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Retraining, doing a degree PT - feasible?

(11 Posts)
Popplecake Sun 06-Apr-14 21:52:53

Hi . . .

I've been thinking about changing my job (basically it is going when I get back from mat leave and the job I will be returning to is not what I would want to do in a million years!). . . so I've been wondering about the feasibility of doing a part time degree over 4 years . . or maybe try for a 1-2year apprenticeship. I have a 6m old on my own and very limited family, so I would have to pay childcare at least 3 days a week.

The advantage of the degree is that I could hang on to maybe a couple of days a week at my old job until I find something else. . this would also pay the fees which are £3500 a year.

The advantage of the apprenticeship is that it's over fairly soon, but requires full time attendance, you get about £400 a month :/ and the job at the end would probably have to be full time too.

Has anyone had any experience with this as a LP? Does any of this seem feasible with a young baby? I am the sort of person who would charge ahead and some sensible opinions would help me a lot smile

RainBow234 Sun 06-Apr-14 23:14:04

Do it!

I had my son when I was in 3rd year at uni (I did a 5 year course). It is excellent because you can work whilst they are asleep in the evenings & when you study you often get a lot of spare time between classes to spend with your little one. More flexibility than when working.

Approach your prospective college or uni student finance advisor & they will outline the help you will more than likely get towards living & child care costs.

When you finally achieve your qualifications, think how proud your little one will be of mummy. If you have to work full time you are being a strong role model & showing them what you should be doing in life.

As a mummy you will always feel like you need to be split in two, torn with guilt. At least you have an opportunity to achieve something & as long as your child care is good, you will have a happy kiddy.

P.S. you are only as strong as your child care, choose wisely.

Best of luck!!

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Thu 17-Apr-14 01:07:13

Im doing it...Im a part time teacher and stydying part time for a masters degree. Its hard work but so worthwhile. I enjoy the academic reading and meeting at seminars. Feel like Im doing something for me as well as the children's future.
All the best can do it! :0)

balia Thu 17-Apr-14 11:52:31

Another vote for do it! I retrained when DD was 3. I dithered about it for ages as I was working p/t and the course was f/t but it was definitely worth it. It was hard - I fell asleep on the living room carpet lots of times, but at least you know you are investing in your future.

In terms of which one to go for, think about which outcome you really want. Better to do 4 years and get your top job than rush in and get a bit better one.

MeMyselfAnd1 Sat 26-Apr-14 07:49:29

Please note that Benefits and tax credits are changing so, support that was available for student single parents in the past/present may not be available by the time you start the course.

Make an appointment to talk to the student welfare advisor of the university that offers the course you are interested in.

InTheNorth123 Sat 26-Apr-14 11:24:47

I am doing my FT teacher training. I started my 2nd year when DS was 4mo. SFE should be able to help you out financially, and there should be some benefita which you are entitled to as well.

All the best! It is worth it.

InTheNorth123 Sat 26-Apr-14 11:25:09


Scaryfeet Sun 22-Jun-14 02:57:51

Go for it! I started a psychology degree when my youngest was 9 months old, which I didn't complete because I wasn't ready. 12 years later I've just qualified as a marine biologist and am doing what I always dreamed of. It was really, really difficult and my kids are now 12 and 16. But there were plenty of people who did it whilst their kids were babies, and even people who were pregnant and had a baby during the courses.

There will usually be some kind of society set up for parents/mature students and those are really useful. Also, in my experience, universities encourage student parents as they tend to be more committed and work harder, often getting the best grades. This means there is some lenience with deadlines as long as procedures are followed. I was given plenty of financial support too.

I can't stress how proud you will be of yourself, as well as being an inspiration for your child. My daughter is going to university after her alevels which is awesome, I'm all about education.

I'd spend some time thinking about if you're ready. During my final year, there were a lot of nights spent working right through to hit deadlines. When I handed in my dissertation, I hadn't slept for 3 nights and forgot to eat for the most part, and couldn't even hold a conversation with the several people who tried! I'm not trying to scare you, and I'm sure you could be more organised than me. But I did this whilst volunteering for charities, setting up my own society which won awards and getting work experience on the side. If I can do it, anyone can. Best of luck x

rainbowshine1 Mon 23-Jun-14 11:31:28

I need to do something like this, how do you decide?
I like my job, I work full time but I feel like its not enough sometimes.

rissoimni Mon 23-Jun-14 14:32:00

Oh, and if it helps, I studied full time and was entitled to student loans and grants to cover living costs, as well as child tax credits and housing benefit (exempt from council tax as a full time student), and when I worked through summers was entitled to working tax credit on top of this. There are also childcare grants available but I didn't need these as my kids are older and I was home by the time they finished school.

Ljialnye Sat 05-Jul-14 11:19:29

(I'm in Wales) and gave up work when beginning university (full time) as the money is more than enough. I always have rent and childcare paid x

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