smile

Bridechilla Tue 12-Jun-18 17:54:19

You are never too old, but think long and hard about your definition of worth. Masters are not cheap.

I'm not that familiar with long distance study but if you want to do it for the love of your specialism, make sure the course you decide on is structured how you'd expect, covers what you want and/or offers freedom to do so.

If I hadn't had the supporting lecturer I'd wanted then my MA would have been very uninspiring, if really hung off her knowledge and encouragement. In fact the best thing I did was ring up the university to talk with the lecturers about the MA and if it was what I hoped it'd be.

However, I was incredibly frustrated going back to being a FT mature student after working for so long, and you may be doubly so especially as you work in education.

How will this masters help you professionally? If it's a promotion then that's a good, tangible benefit. Ultimately I judged my MAs worth by the fact that it got me a job in the field, which probably wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Tue 12-Jun-18 17:56:24

I would if I could afford it, just for my own satisfaction.

FrancesHaHa Tue 12-Jun-18 17:58:27

I did mine at 41. There were a few people in their 40s and one in his 50s on my course . It was technically a vocational MA, although I did it for interest really. I would imagine a non vocational MA might have more older people

Nellyphants Tue 12-Jun-18 18:01:25

You’ll be 47/48 anyway. Might as well be one with a masters. I’ll join you at 60 as a mad drunk old bat!

LuMarie Tue 12-Jun-18 18:09:26


Perfect choice of course too. Not in amongst 18 years old still being school kids, instead you will enjoy lots of reading, thoughts, essay writing, research, discussion tutorials. I think it's a perfect choice.

"For the love of it" is absolutely the best reason to do anything

"Help my job" well that's a bonussmile

Life is short, follow your passions

LuMarie Tue 12-Jun-18 18:10:30

@SocksRock I love your mothersmile

pigeonsandperfume Tue 12-Jun-18 18:22:07

Lots of very interesting people on here - you can old join me being a mad old drunk bat.

For clarification I was thinking about doing it on top of my job (and two kids..) over two years. I currently work four days a week - I made a decision never to work Fridays and sod the money (to reiterate, I'm skint). I would hopefully get a loan to cover the fees? Maybe not - haven't quite looked into that part yet?

But if I did get the loan, do you think doing it on top of my job - maybe through the OU - would be too much? I'm a quick learner and find studying and academic writing ok so I think that part would be ok

pigeonsandperfume Tue 12-Jun-18 18:23:38

Despite my terrible writing on here! To be fair, I am in the middle of making sausage sandwiches.

Forthbridge Tue 12-Jun-18 18:25:08

15 years of working life is actually quite a long time - imagine if it was a prison sentence! Therefore do what you want to feel refreshed and re-energised about your subject, and give yourself an intellectually stimulating boost! You will love it. Good luck x

Forthbridge Tue 12-Jun-18 18:27:20

ps I did exactly what you're suggesting (1 day per week alongside teaching job) and it was the best decision I ever made. My practice became really enriched with what I was learning about on my 1 day at uni.

Career development loans are pretty good.

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