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Reassurance needed just got a place on distance learning early years Masters. Will I cope?

(3 Posts)
Jynxed Fri 22-Mar-13 00:08:40

I am on the second year of a three year masters. Two years with 4 x 1 week in the classroom plus oodles of home study, and the last year is the dissertation (20 000 words), completely home study with just the odd supervisory visit to Uni. I also have 3 kids and work full time, but I have combined my hours to do 4 long days in order to have the 5th day at home to study.

Yes, it is really hard work. Yes, it is challenging, and yes I struggle sometimes. But, oh boy is it worth it! I have really enjoyed the content of the course and it has made me much more confident and knowledgeable at work.

The kids do suffer a bit, in that there are times when I just have to finish an essay and I cannot spend time with them. However, I try and make it up to them when the essay is submitted, and I probably feel worse about it than they do.

I would not kid you that it is easy. Like the previous poster said, it really depends on how motivated you are.

I would give 3 pieces of advice. Firstly, make sure it is the right course for you, since it will take over your life for the two years, so if you don't enjoy it and find it interesting then you will have a really hard time.

Secondly, what I wish I had done with juggling my hours was instead of having one day off a week to do my college work (when my head was still full of work issues and people were always phoning me, and I couldn't concentrate) I would try and save up those days and have a whole week off instead. That way you can switch more thoroughly into study mode and get "in the zone" and be more productive. That, or prepare to use a lot of your holiday time to produce your essays (which is hard with school holidays to cover).

Finally, find somewhere to work. You have to have somewhere you can concentrate and not be distracted. If possible find somewhere outside of your home so that the kids cannot come and find you to settle their disputes, and you won't be able to load the washing machine or unload the dishwasher when your mind has gone blank. If there is no one else to look after the kids, try to train them early on that if mummy is at her desk (and you will need a nice big desk) she is not to be disturbed!!!!

I am glad I did not know how much work it would be before I started, as it may have put me off. Stop thinking about will you cope and instead think that you will cope, and what you will do to make it work. Its the best decision I've made in a long time!

Sorry about the long essay - its procrastination for the essay I should be writing!

creamteas Sun 10-Mar-13 12:40:27

I have know single parents who are working full-time do extremely well on on part-time masters courses and students with no work or caring responsibilities not being able to manage their time and get through.

So in my experience, students who really really want to study find a way to manage grin.

charliesweb Sun 10-Mar-13 12:02:20

Title says it all really. Of course I'm really please, but also apprehensive about the workload. I normally work 3 days a week, but recently have been working 5 (term time only). I have 3 DCs (5, 8 & 9). The course is a 2 year PT course. With 4 x 30 credit modules and a 15,000 dissertation. I'm worried I've taken on too much. I am due to go back to 3 days a week in September (when the MA starts) but think they may ask me to continue with some extra hours. I can of course say no and stick to 3 days a week.
Has anyone got any experience/advice/reassurance to give?!

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