This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Is it too late for me to study psychology at Uni?(44 Posts)
I am 38 years old and will be 39 by the time the new term at University starts, I am currently studying Beauty Therapy at college and I started in January of this year.
Whilst I am enjoying the course then I have realised that I actually don’t want to work in the world of beauty, I feel that there are far too many beauty therapists nowadays and I don’t know how they can all possibly make money, in Edinburgh alone then there are so many and lots of salons on the same main roads so what really makes one stand out from the next, the next course up from the one I am doing is makeup artistry or beauty therapy and I want to do neither, you can go on Facebook and see all the women that advertise makeup yet they don’t have the actual qualification so are self taught and call themselves members or MUA.
My true passion is psychology, I absolutely love it and especially criminology, I feel that I want to be absolutely true to myself and study something that would make me very happy and it’s something I am pretty good at, understanding others I mean, I often get asked for advice from friends and I think I give pretty good advice and I can always see both sides of an argument, which one of my friends doesn’t like but there are 2 sides to an argument so it is what it is.
I am unsure about how long I would need to study and so can anyone here tell me how long a psychology degree would take? As I say I am 38 and I don’t have much time left to change careers, I don’t have a partner so I have zero financial support, money is my worry if I study for 4+ years but I want to be proud of myself and believe me when I say I haven’t done many things in the past 10 years that I am proud of, I feel like I will always regret it if I don’t do it and I feel like I am wasting time going this beauty course, I like makeup etc but I don’t want a career or even a job in it.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Meant to add that the reason I chose this course was simply to acquire new skills and get a job and make money fast, money is important to me as I am on my own.
A psychology or criminology degree won't directly give you a job. What is it that you'd want to do specifically? It's likely you'd need further qualifications on top
Well no but if it did then imo it would be a damn better job that being a makeup artist, and I’m not putting them down or anything but it’s just not for me, I’m not creative that way, I’m more creative via writing etc.
I think psychiatric nursing would be good and I would love to be a criminologist but realistically then I think years of study, more than 4 anyway are required and I haven’t got 6 years of study in me.
I hate to say this but I am going to, I am currently an escort and have done this far too long on and off and I want out now because I am desperately unhappy and I sort of have the feeling I will have to keep doing it whilst I study, the thought of working a NMW job for 40 hours a week kills me a little inside after the money I’ve been making and the freedom of time that this money allows me to make, this is why money is important to me.
I am having a battle in my own head about money versus inner happiness, yes money contributes to making one happy but I know it’s not the be all and end all but like most folks then I like nice clothes, good food etc and you can’t have all that on NMW, and I would be mentally unhealthy if I was to get another job I loathed just for money.
What qualifications have you got at the moment?
I've got a colleague who is doing a psychology degree with the OU he is in his mid thirties. It's never too late. Check it out.
A National Certificate for Office Admin Skills Level 1 from college when I was 16 but I haven’t worked in an office since 2003 so there is zero chance of me getting a job doing that even though I would, and I have bar experience and a very very large gap on my CV, nowadays employers want you to have a degree for the simplest of jobs, I really need a break, even looking for a job at the moment, which I am doing, means I still have to do what I’m doing and I hate it with a passion, always have but it’s worse now, and due to the virus then I can’t even do that!
All I would get at the moment is possibly supermarket work for NMW but then would I even get that with a large gap, I’m going to have to make some other form of self employment up if I am to stand a chance getting a normal job
I'm pretty sure that for psychiatric nursing you would need to do a mental health nursing degree not psychology. This might help although you haven't said what level of education you currently have.
Ah sorry I cross posted with you. Sounds like you would need to do an access or foundation course for a degree of any kind.
Current level of education is an NC from college which counts as an A level that you get at high school, or a higher I think. Passed my exams at school, just standard grades though, Maths at General Foundation level and English at Credit level although I don’t think schools qualifications counts when your 38!
I have life experience though and some courses require this when you are a mature student.
Cross posts again!
I will have a look at that link so thanks for that.
Any ideas on what type of industry would employ me currently? I actually feel like when going for an interview (when I get one) then just confessing what I have been doing for the past 14 years on and off and telling them I just need a break, perhaps an employer may feel sorry for me or will they be totally disgusted?! some of you may be thinking “no way should you tell them” but they respect the honesty and it’s better than having them think I’ve been a bum for years when I really haven’t, escorting isn’t a real job I know but I was paying tax (admittedly not the whole 14 years) so was contributing my bit if you like.
You could do an access course and then go on to a degree. You mentioned Edinburgh so I assume you are central belt based.
These are your options in Stirling.
