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Degree Study at Age 59

(22 Posts)
Molly2014 Wed 23-Jul-14 18:01:59

Is there anyone else at my age who has taken the risk of full time study?

Soutra Wed 23-Jul-14 18:19:28

Good luck I am full of admiration! Learning at any age is wonderful but appreciated all the more as we get older

suzied Wed 23-Jul-14 19:21:26

I go to an adult college done day a week and am tempted by the degree course but I already have an MA so don't see the need to gain another degree but I could be persuaded ( though the fees are much higher for the degree course).

suebailey1 Wed 23-Jul-14 19:25:48

Lots of people do OU in retirement- may be not so many since they put the fees up. My last course was when I was 59 (creative writing) if I had the lolly would be continuing with courses every year.

rosequartz Wed 23-Jul-14 20:15:03

Go for it, Mollie. I wish I had, but unfortunately was not well then and feel I am too old and too busy now. But would love to be 'Dr Quartz'!

Mishap Wed 23-Jul-14 20:52:05

My mother got her BA when she was 60 - and she died aged 80 many years ago. She found it interesting and stimulating and enjoyed it all.

henetha Wed 23-Jul-14 21:01:49

I think adult education is a wonderful thing and would encourage anyone who is interested to go ahead.
I went back to college in my 40's and did 4 'O' levels and 2 'A' levels and it was great. And I've done loads of other courses, from pschycology (cannot spell it though!) to creative writing to yoga, pottery, poetry, painting, etc. etc.

FlicketyB Thu 24-Jul-14 08:00:15

I did a full time MA in my mid 50s and loved it. No problem mixing with younger students who totally accepted me. Among my colleagues at the time was a man in his 70s who was completing a PhD.

A lot of my friends have gone back to university at all levels at 60 plus,after retirement. Recently a friend was telling me about an aunt whop did an OU degree in her late 70s, did a full time MA in her early 80s and was considering doing a PHD when death intervened.

So go on Molly2014, do it, you are a mere youngster as older students, and there are a lot of them, go.

Iam64 Thu 24-Jul-14 09:04:48

I'm not doing a degree Mollie, but I'm trying to learn new stuff, all connected to things I'm interested in. Art galleries, imperial war museum, dog training (I know….), sewing and as the wrist joints are responding well to disease modifiers, I've taken up knitting again. I know I'm not stretching my brain in the say you are, go for it Molly2014, it'll be great.
A friend just finished a phd at 74 - made me feel slightly ashamed that I'm happily letting my brain go unchallenged!

ffinnochio Thu 24-Jul-14 09:07:29

If you study something that you enjoy and are interested in, it's not a risk.

Ariadne Thu 24-Jul-14 09:12:04

I started my doctorate when I was 54 - part time at Nottingham University. (I was living in Kent...) I loved it, but halfway through I had breast cancer, chemo etc, and when I got back to it I had changed my priorities, and lost interest. 45,000 words on school improvement, anyone?

But, Mollie I did enjoy it immensely! and I hope you enjoy your studies too; it is so good to wake up the brain and widen one's horizons. Hard, hard work, but we'll worth it! Good luck to you.

rosequartz Thu 24-Jul-14 09:46:35

I researched family history, took up art ( at which I was not much good), tried new hobbies and vowed to visit new places. Not formal education but very enjoyable nonetheless.

I still feel a lack of 'brain stimulation' sometimes, but then life gets in the way and I think what the heck.

Ariadne Thu 24-Jul-14 09:50:09

Spelled your name wrong, Molly - apologies!

annodomini Thu 24-Jul-14 09:58:35

I did OU French diploma when I was still working and serving as a local councillor. Loved it. Once retired, I did the creative writing course which I also enjoyed. I'd love to do the Spanish course but now it is so much more expensive it wouldn't be worth it - tbsad

ayse Thu 24-Jul-14 10:04:48

I started my OU degree at 59 and am now half way through. It is a lot of hard work, especially if you are working full time. Having said that I am now retired and had a bit more time in the last 6 months to do the OU.
I've found it challenging, satisfying, frustrating, enjoyable and I'm really glad I took the plunge.
If you want to chat more about the OU you can always pm me. Good luck in whatever you decide.

gkal Thu 24-Jul-14 10:05:30

For the last 8 months I have been doing several FutureLearn MOOC courses online. They last 6-8 weeks and are free which is wonderful. The Web, Sustainability, the Portus archaeology project in Rome (a personal favourite), Start Writing Fiction, Literature and the English Country House are the ones I have done. They are very stimulating, created by excellent universities and the participants from all over the world are so enthusiastic and interesting.

Lilygran Thu 24-Jul-14 10:10:08

Good luck, Molly. I used to work in adult education and know that many people do take on full-time study in their later life and do well. One of the things that worries people is being among a lot of adolescents but I've never heard of anyone who found it a problem once they got started. From the point of view of a teacher, a few mature students are a real asset in the classroom!

absam1 Thu 24-Jul-14 13:36:18

I was working full time when I did a 6 year Open University degree evenings and weekends - it was the same time as my twins were doing 'A' Levels and my eldest was in her first year of university. We didn't have laptops then and were all fighting over the computer. Unfortunately, in those days, it meant working right through the summer months too and, as it was before the days of a kindle, I had to take books and marker pens on holiday with me. My husband couldn't wait for the 'window of opportunity' as he called it, to arrive i.e. the couple of months before one course ended and the next started.

TriciaF Thu 24-Jul-14 17:04:37

As others have said or implied, it depends how much time you have to spend on your studies. I don't believe that a person's intellectual abilities necessarilly deteriorate with age, as long as you keep using your brain.
I always regretted not studying law, like my father, and started in my early 50s with O level, then A level , then a 5 year part time law degree (Hull University). But I was also working fulltime, with 4 teenagers at home, so only managed 2 years of the degree and had to give up, very sadly.
I had intended to do a complete career change.
The degree course had started off with 60+ students, and I kept in touch with some of the others and found that only about 10 graduated.
You need to be able to put your whole mind to it.

HildaW Thu 24-Jul-14 17:07:27

Oh Molly, you lucky lucky thing....I had to 'make-do' with OU but would have loved to have done it properly as a similarly aged friend of mine did. She did her full-time History degree in her 50s at Brookes in Oxford and loved every minute. I am green with envy for you!

HilaryCME Fri 25-Jul-14 16:16:45

Now that student loans have no age ceiling, there's plenty of scope for over 50s and over any age to study. I'm a member of Ransackers Association which has been promoting higher education for over 55s for 10 years now, for people who didn't get any higher education when they were younger.

Genevieve489 Sat 26-Jul-14 10:59:46

When I was in my forties, I studied for A levels at a local school, before applying to study for an English degree at Nottingham University. I enjoyed it so much that, when I graduated, I went on to do an MA and then an MPhil. I think I became a little addicted smile. It was a wonderful time in my life and I would definitely recommend anybody to do it, no matter what their age. Good luck, Molly.