Mature student (44) anxious about length of time to reach my goal

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Laura76
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Hello!! I'm 44, a single mum and work full time in mental health and also volunteer for Merseycare NHS. I would love to train as a Paramedic or Nursing Associate... Paramedic more... I'm needing to re take my Maths & English level 2 which I was going to do alongside the Access to HE Health Professionals in time for next September. However.. because it's been so long since I last studied (1993 when I achieved a Merit in BTEC Care) the college have suggested I enroll on a Pre-access course this September then Access course next September... I am seriously considering an online Access course, the college said Learn Direct is a good and is ideal when you need to carry on working but I'm to bear (bare?? ) in mind that it's obviously 3 A level that I'll be studying after so long out of study!! As well as Maths & English 😭 has anyone done a Pre-access at their local college (mine will be Southport) how many people were on the course and how old were they?? It's slightly daunting thinking that I'll be the eldest! I know on the Access course there is a mixture which is good... I don't want to be 50 by the time I'm applying to Uni. Is that silly of me?? I just want to crack on with it but obviously it's got to feel right....
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Hannahemilie
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I was 40 when I started the access course now I am going to uni in September to do midwifery. Doing your maths GCSE along side the access course is totally doable, about half my class were doing this.

It had been so long since I studied too and honestly it was the best thing I ever did! There was a mixture of all ages. Male and female and I wasn’t the oldest. But age didn’t matter we all got a long so well!

Go for it. In 5 years time you could be doing a job you love or you could still be thinking about it... ❤️ I’m also a single mum so if you want to message me feel free!
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Jakpants
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(Original post by Laura76)
Hello!! I'm 44, a single mum and work full time in mental health and also volunteer for Merseycare NHS. I would love to train as a Paramedic or Nursing Associate... Paramedic more... I'm needing to re take my Maths & English level 2 which I was going to do alongside the Access to HE Health Professionals in time for next September. However.. because it's been so long since I last studied (1993 when I achieved a Merit in BTEC Care) the college have suggested I enroll on a Pre-access course this September then Access course next September... I am seriously considering an online Access course, the college said Learn Direct is a good and is ideal when you need to carry on working but I'm to bear (bare?? ) in mind that it's obviously 3 A level that I'll be studying after so long out of study!! As well as Maths & English 😭 has anyone done a Pre-access at their local college (mine will be Southport) how many people were on the course and how old were they?? It's slightly daunting thinking that I'll be the eldest! I know on the Access course there is a mixture which is good... I don't want to be 50 by the time I'm applying to Uni. Is that silly of me?? I just want to crack on with it but obviously it's got to feel right....
Hi, I am 42 and have just finished my Access to Health Professions and will be starting my degree in Physio in September. I did have my GCSE Maths and English so didn't need to do the level 2 foundation skills. There were a couple of people on my course who did do the foundation skills the year before starting the Access and they were so pleased they had as there is a fair bit of work to do on the Access course. I completely get your concerns about taking that extra year but I would recommend you do. Especially if you do work and parent full time it will give you an opportunity to acclimatise to study again. It will also give you time to be 100% about your choice of career. I considered paramedic science but had to think about the challenges of that career as someone in my 40s/50s. I decided that the shift work and stress of dealing with emergency situations were probably more what I would have wanted to do in my 20/30s. I also had a desire to be a Physio from school so had battled between the two and felt I could probably find more 9-5 type roles in Physio.
Also, I did consider the online route but felt by attending college and having face to face (until Covid) lessons and support from tutors and classmates was the better option for me. Knowing you have to be somewhere at a certain time makes you get up and go there. You have to be very self-motivated to learn online and complete it within the recommended timeframe. If you attend college you will complete your course within the year (two if you do your foundation skills and pre-access the year before) and will be going to Uni at 46 and be qualified before you're 50! don't forget the government expect us to retire at 68 now so you'll still have a good 18-year career ahead of you.
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islandgirl683
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Going into education as a mature student for me was daunting as i am also a single parent but i can safely say it is the best thing i have ever done. I also had to redo some of my GCSEs so i delayed my access course a year and took evening classes a lot of my friends on the access course struggled doing the 2 courses together. Doing the access in a classroom environment is an amazing experience and would highly recommend it because it really does get you ready to go off to university. Being a single mum also shows your children that you can achieve what you want at life and at any age ( i always remember in my A level days i was doing a evening class there was this 92 year old woman taking A level Law, cause she was bored), they will also support you more than we realise. They will also see you happy because you are on the path to a career that you love. Happy mummy makes for a happy family.
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nollliee
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I would say go for it, there were several mums on the access course I was on and they are all doing their degrees now, they seem to fit it all in somehow. A lot of people also manged to work part time as well as study. They all managed and did well with their results.
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donz_8
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I am 48 and completed an online access course with Stonebridge. I have just been accepted into uni for psychology. I had functional maths and English from about 15 years ago. Go for it 😁
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MedicWil
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(Original post by Laura76)
Hello!! I'm 44, a single mum and work full time in mental health and also volunteer for Merseycare NHS. I would love to train as a Paramedic or Nursing Associate... Paramedic more... I'm needing to re take my Maths & English level 2 which I was going to do alongside the Access to HE Health Professionals in time for next September. However.. because it's been so long since I last studied (1993 when I achieved a Merit in BTEC Care) the college have suggested I enroll on a Pre-access course this September then Access course next September... I am seriously considering an online Access course, the college said Learn Direct is a good and is ideal when you need to carry on working but I'm to bear (bare?? ) in mind that it's obviously 3 A level that I'll be studying after so long out of study!! As well as Maths & English 😭 has anyone done a Pre-access at their local college (mine will be Southport) how many people were on the course and how old were they?? It's slightly daunting thinking that I'll be the eldest! I know on the Access course there is a mixture which is good... I don't want to be 50 by the time I'm applying to Uni. Is that silly of me?? I just want to crack on with it but obviously it's got to feel right....
I know they may be a bit far but have you tried Hugh Baird, if Southport won't allow you to do the Access without PreAccess?

