Returning to university as a single mum. Is it Possible?

(13 Posts)
Heidi3333 Fri 17-Apr-20 19:40:50

Hi there

Looking for some opinions/experiences please.

I’m 44 and a single mum to a 4 year old. She is a donor child so no father at all in the picture. She’s due to start school next August.
I’ve been a nurse for 20 years now and although I still like my job I feel I’m at a crossroads now as I’m not sure I want to continue nursing until I retire. I feel like I’ve exhausted all my nursing opportunities and would like to try something different.
I did a ordinary science degree when I was in my 20s and had the chance to study Honours anatomy but I had to leave earlier than I wanted due to health problems (now under control). I was fascinated with the subject and even now regret not completing my studies. I also feel I’ve never reached my academic potential.
I have looked into doing the degree part-time but it would take me a 2 years access course and then 8 years part-time to complete the degree - is graduate at age 54!! Would this be too late to start a new career? I’d love to be able to study full time over 4 years but couldn’t afford it as I have a mortgage and bills to pay plus I’d have to give up my nursing and lose my registration. Everything seemed so much simpler when I was younger!
Have any other single mums managed to study for a degree while working part time and caring for a child? Is it even possible?!
Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
worldweary45 Fri 17-Apr-20 19:49:58

No it's not too late, I graduated at 39 and wasn't the oldest by a long chalk

Contact the uni though, I thought I'd need to do an access course but because of my work history I didn't and went straight to the degree

pinkrocker Fri 17-Apr-20 19:52:34

Go for it. I retrained age 40 and graduated with a first class honours, I'm a single mum of two.
Had to do the access course at local high school first which was hard, but it got me back in the mindset of learning, writing and referencing!

Heidi3333 Sat 18-Apr-20 11:30:54

Thanks ladies. Loved hearing your inspirational stories.
I already have 2 degrees and thought that'd
Be enough to start my new course but I still have to do an access course.
Did you do your courses part or full time?

OP’s posts: |
pinkrocker Sat 18-Apr-20 12:49:00

When my DC were 8&6 I did the access course over 1 or 2 evenings a week, I paid a babysitter for that and the univeraity course was full time over 3 years, (uni was 40 miles drive away) so I was away from 7am, back by 6pm, loooong days!
I got a free grant for the access course and full student loan for the rest. DC were at school, grandparents or a before and after school club which was helped out by maintenance grant. University also helped me with their hardship fund. I was very lucky that people were so supportive, I couldn't have done it without them!

Heidi3333 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:12:40

Pink rocker sounds like you had a lot of support which is great. I'm planning on starting my access course when DD starts school and then my degree will be 4 years full time or 8 years part time. My parents will hopefully help out. Sounds like you had good financial suppprt as well which is great. I'll neeed to look into all of that. Certainly sounds possible. You've given me hope!

OP’s posts: |
pinkrocker Sun 19-Apr-20 18:28:33

Aw thank you. I certainly couldn't have done it without my parents. Good luck!


Bessiebigpants Mon 20-Apr-20 15:35:16

I did SCPHN as single mum Year of hell but doable with 3 primary aged kids and working agency at weekends Age is a number and if it's a way out of nursing Go for it or you will regret it!

Heidi3333 Mon 20-Apr-20 16:33:24

Hi Bessie
What's SCPHN?
Well find studying as a single mum of 3. That's inspiring! How long was your course?

OP’s posts: |
Bessiebigpants Mon 20-Apr-20 17:59:24

It's public health degree/masters (health visitor school nurse occupational health nurse) course Part time uni part time in practice

Heidi3333 Tue 21-Apr-20 16:54:05

Well done Bessie, that's impressive.

OP’s posts: |
borninastorm Tue 21-Apr-20 17:05:50

Will you fund the degree course yourself if you’re in England?
If not and you’re in England, it would be beneficial to check that student finance will pay your tuition fees if you’ve had previous U.K. study.
I’m currently studying full-time for a degree (I’m a 48 year old single mother of 3) and I had to start in the second year cos I had previous study 25 years ago (2 year HND course) and student finance will only provide 4 years tuition fee loans in total.

Heidi3333 Wed 22-Apr-20 13:41:34

Hi birninastorm

No I'm in Scotland. I'll need to look into that as I've already had 3 years funding for a previous degree.

OP’s posts: |

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