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Choosing a uni...

(8 Posts)
LissyGlitter Mon 07-Sep-09 14:06:11

I have been provisionally (I need to go and meet the tutors for a "chat") offered a place at two unis to study part time. How do I choose which one to go for? Northumbria won't give me APL, so I will have to start from scratch, but that could give me a chance to get better marks (I averaged a high 2:1 for my first year at uclan, I reckon a first is within my grasp, although first year marks don't count anyway) and they don't do comb hons, so I will have to do straight lit, although lit is my first love anyway.

Sunderland look like I will be able to do combined English and sociology, and will give me APL (although it's not clear how much). However, Sunderland is harder to get to from my house (even though I technically live in Sunderland), and is easier to get into, so presumably the classes are more likely to be full of people who shouldn't be at uni in the first place. Sunderland would appear to be more flexible about me wanting to be very part time this year, as opposed to Northumbria who seem to want me to fit into a pre-designed part time timetable, although that could be a good thing as presumably that means there will be a few people doing the same as me.

How do I go about choosing? I need to choose in the next couple of days really, to give stuff time to get sorted out before enrolment. I really want to go this year, studying is a big part of my identity, and I'm keen to get back to the books.

Tortington Mon 07-Sep-09 14:11:44

first of all congratulations. i was in the same boat as you and ( forever the pessimist) i chose the uni that would be more flexible with my three kids (then under 5yrs old)

you just don't know what circumstances befall you in three (or more) years - it is a huge investment.

thirtysomething Mon 07-Sep-09 14:14:10

Not sure what to advise - only you know what's right for you? What is your gut feeling? Which do you feel more at home in? Which suits your future plans/learning style best? Which fits best with your lifestyle/other commitments? You will need to spend a lot of time at whichever you choose so you need to think quite practically as well...

Do you have children? if so which will be easiest to fit in around childcare as this will have a huge impact on how you cope with the course (and therefore your grades....)

LissyGlitter Mon 07-Sep-09 14:19:00

Well I already have one child and am heavily pregnant with another - I know, madness to go to uni when I know for a fact that I will give birth in termtime (November 22nd is the due date) but I just hate the idea of having to wait another year and possibly forgetting how to write an essay! Also, Literature is quite a good subject for fitting around babies naptimes and so on, so hopefully I should be ok. I have extremely supportive in-laws four doors away anyway.

I will probably be studying for at least six years, so it is a pretty big chunk of my life that I am talking about. I am fully intending on doing some kind of PG qualification afterwards as well, so I will probably be studying until my children are well into high school - good god, it sounds a long time put like that!

LissyGlitter Mon 07-Sep-09 14:24:21

thirtysomething- I don't really know much about the unis- I have only just moved into the area and was originally planning on waiting a while before going back to uni, so haven't looked round the campuses or anything. What would you say is the best way of getting a "feel" for a university?

The main thing swinging me towards Northumbria is its location - it is in the centre of Newcastle, so it will be a lot easier to get to on public transport, and will presumably have a better social life (hopefully involving daytime activities!) than Sunderland. Also I prefer the atmosphere of Newcastle as a city to Sunderland - it seems somehow more cultured.

Childcare really shouldn't be a problem as my retired in-laws have said they will rearrange their lives to fit around my uni commitments.

Tortington Mon 07-Sep-09 14:24:26

there was a girl at uni who gave birt in term time - and returned with baby in sling into lectures!

i was in AWE

thirtysomething Mon 07-Sep-09 14:37:55

Sounds like you are already leaning towards Northumbria!?! if childcare not diffifcult to arrange then go to the one you like the look of best in terms of course, location etc as these are two very important factors....

To get the feel of them I would say meet your main tutors as these will be very important fixtures over the next few years? Also find out exactly how frequent/long etc essays are likely to be so you can see which will fit best (i.e. are they all squashed together at the end of the year or nicely paced?). Also what is their attitude like about the fact that you will miss work when the baby arrives?

LissyGlitter Mon 07-Sep-09 15:03:45

I've had a look at the reading lists and I'm pretty sure Northumbria is for me - it seems more traditional, which I like.

Thanks for your help!

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