I find it stupid what Southport have said as the Access course is specifically for people who have been out of education for years and PreAccess is for people who pretty much have no qualifications at all

Also I've just done the Access course and it's easier than people make it out to be as long as you plan your time well, do a bit of research outside of class and ask questions if you need any help or clarification.

There were 3 people all 19 years old on my course that hadn't been out of school long and they got merits and passes, they didn't research and handed in their work late whereas the older ones on my course had been out of education for a decade or two and they researched stuff and handed in assignments on time and got merits and distinctions.
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Laura76
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(Original post by MedicWil)
I know they may be a bit far but have you tried Hugh Baird, if Southport won't allow you to do the Access without PreAccess?

I find it stupid what Southport have said as the Access course is specifically for people who have been out of education for years and PreAccess is for people who pretty much have no qualifications at all

Also I've just done the Access course and it's easier than people make it out to be as long as you plan your time well, do a bit of research outside of class and ask questions if you need any help or clarification.

There were 3 people all 19 years old on my course that hadn't been out of school long and they got merits and passes, they didn't research and handed in their work late whereas the older ones on my course had been out of education for a decade or two and they researched stuff and handed in assignments on time and got merits and distinctions.
Hi! That's so good to know, thank you!
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RightsReserved
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Hi, I’m 51 and I’m about to start uni doing a masters chemistry degree. Two years ago I had absolutely no qualifications to my name. I still worked full time 40 hrs at my day job. I’m a single parent with teens. A job in itself believe me 🤣. I started on my English level two after work two days a week getting level two. Then did my maths. I looked at doing the pre access but so glad I didn’t. I found the whole access course enjoyable ( well apart from cell biology) where I cried because I just didn’t have a clue what on earth they were talking about.
I found I was actually good at chemistry although never doing it at school. ( was a long time ago) I originally did the courses to go to uni to study environmental health degree ( I’m a cook ).
However after getting accepted, and the love I found for chemistry I changed my mind about my plans. I’d already submitted my statement and got a unconditional offer from uni. But took a chance and declined and here I now am. Starting a different uni doing a course I’d never in a million hrs thought I’d be doing. Don’t write anyone off because of their age. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Good luck and you can do whatever you want.
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Laura76
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(Original post by RightsReserved)
Hi, I’m 51 and I’m about to start uni doing a masters chemistry degree. Two years ago I had absolutely no qualifications to my name. I still worked full time 40 hrs at my day job. I’m a single parent with teens. A job in itself believe me 🤣. I started on my English level two after work two days a week getting level two. Then did my maths. I looked at doing the pre access but so glad I didn’t. I found the whole access course enjoyable ( well apart from cell biology) where I cried because I just didn’t have a clue what on earth they were talking about.
I found I was actually good at chemistry although never doing it at school. ( was a long time ago) I originally did the courses to go to uni to study environmental health degree ( I’m a cook ).
However after getting accepted, and the love I found for chemistry I changed my mind about my plans. I’d already submitted my statement and got a unconditional offer from uni. But took a chance and declined and here I now am. Starting a different uni doing a course I’d never in a million hrs thought I’d be doing. Don’t write anyone off because of their age. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Good luck and you can do whatever you want.
Aw that's so encouraging, thank you.
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donz_8
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(Original post by RightsReserved)
Hi, I’m 51 and I’m about to start uni doing a masters chemistry degree. Two years ago I had absolutely no qualifications to my name. I still worked full time 40 hrs at my day job. I’m a single parent with teens. A job in itself believe me 🤣. I started on my English level two after work two days a week getting level two. Then did my maths. I looked at doing the pre access but so glad I didn’t. I found the whole access course enjoyable ( well apart from cell biology) where I cried because I just didn’t have a clue what on earth they were talking about.
I found I was actually good at chemistry although never doing it at school. ( was a long time ago) I originally did the courses to go to uni to study environmental health degree ( I’m a cook ).
However after getting accepted, and the love I found for chemistry I changed my mind about my plans. I’d already submitted my statement and got a unconditional offer from uni. But took a chance and declined and here I now am. Starting a different uni doing a course I’d never in a million hrs thought I’d be doing. Don’t write anyone off because of their age. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Good luck and you can do whatever you want.
This has given me some comfort. I am starting a psychology degree and I am 48 worrying that I will be the only mature student there.
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RightsReserved
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(Original post by donz_8)
This has given me some comfort. I am starting a psychology degree and I am 48 worrying that I will be the only mature student there.
Hi, when I was doing the access h to o science course. There were all ages of students, I was probably the oldest, but I didn’t care. I studied very hard and managed to get excellent grades. 8 distinctions out of a possible 11. I think it’s about prioritising your work load. So hopefully I can now do the same come three weeks time When I start .
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HellomynameisNev
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I can't help you with the access course, as my uni were happy to accept me straight onto the Radiotherapy course as I have a degree in Chemistry - albeit 25 years ago! Although I have spent the intervening period working in a scientific/technical job role.

