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Financial impact of leaving work to go into full time education...

(8 Posts)
TahiraJB Sun 04-May-14 12:06:18

I work part time and have a boy of school age. Currently in receipt of partial housing benefit and tax credits, im a single parent too. Recently ive been thinking about doing my physiotherapy degree but work wont fund it as there is no budget for non mandatory training and i will need to do a year of full time doing an access course to update my knowledge and understanding before uni will accept me. My question is i will need to leave work as i need to study full time im worried about the financial impact this will have. Will i be penalised for leaving a job to go into education? will i put on income support? how does it work? anyone who has taken this route id appreciate some advice! pleaaaase ;-)

Fideline987654321 Sun 04-May-14 23:53:13

Well you won't qualify for IS with a school aged child. Not JSA either, unless you can also make yourself available for work.

Is this your first degree? Will you get full student loan etc? That, supplemented with student parent grant (can't remember the proper name) tax credits etc should be enough to scrape by on. I think your challenge will be the access year. Any chance of some very PT work during that stage? Self employment topped with tax credits?

joanofarchitrave Sun 04-May-14 23:56:25

Would you consider doing the degree part-time - e.g. Brunel do this, it's a 4 year course?

crazynanna Mon 05-May-14 00:03:16

I work PT and do a FT degree, the full time degree is 4 days @ 3 hours a day. My job needs me to be in every day, but when I started my degree, my line manager refused to "accomodate" me with shifts around uni, eventhough my contract is flexitime. The deputy line manager disagreed with her, and approached the big manager, and he said yes, as I am part time, it can be arranged to give me shifts around uni, and as I have a long summer break, he's fine.

Line manager was pissed, though. But it works.

TahiraJB Mon 05-May-14 08:27:17

No it won't be my first access course if I take that route at college as did one 11 year's ago but ofcourse they expire after three years! I'm not worried about uni as the bursary will cover most of it I'm concerned about the one year of college I need to do to enable me to get to university. It will be a full time college course and I font want to do part time study as I'm 39 in a few months I won't qualify till I'm 43 as it is lol adding another two years on top is not really an ideal situation my job is very demanding I know I couldn't do the two in combination whilst raising my son and looking after my parents. I just hoped someone who had already done the same might have some advice so I can have a better idea of whether I should just leave that dream of qualifying aside and just carry on as I am.

joanofarchitrave Mon 05-May-14 09:17:45

I retrained in the NHS starting at 38 smile Have you considered doing an A-level instead of the access course? You could do it by distance learning, more flexible. That's what I did, via the National Extension College. I needed a bit of extra tutoring on top of the tutoring within the course but overall it was pretty cheap. You're likely to need an A for physio so that's quite hard going but definitely more flexible. Once I'd got into the uni that was easier - vacations off which really helped with school (though half terms and placements were tricky - do you have any family help?) and the funding was feasible - the hardest bit was the travel costs to the uni.

Supermum222 Wed 21-May-14 19:33:48


You will still get tax credits (possibly more than you get now), also check out NHS bursaries. Physiotherapy is on the list for degrees paid for by the NHS (and a bursary for you). You may get a student loan on top of this.
Check this link:

I have worked in the NHS for 18 years this year and have seen many people come in through this route.

Supermum222 Wed 21-May-14 19:39:00

Hi again,

Just re-read your post.
I would imagine, for the access year course, you would only receive tax credits and HB. You may be better doing it part time over two years.
Check with the college about finance. I see the predicament you are in!

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