Hi, I was after some advice about doing a part-time degree in Maths and Physics through the OU. It is a bit of a long post - sorry but I thought I would give as much detail and context as possible. Context I have been teaching for 8 years and currently Physics teacher in a standard comp. I am by trade a Biologist but for 3 years been teaching Physics up to A-Level. My degree is in an unrelated field but converted over as I enjoyed teaching and learning Physics more. I do not have a Physics A Level. The degree is Maths and Physics Q77: http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/q77 I am Mid-thirties, I have a young family (2 kids under the age 4) and live very close to work. I work in a standard comp school, the behaviour is fine, I fit in well in the school and on the whole, enjoy my time there (obviously they have bad days!). The workload is standard, I have done a lot to move up through the ranks fairly quickly and I have had to teach myself A-Level Physics. Reasons for wanting to do a degree: First and foremost I enjoy learning and progressing: I have taught myself A-Level Physics and got myself to a standard of getting A-A* of Physics A-Level papers, and feel I would be able to do my job better if I knew my subject in more depth. Also, I do not like sitting still and thus see this as a challenge. I also feel that if I am doing the studying I might as well get the letters after my name. On paper, I would always be classed as a non-specialist. Whilst this is quite an ego reason and/or insecurities seeping out, regardless of where I go even if I had 15 years of experience teaching the subject, I am always a non-specialist and applying for other jobs this will/may hold me back. Exit Strategy from the state sector: thinking about my family, a possible route may be to go into the independent sector and on paper, I would always be rejected. Reasons for going into the independent sector would be for the perceived opportunities for students and doors it could possibly open up in the future. It could also be an environment that I could teach longer in - up to/past 60 without burning out. I am a very energetic teacher and can't see myself being like that when I am 60 in a state school. Exit Strategy away from education: a Physics and Maths degree would open up more doors outside of education. Quite possibly could open up routes into the IOP, to coach other teachers. I wouldn't even be considered for these roles unless I had a degree in Physics. I have been told this by people within. Reasons not to: Extra workload. My norm is to get up early and work before school, it may shock a few people, but I am far far more productive in the mornings than I am evenings and thus get up at this time. This time would be the time I would plan to my studying. Time away from family. This time is very important to me, I have turned a couple of jobs - outside education - down as my current life/package (role, school, commitments etc.) is so convenient, other jobs actually adds more time away from my family. No real pay progression having an extra degree so why do it? Do a MSc. The MSc's I can find do not have enough Physics in them to satisfy the real reason for me wanting to do further study. And or are based onsite, this is impossible for my scenario. Long time studying. I am expecting this to take 5 years but fully accept it may take 10. I have no idea how this will feel further down the road. It will not benefit me if I wanted to climb the SLT ladder. My questions for you: - Considering I am teaching Physics, will the load be that extra? My rationale is if someone works in an office job outside of Maths and Physics and hasn't touched the subject since school days, the load of studying would be high. Will it be that much extra for someone effectively working within the field and discussing Physics/Maths every day? As well as having access to a very good Maths department to clarify any problems I may run into. - With respect to being considered for Independent roles, are my thoughts on this correct? Would I not be considered or find it very difficult to get a job without a relevant degree? If I had a Physics Diploma, would that be beneficial? - Has anyone else completed an OU degree whilst working full time in teaching and having a young family? If so, how did you find it? How long did it take? Do you regret it? - Has anyone completed this exact course (long shot I know)? How was it? How was the content and examinations etc? Possible start dates are Jan 2020 or October 2020. To finance this, I would qualify for an extra student loan and this would just be added to the tax I already pay. Thank you for taking the time to read this, as you may sense, this has been on my mind for a while (for about a year now) and it is not a quick decision I am making as it could potentially be a 10-year project and impact way more than just my time. Thanks.