Advanced search

To go down this route with education?

(62 Posts)
ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 21:56:35

Background, early 20's, never attended uni.

I'm wanting to study Law, but would need to move in the next year to attend the desired one (I have all the grades & requirements to get in and if I don't get into that specific one there are still plenty of good ones nearby)

Am I BU to do the first year of a law degree online (with the open uni) then transfer the credits and start in the second year at a brick uni?

I need the year to move properly and find somewhere (will be renting but it's a good potential 45min-2hrs move away from where I am right now) and DP will be moving with me so we'd ideally like another year to get sorted.

So in overview:
I'd start my degree first year online in September.
Apply for desired uni's as 2nd year entry (and hopefully get in) whilst looking at potential property.
Once accepted we will start making the move (hopefully between Feb & May time).
Be settled in by September to start the academic year in year 2 of the degree.

Would this work? Anyone have any experience doing something similar?


lastqueenofscotland Thu 11-Apr-19 21:59:16

A lot of Russell groups wouldn’t accept the OU I imagine.

Also I don’t want to piss on your chips but is it practicing law you want to go into? Because it’s many many many many many years after you’ve done the degree you’ll qualify and unless you are very good and very in demand a lot of people earn absolutely fuck all.

lastqueenofscotland Thu 11-Apr-19 21:59:20

A lot of Russell groups wouldn’t accept the OU I imagine.

Also I don’t want to piss on your chips but is it practicing law you want to go into? Because it’s many many many many many years after you’ve done the degree you’ll qualify and unless you are very good and very in demand a lot of people earn absolutely fuck all.

JustMarriedBecca Thu 11-Apr-19 22:03:08

My firm wouldn't look at the OU. Better to have a year out, work somewhere and then apply.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:03:35

@lastqueenofscotland it's not a Russell group uni, but a top 10 U.K. Law school.

Yes practicing law, specifically criminal law as that's the area that interests me most. I've done a HE in Law the last year at my local college to up my knowledge so I actually know what I'm getting myself into!

I'm aware of the process and I'm happy to go through it. It's not all about the money for everyone! wink

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:04:36

@JustMarriedBecca good advice! Thank you. I was only planning on doing the first year as OU then doing the further years of degree at an actual brick uni. Iyswim? Would that make any difference?

titchy Thu 11-Apr-19 22:06:29

You're not likely to be accepted into the second year, but would probably be looked in favourably for first year entry.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:11:06

@titchy That's good to hear at least, it would be a waste to do 2 first years though don't you think? Maybe I should just apply for next year (2020) and work this year then?

It's so confusing😂 I wish we lived closer as I'd apply this year but it's a 2hrs commute twice a day!

titchy Thu 11-Apr-19 22:14:26

Have you done any recent studying? Having the required A levels grades three or more years ago won't be enough, you need evidence of recent study. So a year doing a couple of relevant OU modules, not an entire first year, would be sensible.

eclipse1808 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:15:35

Could you not do an access course? It takes a year and colleges / uni’s / 6th form centres offer them so plenty locally. Then after the year you can apply for the degree. Access courses are looked upon more favourably than OU because they are alot more intense (like 2 years of A-Level in 1 year).

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:17:12

@eclipse1808 I did do an access, it says in my OP smile completed it last year.

jellycatspyjamas Thu 11-Apr-19 22:17:18

It would be worth talking to the university concerned about their entry requirements for 2nd year and mature entry - there can often be a process of evidencing prior learning that they can talk you through.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:18:00

@titchy I did my HE diploma in Law last year at a local college. smile

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:21:08

@jellycatspyjamas good idea, I really want to talk to them anyway for more advice so I'll definitely ask about that. I'm only 22 so hate to be called a mature learnergrin😂

Figure8 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:21:54

Have you tried applying for law apprenticeships? Or looked into becoming a Chartered Legal Executive?

You can also become a solicitor from first being a paralegal.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:24:44

@Figure8 Wow! I never knew that, looks like there are loads of option out there, how would I find these opportunities? smile

Divgirl2 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:25:01

I think it's also worth pointing out that law is hugely over subscribed and a degree in "law" doesn't mean what it used to. Unless it's a VERY good uni, AND you do internships, AND you're very good it''s difficult to actually become a solicitor.

I just hope you know what you're getting yourself in to, which for an awful lot of law graduates is just debt.

I'd also avoid the OU if you're serious about becoming a solicitor. You'd be wasting a year of funding in all likelihood.

Figure8 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:32:08

Have a look at the vacancy section of

Perhaps instead of doing an OU course, try and get some work experience / volunteer work that is relevant?

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:33:25

@Divgirl2 Thank you, this thread has given me a lot to think about! It's such a shame it's so popular and there are so few opportunities! Obviously I don't want to waste 3 years at uni and end up with no job or a low paying one.

