Open university Forensic Psychology

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Stacey230494
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Too old?

So I’m 100% experiencing a quarter life crisis 🤦🏻*♀️🤣
I’m 27 years old and since 2015 never been able to hold down a job due to being a single parent with no friends or family to help with childcare. Last 2 years worked full time and got into debt with childcare fees for 13 weeks of the year being more than what I was earning. Since, I applied to join the police force as a special Constable (minimum 4 hrs a week) and got accepted only to find no help with childcare for the fortnightly residential training. So I had to give the job up. Dream job is detective!

So I thought as I’m clearly not able work until my situation changes, or son is much older … why don’t I study? so when he’s more self sufficient, I’ll at least have a decent qualification when I do return to work! So ive enrolling on this course, starting in October. But this poses the question of am I too old?

If I think down the route or a part time degree taking 6 years, by the time it’s finished I’ll be 33. Then masters, then doctorate/trainee program. I’d be pushing 40, yet to gain any employment or experience in the field? I’d assume most fully qualified psychologists aged 40 would have quite a few years experience behind them.

This brings on the panic! Where has all the time gone? I know I’m young now, but can’t help but feel old when I look into the near distant future and it looks like this!

I know my situation could change, I could marry and live with partner and then not have such a strain on childcare. I could apply for the police again once finishing this initial degree as they don’t require masters/ doctorate etc to become a Detective. And similarly my son will be slightly older which may slightly help (although from 6-12years he still isn’t able to be left alone). But it’s all a lot of “ifs” with no amount of certainty and it scares me. I desperately want to work. I got very good grades at school but my family never spoke about/ pushed me towards uni and I went straight into work - which I resent. And my fathers son refuses to have his son regularly if at all with the idea of “well why don’t you just work from home” whilst he’s remained full time working throughout. Which is what’s lead me to this unfortunate situation.

But what do you say? Be honest … too old to start now?? Maybe 10 years of education to become forensic psychologist starting from normal uni age would be fine but starting from 27?

I feel so low.
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WazzWazz98
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there is no "correct" timeline as to when you should complete certain milestones
its your life and you should live it however you see fit
you are still young and have plenty of time to pursue your dreams

I am 23, did a BSc in Accounting, hated the job, dleft the third largest firm globally and decided to retrain as a psychologist this coming september
everyone thinks im mad but i decided i wanted a job where i was helping individuals on a more personal level and have a sense of pride in my work
everyone say's im bonkers but i want to do something which i actually enjoy

dont give up op!
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ajj2000
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Doing a degree sounds like a decent idea considering your childcare issues. You can do it faster than 6 years if you have adequate time to commit. Have you looked for websites with lots of mothers - plenty will have done the psychology degree at the OU.

Just a word of warning - your chances of getting onto the D ClinPsy are limited. Its worth doing some research and considering how big a deal this is for you.

Edit to add - if you do get onto the D ClinPsy I dont think you should consider it more time in education for practical purposes. You get a decent salary while you do it and the experience is highly valuable.
Last edited by ajj2000; 1 month ago
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Stacey230494
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Doing a degree sounds like a decent idea considering your childcare issues. You can do it faster than 6 years if you have adequate time to commit. Have you looked for websites with lots of mothers - plenty will have done the psychology degree at the OU.

Just a word of warning - your chances of getting onto the D ClinPsy are limited. Its worth doing some research and considering how big a deal this is for you.

Edit to add - if you do get onto the D ClinPsy I dont think you should consider it more time in education for practical purposes. You get a decent salary while you do it and the experience is highly valuable
Sorry I thought post grad study was mandatory ??
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ajj2000
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(Original post by Stacey230494)
Sorry I thought post grad study was mandatory ??
For clinical psychology? Yes - but it’s a bit different to most postgrad courses. There is loads of practical experience and you get paid a proper salary for a start. It’s not a delay in starting a career in the same way as most post grad courses are.
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Nitebot
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(Original post by Stacey230494)
Too old?