Regarding age - I'm 47 now, will be 50 when I graduate. God willing I've got a good 10-15 working years left in me, and I intend to spend it doing something that makes a difference in peoples lives. I "wasted" 15 years wanting to do something more with my life before I was forced into a "now or never" situation. Don't spend the rest of your life thinking "if only..."

Go for it, and good luck!
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HellomynameisNev
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(Original post by islandgirl683)
i always remember in my A level days i was doing a evening class there was this 92 year old woman taking A level Law, cause she was bored
Legend!
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MedicWil
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(Original post by Kat_277)
Consider Nursing as an option. Sorry to be the bearer of some bad news (and you need to confirm this yourself, not just take my word for it), but I read in the Guardian today in the education section, that paramedic science is changing to graduate entry only from next year. This is not my subject area, but i did read the article and thought it would help you to focus your plans.
there's nothing about that on the guardian's website nor any other website
Also all the universities are still offering BSc Paramedic Science for next year
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Kat_277
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(Original post by MedicWil)
there's nothing about that on the guardian's website nor any other website
Also all the universities are still offering BSc Paramedic Science for next year
Yes I've just gone back and read where it mentions this, and I believe I read it wrongly. It state the paramedic profession will become graduate-only, with a three year accredited degree needed to practice.
I wrongly took this to mean you needed a prior degree to take a post grad paramedic course.

Fyi the link is here and the paragraphs is the last one. https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...droidApp_Other
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markova21
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How refreshing it is to see other "oldies" on tsr. I am 52, and don't study myself but come on here to find info for my 23 year old son. Plus, I love this site anyway !!
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VENIVIDIVICI
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(Original post by HellomynameisNev)
I can't help you with the access course, as my uni were happy to accept me straight onto the Radiotherapy course as I have a degree in Chemistry - albeit 25 years ago! Although I have spent the intervening period working in a scientific/technical job role.

Regarding age - I'm 47 now, will be 50 when I graduate. God willing I've got a good 10-15 working years left in me, and I intend to spend it doing something that makes a difference in peoples lives. I "wasted" 15 years wanting to do something more with my life before I was forced into a "now or never" situation. Don't spend the rest of your life thinking "if only..."

Go for it, and good luck!
I agree 100%, I worked in academia, and my ex-boss a professor and countless other academics I know (...those that still want to work) work or want to work beyond 65-67...not because they are forced to but because they are very passionate about their research and still add value to the profession. So, even if you re-train later on in life, as long as your mind, soul and body holds up....you can go on and on and on......Go for it!

I re-trained in my mid-30's, switching from finance and business to science...and I am still re-inventing myself...check out my journey at https://seankassen.com.
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VENIVIDIVICI
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(Original post by donz_8)
This has given me some comfort. I am starting a psychology degree and I am 48 worrying that I will be the only mature student there.
It doesn't matter even if you are...you are there for yourself and your own goals...I have found academics and fellow students to be kind, helpful and supportive....except for a few...just ignore those. You will be just fine. When I did my access and hons degree over a decade ago now, there were students even older than me on the course...we all got on very well and made some lasting new friendships.
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26maris
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(Original post by Laura76)
Hello!! I'm 44, a single mum and work full time in mental health and also volunteer for Merseycare NHS. I would love to train as a Paramedic or Nursing Associate... Paramedic more... I'm needing to re take my Maths & English level 2 which I was going to do alongside the Access to HE Health Professionals in time for next September. However.. because it's been so long since I last studied (1993 when I achieved a Merit in BTEC Care) the college have suggested I enroll on a Pre-access course this September then Access course next September... I am seriously considering an online Access course, the college said Learn Direct is a good and is ideal when you need to carry on working but I'm to bear (bare?? ) in mind that it's obviously 3 A level that I'll be studying after so long out of study!! As well as Maths & English 😭 has anyone done a Pre-access at their local college (mine will be Southport) how many people were on the course and how old were they?? It's slightly daunting thinking that I'll be the eldest! I know on the Access course there is a mixture which is good... I don't want to be 50 by the time I'm applying to Uni. Is that silly of me?? I just want to crack on with it but obviously it's got to feel right....
Hi. I too have just started a Learn Direct Access course and if all being well hope to start uni in September 2021. I have to do my maths GCSE too 🙈
I’m 42 now and I have a plan to have a degree before I hit 47... though studying after so many years of not is making me question I’m doing the right thing!
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