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    Hey, I'm 1st year of HND mechanical engineering, which is equivalent to 1st year of a Bachelors at Uni. I'm at college 2 days a week, which is a funny version of full time I know but it is also great for my family because my fiancée stays off work the 2 days I'm away and she works when I'm off. We have a 6 year old and a 1 year old.
    I'm worried because I am certain that uni will not be a nice and easy 2 days a week, I'm gonna have lectures, labs and tutorials spread out all over the place and this is really going to make life difficult from what I can see.
    Anybody run into this issue found a way to cope or am I worrying too much?

    Thanks
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    I'm sorry I can't help but this is my worry also, I'm starting my biology degree in September and it would be useful to know beforehand what the timetable is so I can plan my childcare (I have 4 children) other people must manage somehow but I'm the sort of person that needs to be organised lol


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    [QUOTE=kimsk1981;70007736]I'm sorry I can't help but this is my worry also, I'm starting my biology degree in September and it would be useful to know beforehand what the timetable is so I can plan my childcare (I have 4 children) other people must manage somehow but I'm the sort of person that needs to be organised lol


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    I understand, I mean I'm a year and a half away from going, but still I need to know as much as possible as soon as possible lol
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    The man who does the time tables told me 2.5-3.5 days per week but that is all he could tell me. I'm starting in September. I wonder if other people would mind posting what their time tables are like.


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    I can't speak for other universities but Plymouth is awful. Last semester we had about 16 hours a week but it was mostly at the same time every week. Workable. This time around we have everything moving every week and lectures split into 1 hour slots because the lecturer wanted it that way. Considering it's a foundation year I thought they would consider those of us who are a little older more but that just didn't happen.

    My advice is talk to wherever it is you're applying for. Hopefully you have better luck then I did.
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    (Original post by Dav1dJG)
    Hey, I'm 1st year of HND mechanical engineering, which is equivalent to 1st year of a Bachelors at Uni. I'm at college 2 days a week, which is a funny version of full time I know but it is also great for my family because my fiancée stays off work the 2 days I'm away and she works when I'm off. We have a 6 year old and a 1 year old.
    I'm worried because I am certain that uni will not be a nice and easy 2 days a week, I'm gonna have lectures, labs and tutorials spread out all over the place and this is really going to make life difficult from what I can see.
    Anybody run into this issue found a way to cope or am I worrying too much?

    Thanks
    Engineering at univeristy usually has a high number of contact hours. The university you will be going to should be able to confirm the number of contact hours and possibly provide atimetable before they sent out.
    I believe if your household income is under a certain amount you can claim childcare allowance.
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    Don't hold your breath for an advance timetable. These are usually compiled a few weeks before the start of the year, when student numbers for the various modules become clearer. At my uni, all timetables are usually released the week before term starts, then reissued a couple of times before things settle down.
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    (Original post by Dav1dJG)
    Hey, I'm 1st year of HND mechanical engineering, which is equivalent to 1st year of a Bachelors at Uni. I'm at college 2 days a week, which is a funny version of full time I know but it is also great for my family because my fiancée stays off work the 2 days I'm away and she works when I'm off. We have a 6 year old and a 1 year old.
    I'm worried because I am certain that uni will not be a nice and easy 2 days a week, I'm gonna have lectures, labs and tutorials spread out all over the place and this is really going to make life difficult from what I can see.
    Anybody run into this issue found a way to cope or am I worrying too much?

    Thanks
    Yes, you're likely to have your timetable spread out over four or maybe five days a week, and you will probably find that you're only in for an hour or so for one day. It's incredibly frustrating, but that's just how it is for all of us - as you say, it's extremely unlikely you'll just be in for two full days. I think you need to be prepared to be available to go into uni at least four days a week. It's highly unlikely you'll have anything on a Wednesday afternoon - that's about the only prediction you can make.

    You wont' be able to get a timetable in advance - it'll probably only be finalised in late August, and then it'll be subject to change. You might be able to get a reasonable guide on the number of days you're likely to have lectures etc. from your department now, but they won't be able to be any more concrete than that, I imagine.
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    This years timetable of the course you will join will give you a ballpark idea of the attendance hours. If you are at the university already you should be able to access the relevant level timetable via typing the course code on your uni website student information portal.

    I got around this by applying for the childcare element of the student finance and having my children in childcare full time. Non-contact hours are for self-directed reading and assignments and I can collect the children early and spend time focused on them.
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    This is my timetable if it helps, I'm a single dad who has my daughter full-time, I have to use breakfast and after school club two days a week, but its certainly manageable with kids.

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    All the red boxes are lectures and green practicals, if you have a good excuse (ie kids) they will let you request to change to a different available practical session, obviously you cant change lectures (theres only 1 lecture per module per week).
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    I'm worried about this too. When I started this last year, doing the Access, my partner worked from home so the picking up of kids wasn't a problem. In between then and now things gave changed. He works away during the week meaning until the weekend I'm pretty much a single parent. I deferred my place till this September when my youngest will be starting full time school. Even so my uni is far enough away that I will have to leave at lunchtime every day to get back in time for school pick up. I'm going to an open day at the end of the month to make sure they'll be OK with this. Luckily I have a good friend from the Access who is in the middle of her first year and has been keeping me in the loop about lecture times and workshops etc. (Plus helpful things like park and ride prices etc) But timetabling and organising my time is definitely a concern.
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    Have you considered distance learning? I went to a brick uni a few years ago and held down a full time job but that was because my job was incredibly flexible and I - for the most part - was in charge of my own schedual. Uni is not flexible, and I had a number of days where I only needed to attend for the morning or afternoon which may cause issues for you as it's then spread over 4 or 5 days. I will say that it is exhausting, chaotic and demanding to hold down a full-time brick uni course and another demanding role (like parenting). I now study with the Open Uni and it's honestly great. I love the course material, the structure and the interaction but it allows my so much more flexibilty.