So I’m 100% experiencing a quarter life crisis 🤦🏻*♀️🤣
I’m 27 years old and since 2015 never been able to hold down a job due to being a single parent with no friends or family to help with childcare. Last 2 years worked full time and got into debt with childcare fees for 13 weeks of the year being more than what I was earning. Since, I applied to join the police force as a special Constable (minimum 4 hrs a week) and got accepted only to find no help with childcare for the fortnightly residential training. So I had to give the job up. Dream job is detective!

So I thought as I’m clearly not able work until my situation changes, or son is much older … why don’t I study? so when he’s more self sufficient, I’ll at least have a decent qualification when I do return to work! So ive enrolling on this course, starting in October. But this poses the question of am I too old?

If I think down the route or a part time degree taking 6 years, by the time it’s finished I’ll be 33. Then masters, then doctorate/trainee program. I’d be pushing 40, yet to gain any employment or experience in the field? I’d assume most fully qualified psychologists aged 40 would have quite a few years experience behind them.

This brings on the panic! Where has all the time gone? I know I’m young now, but can’t help but feel old when I look into the near distant future and it looks like this!

I know my situation could change, I could marry and live with partner and then not have such a strain on childcare. I could apply for the police again once finishing this initial degree as they don’t require masters/ doctorate etc to become a Detective. And similarly my son will be slightly older which may slightly help (although from 6-12years he still isn’t able to be left alone). But it’s all a lot of “ifs” with no amount of certainty and it scares me. I desperately want to work. I got very good grades at school but my family never spoke about/ pushed me towards uni and I went straight into work - which I resent. And my fathers son refuses to have his son regularly if at all with the idea of “well why don’t you just work from home” whilst he’s remained full time working throughout. Which is what’s lead me to this unfortunate situation.

But what do you say? Be honest … too old to start now?? Maybe 10 years of education to become forensic psychologist starting from normal uni age would be fine but starting from 27?

I feel so low.
I think you can keep your options pretty open. I would lower my initial goals if I were you. You don't want to start out on the Forensic Psychology degree and then worry constantly about whether anything will come of it 10 years or more into the future. As has been said, it's a very difficult area to get into even if you've got a degree and relevant experience. Why not try and get into a field that's easier to qualify for and would give you some relevant experience? Take a look at the wide range of OU courses in health and social care. You could start by getting an HE diploma in may be something like the general Health and Social Care or the more science based, Health Sciences, and use that to get a job (and a hopefully a decent income) and then work your way up for a few years, academically and career wise, until you're in a position to go for a shot at your dream profession. You don't have to take OU courses. There will be local college courses that will offer similar starter level qualifications.

I'd skip the police for now. My friend's son is doing the training and with the irregular shifts I don't see how you could manage it without proper childcare support. Hope that helps.
Last edited by Nitebot; 1 month ago
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Stacey230494
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(Original post by Nitebot)
I'd skip the police for now. My friend's son is doing the training and with the irregular shifts I don't see how you could manage it without proper childcare support. Hope that helps.
Is your friends son training as Special Constable? The job requirements state minimum 4 hours a week. So that would be a lot easier to work around school hours and even during summer holidays finding less hours of childcare would be easier. That’s why I initially applied instead of a Full Time paid officer role. Same role, just ones unpaid and 4hr required.
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Nitebot
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(Original post by Stacey230494)
Is your friends son training as Special Constable? The job requirements state minimum 4 hours a week. So that would be a lot easier to work around school hours and even during summer holidays finding less hours of childcare would be easier. That’s why I initially applied instead of a Full Time paid officer role. Same role, just ones unpaid and 4hr required.
He's on the Police apprenticeship scheme where you carry out duties and study for a Police and Criminology degree at the same time. So it's full time but the study part of it (pre-Covid) is based at uni/home. I don't know much about the Special Constable hours but assumed that even that may be awkward for you.

Have you thought about a similar part-time role such as a council civic/public protection officer? The job's quite varied and can cover anything from dealing with ASB and fly tipping to giving out parking fines. And councils try to allow as much flexibility for their employees as possible. If you got accepted as a Special Constable then you should have a decent shot at a PPO role as the bar is probably lower.
Last edited by Nitebot; 1 month ago
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