Mature student advice needed

(7 Posts)
notanothercheesesandwich Sun 29-Jul-18 12:12:00

I have several dilemas. I recently did a short course that required a Uni module to be completed. I really enjoyed getting my teeth into studying again and always regret not getting a degree. Having found out I got 75% on the assignment (equivalent to a 1st I believe) it has inspired me to try and get my degree.

Issue 1, funding: I started a BSc 22 years ago. I did the first year but had ongoing medical problems, struggled to settle in, and was a bit lazy! I took my end of year exams failed most of them but passed the subsidiary subjects. I applied at the time to repeat the year but the uni refused unless i could prove i could be well?? Have worked and then been a sahm since. Will i be able to get funding to start a new degree? (student finance England website keeps saying it has an error when trying to apply). From what i have read if you can prove you ended study due to ill health you should be able to get funding again - how do i prove it? Do i make a GP appointment?

Issue 2, when and where? I live in quite an isolated region of the South West so my only real options are University of Plymouth (and partner colleges) or Open university. I have 3 children and the youngest is now at school so feel this is the time to give it a go. I don't want to wait another whole year to get started. Both OU and Plymouth have course programmes i like, but i think OU will give me more flexibility and still be OK to apply to now. Plymouth would give me more tutor/tutor group contact which i think would be a real asset but will make life logistically more complicated and ultimately more expensive.

Issue 3, future goals: I'm still not sure what i want to do with this when I'm finished but i am hoping that is will open up graduate pathways. I am looking at studying subjects that interest me so that i am motivate to finish rather than determined to get a particular degree - although that might become apparent through the course. My main motivation is personal though. I always thought i would get a degree and it is a huge disappointment/regret that i haven't yet.

Any advice on the above would be appreciated. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Bombardier25966 Sun 29-Jul-18 12:17:19

You'll be fine on funding. They work on a course length +1 entitlement, so even without proof of your circumstances before you'll be eligible.

Lots of universities offer distance learning courses. You need to narrow down what you want to do and then start searching.

MitchDash Sun 29-Jul-18 12:30:12

You need to check the pathway before you choose the course. Many graduates still end up in Tesco or Starbucks because their degrees aren't related to real life, unless of course you just want to study a subject that is purely for your interest.

Just finished my degree at Plymouth and there is academic support available for traditional courses but it's very generic and wasn't relevant in any way to my course and I had to muddle through myself. IMO they aren't set up to be understanding about personal circumstances and extenuating circumstances are not straight forward and from personal experience if you go to Plymouth consider joining a union (that took me by surprise and escalated quickly).

notanothercheesesandwich Sun 29-Jul-18 12:54:36

Thank you @bombardier25966 and @mitchdash I am still unsure as to what i want to do. I have a great interest in working with children and education but don't want to be a teacher! I also enjoy social sciences/human geography. From what i can see there are several relatively open degrees that allow you to pix a mix of subjects within similar genres and specialising at the end if at all.

If not using OU is it too late for 2018 start?

OP’s posts: |
RoryGillmoresEvilTwin Sun 29-Jul-18 14:32:15

I did 1 year of uni 10 years ago. Due to many extenuating circumstances I dropped out.
I've now got a place to restart the same degree + foundation year and I've got full student finance so you should be fine.

I'd say go for it.
It's going to be bloody hard work, as I'm a lone parent, but I'll regret it forever if I don't do It!
Good luck!

badgerhead Mon 30-Jul-18 06:54:54

I did my degree with the Open University in Early Years and am now studying for my MA Childhood & Youth with them. I only had one A level plus a level three in childcare to start. With the OU you can also do an Open Degree in which you can mix & match your subjects, as long as you do the right level of modules for each level of the degree (two 60 point modules or equivalent) to each level (traditional year, as it can take 6 years to do a degree with the OU part time). I agree look at the different online courses universities offer, it is not not just the OU, my dd1 has just graduated from Derby after doing an online degree in Psychology, which is fully accredited by the BPS, and is planning on doing a Health Psychology Masters, again online, with Ulster University. When I was looking to do my MA I looked at several unis and courses, but decided to stay with the OU.

Smellylittleorange Sat 04-Aug-18 00:22:40

What about Plymouth Marjon ..? Do they do anything you like?

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