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Does anyone do (or have done) a part time distance learning MSc?

(13 Posts)
DillyTante Thu 01-Nov-12 21:09:07

I'm going to an open day this weekend so see about enrolling on an MSc Occupational Psychology. The course is PT distance learning (with a couple of residentials).

The course is a January start and my original plan was to start in 2014 to give myself a year to prepare, do some reading in advance and basically enjoy having a life! But this course is hopefully a way out of a miserable job, and if I wait a year then it is 3 years before I finish.

I'm getting conflicting advice; one friend saying do it now while your motivated and driven, another saying, your kids are really young (2 & 5), in a year it will be easier, are you going to make work even more stressful with this hanging over you?

I'm not sure what to do. I will talk to the uni this weekend about workload etc. but I was just wondering if anyone had experience doing it, and can tell me about the realistic impact on life?

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Thu 01-Nov-12 21:17:27

I did an MBA when DS1 was 1, two years later I had DS2 and 3 years after that I finished it. It was hard work, I was working FT with a long commute and worked after the kids were in bed. I had 10 week modules and was supposed to do a year. Some years I only managed one or two, but it got done.

I loved the course....

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Thu 01-Nov-12 21:18:11

* supposed to do 6 a year.....doh

SpecialAgentSpade Thu 01-Nov-12 21:18:45

My mum did one a few years ago, She was the main breadwinner, with her partner studying full time and 5 children between 8-13.

She barely slept and didn't see much of any of us. but she managed and has done better for it.

Good luck making your choice. Make it the right one for you, not for anyone else.

DillyTante Thu 01-Nov-12 21:38:11

Thanks for the replies. I work 30 hours a week over 4 days, but fortunately it is not the sort of job where you take work home, plus I work flexi time so can build up to the odd 'free' day off.

The other thing in my favour is I have already done a Masters degree, albeit straight from Uni and no kids, but I know that academically I am up to it.

I'm just sad that I won't have time for all the other things I love, running, crochet, my blog mumsnet. Will it be all work and no play?

I keep seeing people quoting 16 hours a week, that is a lot of time out of my week, but then I imagine it to be a bit variable?

DillyTante Fri 02-Nov-12 13:40:58

Bump for any more experience

sauvignonismydrug Fri 02-Nov-12 13:56:15

I'm currently 2 years into a 3 years masters degree. I work full time as a head of faculty in a large secondary school, bring work home every night and weekend, have 2 kids aged 2 and 7, plus 3 step-kids 13,10 and 6 who stay alternate weekends. The dad of my older daughter now lives 150 miles away and so I have to plan contact patterns around my work as well!
There have been many times when I wish I hadn't started as I never seem to get any time off. But I keep focussing on the end result: in a years time I will be a more desirable promotion prospect and I will still be the right side of 40 (just!!) and so young enough to make good use of my qualification within my career.

DillyTante Sat 03-Nov-12 07:52:52

Wow that sounds full on sauvignon!

I'm going to the open day today so I will get a better feel for the course hopefully.

DillyTante Sun 04-Nov-12 18:20:41

Right, I'm definitely doing it. Start in January!

webwiz Sun 04-Nov-12 19:02:37

Does the course have a dissertation DillyTante? the only reason I ask is that I'm two years into a 3 year masters and have been tootling along quite happily but now that I've started working towards my dissertation proposal the workload has effectively doubled. I haven't even started the stupid dissertation yet and I have an unbelievable amount of reading to get through (I'm just having a quick break and then going back to it). Just a warning smile

DillyTante Sun 04-Nov-12 19:18:06

It does, & it will be a killer but I'm (maybe naively) not too worried as I have written & MSc dissertation & completed a research project before. I envision taking a bit of time off work to plough through it. I think the key is going to be to always try to stay ahead of the game in terms of work to give myself some slack if anything does go wrong.

webwiz Sun 04-Nov-12 20:34:33

You sound on the case then DillyTante I've been caught out by the fact that the first draft of the proposal is due in two months earlier than I expected (the course blurb of course refers to the final date for approval not the first submission). I had visions of myself leisurely looking at interesting journals relating to my research area hmm

DillyTante Sun 04-Nov-12 21:09:30

It's easy to sound on the case before I've even started!

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