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AIBU starting a masters at 8 months pregnant?

(97 Posts)
oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 07:03:51

I have just found out I'm pregnant and will be 8 months when starting my masters. I dont want to defer as its a very competitive course for places. Can the university make me quit or is it my decision if I choose to carry on and do it?

Trenzalor Sat 08-Feb-14 07:07:41

I should imagine it's your decision, they might be guilty of sex discrimination if they asked you to drop out.

I had visions of all the things I would do on maternity leave including on line flexible courses - haven't done any of them. You might be super efficient and have alternative child care in place so be able to do it. There's no way I would've managed my MA now.

ZillionChocolate Sat 08-Feb-14 07:08:23

I'm no expert, but from what I know of masters courses and babies, it sounds like a bad idea. Is this your first baby?

FWIW I was due to have surgery before a one year FT post grad course. I was told that attendance at lectures and tutorials was compulsory and I couldn't miss a month and then try to catch up. I delayed the surgery.

brettgirl2 Sat 08-Feb-14 07:09:28

Surely if you have a place you have a place whether you defer or not? I would talk to them tbh, doing a full time masters with a newborn will be really hard.

oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 07:11:26

They wont except defering as its social work. I'm not really worried about being able to complete it, but I am bit concerned they might not allow me to. Good point on the sex discrimination.

brettgirl2 Sat 08-Feb-14 07:14:48

I completed 1/3 of a pt masters while on mat leave, I could have done more tbh. But I did far fewer hours than I was meant to over the course.

I really would talk to them rather than posting on here.

BikeRunSki Sat 08-Feb-14 07:19:48

You need to talk to your would be tutor. Check up on the university policy on sex discrimination and pregnancy first. There may also be reference to procedures about not starting/ not finishing courses due to personal circumstances- if you can defer, carry credits etc.

SunnyL Sat 08-Feb-14 07:27:47

Oh god i've done 2 masters (one of them while working full time) and no i really dont think i could have done much on the first 4 months of mat leave. Can you do the course part time? Then youd only have a couple of modules in the first term?

3bunnies Sat 08-Feb-14 07:38:49

I work for a University and have seen many students trying to study for something with the intention of completing it on maternity leave - it rarely works well. I also finished off a correspondence course when dd1 was a baby and it was tough on both of us. If at all possible I would defer entry to the course. The university won't stop you doing it but it will be tough.

oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 07:41:34

Its my 3rd. I did it with my first degree and didnt miss one lecture or take a day off. I just don't want them to say no when I turn up to register really huge! Thanks for your help and Im glad they cant say no grin

GingerMaman Sat 08-Feb-14 07:45:59

Is this a research masters?

It really depends on what type of a baby you have. How were you and your partner as babies? How were your siblings and his siblings?

I've got a very fussy baby and I'm extremely sleep deprived even at 9 months, so I would say definitely not possible, but I know some others have much easier babies. But despite that, I think you need to give yourself at least 4 months to recover.

oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 07:50:40

No I will be in 4 days a week. Dh is going to work weekends and the 1 day off I have. Then I will be in lectures part of the day and get all my essays done in uni time. I have dh there so I can just go straight back in to uni as its not a physical job so not too stressful on the body.

Booboostoo Sat 08-Feb-14 08:00:11


The University cannot make you quit because you are pregnant/have a newborn, but you may have problems if you cannot meet course requirements such as attending lectures and handing in work on time. Is this your first baby? I would say it is very difficult to study towards the end of the pregnancy and during the first few months of a baby's life - the sleep deprivation alone may make it impossible for you.

However, the good news is that you are entitled to take maternity leave so they cannot prevent you from deferring for a year. Talk to your tutor and if he isn't helpful go straight to student services and get informed help.

MimmeeBack Sat 08-Feb-14 08:04:56

I have a friend who was due to start a masters but her place was deferred for a year when she fell pregnant as she became an unreliable candidate.

oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 08:07:40

Did the uni decide she was an unreliable candidate? I dont really want to defer if I dont have to as its easier for me this way as dh will be able to do all childcare.