    Your options really would be eitther your fiancée works less to help with more childcare; you invest in a lot of childcare; or you do distance learning. I mean you may luck out and get a great timetable that works well for you but you are unlikely to know this in advance.
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    Thanks rempanda. I did look into distance learning and there is an online course which is affiliated with my uni. But where my course is art based (I'm doing Illustration) my Access tutor advised me against it. Saying that I would get access to all their equipment and supplies which I wouldn't get online. My partner working less is not an option. We did talk about it for a good 18 months before we went ahead with this setup, going over everything and he is already overstretched without me putting more pressure on him. My friend has told me that workshops run in mornings and afternoons so if I could ask them to get me in the morning ones every time, hopefully they'll do that. I'm going to be making use of school breakfast club but it's the getting back in time for 3pm that's worrying me. Trial and error I suppose and hoping they are OK with me being part time hours on a full time course.
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    (Original post by Cambop)
    Thanks rempanda. I did look into distance learning and there is an online course which is affiliated with my uni. But where my course is art based (I'm doing Illustration) my Access tutor advised me against it. Saying that I would get access to all their equipment and supplies which I wouldn't get online. My partner working less is not an option. We did talk about it for a good 18 months before we went ahead with this setup, going over everything and he is already overstretched without me putting more pressure on him. My friend has told me that workshops run in mornings and afternoons so if I could ask them to get me in the morning ones every time, hopefully they'll do that. I'm going to be making use of school breakfast club but it's the getting back in time for 3pm that's worrying me. Trial and error I suppose and hoping they are OK with me being part time hours on a full time course.
    Just be aware that distance learning (even full-time 30+ hours) is classed as part time tuition, therefore you're only eligible for the tuition fee loan and no maintenance loan.

    tbh I think you will struggle getting any University to accept you if you tell them that you're only going to do their full-time course part-time, most require 100% attendance.

    Doe's your school not do after school clubs too??
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    Thanks loooopppyyy, I wasnt aware of that aboout the distance learning. As for school clubs - Only once a week and even then usually only till 4. I'm hoping if I keep up with the workload at home I might be OK. I can work my bum off while the kids are in bed to keep up and I am lucky in that I do have a lot of my own materials I've built up over the years I just don't have all their printing presses and printers etc. I have my place already but am going to put all this to them on the open day, see what they say. Am hoping that they'll be OK.
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    I am worried about this, even more so because one of the universities that I have been offered, this is the first year they are running this course! I can't even ask to see last years to get a feel for it.
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    Does the uni you've applied to have childcare?? Some unis have an on site nursery type thing for children while parents attend lectures and I think for some it's covered with your tuition fee
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    (Original post by cupcakes87)
    Does the uni you've applied to have childcare?? Some unis have an on site nursery type thing for children while parents attend lectures and I think for some it's covered with your tuition fee
    University childcare is for preschool aged children cupcakes87. Even if they did provide out of school childcare for older children it wouldn't be feasible for OP to travel to collect children and return with them to the uni childcare facility.
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    (Original post by loooopppyyy)
    This is my timetable if it helps, I'm a single dad who has my daughter full-time, I have to use breakfast and after school club two days a week, but its certainly manageable with kids.

    Name:  timetable.png
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    All the red boxes are lectures and green practicals, if you have a good excuse (ie kids) they will let you request to change to a different available practical session, obviously you cant change lectures (theres only 1 lecture per module per week).
    Hey pal, thank you for this! Sorry I haven't been back to this thread sooner to read all of these replies.
    No I'm not at university yet, as is said at the start,so I do not have access to timetables. If I did, this thread wouldn't exist!

    If there's a crèche I might be able to take advantage of this, he'll be 2.5 years old at the time so he'll already have some government sponsored childcare each day, unfortunately restricted to either mornings or afternoons 😩
    Thank you for all replies
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    I hope I can help with this. My husband did 4 years at University doing biology when our children were little (they're not exactly big now but you get the idea lol) and now I'm doing my MA part time too. We have 3 kids currently aged 7, 4 and 3.

    When I was working my hubby used to drop our eldest off at the childminder around his lectures (I worked 4 days a week, and we used the childminder all 4 of those days most of term time). I would recommend looking at childminders as they tend to be a bit more flexible with hours etc than a nursery. Having said that, I used the on-campus nursery this year for my MA seminars and working time and they were great too.

    In my experience, you get the timetable at the last minute. I think I had a 10 day window to get everything arranged for my 3 for this year. I recommend researching ALL of the possible childcare arrangements you could possibly need to make. After school clubs, breakfast clubs, childminders etc etc, and then when you know, you can contact the ones that fit your needs the closest. Also, save up a term of fees, or make sure you'll be able to pay them as the fees elements of the loan payments are paid after the event. You should get 85% back though, so it's worth claiming.

    The government hours are not restricted to mornings/afternoons. Most places are pretty flexible about when/where you use them. I used my sons' to cover a full day (9-5) and a morning (8-1). I've also used them previously at a CM, and at a private nursery to do full days. You can even use them for 9 hours a week all year round if you need to. You just need to check with the nursery/childminder. It's not just pre-schools. Also, if you're a student and your OH is working, you may not get free 2yo hours. I did for my middle DS as I was at home, but last year we didn't. Check that too.

    It's a stress but it's always worked out in the end. There's always a way round it. Good luck! :-)
 
 
 
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