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    • Thread Starter


    Im 27 and have decided i want to go back to uni to study mental health nursing.

    (previously studied for 3 years in art no formal qualifications, was diagnosed with a personality disorder at uni which ruined my chances)

    correct me if i'm wrong but im sure ive got the funding available for me going to uni again correct - NHS will pay my Uni fees and i will also be eligible for a bursary with the NHS and a reduced maintenance loan.

    As well as apply straight to the one Uni i want to go to i have also applied for 2 access to higher education courses in case i don't get an offer from uni first time round.

    My main cause for concern is funding. Now i know i can get the course fee's for an access to HE course with the 24+ advanced learning loan from the government so that's the fee's covered.

    My main worry is personal income. I had to leave my job last year due to ill health and am currently on contributory based ESA and in the support group ( i have rung ESA and they have said that full time study whilst on ESA is allowed, on contributory based and in the support group)

    So with all luck i will still be on ESA come September when its time to embark on a course, i am planning on doing permitted part time work from now until September which should allow me to save up a small amount of money between now and then.

    What types of grants, funding etc is there out there for a mature student, with bills to pay (not rent as am living with parents but may not be for much longer)

    i would especially like to hear from people who have already taken an access course, did you find it financially hard? did you get any help, where from etc, tips and tricks for myself.

    thanks in advance for reading and for any answers!

    TC X


    honestly? there's no funding apart from the 24+ loan.
    I'm currently doing access to he at derby university and I'm 19 which means I couldn't get the loan, and had to fund it as I have completed a level 3 course.
    Luckily, I've been caring for my grandma so my mum offered to pay for it.
    I'm there 3 days a week, they told me 2 but its 3.
    It's honestly the best thing I've ever done in my life. The course is amazing, the teachers are great. It's structured like a university course, so you do most of the work yourself.
    This means you have to do about 10 hours a week in homework just to get your work up to standard.
    There are loads of older learners on my course and most of them are coping, obviously you can work the weekends and the days you're off.
    They helped me apply for University and I now have a place at derby to study psychology in september.
    It's something honestly I think most people have said, the degree is easier than the access course itself as there's so much work to be done but once you get used to it you'll be fine.
    Something I'll say is don't get your hopes up on a university that says you need 45 credits at merit or distinction, because if you only get a pass on 1 assignment that's it you won't get in lol.

    I would highly recommend this course to anyone that thinks they can cope because it's essentially fast track a levels but with coursework. But for funding, you can still claim benefits and get your course fees but that's literally it for that.
    If you're on a really low income then sometimes they give you small amounts for books but that's about it.
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks for your reply, i took uni for granted first time round! i never realized how much effort it takes to get in.

    I'm applying to the uni of herts, beds and bucks probably, and yes it does say 45 credits at merit or distinction on their websites, but from what your saying i'm gathering you have to get at least merit in all assignments? (unless iv'e got what your saying wrong!)

    I have en interview to do the access course at aylesbury college, interview on the 29th of jan. I'm bricking it, iv'e been out of education so long, but then i suppose quite a lot of people have that embark on an access course.

    The one thing i am worried about it the maths test. I'm awful at maths when put under pressure, like in a test environment, yet for the past 2 years iv'e been managing the invoicing and budgets of a whole marketing company! I expect i will explain that to the tutor however.

    thanks again.

    My college which I'm currently studying the access to HE offers an in college bursary but like all of these this is dependent on household income etc, it helps to cover costs of travel, food, books and printing, so definitely speak to the place you are looking to go. Other than that it's limited. I work full time but as I work in a hospital that is only 3days a week and with 3 days at college that allows 1 day off. It's tough but if you want something enough you will work your best to over come any obstacles. My advice would be too look at jobs similar especially in the care industry even better if it's with people with mental health issues or disabilities because the course will want you to have experience! Hope that might of helped a teeny bit x

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    I am almost half way through my access course and i love it! I am a mature student (25 single mother) and had been to uni before (studied Fine Art) which wasn't really much essay writing, so the last time i have done any thing like this is when i was at school which is 9 years ago. It is a great course and really challenges you with the work given, but also handling the work load as well as every day life.

    I don't work i get income support and housing benefits, the only funding i got is the 24+ Loan. My college does pay for my travel and child care though because of the benefits i am on. It will all come down to the college you go to an what they offer. My college days started off at 4 days a week, i now do 3 days a week, so it is possible to do some part time work if you don't have the hassle of child care (if you have a child). Experience in care industry is highly on the list as Uni's like to see you have transferable skills. i use to work in a learning disability care home which gave me a big advantage when it came to putting my personal statement together. (I would recommend planning your personal statement from now)

    As for the Uni's you apply for if they want 45 credits at Merit or Distinction then you can not get any passes or you won't get in. Its a high ask but not impossible, i have completed 4 assignments and 2 exams so far and i have come out with 3 Merits and 3 Distinctions (The uni's i have applied to only want 24 at Merit or Distinction). If you want something bad enough you will work your hardest to get it. Once you get into a routine with the work load its really not that bad. I will say i don't have a life any more because all my spare time is spent on my college work.

    I will start uni in September as i have been offered places from the 2 uni's i applied to for Learning Disability Nursing. I defo recommend that you go to any open days or events that the Uni's hold. They keep a record if you have attended which gives you extra brownie points.

    Good luck, you will love the course if your heart is in it.
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