A degree course is a much larger commitment than the majority of the courses listed above but if you have the time and money, it can be a highly rewarding experience. Some people take degrees for fun, but the majority of people do it because they hope that it will help them lay the foundations for a career in a specific field or industry.
If you’re unsure whether or not a degree is the right option for you, then it can help to get in touch with your local university and ask to speak to someone who runs the course that you’re interested in taking. They may be able to give you more insight into what it involves and what it could lead to. It may also be worth taking a free course in your chosen subject matter first – that way if you realise you’re not so interested in it after all, then you haven’t lost a significant amount of time or money.
The entry requirements for each degree course will differ depending on the course, and university you decide to apply to, so it’s best to check these before you submit your application. Universities also run open days where you can go and have a look around and hear more about what certain courses entail, so it’s worth going to one of these if you can.
Many people worry about the time and cost associated with degree courses, but if you’re really keen to start a degree in later life then there is financial help available in the form of bursaries and loans, as well as options to study part-time alongside other work commitments. There is also an option to study some degrees at a distance – The Open University offers distance-learning degrees, as do some other universities.
One of our members recently completed her undergraduate degree in Criminology and has now moved on to do a Master’s. You can read Christine’s story here.