Is there another career route similar I could go down that has high success rates for getting jobs?

Figure8 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:36:18

Have you had a look for degree apprenticeships?

What part of your studies did you enjoy?

polarpig Thu 11-Apr-19 22:37:04

I studied with the ou, not law though, and then got onto a masters degree in the strength of it.

Divgirl2 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:38:23

Apply for the civil service apprenticeship. You start on about £24k depending on department, there's loads of opportunities, and a permanent job at the end of it. It's not law, and you'll likely not become a solicitor, but the money is good and you will get the perks of CS (flexible working, working from home, pension etc).

If you love law then pursue it. If you're even 90/10 on it think carefully.

Figure8 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:40:11

Sorry, I can't quite see what you did your access course in..
You said HE in law....? Is that Access to HE?

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:44:03

@Figure8 I've just had a look online on the gov website, there's none within 30miles of me but I haven't checked the other legal apprenticeship sites yet.

Becoming a paralegal sounds appealing too as you get paid whilst you train! They're competitive though apparently as graduates like to do them.

I enjoy the reading aspect (I live to read) as well as learning about different legislations, defences etc. It's so interesting.

@polarpig Wow! That's amazing, I know the OU provide great opportunities. What is your masters?

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:44:33

@Figure8 Yes an access to higher education in Law, at my local college.

Crunchymum Thu 11-Apr-19 22:45:30

So have you already discounted law? In the space of an hour?shock

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:45:54

@Divgirl2 A civil service apprenticeship sounds good. I really do love Law but I know how hard & competitive it is. I'm scared to do it and then find it so hard & potentially come out with a crap grade.blush

jellycatspyjamas Thu 11-Apr-19 22:46:43

I think mature entry applies to anyone over 21 and the requirements tend to be a bit more flexible. Embrace your “mature” status grin

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:47:18

@Crunchymum no? I haven't discounted it😂 I just have lots of options to look into now, aside from a traditional law degree. Some of these options will allow me to do a legal apprenticeship whilst earning too.

I've been thinking since last September, still debating hence why I didn't apply for uni this year.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:47:30

@jellycatspyjamas gringrin

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:50:16

I wish now I'd gone straight onto uni at 18 but I just didn't know what I wanted to do at that time, I started the law access course literally on a whim as something to do and ended up loving it!

If I had gone to uni though I wouldn't have met my perfect OH. (And I'd probably have done a random degree I wasn't passionate about like psychology).

justmyview Thu 11-Apr-19 22:50:43

Figure8 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:55:22

Have a look at degree apprenticeships on:
Prospects ( it's under the work experience tab)
Civil service jobs.... to start with.

There are some really interesting opportunities out there.

Holidayshopping Thu 11-Apr-19 22:56:25

I don’t actually any lawyers who did a law degree! Most of my friends did English and then a conversion. I’d look closely at the path you’re choosing-you definitely aren’t choosing a degree that will get you a job. You are choosing a degree that might put you on the first rung of the ladder up to get a job, and if you do the first year through the OU, it might be that won’t help you at all. Being a lawyer is incredibly competitive-competing against very academic candidates with very strong A levels. Do make sure you research this properly in advance.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:57:11

@justmyview Thank you!

Do you think I could visit a law firm in my town and ask for some work experience (free of course) to maybe do some office admin in a legal sector? That would look great on a uni application right?

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 22:58:55

@Holidayshopping Interesting, I honestly didn't know there were so many routes into a legal career to be honest. It's so good to hear lots of alternatives. I could still work in a legal career but not be an actual lawyer. Less competitive maybe and I'll probably earn money quicker.

Divgirl2 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:01:28

@justmyview nearly 40,000 law students in just one year and just in England and Wales?!

It's official - law is the new psychology

titchy Thu 11-Apr-19 23:02:54

Do you think I could visit a law firm in my town and ask for some work experience

Law work experience tends to be booked up two years in advance, by current undergraduates and are very very competitive.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:05:58

@titchy my towns very small, I doubt it's booked up by law graduates grin

No harm in trying right? I could do basic office admin?

Divgirl2 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:10:26

Titchy is right. Competition is so fierce you'll get graduates offering to work for free.

Getting into university won't be the issue, it's getting into a related job that will be tough. Go on to any big name law firm's vacancies page, they're all listing a law degree as desirable for paralegals.

If you want something to put on your UCAS statement volunteer for CAB, but getting on to the course isn't going to be an issue in all likelihood.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:13:01

@Divgirl2 Yeah it sounds like getting the degree is the easy part! What a nightmaresad I'm not spectacular either, nothing special so I'm sure RG graduates are what people want these days. I'd never get into a RG.

Volunteering for CAB is doable, I've looked there before to volunteer just for something to do!smile actual jobs are hard to come by here.

