Full time masters - time commitment

(29 Posts)
TheExtraGuineaPig Fri 03-Jun-16 10:08:06

I have just been accepted to a full time taught masters (HRM). I am not sure what I will need in terms of childcare ... I was hoping to manage with just the minimum (ie pick up drop off if I'm actually at lectures). I have 2 primary age DCs. does anyone have any experience of this? Will I need some after school childcare to study or is it possible to fit it in the school day and evenings? Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
Waitingforsherlock Sat 04-Jun-16 09:01:38

Hoping to see some answers too as I've just signed up to an online conversion with a view to hopefully going on to a MSc. Everything I've read quotes twenty hours a week, which I presume covers lectures, reading and actual pen to paper work. Im not sure how you'd quantify all the thinking about it time that goes on too.

I have a friend who is currently doing a taught masters and she spends two days a week at Uni, ( although not full ones), and works most days at home during school hours. I know she also does work at night too. I expect it varies greatly depending on whether you have a paper due in or not.

eatyourveg Sat 04-Jun-16 16:30:45

I'd like to know the answer too although I suspect it varies hugely depending on the course - ds will need to work alongside his full time taught MA but knowing how many hours/days he would have free would help him select potential employers - I assume he asked the question though at the post grad open day but knowing him he probably didn't grin

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 04-Jun-16 16:32:58

I've been accepted on to a part time masters and I'm now crapping myself. Can I do it with two kids in primary school, a 30 hour a week job and no external childcare...?


badabadabadabwee Sat 04-Jun-16 16:37:59

I've done both PT and FT taught Masters. The PT was was spread over 3 years and I'd say was about 15 hours a week.

The FT one was a Psychology conversion MSc. It was ridiculously intense. Easily 40+ hours a week (really, 40 would let people stay afloat but 60 was needed to get decent grades) but thankfully I had been warned about this so was able to take a year off work. It was a very hard year.

badabadabadabwee Sat 04-Jun-16 16:38:20

I should say the FT one was one academic year.

Keithyoustink Sat 04-Jun-16 16:38:23

I'm doing a ft taught masters - it 's been really variable time wise. This term, I've been doing work most days - at other points it been 1 or 2 days a week with more work as a deadline approached.

I've really enjoyed it though most of the time


badabadabadabwee Sat 04-Jun-16 16:40:34

And about 15% of people dropped out of the FT one once they realised how much work was actually involved. However, they had been warned that it was not advised to combine the FT MSc with working... but they chose not to heed the advice hmm

Waitingforsherlock Sat 04-Jun-16 18:16:38

Oh no badab, it's a psychology MSc I've just enrolled on... Not working at the moment but one of my dc is currently home ed, ( although I'm not doing any of the teaching). Can I ask what you did with the MSc Psychology once you had finished please?

Noregretsatall Sat 04-Jun-16 22:12:10

Watching these responses with interest too. I start a Master's in Sept. Have just left my (very badly paid) job but will look to get a new part-time job in the autumn once I know what my timetable looks like.

whatwouldrondo Sun 05-Jun-16 10:56:40

Although I did a part time Masters even so when work was due in or I had to prepare for a presentation then it could be incredibly intense and I would just have to drop everything for a week or so (and a whole summer in the case of the diss) . My children were at secondary school so it was possible without extra help. The issue is that all my best intentions to work during school hours and at night evaporated in the face of needing to keep my ideas developing, to do well I had to work that intensively.

Another issue was that the course structure was the opposite of parent friendly with most work set at the end of the module / term with the deadline the start of the next term, and though I tried to get them to enable me to start my diss in the summer term the supervisor would not make themselves available so that hijacked a summer holiday too.

If I had had primary age children I would have needed additional childcare.

feesh Sun 05-Jun-16 11:02:58

I'm doing a part time MSc and it's pretty full on, I'd say around 20 hours a week. I've done 3 modules over the last academic year that I would have taken in one term if I was doing it full time. With that in mind, and the experience of friends who did their MScs straight after uni, a FT masters is very full-on indeed, I'd say 40-60 hours a week.

Noregretsatall Sun 05-Jun-16 11:39:09

That's interesting Feesh. So, if I look for part time work, I'd be best off doing the Masters part time I think as working on top of a 30-40 hour study timetable wouldn't be possible with my other family commitments.

Becca19962014 Sun 05-Jun-16 14:29:43

I did a FT masters and the first term was extremely hard - at least one essay due every week, extensions were never allowed (as you couldn't catch up) and teaching was full time four days a week (9-6) and half day the fifth day. Half the course dropped out. There was one person doing it part time but it wasn't well organised for part time and the assumption was everyone did it full time and they ended up dropping out - the arrangement of teaching meant it was very difficult to be able to work around the course part time and the module split was difficult as lecturers would refer to courses the part timer wasn't doing.

