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LLB

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I’m about to enroll to study Law via the open university.

Of course, time management will be tough but does anyone else have experience in combining remote study, full time employment and 4 PARA? Is it feasible or am I setting myself up to fall. Also on completion of my degree I plan on applying for Officer.
Any experience welcome
 

Collieryboy

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Im thinking of doing an OU degree myself alongside 4 para and changing to a different job so i can go part time.
Should be no problem. OU recommend 60 credits per year if doing part time which is 16-18 hours per week according to their recommendation. During the first year you will probably be able to do less as thats usually the case with 1st year and it doesn't count towards degree classification. If you do it that way it will take 6 years for a bachelors. If you wanted to do it full time (32-36 hours per week) then it would be significantly more difficult with a full time job. Add 4 para to the mix and i wouldn't say it would be possible.
Overall part time would be achievable though.
 

LLB

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Totally agree mate. I’ll be looking to do it part time, which feels like a life time. I’m not actually due to start my full time job until March. Do you happen to know if I can initially study on a full time basis and then switch to part time when circumstances change?
 

Chelonian

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I’m about to enroll to study Law via the open university.
An OU course offers considerable study flexibility compared to a full-time course so effective time management makes it possible to juggle. The potential snag arises with the scheduling of examinations which might conflict with criteria elements of Army Reserve RT.

I personally know of someone who started RMR RT in the second year of his full-time med degree course (which is when the study workload goes crazy). It's fair to say he didn't have much time for anything else but it demonstrates that it's doable if you want it enough and are fortunate with the scheduling of examinations.
 

Collieryboy

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Totally agree mate. I’ll be looking to do it part time, which feels like a life time. I’m not actually due to start my full time job until March. Do you happen to know if I can initially study on a full time basis and then switch to part time when circumstances change?
It seems a long time but that time is going to pass anyway and you will have a degree at the end of it. OU is done via modules so it would depend on what your modules land like. OU modules are mostly 30 or 60 credits each and you need 120 credits per stage (equivalent to a year at a full time brick uni). Yes you can do different ones at different speeds but i don't think it would be possible to change in the middle of a module. The OU used to recommend people to do the first year part time and then go full time for stage 2&3 if you wanted to, but due to the change in their students and aims theres much more full time options now.
 

Snows

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I’m about to enroll to study Law via the open university.

Of course, time management will be tough but does anyone else have experience in combining remote study, full time employment and 4 PARA? Is it feasible or am I setting myself up to fall. Also on completion of my degree I plan on applying for Officer.
Any experience welcome
Reserves or Regular? Important difference in the timelines. Assuming you are 18-20, a 6 year uni degree then going for Officer if you get into 4 PARA is a good timeline. They like commissioning blokes from the ranks with a bit of experience and age. A 6 year uni degree, a year's application to the Army, a year at RMAS, and then trying to commission into regular PARA at 28 is a very bad timeline. You are unlikely to be competitive.

I know guys who have taken on similar workloads with the Reserves. Even the extremely capable ones ended up letting something go. First, 6 years doesn't just feel like a long time, it is a long time. I'm not sure fixing yourself to a 6 year plan is a great idea, something is likely to change along the way which disrupts the plan.

The big unknowns here are you, and the full time job. Some jobs, particularly with companies moving to remote working, it might be possible. Others it will not. You'll have to judge both from the nature of the job, and then from March the reality of your actual work demands. Second one is you, and your life. With those three things going on, you're going to find it difficult to maintain any kind of outside life or relationships. If you do the maths, most of your free time is going to be occupied with either 4 PARA, study, or fitness. Most potential partners won't stick that out. If you've got a family, I'd say it's flat out unachievable. But, you may be one of those super organised people who can do 0500-1100 consistently and make it work. Just be honest with yourself about whether you are. Get a piece of paper and chart a week or month of the various commitments day by day, and then see if you believe you can stick that schedule for 6 years.

I would suggest you try and find a way to shorten the 6 year uni commitment any way you can. Completing that degree is your "inflexion point": the thing that allows you to progress in your overall plan. Set a shorter degree completion goal and try to fit the other pieces around that, see if you come up with something: e.g. if single, working part time and living with less disposable income; or joining 4 PARA later, and using the extra time to complete more of the degree. It sounds like your ultimate goal is a combination of the degree and Para Officer, so while it's no doubt necessary to work, your job in March shouldn't be the central pillar around which you build your plan.
 

LLB

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All excellent advice and it’s greatly appreciated. With regards to the military and the possibility of commissioning this would remain within the reserves. But I understand it’s one step at a time.

53A00ACE-1485-4437-BFC9-CDD5A8F39518.jpeg
There are three stages totalling 360 credits in order to complete the degree. Stage one looks like this and I hope to complete this within the year. I’m currently out of work but have a start date for a new job. For the first few months I will be able to dedicate full time study then once I start working I’ll have to drop to the more realistic part time study.

I really hummed and haa’d about this but I just can’t shake off the desire to achieve a degree. I just hope I haven’t made a huge error of judgment.
 

Snows

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All excellent advice and it’s greatly appreciated. With regards to the military and the possibility of commissioning this would remain within the reserves. But I understand it’s one step at a time.

53A00ACE-1485-4437-BFC9-CDD5A8F39518.jpeg
There are three stages totalling 360 credits in order to complete the degree. Stage one looks like this and I hope to complete this within the year. I’m currently out of work but have a start date for a new job. For the first few months I will be able to dedicate full time study then once I start working I’ll have to drop to the more realistic part time study.

I really hummed and haa’d about this but I just can’t shake off the desire to achieve a degree. I just hope I haven’t made a huge error of judgment.

There are some degrees that are a waste of time, but an LLB is not one of them. And there are some students who waste their time, but that's up to you. Law is not only widely respected by employers, but it should teach you how to think with rigour, as well as giving you random knowledge that can turn out to be useful in unexpected places.
 

user72371

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@Snows, since you refer to ages at commissioning, do you have experience what the general age bracket is for commissioning to 4PARA?
 

Chelonian

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I just hope I haven’t made a huge error of judgment.
With a very few exceptions even huge errors of judgment are not only recoverable but can be optimised.
Every decision we make carries risk and inevitably involves compromise and sacrifice. Arguably the least satisfactory outcome is to be trapped by inertia and do nothing.
 

Snows

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@Snows, since you refer to ages at commissioning, do you have experience what the general age bracket is for commissioning to 4PARA?

It changes over the years. @4 PARA HQ is your source for the current gen, I reckon.

My point was more: soldier to officer in the Reserves, and historically especially 4 PARA, is a reliable route, if you are suitable. They see it adds value, and there are rarely problems commissioning into the same unit. Soldier to officer in the Regulars is not, because it just adds more hoops you have to jump through, more individuals you have to convince, and there are often problems commissioning into the same regiment. If you want to be a Regular officer, apply as an officer.
 

Chelonian

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There are some degrees that are a waste of time, but an LLB is not one of them.
I'll agree and disagree with you on this. 🙂

Further education enriches life. But, yeah, someone who signs up to study—for example—a wanky Forensic Science degree in the expectation of employment in that field is in for a massive disappointment. In fairness the fault doesn't lie with the youngster considering a career but with the educational institutions which actively deceive to sell their products.
 

TheSaint

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Agree with @Snows and @Chelonian here. How you manage the time is on you. But don’t beat yourself or convince yourself you’ve made a mistake by enrolling. As @Collieryboy says those six years (you may do it quicker) will pass anyway. This way you’ll be adding to your employability and potentially increase your earning potential
 

Collieryboy

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All excellent advice and it’s greatly appreciated. With regards to the military and the possibility of commissioning this would remain within the reserves. But I understand it’s one step at a time.

53A00ACE-1485-4437-BFC9-CDD5A8F39518.jpeg
There are three stages totalling 360 credits in order to complete the degree. Stage one looks like this and I hope to complete this within the year. I’m currently out of work but have a start date for a new job. For the first few months I will be able to dedicate full time study then once I start working I’ll have to drop to the more realistic part time study.

I really hummed and haa’d about this but I just can’t shake off the desire to achieve a degree. I just hope I haven’t made a huge error of judgment.
So you would do that stage 1 in 1 year if you did full time or if you did it part time then youd do the first module in your first year.
As for not wanting to shake the degree i see that as a good thing. Im looking at planning for a top up for a third BSc. I will be in education til im pushing up daisies. I have a friend who started an OU degree this year at 59 purely to learn more about his interests. He has had that feeling for his full adult life.
Sorry @Chelonian i have to agree with @Snows. Theres no one really thinks a BA in Feminist Dance Theory and Postmodern Marxism is a good idea. There are many degrees where you aren't actually better for studying them and some where you can be objectively worse for it
 

Chelonian

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Sorry @Chelonian i have to agree with @Snows. Theres no one really thinks a BA in Feminist Dance Theory and Postmodern Marxism is a good idea.
Apologies not required but nope.

In the specific context of PARA recruitment the Army really doesn't care if a candidate's degree is in a STEM category or in a 'Transgenger, Flower Arranging, Save the Planet' category promoted by the University of Fulchester.

Not everyone considers 'value of action' (job opportunities) to be the only credible outcome from studying in FE. Some do it because it enriches their lives.
 

LLB

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I can agree to disagree. I fully agree with your last point though. I don't think employment should be the major goal of FE. I just think some are enriching and some aren't.

I genuinely do feel that Law isn’t a micky mouse degree and may furnish me with some useful skills. It may take some plate spinning but I’m determined to join 4 PARA also
 

Collieryboy

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I genuinely do feel that Law isn’t a micky mouse degree and may furnish me with some useful skills. It may take some plate spinning but I’m determined to join 4 PARA also
I didn't mean to imply law was. If that's how it came across then I apologise. Law definitely isn't Mickey mouse degree, and isn't it double or triple accredited with the OU? You definitely can manage it, it will be challenging but your determination will drive you on. The OU is respected due to the challenges it's students face. Those who study with the OU have shown how determined they are to get an education. There are students who go to university just for the "student experience", no one at the OU does.
 

LLB

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No mate I didn’t think you were, just thinking out loud here. Exactly “the student” experience isn’t what I’m after. I’m determined to make both OU & 4 PARA work
 
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