4 hour total commute to university

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shahsr11
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#1
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#1
I recently got a unconditional offer for a MSc at Liverpool University. Unfortunately being a mature student (early 30's) I have a home and settled in Leeds quite a few years ago. I have a fantastic mortgage, fantastic home and with how current house prices are I don't think its feasible for me to sell my home to move.

While I could move out. I would end up juggling both my mortgage payments and accomodation (which while I could do would not be ideal). Additionally I have pets which makes it difficult to do so. I did think about moving back with my parents, which would half my 4 hour train commute into a 2 hour car commute, but my family stresses me out a lot so this would likely impact my mental health, I would be coming from a stressful environment at uni, to a stressful environment at home.

For my undergrad I did a 1 hour total commite by car, so this would be quite a jump in time/distance. I have never cared about socialising so I dont mind that the commute will eat into my experience of the social side of uni.

I just wanted any advice if anyone has done a long commute such as this. How did you manage? Were you able to get work done on a train? If you had clinical placements, how did you cope with them + commuting? Any advice would be helpful.
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meganivy392038
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#2
Hi,

I haven't done this myself, but a lot of my uni work is still online. I go to NTU, and by the looks of it, they have found transitioning some things online to be quite beneficial to both students and tutors. Maybe it would be worth questioning how much would be online/ in person? And if you could get placements closer to home. If it's something you really want to do, I'd say go for it. Is it only for a year?
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shahsr11
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#3
(Original post by meganivy392038)
Hi,

I haven't done this myself, but a lot of my uni work is still online. I go to NTU, and by the looks of it, they have found transitioning some things online to be quite beneficial to both students and tutors. Maybe it would be worth questioning how much would be online/ in person? And if you could get placements closer to home. If it's something you really want to do, I'd say go for it. Is it only for a year?
Thanks for your input. I appreciate it alot.

I have asked about online learning and from my understanding theyre not sure. They have 3 different versions of the timetables ready to implement (in person, all online and hybrid). But when I asked at my interview they said for now theyre planning in person, but that is subject to change. Also it is a heavy clinical placement based course and that will of course only be in person. I'm likely to find out more specifics as the course start gets closer.

Its for 2 years, but from my understanding only maybe 1/3 at max of that will be lecture learning. First year looks like Im on placements July to October, with remaining months being lectures. Second year is mostly clinical too.

I will try to see if I can get placements closer when the time comes but thats only likely to cut down the commute by maybe an hour or so. I will still likely be looking at a 3 hour daily commute.
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Emily_B
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(Original post by shahsr11)
I will try to see if I can get placements closer when the time comes but thats only likely to cut down the commute by maybe an hour or so. I will still likely be looking at a 3 hour daily commute.
This sends a massive red flag to me.
If your course is "clinical" then I assume that this is a healthcare related degree. On these sorts of courses, students don't sort their own placements, nor do they have much, if any, influence on where they get sent - placements are based upon the area the university is based in. As your offer is from Liverpool, expect clinical practice to be in the Liverpool city region. Get in touch with Liverpool ASAP about this, as this could be another major issue for you.
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shahsr11
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(Original post by Emily_B)
This sends a massive red flag to me.
If your course is "clinical" then I assume that this is a healthcare related degree. On these sorts of courses, students don't sort their own placements, nor do they have much, if any, influence on where they get sent - placements are based upon the area the university is based in. As your offer is from Liverpool, expect clinical practice to be in the Liverpool city region. Get in touch with Liverpool ASAP about this, as this could be another major issue for you.
You would be correct about it being healthcare, it is for Radiography. I asked about it and they said it was done based off of a 1st 2nd 3rd choice system. And I was given a list of areas with a decent range around that area of the north west. The ones I jotted down in my notes were 3 hospitals in Liverpool, St.Helens, Southport and Hulton, but i recall there being a few more.

As I said above, I always have the option to move to my family's home in Bolton, to make the commute shorter if it did become too much. But I would like to atleast try to see if I can manage the 4 hour commute initially just to surround myself in a better environment for my home life.
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Emily_B
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#6
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(Original post by shahsr11)
You would be correct about it being healthcare, it is for Radiography. I asked about it and they said it was done based off of a 1st 2nd 3rd choice system. And I was given a list of areas with a decent range around that area of the north west. The ones I jotted down in my notes were 3 hospitals in Liverpool, St.Helens, Southport and Hulton, but i recall there being a few more.

As I said above, I always have the option to move to my family's home in Bolton, to make the commute shorter if it did become too much. But I would like to atleast try to see if I can manage the 4 hour commute initially just to surround myself in a better environment for my home life.
That's good that you actually have decent idea of where placements are (the area pretty much being what I thought!)
I'm a nurse, so things aren't exactly the same, but... massive warning here: do you really want to be leaving the house by 4am at the latest and not get home til 10pm at the earliest, to do 4-5 days a week of 8-6(ish) for placement? I promise you, that's an excellent way of burning yourself out through stress and lack of sleep; the other side of it is that it sounds like moving in with your family in Boulton would add stress in a different way, despite being closer.

I've just had a look (out of curiosity!) and was surprised at how few pre-reg MSCs there are for radiography out there. Surely doing the BSc through Leeds or Bradford would be better for you as (despite being 3 years rather than 2) significantly closer to home, or is funding and issue? Don't want you to quickly burn out/drop out/destroy yourself over such a long commute.
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shahsr11
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(Original post by Emily_B)
That's good that you actually have decent idea of where placements are (the area pretty much being what I thought!)
I'm a nurse, so things aren't exactly the same, but... massive warning here: do you really want to be leaving the house by 4am at the latest and not get home til 10pm at the earliest, to do 4-5 days a week of 8-6(ish) for placement? I promise you, that's an excellent way of burning yourself out through stress and lack of sleep; the other side of it is that it sounds like moving in with your family in Boulton would add stress in a different way, despite being closer.

I've just had a look (out of curiosity!) and was surprised at how few pre-reg MSCs there are for radiography out there. Surely doing the BSc through Leeds or Bradford would be better for you as (despite being 3 years rather than 2) significantly closer to home, or is funding and issue? Don't want you to quickly burn out/drop out/destroy yourself over such a long commute.
Yeah there are very few of this course with the closest being Teeside and Derby, which would both present me with the same issues so not much alternative for an MSc. I did look at a BSc but as you've stated funding is an issue there plus I think Leeds commonly has clinical placements in York and Hull which would involve a 2 to 3 hour commute at some point during the course anyways.

As you've stated moving in with my family would bring up a lot of mental stress. My oldest brother has severe schizophrenia/LD meaning that often theres a lot of shouting in the household (so i wouldnt ever have any quiet coming home). Plus I would likely be pressured by family to end up taking on some of his care ontop of studying. A few members of the family also really struggle with chronic depression so overall it's not a ideal environment for my mental health. I could manage, but it would likely be equally as stressful.

Its not that I want such a long commute. But I would atleast like to see if anyone has done it and if it is feasible. Atleast if I remained in Leeds I would atleast have peaceful weekends to relax, something I'm not sure ill get back at home. I think given the two environments I have a choice of, I would honestly get more burnout being at my family's. Atleast the train is direct so I can have a kip or read or do something, and be back in a quiet environment for the 2/3 hours I have left of my day before I sleep. Im not sure if the hours saved being closer would even be relaxing quality time.

I'm very much between a rock and a hard place but it's truly a course I want to do and I am going in with open eyes regarding how hard it will be.
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Ash95x
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Have you thought about moving closer to uni and renting for the year and renting your current house, either as an AirBnb or somewhere with a max one year tenancy? Even a 2 hour commute will make your personal life very hectic as it'll be commute-uni-commute five days a week and then studying on the weekend and work if you have a job. That doesn't sound fun.
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shahsr11
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(Original post by Ash95x)
Have you thought about moving closer to uni and renting for the year and renting your current house, either as an AirBnb or somewhere with a max one year tenancy? Even a 2 hour commute will make your personal life very hectic as it'll be commute-uni-commute five days a week and then studying on the weekend and work if you have a job. That doesn't sound fun.
Renting my home in Leeds would be against my mortgage terms. I would have to renegotiate with the bank, which would likely end up my monthly payments being raised. Which is doable, but not ideal, and theres no guarantee if I'd be returned to my current low interest plan when I move back after completing my course, especially with how property prices have shifted during the pandemic. Its something that I can look into so thank you for the suggestion.

I wont be working so my weekends will for the most part remain free. Especially if I'm productive and keep my commute times as a time to study. Its weird but I work better in environments with noise, so I know i'll be fine studying on a train.
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Emily_B
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(Original post by shahsr11)
Yeah there are very few of this course with the closest being Teeside and Derby, which would both present me with the same issues so not much alternative for an MSc. I did look at a BSc but as you've stated funding is an issue there plus I think Leeds commonly has clinical placements in York and Hull which would involve a 2 to 3 hour commute at some point during the course anyways.

As you've stated moving in with my family would bring up a lot of mental stress. My oldest brother has severe schizophrenia/LD meaning that often theres a lot of shouting in the household (so i wouldnt ever have any quiet coming home). Plus I would likely be pressured by family to end up taking on some of his care ontop of studying. A few members of the family also really struggle with chronic depression so overall it's not a ideal environment for my mental health. I could manage, but it would likely be equally as stressful.

Its not that I want such a long commute. But I would atleast like to see if anyone has done it and if it is feasible. Atleast if I remained in Leeds I would atleast have peaceful weekends to relax, something I'm not sure ill get back at home. I think given the two environments I have a choice of, I would honestly get more burnout being at my family's. Atleast the train is direct so I can have a kip or read or do something, and be back in a quiet environment for the 2/3 hours I have left of my day before I sleep. Im not sure if the hours saved being closer would even be relaxing quality time.

I'm very much between a rock and a hard place but it's truly a course I want to do and I am going in with open eyes regarding how hard it will be.
This really is a tricky situation to be in.
Working in a district general hospital, with a lot of different people from a variety of health proffessions, I don't know a single one who has been in this position with commuting - the most anyone does is just over an hour (and this includes students). We've had a few block booked agency staff from all over the country, but they've all stayed in hospital accommodation, hotels etc for the part of the week their shifts fall in (to avoid massive commutes like yours!)
I'm going to be honest here: either commuting from Leeds to Liverpool, or from Bolton to Liverpool and dealing with family issues, isn't going to work - it may do for the occasional in-person lecture, but not for the duration of placement.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by shahsr11)
Renting my home in Leeds would be against my mortgage terms. I would have to renegotiate with the bank, which would likely end up my monthly payments being raised.
You should be able to get a 'permission to let' from your mortgage provider - the terms of these vary, but they're nearly always do-able. However, I get the feeling that you don't want to move, even if it were perfectly feasible. Is that the case?
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shahsr11
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(Original post by Emily_B)
This really is a tricky situation to be in.
Working in a district general hospital, with a lot of different people from a variety of health proffessions, I don't know a single one who has been in this position with commuting - the most anyone does is just over an hour (and this includes students). We've had a few block booked agency staff from all over the country, but they've all stayed in hospital accommodation, hotels etc for the part of the week their shifts fall in (to avoid massive commutes like yours!)
I'm going to be honest here: either commuting from Leeds to Liverpool, or from Bolton to Liverpool and dealing with family issues, isn't going to work - it may do for the occasional in-person lecture, but not for the duration of placement.
Yeah it's a tough situation absolutely. And I agree that while I think it may work for lectures, placements will be rough (which are the majority of the course). I have a rough idea of my placement months, so I'll have a look at short term lets or rooms.
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shahsr11
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(Original post by Reality Check)
You should be able to get a 'permission to let' from your mortgage provider - the terms of these vary, but they're nearly always do-able. However, I get the feeling that you don't want to move, even if it were perfectly feasible. Is that the case?
Yes, I will have a look into permission to let, but I do know that there are some fees surrounding it that I will need to look into a bit more.

I am fine with moving, since it isnt the first time I've moved location from a place I consider home. But it is not ideal for me on a financial basis, considering I have a purchased home this time to consider. Perhaps that will be alleviated once I look into PTL a bit more.

The reason for this thread was just to see if anyone has done it, and their advice regarding it. I want to keep my options open, and know what options are available to me.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by shahsr11)
Yes, I will have a look into permission to let, but I do know that there are some fees surrounding it that I will need to look into a bit more.

I am fine with moving, since it isnt the first time I've moved location from a place I consider home. But it is not ideal for me financial basis, considering I have a purchased home this time to consider. Perhaps that will be alleviated once I look into PTL a bit more.

The reason for this thread was just to see if anyone has done it, and their advice regarding it. I want to keep my options open, and know what options are available to me.
People do commute like this, and it's a common question on TSR. There is no real right or wrong answer: it all depends on you and how you 'travel' - some people find it manageable whilst others jack it in after half a term. Will the extra time travelling fit into all your non-academic life, or is it going to leave you so short of time that you can't fit 'real life' in around your studies.

I'd be more concerned about the placements. For most AHP courses, you don't get a choice of placement location unless you are on a priority list - does this apply to you, or does your university allow you to choose the location of your placement? Are all the possible placements commutable from your home, were you to stay living there?
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Emily_B
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(Original post by Reality Check)
People do commute like this, and it's a common question on TSR. There is no real right or wrong answer: it all depends on you and how you 'travel' - some people find it manageable whilst others jack it in after half a term. Will the extra time travelling fit into all your non-academic life, or is it going to leave you so short of time that you can't fit 'real life' in around your studies.

I'd be more concerned about the placements. For most AHP courses, you don't get a choice of placement location unless you are on a priority list - does this apply to you, or does your university allow you to choose the location of your placement? Are all the possible placements commutable from your home, were you to stay living there?
OP has already previously stated that the placement list is Liverpool city region/Merseyside/south Lancashire
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shahsr11
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(Original post by Reality Check)
People do commute like this, and it's a common question on TSR. There is no real right or wrong answer: it all depends on you and how you 'travel' - some people find it manageable whilst others jack it in after half a term. Will the extra time travelling fit into all your non-academic life, or is it going to leave you so short of time that you can't fit 'real life' in around your studies.

I'd be more concerned about the placements. For most AHP courses, you don't get a choice of placement location unless you are on a priority list - does this apply to you, or does your university allow you to choose the location of your placement? Are all the possible placements commutable from your home, were you to stay living there?
You bring up a lot of fair questions here for me to consider. I have a Q&A day on 6th Dec so I will certainely have to keep these in mind to ask then. So thank you for bringing them up. Maybe getting more details regarding the placements will help me get a clearer view of everything and what possibilities are open to me.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by shahsr11)
You bring up a lot of fair questions here for me to consider. I have a Q&A day on 6th Dec so I will certainely have to keep these in mind to ask then. So thank you for bringing them up. Maybe getting more details regarding the placements will help me get a clearer view of everything and what possibilities are open to me.
That sounds like a good plan
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(Original post by shahsr11)
You bring up a lot of fair questions here for me to consider. I have a Q&A day on 6th Dec so I will certainely have to keep these in mind to ask then. So thank you for bringing them up. Maybe getting more details regarding the placements will help me get a clearer view of everything and what possibilities are open to me.
Yes, 2 hours each way is doable if that is what you want to do. As someone else has said there's no right or wrong answer to this and it's purely based on knowing whether you'd be able to do such a commute for a prolonged time, the only big problem I've seen is if you want to socialise with others that are in Liverpool since a lot of people plan stuff last minute but if you don't care about socialising then commuting should be fine. Just make sure to actually calculate the costs of using the train (or other transport such as car) throughout your time as I found that commuting for me would cost the same as living near university. Do make sure to actually try to commute first before your course starts and see if you are able to handle it so you don't get into a situation where you want to live near university but can't find any accommodation anymore.
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ReadingMum
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Is someone going to be looking after the pets while you are out of the house for 10/12 hours a day?
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shahsr11
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(Original post by ReadingMum)
Is someone going to be looking after the pets while you are out of the house for 10/12 hours a day?
Yes, my bf will still be in Leeds and will have them. He works from home and is fine with taking care of them.
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