Full time study as a single parent: can it be done?(5 Posts)
I'm looking to start a degree next year but don't know whether to go full or part time.
I have one DD, aged 2 1/2 currently. I'm separated so no other children coming.
It will be a second BA for me, so no funding available.
I have two options:
1) do a part-time degree, work part-time and live at home with my parents. This will take 6 years.
2) Do a full-time degree and live away from home. I would get sponsorship for this (not secure yet, but I won't apply until I'm sure I can get it) to cover fees but would have to support DD and myself with living costs (via maintenance, a little bit of savings, child tax credit ...) so money would be very tight.
Option 2 is at a 'better' university and, academically speaking, would be my preferred option by far.
Does anyone have any experience or thoughts as to whether full-time study as a single parent is feasible? Or even part-time for that matter?
Full time study is certainly possible, I have done it and have since taught other mature students in a similar situation. I managed to work part time as well, which really helped with the finances but my DC were at school.
Taking the part time route is tough because as well as just taking so long you get to see others who were in your year moving on and finishing their degrees.
You could start part time and then change, which is what I did, alternatively you could probably change to part time if the full time didn't work out - once you've started the uni will be very keen to keep you there so will be flexible.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
I don't know about funding, but that aside I would definitely go for full time study. Definitely.
I don't actually think part time study is easier - it just means you have more to juggle. Work can take over when really you should be concentrating on study. And full time study means you can spend your free time with your dd, instead of working.
Like Socy said, seeing people you started uni with graduating when you still have years to go is hard. I'm doing a double degree full time (LLB/BA) and all my BA friends finished last year, this year has been kind of sucky - I'm all alone, and I've still got another year to go.
Money might be tight, but it's not forever and your dd is too small to notice.
yeah option two-by the way this is my first time on mumsnet and this thread is a revelation! I started full time uni when my wee one was about the same age as yours, she was at pre school with extended hours-there was a bit of juggling but overall it worked out, financially its pretty crap though! so far I only really need to be in the uni for around 10 hours (on a full time course) per week. Travel takes up a lot of my time (and so time i need to be paying for childcare) so its a bit of a pain. The most annoying aspect is the uni not providing timetables till perhaps a week before the semester starts, but I imagine there would be similar problems on a part time course. Also check if ur uni can offer any childcare funding or lone parent childcare funding...
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