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    Hi, I'm sure these questions will have come up before but after searching for a while I would like advice on my options,

    I'm a house husband :-) in my 40s & married with 3 kids. Worked as a night shift manager in a DIY store for 20 years until I became ill with cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) which is now in remission. Now looking after the kids, dropping them off and picking them up from school I have spare time on my hands. I always wanted to be a computer programmer LOL many nights as a teenager messing about with my Commodore 64 but lusting after a BBC micro. I didn't try at all at school and only sat 2 GCSE's which I passed, Maths & Accounts & an RSA stage 2 word processing. We survive on my wife's earnings of £17,500 and Tax Credits. I was signing on to cover pension credits but stopped over a year ago. Having spent so many years on the night shift I think I am now wasting the opportunity I have to get some qualifications. My mother sat an OU course which resulted in a BA Degree in the 1980's which got her a better job and transformed our lives. With so few qualifications I don't have great job prospects and am not keen to go back to my old job considering my possible health problems.

    In 2015 I attended a basic Amateur radio course which I enjoyed, so in 2016 I attended an intermediate course and then sat the advanced exam after buying a book and spending hours studying in the kitchen, passing with merit. I really enjoyed the learning and was sad when it was over. Since then I have wanted to move onto a course which will end up with qualifications. I would love to end up at degree level and am aware that a course could take 6 years. I'm not sure what type of course to attend but I do enjoy maths, computers, electronics.

    I am worried about the costs involved in returning to education and if I would need to get a loan etc. Also could I start straight into a OU degree course or am I being silly and would I need to start lower at GCES or A level. Considering I'm 46 already maybe I should set my goals lower.

    Thanks for reading and for any advice given.

    Andrew
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    (Original post by mi0)
    Hi, I'm sure these questions will have come up before but after searching for a while I would like advice on my options,

    I'm a house husband :-) in my 40s & married with 3 kids. Worked as a night shift manager in a DIY store for 20 years until I became ill with cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) which is now in remission. Now looking after the kids, dropping them off and picking them up from school I have spare time on my hands. I always wanted to be a computer programmer LOL many nights as a teenager messing about with my Commodore 64 but lusting after a BBC micro. I didn't try at all at school and only sat 2 GCSE's which I passed, Maths & Accounts & an RSA stage 2 word processing. We survive on my wife's earnings of £17,500 and Tax Credits. I was signing on to cover pension credits but stopped over a year ago. Having spent so many years on the night shift I think I am now wasting the opportunity I have to get some qualifications. My mother sat an OU course which resulted in a BA Degree in the 1980's which got her a better job and transformed our lives. With so few qualifications I don't have great job prospects and am not keen to go back to my old job considering my possible health problems.

    In 2015 I attended a basic Amateur radio course which I enjoyed, so in 2016 I attended an intermediate course and then sat the advanced exam after buying a book and spending hours studying in the kitchen, passing with merit. I really enjoyed the learning and was sad when it was over. Since then I have wanted to move onto a course which will end up with qualifications. I would love to end up at degree level and am aware that a course could take 6 years. I'm not sure what type of course to attend but I do enjoy maths, computers, electronics.

    I am worried about the costs involved in returning to education and if I would need to get a loan etc. Also could I start straight into a OU degree course or am I being silly and would I need to start lower at GCES or A level. Considering I'm 46 already maybe I should set my goals lower.

    Thanks for reading and for any advice given.

    Andrew
    You should consider doing an OU Access module which will prepare you for OU study. The good news is that it's likely to be free for you. If you're willing to put the work in, it is possible to do well with the OU even without a good educational background.

    With the OU, you would get a tuition fee loan to cover the module costs. You can read about it here. You would then pay back the loan once you're earning over £21,000. It's taken straight out of your wages. If you earn less, you don't have to make repayments.
    With the OU, you would not get any maintenance loan, so if you do more research you would need to ignore any reference to this. That's only for full time students.

    The OU do now have a bursary scheme which may be of interest to you.

