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(30 Posts)
BCBG Tue 30-Sep-14 19:40:56

I'm 53, just completed an MA and it was suggested I applied for a (practice-led) PhD. I applied, for a part time one, and got accepted. Now what the do I do? I have two students and one schoolchild still at home, my garden is a mess and the fridge is already empty. Please can someone tell me to get a grip - either way. I honestly don't know what to do for the best. I don't need the PhD for work so this would purely be soul satisfaction. AM I mad?

Swagamama Wed 01-Oct-14 17:19:05

Your soul might be satisfied but the school child at home won't be if he or she is permanently hungry.

AMumInScotland Wed 01-Oct-14 17:24:24

Get the students to clear the garden and do a trip to the supermarket?

forago Wed 01-Oct-14 17:26:21

Don't be silly of course you can do it! I've got 3 primary aged chidlren and work ft - as long as your organised it is perfectly possible!!

kelda Wed 01-Oct-14 17:26:35

Go for it! It's a great opportunity to do a PhD.

tess73 Wed 01-Oct-14 17:26:57

Is it part time? Can you do it school hours? Or is this on top of a job?

kelda Wed 01-Oct-14 17:27:27

Order food online, get the older children to do the gardening/shopping. Go for it, you won't get a chance to do this again.

forago Wed 01-Oct-14 17:28:20


a) you're doing it part-time which I presume means over a longer period so less time pressure
b) your children are older and perfectly capable of helping out - especially the students - send them to the supermarket, hire a gardener

LapsedPacifist Wed 01-Oct-14 17:41:33

Wow - that sounds amazing! Go for it! I'm also 53 and half way through a part-time MA, after graduating last year. I would LOVE to do a PHD!

Empty fridge - online delivery. Messy garden - get a goat! grin Train child to take care of goat!

BestIsWest Wed 01-Oct-14 21:33:41

Sounds amazing, go for it. I'm 51 and would love to do an MA, though I think I will have to wait a few years. Been thinking about it for a few already.

BCBG Wed 01-Oct-14 22:12:12

BestIsWest - go for it - I started mine 3 years ago part time - best thing I ever did! Yes it would be part time, students are at uni but around in holidays.

Maddaddam Fri 03-Oct-14 18:26:47

I teach and supervise mature students doing doctorates (some phds, some "professional doctorates"). Quite a few of my students are in their 50s and 60s. It's a subject which has always had a lot of mature students but the number of 50- and 60-somethings on doctorates is fairly recent, I think.

They are a pleasure to teach, so motivated and dedicated and interesting. A lot of them are doing it for personal satisfaction, a few for career change reasons or late career development. So I wouldn't see it as mad at all. I find them all quite inspiring (I'm in my 40s so that life stage seems quite a long way off still).

outtolunchagain Wed 08-Oct-14 18:45:26

This thread is really encouraging, I am 49 and considering a masters but as I did my first degree nearly 30 years ago , I don't think zi could go straight in , I know from my ds that the whole thing has changed such a lot.I have been considering doing a graduate cert or similar at Birkbeck as a pre run to an MA .

Has anyone gone straight to an MA after a long period out ?

BCBG Wed 08-Oct-14 20:08:46

outtolunch - thats what I've just done - thirty year gap and straight into an MA at Birkbeck. Loved every single minute, very mixed ages - my course ranged from 23-68 in age (I'm 53, started it at 51). Birkbeck is brilliant, part time if you want it, evening study, completely geared to having other things in life as well. Only warning is module essays are submitted first week of Jan and last week of April so you have to do the work before school holidays kick in if you are wise (I wasn't! grin) but here I am, enrolled for a PhD. Do it, do it, do it. You won't need a grad cert, trust me. It comes back like riding a bike - I was surprised how easily I slipped back into the groove. I also got back into the coffee and all nighters but that's another story! Made loads of new friends too.

outtolunchagain Wed 08-Oct-14 23:25:24

BCBG what subject is your MA in?I have booked to go to an open evening in November but have so many questions.I don't live in London but can commute in and do occasionally for work, have looked at a couple of closer Universities but the set up at Birkbeck just seems so much better for people with other lives .

outtolunchagain Thu 09-Oct-14 08:08:11

By the way I also have one at university, one at college and a 13 year old , I also have a part time responsible job, a frequently empty fridge , a badly kept garden , a barky dog and some hens I mad?

BCBG Thu 09-Oct-14 12:24:42

Would rather not say for fear of outing myself but Dept is English & Humanities.Lots of students commute - one with me last year commuted from Milton Keynes. The part time job - most students n my course were working at least part time as well - but you will find that you have a lot to do so part time study will suit you best.

outtolunchagain Thu 09-Oct-14 12:53:02

Aah possible similar subject choice then .wink

PiratePanda Thu 09-Oct-14 17:28:05

Do it for personal satisfaction but not for anything else. At 53 and therefore close to 60 when you finish it won't add anything to your career profile or salary. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, all other things considered.

outtolunchagain Thu 09-Oct-14 18:04:20

I am not worried about my career, for me it's personal satisfaction.I went to a very university at 18 straight from girls boarding school and really it was a bit of a continuation.I have always regretted not making more of the intellectual opportunities but I just don't think I was mature enough to make that jump.We got very little support from tutors and you just plodded along really .I did meet dh thoughwink

Plus I was the first in my family to go to university and my parents felt strongly that I had to study something useful, their preference was law but I managed to sneak in economics ( as a pre curser to becoming an accountant) and once there slid in joint honours with politics , but my real love was history or philosophy .Accountancy has been good to me I have always had a job but it doesn't feed my soul , this feels like my last chance .

outtolunchagain Thu 09-Oct-14 18:05:07

Sorry hijacking the thread blush

madeofkent Thu 09-Oct-14 19:05:01

MiL did it, starting at 54. She had to stretch it out a bit, illness and family problems, but they let her. She also had to move countries twice so could only live with FiL during holiday-time! It's paid off though, she is 70 and jets off all around the world giving lectures, she has more energy than I do.

At the other end DD is in her 4th year of a law degree, has two tiny children and two jobs. She can only study after they have gone to bed - and one of her jobs involves working two nights a week. She says she loves it - but I am the one who gets the late-night feeling-downtrodden messages on FB, and lose my own sleep calming her!

I did accountancy, I know exactly what you mean. I begged my children not to do it, it's soul-destroying! I got out as soon as I could, retrained as a gardener - and ended up with arthritic hips! Actually it wasn't the numbers part I minded, it was the people I had to deal with.

outtolunchagain Thu 27-Nov-14 17:16:14

Just reviving this thread as I went to the open evening last night , seemed really weird to be there for me and not for ds .Oh dear though I think I may be hooked .

Such an eclectic bunch of people there all ages , sexes and nationalities, even met one lady who was going to commute from Sheffield !

Still undecided whether to do a grad cert first though ,

LaVolcan Fri 28-Nov-14 17:33:13

Go for it - but ask them whether they advise a grad cert first. I am sure they will help because they won't want you to drop out or fail.

outtolunchagain Fri 28-Nov-14 17:52:16

To be honest the advice was quite difficult to gauge , it was largely down to it depends how confident I feel .however they did say in certain circumstances they would advise a grad cert after application so may apply for MA. And if I get an interview discuss it then .

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