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OU Study and baby on the way!

(15 Posts)
mummytobe123 Wed 31-Aug-11 15:47:00

I've been studying with the OU for about 3 years and need to complete two level 3 courses to get an honours degree.

The plan was to start the first of these level 3 courses in October, however, with my first baby due at the end of Feb I'm wondering whether this is sensible! I had hoped that I could defer if I had to drop out half way through the course but apparantly this is not possible at level 3 so if I did the work I had already done (and the money paid presumably) would be for nothing.

I manage to do studying at the moment whilst working full time but am just not sure whether to risk starting the course or not. I just wondered whether anyone out there had any experience of studying with the OU with small children?

usingapseudonym Wed 31-Aug-11 16:09:15

I managed finishing my degree when I had my baby but it does depend a little on the course you are doing /dates etc. Looking back I'm not entirely sure how I did it! I certainly found it easier studying with a newborn that I would now with a toddler.

There should be an OU person you can ring to discuss how it would work if you need to defer a course, I think the further through you get it affects how much you have to pay if you have to repeat or something like that.

Ideally you will need some allocated time each week to study. I had no family support so it did mean sacrificing family time when my husband supervised the baby while I studied. I was quite lucky in that I could process text quite fast. I think if I'd tried to do the full hours (14?) a week I would have struggled.

Also do you go to tutorials? I had to give that up and really missed it!

good luck though - I'm so proud I finished my OU degree smile

mummytobe123 Wed 31-Aug-11 17:30:21

Thanks pseudonym

Sounds like you did amazingly, especially with no family support!

I would have my mum who could take the baby for a few hours each week and I too find that I can whizz through the texts quite quickly...if I spent the recommended number of hours a week studying for my current course there's no way I'd fit it in!

I suppose I just wondered whether my head would be into the studying I guess or whether I'll be so consumed with baby thoughts that I haven't got the room to think about anything else?!

Suppose you only find out when you're in the situation.

BerryLellow Wed 31-Aug-11 17:33:49

I have done a level one since having children, although I fell pregnant again and couldn't complete the last couple of assignments. Now with two I think I would have to be either quite disciplined in the evening (which I'm not) or have someone look after the children/study during school+pre school hours.

I would say not so much with a new baby, but that's just me

usingapseudonym Wed 31-Aug-11 17:35:18

If mum is round the corner then definitely try it!

I did like having something else to get my head around although I was a little nuts close to tma deadlines. It's definitely worth getting ahead of reading /tmas before the babe comes if possible with the course - and warning your tutor you may need an extension when it comes.

Hope it goes well smile I've really enjoyed studying with the OU smile

suburbandream Wed 31-Aug-11 17:39:24

I started my first course while on maternity leave with DS1- didn't plan it that way but never mind! Roll on 7 years (had one year off) and another DS later, and I got my degree. The best bit was sitting my third year exam whilst 8 and a 1/2 months pregnant with DS2, hoping I wouldn't go into labour (and wondering how I'd manage to sit for 3 hours without needing a week grin). It's not easy but if you manage your time well you can do it.

applecharlotte Wed 31-Aug-11 17:57:41


DS was born on the start date of my final level 3 module in Feb. I fully expected to not be able to cope and have to defer however I've managed to maintain high marks in the TMA's and have to say its been great to have something other to think about other than poo and vomit and lack of sleep.

I've found that although I have less time to study, the hours I do get I use better - less time for procrastination. It's all about getting people to help out near deadlines, be it family/friends or babysitters (if you're in a position to do so). Like, the above poster I also think its easier to study with a small baby than a toddler - so I think the timing might be ok for you.

I read a piece of research somewhere that found first time mothers were at their most intelligent the year after birth compared to any other time in their lives...something to do with us having to learn so much so fast when becoming mothers and our brains are like sponges as a result!

One tip - I started TMA 1 in January and handed it in a month early so I could have 4 weeks study free after giving birth. I didn't get out of bed for that first month so am glad I did!

Good luck... if you're doing psych by any chance PM me. Oh and congratulations!

NormanTebbit Wed 31-Aug-11 18:04:00

Do it

I started my first OU course (DSE212) when DD3 was a few months old. I also had DD2 2.6 and DD1, 4 so I was pretty busy.

You have to be fairly mercenary - ask for extensions, be dsiciplined and prepared to then 'that'll do' for some TMA's.

minipen Wed 31-Aug-11 18:35:41

I think if you are doing your level 3s one at a time it should be manageable, they send out course materials early so you could start ahead, just be flexible with yourself, although you can't take interrupted study if you find it too much you could defer your exam to make the course more manageable

usingapseudonym Wed 31-Aug-11 18:44:42

Oooh Norman - I did a psychology degree too smile What have you gone onto do? I was initially thinking of retraining as a psych but suspect I will end up teaching A level...!

NormanTebbit Wed 31-Aug-11 20:59:21

I am still studying with the OU! Am considering an MSC in speech therapy. Would love to be a clinical psychologist but it seems very competitive. Still this degree - best decision I ever made.

mummytobe123 Thu 01-Sep-11 12:09:16

Thanks peeps, I feel inspired to at least give it my best shot!

I think it's now or never (well now or in a few years time as I imagine it would be a lot harder with toddler/s).

applecharlotte I'm doing childhood studies so it may even come in handy with my own grin I'm now psyching myself up to start my final TMA of this course, I hate this bit!

Oumasrusks Thu 01-Sep-11 12:46:05

Good luck mummytobe123 - it is definitely possible to do with a newborn. I had two level 3 modules left to do for my Psych degree when I had my first child and my second child was born a year later and I graduated 5 months after her birth! It is definitely do-able.

fraktious Sat 10-Sep-11 09:24:29

I did a postgrad module, started last October, DS was born April, I've just submitted my final project.

I couldn't have done with without DH's holiday and our nanny working a few extra hours (but I was back at work, it may have been easier if I hadn't been!) so you'll really benefit from your DM's help.

It was hard. Very hard. I got an extension on 1 TMA which was due 3 weeks after he was born. Definitely recognise the 'that'll do' mentality!

inmysparetime Wed 14-Sep-11 19:43:29

I have done almost my entire second degree with small DCs around. DD was born a month into my E243 ( Inclusive Education) and E230 ( language, maths and science in the Early Years) courses. As she was bf I took her to tutorials and nobody batted an eyelid.
I am 3 weeks off finishing my Early Years BA (one TMA and the exam for KE312). My DCs are 7 and almost 10, so it was not the fastest or easiest route to a degree, but it has been very fulfilling.

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