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    • Thread Starter

    Looking for opinions and advice!

    I left college with a Childcare and Education Diploma Level 3 three years ago at the age of 18. I personally didn't want to go straight to university plus I was not 100% certain on what I wanted to study so instead I choose to work for a few years and gain some experience at the same time. I have been working as a Additional Needs 1:1 and classroom teaching assistant for the past 3 years. I am now 21 and feel ready to study a degree plus I now know that I defiantly want to be a TEACHER! I have been looking at Open Uni and feel 'Childhood and Youth Studies' would be perfect for me! I have chosen to do my degree with the open uni as it enables me to continue to work full time to financially support myself.

    I work full time at my primary school from 8.30am-3.00pm teaching. I then am a cleaner at the same school from 3.15-6.15 to top my wage up.

    I have two options Full Time Degree or Part Time Degree? Both have pro's and con's.....

    Option 1 Full Time Degree (36 hrs)
    Work as a teaching assistant from 8.30am-3.00pm.
    (Quit cleaning)
    Study 36 hrs during the afternoon/evenings and weekends total 68.5 hrs per week. E.g 5 evenings 4.00pm-9.00pm then remaining 10 hrs over the weekend.
    Get the degree completed in 3 years. Become a teacher quicker!
    Pay my bills for the next 3 years but not a lot of 'spending money' due to giving up cleaning = POOR!

    Option 2 Part Time Degree (16-20 hrs)
    Work as a teaching assistant from 8.30am-3.00pm.
    Continue cleaning until 6.15. - TIRED!
    Study 16-20 hrs during the afternoon/evenings and weekends total 67.5 hrs per week. E.g 5 evenings 7.00pm-9.00pm then remaining 10 hrs over the weekend.
    Degree takes 6 years to complete. Takes longer to become a teacher!
    Pay my bills for the next 6 years AND have 'spending money' for myself!

    What would you do?!?!?

    P.s - Can anyone else who studied 'Childhood and Youth Studies' at OU give me their opinion on the course please! :-)

    Thank you :-)

    You'll probably be ok for the first year and a half - but what tends to happen is that motivation falls off a cliff after that and it's tiring and demoralising.

    I would suggest that you would need to meet people on your course IRL (via OU or social media) otherwise you'll feel really isolated and everything becomes a mission.


    Can I just say first off that I think waiting to decide if university was what you really wanted was a really smart decision? It's one I wish I had made when I was 18 for sure. I still would have gone but now in my 20s I know what I really want to do.

    Anyway, with regards to your question, I think it is really tough. I did my first couple of years at uni on campus and loved my course, the city etc. However I then had to suspend for a couple of years due to health problems. Having returned to my third year as a distance learner (my university have been really supportive) I must say it is both difficult and isolating. I had been working full time for a while and very much enjoyed it but now with my dissertation (+ 4 other modules) which is dense to say the least and 15,000 words, I have been unable to continue.

    I think the option to work full time will be great if you KNOW for sure that you have the motivation to come home every night, regardless of how you feel and do that work. The fact that you also clean at your school points to the fact that you are incredibly motivated so I'm guessing you could, maybe at least for the first couple of years? Obviously too, it depends on the density and structure of your modules etc. I find myself thinking now that I should have just carried on working full time because it gave me structure and routine; both of which are really conducive to getting work done. I chose the 'be poor' for a few months option to get my work done because I was worried about sacrificing my degree but I think all it comes down to really is personal will and how much you want both.

    I guess another potential option for you could be a straight teaching degree through a campus based course? Anyway, I wish you the best of luck, it's a really tough decision. And try not to get bogged down by the financial aspect of it all (easier said than done I know, trust me) in a few years you will be a teacher and your current money problems will be forgotten but you'll have the degree forever.

    Hi how did you get on? I'm considering doing the same myself this year!
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?

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