Figure8 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:14:32

Just work experience may be fine. I'd try.

theotherblonde Thu 11-Apr-19 23:16:31


The only way your going to know for sure whether you can transfer into year 2 after doing online for year 1 is if you contact the university you want to transfer into and ask them!

Most universities have 2nd and 3rd year entry from collage but it also depends on the course. I was third year entry after a HND and today I am doing a PhD.

I do not know much about law but why do you need to go to a university far away and move? Is there none very good universities near you? Starting university is hard enough never mind the hassle of a new town and somewhere that your friends and family will not be at!

Its hard to give advice on university specifics when you are not giving the names of the institutions?

Also, why do you think you will waste time at university and end up with no job prospects? That is completely rubbish and a bad attitude to have. Look, you just need to work hard in life and keep going up and accessing all the opportunities you can get. If you study law and your passion is to be a lawyer then do not settle for anything less as you are very young. During your studies you can try and get an internship during the summer in a law firm and then even if you do not do your undergraduate degree at one of the best uni's you can always do your masters somewhere that is higher ranking.

Look for courses that are industry focused also. The other thing is that most universities degrees are so transferable as you learn skills in presentation, time management, writing etc that you can potentially change careers after you get your degree if you wanted. You can decide later after studying law that you want to do a masters in something completely different.

The other thing is the the thought or idea about studying a particular course is very different to actually studying that and working within that field. For example, I felt for many years that I wanted to work in HR and then did a summer internship in HR and I hated it. So when I went to uni I made sure I changed to marketing.

I do not know if its possible but look for a university also that allows you to change your major up and until the end of 2nd year. In my university you can do so if you start of on law in 1st year you will also choose electives in other studies so by the end of second year at the latest you can find yourself studying law and Spanish or law and business or even you chucked the law and are studying economics for example. A lot of people go to university and struggle because they are not passionate about a course that they really thought was their dream. So this is a good option also if you can find a uni that has this flexibility.

I would also say you do not need a Russell Group university as my uni is not Russell Group but its very high in rankings and is highly regarded. Just stay clear of universities that has recently changed from a college to a university.

I wish you the best of luck!

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:22:59

@theotherblonde it's great to hear from someone with previous experiences! Thank you!

Yeah the nearest uni to me is 40minutes train ride away and it's not known for Law. The one I'm aiming for is the university of Kent. It's a top 10 UK law school and a 2hrs commute from where I am right now TWICE a day. Which isn't do able obviously.

I will definitely contact the university and have a discussion with them as to what they think a good route for me would be.

I don't think its a waste of time at all, as I've always wanted to go to university and education is really important to me but a lot of people on here have advised me it's hard to get jobs afterwards unless you're really good so I'm feeling a little disheartened now.😕

Thank you so much!

SoxonFeet Thu 11-Apr-19 23:32:31

Check out salaries for criminal solicitors before you start, may make you realise there isn’t much point. Plus you’ll often need to do further study for duty exams and even then you’ll be only hitting 30-35K, probably less by the time you’ve finished, if legal aid cuts are anything to go by. Most criminal lawyers are looking for a way out, because it’s just relentless and has been for a while.

Please seriously consider whether 4+ years of studying is worth that salary. There’s many other professions that you could/should consider that would at least reward the effort made to qualify.

titchy Thu 11-Apr-19 23:35:05

Not sure Kent is top of many recruiters lists sorry. It's OK, reasonable reputation, good at getting itself up the league tables (!), but Law is one of those areas where TCs generally go to RG grads, although some do university-blind applications now.

InspectorClouseauMNdivision Thu 11-Apr-19 23:35:20

Don't forget about LPC and training contract after Uni if you go the solicitor route.

Do a reasearch into what it all entails. Really proper one.

How did your Acces go? Did you get all distinctions needed for the course you want?
I agree with others about that starting with OU might not be the best way. Some universities even don't accept transfers into 2nd year at all.

Mosaic123 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:36:29

Try looking for jobs that allow you to study professional accountancy exams. Accountants are in demand and they pay you while you train, time off for exams often too. Look for ACA or ACCA trainee jobs.

Holidayshopping Thu 11-Apr-19 23:37:08

I don't think its a waste of time at all, as I've always wanted to go to university and education is really important to me but a lot of people on here have advised me it's hard to get jobs afterwards unless you're really good so I'm feeling a little disheartened now.😕

People aren’t trying to depress you, they are just are making you aware that law is one of the hardest (and longest spent studying) careers to get into. I work with two teachers whose sons are trying to get pupillage at the moment-it’s depressing, both have applied year after year only to be turned down. You can only apply at a certain time each year (is that right, folks in the know?) and it seems to be a lot to do with who you know! These are extremely bright lads with straights As at A level, firsts at RG Universities, lots of WA. I think people are saying, it’s really not easy and you just need to be really aware and prepared for that.

theotherblonde Thu 11-Apr-19 23:39:06


You are most welcome dear, it is very challenging trying to decide what course and university to attend, I understand.

