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Starting a masters with a baby - getting into social work(4 Posts)
Sorry this is long!
I'm 21, got pregnant in my final year of uni. I found pregnancy okay (not awful like some people but certainly not easy) but dealing with it alongside final year dissertation and exams, working 20 hours a week in retail, plus an unsupportive family, meant I finished my degree in English Language in June with a 2.2. It's from a very good university (top 10 in all the rankings) which gives it some weighting, but it's still not what I hoped for
I realised in the last year or so that I'd really love to go into social work. To do this I need a 2.1 OR a 2.2 plus a masters, so I'm going down the masters route. The MA doesn't have to be in social work specifically, and with a baby and bills to pay (1-2 years full time on a 10k loan, minus the fees would give me £3000 to live off over 2 years) is impossible in my situation. Instead I've looked into MA education which sounds great.
My dilemma is, do I do this from home via the Open University, or at a local university (Chester or a Manchester one)?
Open Uni: no childcare fees as it's from home, no commuting costs, flexible with time as all done online so easy to work PT around it. However: takes 2 years starting March 2018, and (my main issue) isolation - we recently moved to a new area and I dont know anyone here and I only see family once a week, so I feel like I'll really miss the personal experience of uni - speaking to tutors, group work, making friends etc.
Local university: more of a real uni experience, make friends and have a social life, more engaging to learn 'in real life', only takes one year (starting October 2018). However: would have to pay childcare costs & commute into the city/town, no flexibility in timetable so might be hard to work alongside.
Do you have relevant work experience? In my experience, which was a while ago now, I did an MA at Sussex in Social Work which was also a diploma in social work but was also offered a B Phil at Exeter. They were more interested in my voluntary and relevant work experience. I'd worked as a full time volunteer in a therapeutic special school for children with emotional and behaviourial problems and then as a house parent in the school for a year. So in my experience, you'd be better off volunteering or getting a job in a social work field.
Enquire with the college/University about what financial support is available for childcare. you may qualify for a parental learning allowance as well as help with childcare costs
I think the local one but your working alongside should be social work related - not any random job. This would get you in a much better position for employment. It won't be about qualifications and your English degree won't count for much. It's what you do from now on that will matter.