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Hi I am 53 and have worked in NHS and want to do a degree. I need to increase my confidence and study skills it’s been a longtime since I actually studied properly , effectively and with confidence. Can anyone advise?

Hi I am 53 and have worked in the NHS for 34 years , currently work as a specialist nurse.. I trained old school and do not have a degree. I am not ready to retire yet and would like to do a degree I was advised by my manager several years ago that I can go straight to a Masters but my confidence has always stopped me and I worry about how I am going to finance it. My employer has part financed in the past but I gave up on the course and I don’t want to ask for funding again. Does anyone now what support and funding streams are out there to help me to finally fulfil my dream or at least start on the right path.

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    • Daisychain 24th June 2021 at 1:21 pm

      I started my OU degree when I was 61 and completed it 5 years later. You could call them and have a chat about doing a single module. Open Learn have many online topics from level 1 to level 3, all for free. This could also be a good place to build your confidence.

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    • Daisychain 24th June 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Open Learn courses are taken from 1st degree courses at the OU.

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    • JackieK 24th June 2021 at 2:45 pm

      I totally agree with with others here – I did a BA With the Open University in my 50’s and thoroughly enjoyed it. The modules are certainly more expensive these days but I know they offer a range of payment options. The beauty of it is , the courses are points based. You can take modules worth either 30 points or 60 points which are priced differently and require different amounts of weekly study. But all count towards your degree. It’s also possible that the studies you did previously might get you credits towards your degree. They also offer short courses which are much cheaper but don’t count towards your degree. As others have said Future Learn is great for taster courses to help you decide on a direction and most are free unless you want to pay for a certificate. Good Luck! Enjoy yourself!

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    • S_usan 24th June 2021 at 8:33 pm

      I’d be happy to help with editing, proofing and helping you paraphrase any assignments you have. I’m a qualified teacher only a year younger than you.

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    • Tippy 24th June 2021 at 10:02 pm

      I’ve done a few courses with the OU. The level 1 courses help with improving study skills and academic writing. You can also apply for a student loan with the OU, just like any uni. Alternatively, you can start off with an Access course which prepares you for uni study. But you may have to pay for that yourself. I too am thinking of studying for a degree but it’s a big commitment. Six years part time. Good luck.

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    • Barbee1968 24th June 2021 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you I will have a look at the study prep courses. Good luck with your studies.

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      • Daisychain 22nd August 2021 at 8:30 pm

        The very basic level 1 courses are designed for those who are new to studying or haven’t done any for some time. I did two level one courses, two level two courses followed by two level three courses. The level one courses offer lots of support and advice about how to study and write assignments.

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    • Olga 24th June 2021 at 10:22 pm

      Hi, I am the first person ever in my family to do a degree. I have worked all my life brought a son up on my own and never thought I was smart enough to do a degree. But when my son was doing his GCSE,s (which he got eleven). I started to study to do a degree. I got my degree when I was 60 in Counselling and Therapeutic studies, a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours . I worked in a High School with young people and thought it might help me to help them. It was very hard work and sometimes I wanted to quit, but something told me I had to do it. If you really want to do this you will find a way. I am sure you will find the funding, and you do not have to pay it back until you earn enough money to do so. My best wishes and good luck. Olga

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    • Colin in Kent 25th June 2021 at 7:28 am

      Hi, I started a Masters a couple of years ago whilst working full time. It’s worth bearing in mind these days that in addition to the OU, many universities now run Distance Learning departments offering a great range of courses. I’m studying with the University of Wales even though based in London as it provided the exact course I wanted. I say go for it, I love doing it and it provides a fantastic outlet for my interests away from work. Yes, it can be challenging returning to the discipline of study after a long absence, but you’ll find a whole range of fellow students and staff there to help you.

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    • Abc123 25th June 2021 at 1:59 pm

      Sounds really good idea. You could have an occasional tutor. I have worked with mature
      undergraduate students, usually with dyslexia, but they need confidence building and study skills just as you feel you do so it’s maybe an option? My students asked for help when they needed it so it wasn’t a regular commitment.

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    • Barbee1968 26th June 2021 at 12:53 am

      Thank you I am going to speak to some one at the university for some guidance. Watch this space🙂

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    • Susan Gom 26th June 2021 at 1:54 am

      Go for it and good luck.

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    • BANJO 26th June 2021 at 3:33 pm

      I too was a “mature student”.
      I started by doing 2 or 3 OU courses then did a Bsc hons degree in Behavioural Sciences in 2 years before taking a one year Post Graduate teaching course. It wasn’t easy but … I had a fulfilling (if stressful) career in Education & am now relieved to be able to have a comfortable retirement.
      Good luck!!!

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    • E-man 5th July 2021 at 9:01 am

      In my 7years in out-of- hours I met some really inspiring A N Ps (Advanced Nursing Practitioners ) . Try and find some in your area , I’m sure they can help you in your aspiration .