I would advice that you attend an open day, speak to the lecturers running the course, students currently on the course if possible, learn about the feedback which is provided for assignments, how you are assessed, what facilities and support services are available if you should need them, when exams are (before or after Christmas, this is a big thing, after xmas means studying during your xmas break).

If the University of Kent is your preference then spend that extra year saving up for the move, try to get some work experience in before-hand.I would suggest contacting some mid level law firms through Linkedin and trying it that way.

I understand that you are feeling low based on the advice. This advice may be correct but if someone had told me it may be hard to get onto a PhD and get funding and I get me down then I would not be where I am today. You will get a job, a good one, you just need to make yourself academically and industry attractive. For example, aim for a 1st class degree, get involved in clubs and societies such as the law society in your university, gain internships during the summer and do a study abroad for a semester. These are all things that will make you employable. You will most likely find that these will be advertised through your university. You may need to be open to moving again for another masters or more training or that dream job once you get it. My friend is qualified is a very technical art field but she cant get a job as she is unwilling to relocate but if she moved to London or other places in England then she would have way more opportunities.

At the very least, worst case scenario, say you do your law degree, get a 1st class and then still there are no jobs (I doubt this but lets just say it) then you can apply your skills to another field that is very or different. You can do a masters in business, economics, phycology, finance etc and still get a great high paid job. You can even do a PhD like me and become a law lecturer.
The other thing is that you should not look at university as a vessel to get to a destination and be worried about what that destination will be, you should see university and what you will learn there as part of the journey and that whatever comes will be great because you worked hard and will succeed.

Lastly do not be put off by your age and the prospect of saving up for a year. I went to college when I was 25 years old after years of working in retail shops. I started my 3rd year uni at 27, masters at 29 and Phd at 30. I am now 31 and well its going to take me another couple of years to finish. Age doesn't bother me and it shouldn't bother you, I feel younger and healthier now than I have ever felt and as much as I have been studying since 2012 I don't feel that much older than I did then.

If you need any further advice please do not hesitate to message me. xx

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:39:46

@titchy RG's always are first choice aren't they. I don't think I'm good enough to get into one, but no harm in wasting one UCAS choice in applying anyway. It's just a nightmare as it all involves moving!

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:42:29

@theotherblonde You're so inspiring! That's amazing that you went to uni later on too, helps calm my nerves a bit smile

Thank you so much, you're right, University is just a vessel, there's so much more that goes into having a career eventually and I should take it a step at a time.

I will definitely sign up for an open day, pretty sure they have some in the summer I could attend.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:43:39

@Holidayshopping Wow, that's shocking! Puts things into perspective, good luck to them, they must be feeling so stressed and desperate.

You'd think there would be more and more jobs being created as the demand is high for the degrees but apparently not.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:44:10

@Mosaic123 Does accountancy involve a lot of maths? It's definitely not my strong suite!grin

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:45:36

@InspectorClouseauMNdivision It went really well! I got a distinction grin worked my ass off, it was a lot harder than I expected it to be as well.

theotherblonde Thu 11-Apr-19 23:46:08


You are welcome, I am glad to inspire.

I studied business so probably different to law but I do really hope you get what you want.

A step at a time is exactly my point. I never thought about what job I would do in college or am I going to university, I just kept rising when one door closed. I am going to private message you.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:47:15

@InspectorClouseauMNdivision and yes I meet all the entry requirements for Kent. Probably could have a better maths gcse though! (I got a C)

When I did my a levels I didn't chose law so that's why I had to do an access course as most unis want relevant law study to be accepted onto a degree.

ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:47:47

@theotherblonde How do I find private messages? (I'm on the app!)


ncforadvicenow Thu 11-Apr-19 23:49:05

I'll be back in a bit, got to wash up and put the laundry away☹️

Thank you everyone for your replies and experiences so far, it's given me so much to think about!

InspectorClouseauMNdivision Thu 11-Apr-19 23:49:29

@ncforadvicenow that's great! 45 Distinctions can get you into any uni.

Re the puppilages. There is about 4000 people applying every year but only about 400-500 pupillages. It's much easier with training contract.

Pps are right. Law can be quite universal. You don't have to be a barrister or solicitor. There are lots of options.

Mosaic123 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:51:59

Not too much complicated maths. If you were a good A level standard that would be fine. There's lots of learning and applying rules to different situations. Not so different from law in a way. In a recession or a boom accountants are in demand.

Holidayshopping Fri 12-Apr-19 09:40:01

For example, aim for a 1st class degree, get involved in clubs and societies such as the law society in your university, gain internships during the summer and do a study abroad for a semester.

This is very sensible advice!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »