University

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University

Postby thedeadly » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:56 pm

have been getting realy fed up, to put it politely with my job for the last few months and have come to the conclusion now i am single that there is nothing to stop me jacking it all in and getting bit of education - what i would like comments on is what university is like and how difficult would it be for someone at the wrong end of their 30s to get into uni life and survive on a pittance - how much money do you get to live on ect and where do you get it from ???

there's a little uni just up the road in plymouth who do the surfing science degree and i fancy a go at it - i would have to do 4 yrs as i would need to an access course for the 1st yr then its a guarenteed entry to the course

any comments pls
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Postby Zoidberg » Wed Aug 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Go for it.

Cheers
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Postby Surf Monkey » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:21 am

ive decided to go to uni start my science access course in september then im hoping to go to bangor uni in wales (near hells mouth) to study ocean science

just go for it dude if its what you want to do
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Postby Paddy.James » Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:21 am

Hi Deadly. I did the the marine science/ocience degree at plymouth thats now the "surfing" degree.
Go for it dude. Just dont be to mature a mature student. You might be able to blag your way in without the access course though if you talk to em.Try not to smoke quite so much blow as i die and you'll be fine.
but i have to say its not exactly helped me or my fellow graduates get a job . I got degree and a master in ocean and marine science and im working in the games industry.
I know more marine science graduates in IT than just about anything else!
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Postby kevchenco » Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:53 am

If you have been working for a while id say the hardest thing would be the drop in cash

I graduated two years ago and thinking back im not sure how i survived on the cash flow.

But you do have less to worry about when your a student

You get a loan from the government which you have to pay back when you earn over £16000 i think im not sure how much it is. Could be around the £3000 mark these days.
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Postby swordie » Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:54 am

I did'nt go back to college and complete my degree [environmental science - Plymouth] until I was in my early thirties, and I was no-where near the older end. I found that colleges like mature students because they tend to be a lot more motivated, having often given up good careers to return to uni.
I also found that treating the course like a job helped. In every morning, productive days [mostly], professional attitude etc meant that I had time to go surfing and sailing, as well as getting assigments in on time.

I ended up with a 2.1 so it worked for me.

Having said that, If you wants to make a lot of money and retire early, take a course in plumbing on the side! :)
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Postby kevchenco » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:04 am

There were only a few mature students on my course.

they were always on time
never hung over
and always sat at the front of the lecture theatre
but they always got pretty good grades and they never had the panic stages at the end of the year when the realisation of how much work needed to be done dawned upon them
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Postby Paddy.James » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:24 am

yeah...that sounds familar....
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Postby DJ » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:36 am

Hey Deadly,
I worked for 5 years after leaving Uni in 98, hated living in the city and wanted to work with the oceans so went back to southampton to do my MSc in Oceanography. I was at least 6 or 7 years older than eveyrone else but by no way the oldest. Money can be a problem but i think if you're like me it sounds like you're making a conscious decision to get away from the whole rat race thing. Money is not the b all and end all, go for the quality of life every time.

I am now doing my PhD up in Newcastle and in three years time I plan to be working somewhere warm with good waves and never have to wear a wetsuit again - that thought keeps me going through the lean times.

One thing I did find though is that if you have the right attitude yoiu make great friends no matter how old you are, even if i discovered that suddenly my hangovers had got twenty times worse in ten years - that can't be right??

Go for it bro... :D
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Postby future » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:31 am

Dont want to piss on your parade, but I went to uni and I'm now stuck behind a desk 9-5. Guess choice of course has a lot to do with it, but there's no guarantee that post graduation you'll be working in the field you studied . Having said that I reckon you've got to go for it anyway and good luck to ya.
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Postby frameline » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:56 am

Mate go for it,

I did biochem as my first degree then a MSc in Marine Environmental Protection, scooped a plush job working for the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth and start a pHD next year working with whale sharks in the Maldives/Seychells and Mozambique (quality surf breaks). Do it and don't look back - student life is great and you will get into debt, but you only live once, go for it.
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Postby Grizzly » Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:14 am

Do it, do it! Just choose a 'useful' degree. At the moment, I'm currently wondering how to get a job by the sea with a degree and (hopefully) phd in physics, which tends to lend itself to jobs in Oxfordshire. And that would suck...
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Postby Powl » Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:06 pm

Man, i didnt realise there were so many of us...

Go for it deadly, just do your research thoroughly by visiting the dept and having a good natter, as well as talking to current and ex-students, to make sure you'll get what you want (and pay for). Whether that's knowledge aqusition for it's own sake, or new skills for a career change, or a bit of both.

Just bear in mind that the way UK higher education is going, undergrads pay more and more for less and less contact time etc every year. It can feel a lot like a conveyor belt at times. I agree, tho, that 'mature' students are often much organised and comitted and thus leave themselves much better placed to take full advantage of the freedom and so on. People I know who have had the best uni experiences (academic ones at least) are those who have studied in small departments often in the ex-polytecnics and have forged close relationships with staff at an early stage.

I'm 24 and currently doing a PhD in the social sciences, having gone straight through from undergrad and been lucky enough to secure some funding. I have to say thst post-grad stuff is infinitely cooler cos you get to chose what you work on rather that just being spoon-fed. Having said that it can feel like a life sentence, and doesnt guarentee you a dream job close to warm empty waves unfortunately...
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Postby DJ » Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:20 pm

Griz,
i don't know what type of physics you are in to but you should look into post docs at the major oceanography centres - Southampton, Hawaii and Woods Hole are all really big into physical oceanography - modelling ocean currents / weather systems etc. Woods Hole in Washington is where all the NOAA stuff comes out of I think and when I was at Southampton Oceanography Centre there was a whole floor of boffins doing physics stuff on big parallel computing systems. One of my friends actually did a post doc looking at applying chaos dynamics to phytoplankton - bit out of my league really as I'm a chemist, but hey, whatever turns you on... check out http://www.earthworks-jobs.com for some ideas....
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Postby thedeadly » Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:41 pm

sounds like a go-er then !

thanks for the support and positiveness !

the reason i want to do it is mainly cos i havn't done it yet - i missed out, when i left school i hated it so much i just got a job and thats about it - one of the things that bothers me is the money side of things - if i have to get digs what do i do with all my things i've gathered together over the years - who pays the rent - what do you live on etc.

the main thing is that a surf science degree is something that would keep me interested all the time - i can't see myself doing any other course to be honest and i want to stay in or v near cornwall - as for earning a wage afterwards - i don't give a monkeys about that yet, that always sorts itself out at the time !!
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Postby Surf Monkey » Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:35 pm

im the same when i left school all i wanted to do was go clubing get wasted and chase girlys after working a few dead end jobs i decided enough is enough, i feel at home in the sea so its only natural i want to work with it
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Postby kevchenco » Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:23 am

im the same when i left school all i wanted to do was go clubing get wasted and chase girlys


So you went to university straight after school
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Postby southcoaster » Sun Aug 29, 2004 8:15 pm

Deadly, any closer to deciding whether to go back to uni?
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Postby thedeadly » Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:05 pm

i'm definately going - the problem is that no one knows if i can do the access course through the open university, which means i can start this year at home whilst working and saving money or if i have to do their access course which means i wont be able to start that till next year then the course propper the year after

i'm hoping it will be ok with the OU so i can make a start now and also it would mean only 3yrs of student loans instead of 4yrs

i have to wait for one of the course tutors to come back from holiday
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Postby Rad » Wed Sep 01, 2004 4:25 pm

Uni life is great, the only obvious downside is the debt at the end of it but I though it was well worthwhile.

Reading through some of your posts makes me real envious, I'd love to do ocean related work (in warm waters too!). I'm wandering if there's a real possibility or if it's just a pipe dream.
What's the requirements of doing an MSc in Oceanography? I have a BSc in Computing Science but other than that the last science I did was at GCSE level! :(
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Postby Paddy.James » Wed Sep 01, 2004 4:32 pm

i think if youve a 2:2 or better you should be able to get on an msc. Southhampton does an oceanography msc and plymouth does a few marine science ones. And i believe theres something at aber too.
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Postby Rad » Wed Sep 01, 2004 6:53 pm

Paddy.James is that even if the BSc is unrelated? Can you take an MSc with no previous knowledge on the subject?
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Postby DJ » Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:10 am

Hi Rad
I did my B.Sc. in Psychology and French and they took me on to do the Oceanography MSc at Southampton. The only thing they require is that your maths is good as some of the physics is fairly hardcore - apart from that all they are looking for is a solid undergrad and most importantly, lots of keeness...
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Postby Rad » Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:50 am

Great, I'll have to take a look into it. Cheers DJ.
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Postby DJ » Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:30 pm

no probs, good luck! you should look around, I think that Plymouth, Bangor and Newcastle are all quite good but fairly biology focused, Southampton is good as you do physical, biological, chemical and geological oceanography and therefore get a good rounded introduction to the subject although its bloody hard work, 40 hrs lectures plus reading assignments etc per week. There are also lots of MSc in coastal zone management around that are worth looking into as you may have a better chance of a job afterwards (hence me doing my PhD at the moment). They do an MSc in tropical coastal zone management up here at Newcastle that I wish I had known about 2 years ago!

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/marine/postgrad/ta ... opical.htm
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Postby Paddy.James » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:13 pm

surf wise it'll be best at plymouth and bangor. Fickle and cold east coast.
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Postby frameline » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:54 pm

I did the Marine Environmental Protection MSc at Bangor and it was a great place, but surf wize, plymouth (where i now live) has to be the number one choice. Bangor was alright but nowhere near as consistent as the South West, Ireland blocked most of the swell. There was a few cool secret spots on anglesey that were pretty damn good on a good day though
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Postby dt83aw » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:53 pm

apprenticeships are the new black/brown/whatever!
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Postby alec » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:15 pm

Do it. I went back to Uni to train to be a physio when I was pushing 30. I'm dyslexic + didn't enjoy school much, but studying something you're into makes a hell of a difference. Taking the drop in income is hard but do-able, (recon it coat me £10,000 ) but not having to wake up to do some crappy job you hate for years makes it well worth it. Lifes too short! Good luck
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Postby southcoaster » Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:22 am

Finally off to University!!! No http://www.magicseaweed.com for me until a couple of weeks because Tiny sent me a broken computer :(
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