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Is 36 too old to go to University?

(27 Posts)
mistressmiggins Wed 31-May-06 06:10:46

didnt know where else to put this question but would welcome opinions

as some of you may know, my H went off with someone in Nov and now lives 150 miles away... so no help with kids (4 and nrly 2)

I work part time in IT and I HATE IT. For about 10 yrs I have wanted to be a Primary school teacher but the snag is I dont have a degree. When I was 18 I applied to uni but when it came down to it, I didnt want to go. Not held me back - I have a good job in IT and it pays well (full time) but I cant face another 25 yrs

so do I
a) give up work, go to uni full time to get a degree and then train - 4 years
b) stay in IT cos when both kids at school I will be able to earn more money for us

I guess its the fact that I wont qualify til Im 40 AND whether I can afford to do this on my own

threebob Wed 31-May-06 06:34:27

Can't you get a B Ed in 3 years? My apologies if you can't.

beansontoast Wed 31-May-06 06:35:53


im 35 and full time at ds aged three in sept...and i would of course sya a big massive categorical GO FOR IT...really 40 is no could be workng for another 25 yrs.

uni was fantasticlly good for my self wotrh...yopu will have a [very hard]carreeer...and school hols

youll get a bursary...of at least 6 k i tyhink.

scuse my rubbish typing i have shaky hands x

mistressmiggins Wed 31-May-06 06:40:29

I havent looked into it properly - its such a big jump from comfy job (been there since 19) to University

I just figure that another 25 yrs in IT is not what I want ot do

I realise being a teacher is hard work and I know that holidays arent a breeze but at least it would be something I would enjoy - I want to help people ratjer than staring at screen all day

trouble is the mortgage on the house - havent discussed finances with H yet so in limbo

beansontoast Wed 31-May-06 06:44:20

...oh i hope i didnt sound liek i was tryingto put you off...i was just sort of covering myself for the '''ooooohhhh youll get holidays'' comment

could you do an Open university degree whaile still at your it job? that what you meant?

comfy is trumped by exhilarating in my experience

im not making the decision for you..i just cant help but be enthusiastic

mistressmiggins Wed 31-May-06 06:46:04

no no not at all - Im glad you are enthusiastic

have I left it too late for Sept though?

beansontoast Wed 31-May-06 06:50:10

no idea im afraid!

[more enthusiasm]

Lact8 Wed 31-May-06 06:51:50


I would also say go for it

My mum went to uni in her late 30's early 40's and loved it. She also got a first <proud emoticon>

My aunty went to, I'm sure she was around your agge. She is now a teacher, became head of department ithin a few years of joining the school!

I'm hoping to go to either this sept or next. I think mature students (hate that phrase) tend to be more focused on what they want, more dedicated to it and have life experience to back up all the academic knowledge

FWIW when i go, full time, the lectures only take up a Monday and Tuesday of each week so I'll still be able to work part time. I spoke to one of the tutors and the said the uni had realised that mant of the students needed to work as wel as study so had deliberately clustered the lectures together to leave 3 days free per week. It may be worth finding out if the uni you want to go to does the same

Good luck!

Lact8 Wed 31-May-06 06:54:19

excuse rubbish typing, dd just learnt to sit up on her own and have to keep catchingg her

mistressmiggins Wed 31-May-06 07:00:53

htanks you guys

off to get breakfast and go to work - will definitely look into this further

MadameClarydeClary Wed 31-May-06 08:17:22

mistress miggins, yes it would be 3 yrs for a BEd which is what you need.
Secondary or primary? If primary prob too late for this Sept but enquire; if secondary then prob a good chance, esp if you want to teach IT (industry skills very valuable and all that)
Yes, 3 years of hard work and not much cash but well worth it and no you are not too old.
FWIW I am thinking of retraining in Sept next yr (when ds2 is at school) and doing a PGCE - and I will be 43 then

nothercules Wed 31-May-06 08:59:53

Go for it. I'm a teacher in a brillian school (special) and would hate the thought of being in an office for the rest of my life.

CaptainDippy Wed 31-May-06 09:05:15


MeAndMyBoy Wed 31-May-06 09:07:15

No!! go for it.

spacedonkey Wed 31-May-06 09:07:59

as beansontoast said, a compromise option could be to do an OU degree (as I am doing and I'm older than you!). You don't have to pay the £3000 annual tuition fees and there's financial assistance available on a sliding scale if you are on a low income. You can study 120 points a year which is equivalent to a full time course at a brick uni. I don't know if they offer the courses you want though, but definitely worth checking out!

expatinscotland Wed 31-May-06 09:10:24

NO WAY! The age of retirement just went up. It'll probably go up even more for us 35+ folks.

Teaching is one of those professions where age discrimination isn't so much of an issue.

Go for it, MM!

kitegirl Wed 31-May-06 09:12:45

Definitely would encourage you to do it - I graduated last year with a BMus at age 34. I did a degree when I was younger (18-21) and at this age it is so much more rewarding.

I am also going to do a PGCE and looked at OU but to my understanding you can't do a primary PGCE at OU? However, many universities offer flexible PGCEs that allow you to do it part time and take study breaks etc. You get a training grant which at least for me is a big bonus (childcare costs!).

acnebride Wed 31-May-06 09:13:07

well i'm hoping to go and get a degree at 38 (grin) so I hope not!

Isn't there a scheme where you can train on the job for some forms of teaching? Something to do with training teaching assistants? I obviously know nowt about this but could be worth looking into?

FioFio Wed 31-May-06 09:13:28

Message deleted

threebob Wed 31-May-06 09:56:49

I have a degree, but since ds I'm getting a postgrad qualification to do what I really want to do by the time he starts school. I'm 33 - but in the scheme of things that's not much different.

Ledodgyherring Wed 31-May-06 10:00:06

We had an 80 year old, a 60 year old and a 50 year old on our university course so no 36 isn't too old. Go for it!

Piffle Wed 31-May-06 10:00:50

Go for it
my friend did a law degree at 38 graduated at 41 and now earns a lot and is happy happy happy.
It was hard graft she had a good child minder and good friends
Or consider OU?

PollyLogos Wed 31-May-06 10:48:21

I think this is the site you need to look at mistress miggins.

Good luck (and no you certainly aren't too old!)

peachyClair Wed 31-May-06 10:48:58


I started a degree last year (at 32) and hope to teach also.

I'm not the oldest on the course by several decades, I kinda fit in the missle which is excellent. Ia lso find that I'm a more reliable student because I am used to deadlines, multi tasking and all that. My grades are good, because of that. I also love beingt here because its want I want to do, as opposed to having ab reak before I go into the real world , or have an excuse to drink lots for three years. I even just got accepted as a Uni mentor because it is so obvious I love it there.

I also didn't do higher ed at 18- I left a nurse training course as I hated it- but it suits me better now.

OK, its hard work with the kids (I have three under 7, one with sn) but they don't mind the lack of designer names at this age. And frankly, the grants system SO FAR has been more generous that I realised. This may of course change with this application.

What I would say is check out the mature student population in the Uni you are after- I applied and was acepted for Bristol, but declined because although it si a great Uni, the mature student population is quite small (as told to me but their mature student advisor), instead I am at Newport- new Uni, but big percentage (I think 40% overall) of students over 25. It hink it makes for an easier going, more inclusive atmosphere.

FillyjonktheSnibbet Wed 31-May-06 11:10:31

Oh god, I hope not, thats how old I'll be at this rate!

My dad did it and had a great time and retrained.

I also think its v posivie for kids to see parents going through uni and studying. Tells them a. uni is a good thing and b. you can always keep studying later in life.

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