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Masters students how much childcare?

(14 Posts)
mustincreasebust Sat 18-Apr-09 20:26:42

I am weighing up the pros and cons of a taught masters programme vs a postgraduate OU course. One issue is the amount of childcare I will need in total as money is tight.

Basically the taught masters has lectures for 1 whole day and 3 afternoons. DP works office hrs and can look after DD evenings and weekends. Can I get away with the bare minimum amount of paid childcare during lectures? Would just studying evenings and weekends be enough at this level? Will i still have time to have a marriage? Is even contemplating a masters level course with a year old baby crazy hmm

As you can see I am quickly talking myself out of the whole thing.

thirtysomething Sat 18-Apr-09 22:24:34

I'm doing a masters and find I have blocks of time where I need extra childcare in order to get the work done.

If your DP is very hands-on and happy to take the baby out at weekends etc to let you work then yes, it could be possible, but you will have weeks where you feel you miss out totally on couple/family time in that case in order to get the work done.

I've found that the work is very concentrated from January to June in my course which is a part-time MA.

I'd ask the admissions tutor realistically how many hours study time you'd need to do a week. What sort of MA is it?

It's worth doing though - great to get your brain going again

mustincreasebust Sun 19-Apr-09 11:42:43

Thanks thirtysomething. I am trying to decide between a linguistics OU or computational linguistics Msc (my background is in IT). Both appeal for different reasons. I haven't seriously studied for the best part of 10 years so not even sure if I am able.

Do you work as well as studying part-time?

thirtysomething Sun 19-Apr-09 14:48:46

I did work for the first year (part-time) but had to give up a term into the 2nd year as I have to do placements for my course as well (2 days + a week) and just couldn't do it all!! I think if you don't have placements though it's perfectly possible to do both as long as you have some time free to do the coursework.

I hadn't studied for about 16 years!! But it sort of comes back - I couldn't remember much about essay-writing but remember some of the knowledge etc and I find i'm so much more focused now.

mustincreasebust Fri 24-Apr-09 10:53:21

Thanks thirtysomething

You certainly have inspired me. What MA are you doing? do you feel it will open up career doors for you or are you doing it out of interest?

Are you doing a write up at the end of it? The end project next summer is the one that I dread, have never written something so big before.

slug Fri 24-Apr-09 11:17:46

I did a part time MSc while working full time, DD was two when I started. I took one whole day out for lectures. I also block booked myself into the labs/library (it was in IT) for two evenings a week and Saturday till 2pm. One advantage of this is now DD and DH consider Saturdays to be their special time together. It also did him no harm to get to grips with the day to day routine of childcare IYSWIM.

It worked because I was absolutly focussed on what I was doing. Work was work, school was school and home was home. The three didn't mix, except during the run up to completing my thesis when there was a bit of waking up at 3am and utilising the quiet hours. Doing an IT MSc meant there was a lot I could do at home, and many resources are online now anyway.

I had done my first degree 20 years a long time ago, but it was amazing how easily I slipped back into it. My classmates all called me Mum and relied on me to help them with their coursework then acted a bit surprised when I walked off with the academic prizes and top marks at the end. hmm

Taught courses are, in my opinion (and I work in online learning now) much more motivating than distance learning. There is a lot to be said for the ability to bounce ideas off classmates and the proximity of tutors and support. There's also the separation from daily life that you get when you 'go in' to school. It can be very difficult to get the motivation up to do some study when the glass of wine, the adorable baby or the messy house are within view.

mustincreasebust Fri 24-Apr-09 19:29:32

Thanks slug what you say makes sense, its really good to get your insight. I also think that I could do with the social interaction of the taught course.

thirtysomething Sun 26-Apr-09 20:24:05

yes mustincrease I have a huge thesis to do at the end involving a year's research as the minimum. Am not looking forward to that part! The MA is in counselling practice and should open doors I hope!

katsh Thu 30-Apr-09 18:04:47

I came on to ask a similar question and found this thread! I am contemplating a taught MSc and although I had been thinking I'd do p/t 1 full day of teaching per week, I am wondering about full time which is 2 days, plus an optional half day of teaching. Just wondering how much childcare I need additionally, as I have an 18mth old and 2 at school. Good advice here already, so thank you. Slug, I like the Saturdays until 2pm idea. I am reckoning that I'll need 1 additional hour of study per taught hour, so 40 hrs per week but I don't know if that's a good guess or not. Has anyone done a f/t masters - and if so did it work with family life?

katsh Thu 30-Apr-09 18:09:14

Should have said mustincrease that I think we are both mad and we should definitely talk ourselves into it

mustincreasebust Fri 01-May-09 18:51:42

Katsh, can't answer you questions but just wanted to say good luck. When are you looking to start? I think that an hr study for every hr taught is the right attitude to have. If you have time to spare you could just take it as quality time to yourself....as if

katsh Fri 01-May-09 21:30:45

Hoping to start September 09. What about you?

halia Fri 05-Jun-09 18:49:24

Me too - can I join in? I'm deciding between a taught MA, an OU MA or a PGCE in post compulsary edcuation.

I want to go onto a PhD and university lecturing/teaching and all of these could be routes onto that.

The p/t PGCE has one day attendance plus I'm guessing about 7-10 hrs at home. The OU Masters can be full or parttime whilst the MA at university I have to find out about.

DS is at shool which solves alot of childcare problems but I am budgeting in for school holidays and also pre/ after school care if I travel to a university rather than doing OU.

I know OU is the best bet for childcare but I did my entire degree through the OU and I'd really like to meet people this time around!

mustincreasebust Mon 08-Jun-09 15:19:39

Hello Halia. Which MA are you considering? I can understand your reluctance re OU, I have done some great courses with them but now that I am only working from home I feel so cooped up and could do interacting with real people from time to time.

I am not an expert on school hols as dd is still tiny but don't universities have the same breaks as schools? It could be totally different, as I have no idea. Have you looked at the childcare facilities offered by the university?

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