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    • H. 5th July 2021 at 8:52 pm

      I can’t praise the Open University highly enough! If you want quality, support with options for financial support, go for them! Start slowly and on the bottom rung – your confidence will grow. Good luck xx

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    • Barbee1968 11th July 2021 at 11:49 am

      Thank. You for your advise.

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    • H. 18th July 2021 at 9:31 am

      Hello. I was a teacher and did an OU degree over 6 years. It was hard work at times, especially essays as I am not good at that. But the materials and support was incredible. I loved receiving the books and workbooks through the post. Not sure what funding is available but I’m sure they will help you find support if it’s out there. Give it a shot! It’s well worth it. Good luck xx

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    • Daisychain 22nd August 2021 at 8:32 pm

      Go for it and good luck xx

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    • silverlilac1 24th August 2021 at 9:04 am

      A few years ago I finshed a degree with the open university I got help because I am dylexic i think it is important to be fairly confident with your study skills first.

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    • JaneG 24th August 2021 at 9:39 pm

      Health Education England has kindly provided NHS Trusts with an amount of money per head for continued professional development so I wouldn’t feel reluctant to ask your manager about funding to access training. Why not look for a level 6 module at a local university in a subject which would complement your role. That will help you back into studying. Why not arrange to speak to a tutor in the local university or to an advisor in your Trust Education and development department about the options available to you? You could accrue sufficient credits for a degree or Masters by undertaking a series of discrete modules over a period of time.

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    • EmmieLou 26th August 2021 at 2:32 pm

      I also work in the nhs and recently did a masters (healthcare leadership), lots of nurses and doctors on my course, you should talk to your manager as there is lots of development support available for all staff, good luck x

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    • Barbee1968 26th August 2021 at 11:22 pm

      Thank you that’s worth thinking about.

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    • Phil59 26th August 2021 at 11:43 pm

      Cannot offer any advice as have not done any studying since I was about 40 and at present am not considering any studying again but I would like to say how inspiring your post and all others are about studying later in life and I wish you all every success in achieving your goals.

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    • MORENOCH1 29th August 2021 at 6:07 pm

      GO FOR IT BARBEE! SO WHAT SUBJECT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?

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    • MORENOCH1 29th August 2021 at 6:11 pm

      I’LL LOVE TO LEARN HOW TO SEW, OR TO BE ABLE TO FIX MOTOR VEHICLES (EVEN IF BASIC) ANY PRACTICAL COURSE.

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    • SteveDunn1969 29th August 2021 at 6:39 pm

      I’ve been with the Open University for about 25 years – I’d strongly suggest checking them out, I’ve always enjoyed taking courses with them. Talk to some of the people there too, they’re great advisors. You might be able to get funding through Student Finance, (you can also geta loan for your studies with the OU) but talk to those at the instituation you wish to get a degree from – I’m sure they’ll be able to help.

      I’m doing a Masters now, having done an undergrad and a few Diplomas.

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    • Moya 30th August 2021 at 10:12 am

      Can’t advise on funding but for confidence try a few of the Open University short courses to get you started. I did ‘Open to Change’. I don’t know if they still do that but there must be something similar. There are free courses on line to get you into an academic frame of mind. From that first tiny course I went on to get a BA Hons and earlier this year an MA. If you can wish it you can do it.

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    • Lady Patricia 5th September 2021 at 9:04 am

      I graduated from the OU two years ago aged 62, with a first class honours degree in English Literature. The sense of achievement is immense. The support of your tutors is invaluable. I started with Level 1 courses to get my confidence in essay writing. After 6 years of studying I was churning out academic essays. I also made great study buddies along the way – we’re still in touch – it was great to have their support. I would recommend attending as many of the face to face tutorials as possible or do the live online tutorials. Someone on this thread has already mentioned that you don’t need to start paying back your student loan until you earn more than £26000 pa. and even then repayments are very low. All the very best in whatever you choose to do.

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    • Barbee1968 5th September 2021 at 1:05 pm

      You guys are so inspirational. I’ve decided I will do some short courses build up my confidence. I also need to sort out my home so I have a good space to work from.

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    • She-b 11th September 2021 at 12:47 pm

      I am also a nurse 42 years with nhs just retired I did some with OU but they are expensive. I contacted our university that does the nursing course and they do lots of nursing courses that are credits from 15 to 30 Once you have the 360 I need you can do your dissertation for your masters. I would suggest doing some courses first to see how you go if you haven’t done essays for a while

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    • EmmilyParker 12th September 2021 at 10:22 am

      Hi, it’s very cool that you decided to learn something new. Learning this is very cool at any age. I am 50 and I am constantly learning something new, and developing in different areas. I use a cool platform – https://studentshare.org/ where you can find a report on anything. When I need some information, I always use it because the information in these essays is very simple. It may be easier for you to improve your skills with them.

      Reply
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