    There aren't many extra costs of studying with the OU, apart from the tuition fees. You would need access to a computer with a word processing programme and the internet, but you probably already have this. You may wish to buy pens, paper and related stationery (but some people would take their notes onto the computer). You may wish to buy a printer, or headphones etc.
    The degree will have exams at some point, so you'll need to be able to travel to the exam venue. These are designed to be local and accessible. You'll need a few pounds for bus fare, and your own pens, but it's not going to be a massive expense.
    There will probably be some tutorials. These are optional, but again aren't expensive.
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    [QUOTE=mi0;74058388]Hi, I'm sure these questions will have come up before but after searching for a while I would like advice on my options,

    I'm a house husband :-) in my 40s & married with 3 kids. Worked as a night shift manager in a DIY store for 20 years until I became ill with cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) which is now in remission. Now looking after the kids, dropping them off and picking them up from school I have spare time on my hands. I always wanted to be a computer programmer LOL many nights as a teenager messing about with my Commodore 64 but lusting after a BBC micro. I didn't try at all at school and only sat 2 GCSE's which I passed, Maths & Accounts & an RSA stage 2 word processing. We survive on my wife's earnings of £17,500 and Tax Credits. I was signing on to cover pension credits but stopped over a year ago. Having spent so many years on the night shift I think I am now wasting the opportunity I have to get some qualifications. My mother sat an OU course which resulted in a BA Degree in the 1980's which got her a better job and transformed our lives. With so few qualifications I don't have great job prospects and am not keen to go back to my old job considering my possible health problems.

    In 2015 I attended a basic Amateur radio course which I enjoyed, so in 2016 I attended an intermediate course and then sat the advanced exam after buying a book and spending hours studying in the kitchen, passing with merit. I really enjoyed the learning and was sad when it was over. Since then I have wanted to move onto a course which will end up with qualifications. I would love to end up at degree level and am aware that a course could take 6 years. I'm not sure what type of course to attend but I do enjoy maths, computers, electronics.

    I am worried about the costs involved in returning to education and if I would need to get a loan etc. Also could I start straight into a OU degree course or am I being silly and would I need to start lower at GCES or A level. Considering I'm 46 already maybe I should set my goals lower.

    Thanks for reading and for any advice given.

    Andrew[/QUO

    AN OU degree is idea, i suggest you contact the University and they would provide you with plenty of support and information. So you will know if this option will suit you. You can also call UCAS and speak to the advisers.

    Which ever choice you settle on, do not set your goals lower, you can do whatever you set your mind to.
    Best of luck.
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    (Original post by Tanya W)

    AN OU degree is idea, i suggest you contact the University and they would provide you with plenty of support and information. So you will know if this option will suit you. You can also call UCAS and speak to the advisers.

    Which ever choice you settle on, do not set your goals lower, you can do whatever you set your mind to.
    Best of luck.
    There is no point in talking to UCAS about an OU degree. OU do not use UCAS, and even if they did, UCAS are not there for questions on "is this right for me?"
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    Thanks for the advice. After reading about the OU access module I phoned the helpline and was talking to an advisor who recommended taking a look at Certificate of Higher Education in Computing and IT. I have been reading over the modules and really like the look of the course. I presume I would be best to take the course part-time over 2 years, I really want to say I'd do it in a year but don't want to end up unable to complete the course. Really happy I've something to consider.

    Thanks
    Andrew
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    (Original post by mi0)
    Thanks for the advice. After reading about the OU access module I phoned the helpline and was talking to an advisor who recommended taking a look at Certificate of Higher Education in Computing and IT. I have been reading over the modules and really like the look of the course. I presume I would be best to take the course part-time over 2 years, I really want to say I'd do it in a year but don't want to end up unable to complete the course. Really happy I've something to consider.

    Thanks
    Andrew
    That's a great option. If you choose to continue after this, you can use the modules you've already studied towards a degree. If not, you've still gained a valuable qualification.

    If you commit to doing this over 1 year, you're doing the equivalent of full time study. You'll need to work out whether your other commitments would allow enough study time, bearing in mind that initially you might be a bit slower due tobeing out of practice. During each module you'll have deadlines to meet, so you don't want to commit to too much and end up submitting work late.
 
 
 
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