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dh thinking about applying to study medicine we have 2 ds - are we mad?!

(10 Posts)
craggie Thu 02-Jul-09 09:26:36

Hello

Just wondered if anyone has done this?!

Does anyone know what sort of funding you get and also tax credits?
Can you get housing benefit anything like that?

He would be doing the accelerated 4 year course.

I don't have a job at the moment but would try and get something part time as well as build my business I've just started.

Thanks very much

zeke Thu 02-Jul-09 09:40:44

I don't know about the details but I do know that there was a lady on my exDH's medical course who was 37 (not sure which year, but that age certainly featured!) and had three kids. Obviously don't know anything about her financial background though.

Is he currently a nurse? Does he already have a degree?

kayjayel Thu 02-Jul-09 09:51:02

Hi Craggie, my DP (35) has just finished first yr of 4 yr course, we have 2 DCs, (nearly 4 yrs and 1). Its been the hardest year of our lives. Don't have a non-sleeping newborn at the same time as a fairly wild 3 yr old having testosterone surges, unless you have the patience of a saint.

In terms of funding we get quite a lot of help - dependents allowance, the bursary (yrs 2-4), childcare help (85% is paid for I think), you can apply for other grants and studentships (apply for everything!). We have a very small mortgage, and due to nonsleeping velcro baby, no going out costs, so haven't felt the pinch much (despite me being on mat leave). But we also saved before to make sure we had enough to cover fees. Also our kids are still young enough not to cost that much (my biggest expense is still coffee shops blush).

Courses vary - some of them spread the load over 4 yrs, others make the first year really hard (2 yrs in 1), then it eases off.

Neither of us regret it at all, but its like having a newborn - there's no way its the wrong decision, but you don't necessarily want to go through the pain and stress again in a hurry! It was definitely the right choice for DP, but its a massive readjustment to our lives.

HTH smile

craggie Thu 02-Jul-09 09:53:23

Hi Zeke, this is DH,|Craggie asked me to post. I have a degree in Computer Science and am currently running a small company. I worked as a care assistant for a few years and spent 3 months volunteering in a hospital in Bangladesh when I was 19. I'm 33

craggie Thu 02-Jul-09 10:32:36

Hi Kayjayel, this is DH again, sorry to keep posting. It's really inspiring that you've managed to do this!

My biggest worry is finance. realistically we would need to find an absolute minimum of £20000 a year to feed and house a family of four. Dependent's allowance is £3649.

I'd be really interested to know how you coped financially, what funding you found and if it was possible for your DP to work part time. during the course.

kayjayel Thu 02-Jul-09 11:05:47

Hi craggie's DP! Its great that you want to do something like this, not an easy journey.
The NHS bursary is attached to the 4 yr courses - it covers the fees and some living costs. The Student Finance people can advise you, but we basically filled in a massive form which includes estimates of childcare and income. Then you get a childcare grant and dependents allowance. You can apply for the full student loans.

DP works part-time, but its basically very lucky - 1 day a week pro-ratad from old job as a lecturer, so it works out as a few days here and there for lectures, meetings, and checking emails, and then some marking bursts in eves/weekends. Its a strain, but the money helps so much.

I recommend just lots of loans to cope, you'll be able to pay them back. There are 6 wks in the summer to work if you need to/can.

Financially, it feels okay but DP is a financial whizz, domestically.

But, money can be found, in terms of loans and bits of grants, and a student buss pass/discounts! What is tough is that you have this massive pull of the stress and excitement of the course and also the pull of the children. It'd help if others on the course have kids, but if not the difference is quite massive.

I'll ask DP about the finance stuff and get back to you with some website. Do you know which courses you want to apply to yet? Are you restricted with geography?

craggie Thu 02-Jul-09 11:30:46

Hi kayjayel, this is DH again! We're living in Brighton at the moment. Craggie's family has lived here for years so there are quite a few relatives and friends for support. It would be tough on her to move away.

There's an accelerated course in London St George and one in Southampton or a 5 year course in Brighton though I think I'd need to take A level chemistry to get into Brighton which would add another year.

I commute for a few months a year and although I miss the family it is useful time to work and study. My work is hugely flexible but not reliable which is a problem when planning.

Who are the Student finance people?

kayjayel Thu 02-Jul-09 18:38:19

Hi again.

Student Finance If you call them you might get a rough idea of what might happen financially.

You fill in a form and this gets you access to grants and loans and childcare costs. Also look at the Uni's you'll apply to and see if they have any grants you can apply to. Some charities have grants and scholarships (google them). DP applied for everything and got a scholarship based on previous academic excellence, but there are others available, obviously competitive.

DP did A'Levels prior to applying, not just for the course, but to see what studying at such an advanced age wink was like! Also it gave us more time to save up and make sure we had some money for fees etc. and got the mortgage down as far as possible.

It sounds like there's a few possibilities without having to move, which is good. Your DW will probably need extra help and support around exam times. Its so competitive that if you need to be somewhere specific its worth really looking into what each Uni prefers. There are some websites - This one for instance. They are populated more by younger students, but are another source of info. The 5 yr course would prob be easier going, but you don't get the NHS bursary, so you have to pay the £3000 fees yourself, and have less grant.

Financially there are extras which help - 25% off council tax, student bus pass/rail fare, student discounts on other things, eligible for good loans.

You said you'd need about £20000 to cope. I think this year we had about £26000 on my mat pay, a bit of my earnings, grants and DP's part time wage, including student loans. And this was the toughest year as I've had 6 mths on no pay. Next year I'll prob be earning all year so have more money, but grants may be a bit less. Grants etc. are dependent on my wages, so if I earn over a certain amount we get less bursary, so if your wife is on a low wage, you'll be probably eligible for more grant.

Good luck with it all, I hope it works out - it seems to be an amazing job.

craggie Mon 06-Jul-09 09:44:22

Thanks for all the advice kayjayel, I've been making phone calls most of last week and I've got a pretty clear idea of what to do now. I've built a spreadsheeet and I think it's going to be financially viable. Now I just have to see if I can get in!

Thanks again

kayjayel Wed 08-Jul-09 12:13:07

You're welcome. Good luck with it all smile

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