How long will it take though do you know? I am confused between just taking any job just now full time OR continuing with what I’m doing (I don’t hate it but I am not enthralled by it either) but still having to do escorting part time as if I got a job whilst I studied then it would only be part time so not a hell of a lot of money and I can’t pretend that money isn’t important, what is the point of working still to struggle financially.
Plus when would I have time for a life I studied and got a real normal job, but then everyone else copes don’t they so I need to stop feeling sorry for myself.
It’s just in my current ‘job’ I can work one day and make my weeks money, but it’s killing me and life is too short to be so unhappy isn’t it...
A good place to start would be to google psychology courses at universities, just to pick up the topics they include. Then google those topics to see which if any appeal to you. Once you have narrowed the field a bit and know what you want to do , you could look for courses including full time loan funded and also part time degrees including OU.
What you really need is a 'story' for employers so that you stand out enough for them to want to ask you for an interview.
Working as a beauty therapist might be a way of helping to fund yourself through university. Actually, it would also provide lots of human experience material for you to draw upon.
Good beauty therapists understand how people work, when they really want advice and when they just want to rant ..
The important thing is to find the hook, the thing that makes you really interested and wanting to find out more. All the best.
Psychology is an interesting degree, but on it's own, not very usable. Competition for post grad is fierce and is not negotiable if you want to actually work as a psychologist. You are looking at many years and of study.
Mental health nursing is very psychologically driven. There is an 8k a year bursary from this year. It's another option which might be worth considering for you
If you want to be a mental health nurse do nursing, if you want to be a criminologist you would be best finding a course more specific to criminology. If you want to be a counsellor then you need to do courses in counselling.
I am a mature student doing a Psychology degree and there is very minimal content on crime. It is a very broad degree that touches on all areas of psychology (there are a lot) in quite a shallow way. There is a huge focus on statistics and research methods.
It sounds as though you would need to do an access course to be accepted to a university.
In terms of it being "too late" it is never too late. There are many people on my course who are a lot older than you.
Good beauty therapists know how people work and when they want to rant, I am under the impression that beauty therapists do beauty treatments, they aren’t counsellors! Yes they hear people’s problems but they aren’t expected to help them work them out, or work out is this person ranting or do they have genuine problems or do they just want their eyebrows waxed quite an odd statement to make, I don’t want to be a therapist in all honesty and I have said this.
I also have plenty human experience so unsure what you mean by this? I am 38 years old and I don’t live under a rock, so again what do you mean by this?
It's great to have aspirations and there are various possible avenues.
One slightly less positive note though, psychology has become hugely popular and consequently very competitive to get into a good university to study. Postgraduate is even fiercer.
My DSD is a psychology postgraduate, is an excellent student, but it's taken her 6 years of study and relevant work experience, £50k of debt to finally land her first full time assistant Psychologist job.
It's not fast, easy or cheap.
Her Mum strongly advised her to consider mental health nursing as it's a really good alternative and one of the few courses that attracts a bursary.
Yes I was told that many years would be taken up for psychology and I just can’t do this as it means many more years of making money in ways I don’t want too, I just wasn’t sure that my friend had the right information about studying psychology.
Human behaviour is an absolute favourite thing of mine and then writing is second, I will have to accept that psychology is just a subject I am interested in without me having to work in the field.
Funnily enough I started an Advice, Guidance and Counselling Course back in 2005 and this is exactly when I got into escorting, I was totally skint and so did what many others have done before me and started working, I ended up favouring making money rather than studying and I lost my place on the course as my attendance was shocking, I was 24 back then and thought I had all the time in the world to have a decent career yet here I am...
I loved A, G+C and there was sociology and psychology as 2 of the main subjects and I loved them and I was really pretty good at them. I think when college reopens then I will apply for that course, it will start this Aug/September but finish the course I’m on now.
Yeah psychology would be easier if I was younger but I don’t fancy being in my mid 40s before any decent career kicks off, no thanks, and especially as I am alone and would have nobody to help support me, sometimes it’s awful doing it all on your own all the time.
I have a spare bedroom so I’m going to look into renting it out for extra money, that will help me massively.
From what you’ve said I would say mental health nursing would be a way better route than psychology. Most young people who do psychology do not get a job related to it and very low earning prospects for that course unless you do the degree then masters then PhD which could take 10 years.
You have said you aren’t interested in that.
Whereas mental health nursing is 2 years as far as I know, heavily psychology focused and if you passed you would be almost guaranteed an NHS job.
Also you would be able to receive a bursary as someone upthread said.
You would have to do a btech course I believe to get into the mental health nursing course though which would take a year or two.
I meant mental health nursing is 3 years