The second term wasn't quite as hard, not as many essays due, teaching was just slightly less - so four full days.

I treated my masters like a full time job so was there 9-6 every day but needed to put in a lot of time in the library in the evenings as well. I didn't manage a distinction for my masters, but I managed to average more than I did at undergrad so was pleased.

It was nothing like my undergrad, everyone said that. It was a conversion masters and those, in my experience are the ones which are very intensive teaching wise as they fit three years teaching into one.

Chippednailvarnishing Sun 05-Jun-16 14:44:30

You'll all scaring me now!

I've only got to do two modules (I have prior credits) and I'll get the degree. It's just one particular module that worries me. I think I just need to grow a pair and get on with it!

Becca19962014 Sun 05-Jun-16 14:58:47

Sorry blush maybe yours will be ok especially if you already have modules. Could you contact the department instead to ask?

JamieVardysParty Sun 05-Jun-16 15:05:12

I'm doing a PT HRM MSc and I'm doing a minimum of 20 hours per week, more like 30-35 around assignments.

I'd definitely expect a FT HRM course to be at least 40 hours. Do you know what your timetable looks like?

Chippednailvarnishing Sun 05-Jun-16 18:05:15

How many modules do you take at one time Jamie?

Nightwish Sun 05-Jun-16 19:47:36

I am currently doing a FT MSc in HRM.
I chose to do it FT rather than the PT equivalent as I wanted it to be completed in one year not two.
I also work 16 hours a week alongside and have 2 DC, one is primary school age and the other is nearly 3.

I am lucky that my teaching is organised so that you can work around it, so two days a week with 4 hours teaching on each day.
I don't really do much work outside of the course each week, maybe a few hours reading or planning.
When assignments are due, then I do a couple of hours each evening after the DC are in bed and more when needed to get the work done at weekends or my days that I don't work.

I don't think this is overly normal though, all of my friends on my course put much more time in than this. I have achieved distinctions in every module so far but I think I am lucky as I don't really draft work, I just write it, have one read through and then submit. I only seem to work very well under pressure but this may be from necessity of not having much time on my hands.

eatyourveg Sun 05-Jun-16 20:50:31

ds wants to do middle east politics - if there is an essay due in each week he is not going to be able to get any sort of p/t job. The fees are close to the max student loan so he's going to have to think very carefully about how he intends to live

Becca19962014 Sun 05-Jun-16 23:02:24

eat if it is anything like mine p/t work wasn't an option and the uni made that clear. Despite what you see on MN there are courses (inc some undergrad) where part time work and full time course just isn't an option due to work load - especially masters, it's common to forget it is a step up academically from undergrad and is a different experience work and time wise.

Also you are only considered a student from May to September, the taught part, not for dissertation so for example his bank account will revert start of May to a standard bank account and not a student one (can be a nasty shock if students are expecting accounts to remain student with low interest overdrafts etc to continue beyond may) and other things as well.

Really he needs to ask the department to be sure regarding work, though I suspect they'll advise against it.

TheExtraGuineaPig Mon 06-Jun-16 07:38:44

Thanks everyone... Just getting my head round the fact it is going to be very full on! It's been a loooong time since my undergraduate days.

OP’s posts: |
Bunkai Mon 06-Jun-16 08:50:42

I recently completed an MSc as a mature student. It was 2 years enquiry based learning. I was in 2 days a week unless on placement which is a full-time job. It is intense bur do-able. You need to find your study groove around your DCs. For me this was starting studying at 9pm once DCs were in bed and going into early hours. Getting up for school run then back to bed during the morning. I was more productive this way. So find what works for you.

Needmoresleep Mon 06-Jun-16 12:22:06

Veg, it presumably depends on where he plans to study. The sensible thing might be to ask some current students, perhaps via The Student Room.

DS says that students on the one year Masters programmes at LSE hit the library an hour after registration and don't leave until the year is up. (The University helpfully provide bean bags to rest on if you find yourself falling asleep.) The undergraduates he knows work hard, but the Masters students work even harder. But perhaps not surprising when home fees for the year's course in Economics are almost £25,000 and a stonking £31,600 for the Masters in Finance.

I suspect that work load and fee wise this is at one end of the spectrum. But don't know how broad the spectrum is.

JamieVardysParty Mon 06-Jun-16 15:17:30

Chipping, it's one module at a time. Teaching for 8 weeks + 1 reading week + 1 essay week. One week off and repeat!

4 a year for 2 years and then a 7 month dissertation. I'm halfway through my sixth module.

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