The thought of leaving home to study, the freedom and independence is tempting. However, for some students, it makes more sense to live at home. For some, distance learning is an even better option. According to This Is Money magazine “.. as rents today hit an all time high, students are weighing up whether spending an increasing amount on accommodation is worth it. Of those who were planning to live at home, 20 per cent said it was because they could not afford to live away, while 46 per cent said they needed to be close to their family”.
You might wonder whether staying at home means that you’re missing out on the whole University experience. Or if doing a distance learning course is a “proper degree”. But there’s more to university than Freshers week, and a distance learning degree carries the same weight as a “normal one”. With seven out of ten students considering dropping out of University we’re looking at all the options so you can make the right choice for you.
Living on campus
Choosing a degree course used to mean moving away from home. And for some, living away from home for the first time. Living on campus was a great way to develop your independence in the relative safety of an enclosed environment. You lived with fellow students, joined clubs and got fully immersed in student life. Later on students tend to band together and find houses to rent and share the bills. Living with other students can open you up to new experiences, you’ll meet people from different places with different backgrounds and you’re all there to learn.
Living close to where you’re studying also means that you can take full advantage of everything that’s on offer. Students have long been known for their busy social lives. Most universities have student unions run by other students and offer a wide range of activities, clubs and events that you can get involved in. Whether your passion is sports, travel, reading, cinema or LGBTQ+ rights there is something for everyone.
Living on campus or nearby also means that you have convenient access to your tutors, the library and places to study.
On the flip side, living away from home can be expensive. There are living costs that you might not have been used to. You have to buy and prepare all your own meals and unless you’re coming home every weekend you’ll also have to pay to wash and dry your clothes. If you live off campus you’ll have to pay to travel to lectures. Socialising, whilst fun and very much a part of student life is also expensive, you’ll have to make sure you can still afford to eat after a night on the town.
Depending on what you’re studying, most courses have a recommended reading list. Although you can find second hand books quite easily this is something you still need to think about and budget for.
For some people being away from home for the first time is hard. Moving away can be lonely and that first term when you don’t know anyone can be difficult emotionally. If you decide to leave home, make an effort to join clubs and get involved. Hiding away in your student accommodation will not help.
Studying from home
The cost of living crisis combined with a lack of availability of accommodation means that more students are choosing to live at home while they complete their degree courses. Living away from home and the associated costs can be a huge financial burden. Added to that, tuition fees, books and course materials, costs can quickly mount up meaning that getting a degree is just not financially viable for everyone.
Research by “Save The Student” showed that students in the UK could have saved an average of £656 a month living at home. £7871 could have been saved on average over a 12 month period and students in London could have saved £9,902 in a year.
While money is often a factor it’s not only the benefit to living at home. Studying at a degree level is challenging. The jump from A-Level to degree in terms of standards expected and the amount of independent learning required can come as a shock to many students. Studying from home means being in familiar surroundings with your support network. It also means less distractions and less tempting invitations to go down out for coffee.
A degree from a distance learning provider carries the same weight as a degree from a bricks and mortar university. You will be expected to study, read and research. You are required to submit pieces of work to demonstrate your understanding of the topics you are studying. You’ll be marked and assessed for your work as you would if you were attending a University in a physical location.
The main differences between distance learning and traditional ways of gaining a degree is the way in which the course material is delivered. Lessons aren’t timetabled and you won’t attend lectures in a lecture theatre. Your course will be delivered through an online learning portal which you will be able access 24/7. You will be assigned a dedicated Learning Coach whose job is to guide and support you as you study. Your learning coach will help you to plan and prepare for assignments and mark and provide detailed, constructive feedback on your assignments.
Studying with Unitas
If you’re interested in a future career within the criminal justice system and you’ve decided that University isn’t for you right now for whatever reason, we offer a range of Higher Education and Degree options for people considering a future career within the criminal justice system.
The BA (Ordinary) or BA (Hons) in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice draws upon a broad range of disciplines such as Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Law, Social Policy and Philosophy to actively encourage the development of strong analytical, reasoning and reflective skills.
Challenging “common-sense‟ notions of criminal and deviant behaviours, this course gives you the opportunity to explore key elements of crime, criminology and criminal justice, enabling you to gain greater insight into criminal behaviour and how society responds to it.
You will also learn how to conduct and interpret research so that you can evaluate claims made regarding crime and deviance, critically engaging with national and international dimensions of crime and criminal justice policy.
To find more about studying with Unitas click here