Elllimam Sat 08-Feb-14 08:09:12

I would say they can't make you quit for being pregnant. I am currently in my last module of my MSc part time and during the course I have had one baby (who is now 14 months) and am now 4 months pregnant with my second. I also worked full time (apart from 6 months of mat leave) throughout the whole course. I am now considering starting a professional doctorate next spring smile it's definitely manageable.

EirikurNoromaour Sat 08-Feb-14 08:10:12

So you will have. The baby in November? Then you will be on placement by January. Unless you plan to attend lectures with a literal newborn you won't be able to complete the academic work, and you won't be able to do placement unless you are willing to leave your baby 5 days a week.
Sorry to say it but I can't see how this would work. I'm sure they would let you start it but you would manage a month maximum before having to defer.
I'm doing a SW MA by the way, I know of which I speak!

oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 08:13:52

Not in placement until March so I have lots of time before then luckily. I am planning to attend lectures with newborn as I can have the baby and leave with dh next day as he can work around me luckily. Im willing to leave baby all the week thats fine.

As I said as long as they let me I will be fine as I did it on my first degree whilst on placement, working and full lectures and didnt miss a day of uni. Literally had dd and then was back in next uni day. I left all my children at very young ages so that kind of thing doesnt bother me really.

cupoftchai Sat 08-Feb-14 08:23:47

My uni did not say I had to defer when I got preg towards the end of my course (also social work!) but the expectation that I would do was very clear. I was reliant on the uni arranging placement in a timely manner so I could finish before due date (would have finished 2weeks before) however they basically did nothing, hummed and waited, and then told me on last day I could have started and still had chance of finishing that there was no placement.
I am still annoyed!
But I have now returned after a year out, finished my placement, and have a brand new social work job and a lovely daughter. So it did work out in end, just not as smoothly as I imagined!
I did not make a formal complaint as I needed the uni to work with me after mat leave. I sent summary emails of what had happened to student reps and the tutors involved and course director. Difficult situation though. I did have a smoother preg not being on placement.
Anyway, that was a long way of saying be very careful!

oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 08:30:13

Thats what Im worried about cupoftchai. I know I can 100% do it straight away but I just worry they wont give me the chance. Grr so sexist! If dh was doing the masters and I was at home more there would be no problem. sad

Tryharder Sat 08-Feb-14 08:37:59

I was going to say YABU but given your last post where you say you've done it before, have your DH in place for on tap childcare and are realistic that you will have to spend time apart from a newborn, I would say that you should do it. I couldn't have done it due to the sleep deprivation alone but you sound like you are made of sterner stuff.

Your original post made it sound like you were expecting a first child and you were viewing maternity leave as some sort of extended holiday in which you would loads of free time which I think is why posters were quick to say YABU.

Booboostoo Sat 08-Feb-14 08:38:32

Taking the baby with you to lectures is a different matter as it may be deemed to be disruptive to other students. If you are breastfeeding they may not be able to stop you but you need to consider how realistic it will be to have a baby that may cry, need changing, etc. in a lecture theatre/seminar.

If they will allow you to defer why not take that option, spend a year with your baby and then devote your full attention to your degree next year?

oliviaoctopus Sat 08-Feb-14 08:43:39

Im not taking the baby or breastfeeding this time. I want to do it this way as I wont be able to afford childcare for 3 until qualified, and dh can only do these hours around me this year. Im actually booked in for an abortion on monday so just assessing my options at the mo.

bouncysmiley Sat 08-Feb-14 08:47:21

That depends on whether you intend to be the babies main carer or not. If you do, then having completed a masters, and had a baby (separately) I really don't think the two are compatible. I would defer and concentrate on your baby. Unless you have organised childcare for the time you need to do your reading, essays and revision then you'll be fighting a loosing battle.

EirikurNoromaour Sat 08-Feb-14 08:50:20

A social work masters is very different to a bachelors degree. But you should give it a try since you are determined! I wouldn't, but I'm probably less organised than you are.

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