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Open university - 15/12/2012 9:12:05 PM   
Brooksy84


Posts: 461
Joined: 25/1/2010
I've pretty much made up my mind to do an open university degree next year, hopefully starting in February. Was wondering if anyone here has done one, or maybe is currenty doing one, and had any advice they could offer. Good or bad experiences? Time management? What subjects has anyone found particularly good? I'm leaning towards law, as even if I don't end up persuing the solicitor route (which I would love but I understand it's very hard to get the training roles required) it's a highly regarded degree in other areas.
Any advice would be welcomed, as I kind of think I need the final push to make sure I do it.

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Post #: 1
RE: Open university - 15/12/2012 9:30:28 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
I broadly enjoyed doing a second degree with the OU. Apart from maybe one tutor the quality was quite high and they engaged with the work in a way I don't recall from the first time around. I do think it's a bit different if you're older going into it as there can be some silly stuff that seems a bit pointless - getting marked on self-assessing your learning progress on an academic course seems wholly redundant to me eg.

In terms of course I guess it's down to what you're interested in. Perhaps given the massive price rises (unless you're in Scotland?) you could try one of the 10 pointers first just to get a feel for things? It's what I did.


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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(in reply to Brooksy84)
Post #: 2
RE: Open university - 16/12/2012 8:29:55 PM   
Lazy wolf eyes


Posts: 4104
Joined: 9/9/2006
From: Royston Vasey

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I broadly enjoyed doing a second degree with the OU. Apart from maybe one tutor the quality was quite high and they engaged with the work in a way I don't recall from the first time around. I do think it's a bit different if you're older going into it as there can be some silly stuff that seems a bit pointless - getting marked on self-assessing your learning progress on an academic course seems wholly redundant to me eg.

In terms of course I guess it's down to what you're interested in. Perhaps given the massive price rises (unless you're in Scotland?) you could try one of the 10 pointers first just to get a feel for things? It's what I did.



Yes, I really don't like that aspect (and that may be partly because I'm waiting for my mark back on that one!)

I'm doing a second degree at the moment with the OU. I started in October and so far really enjoying it. I'm doing Art History. The only thing is the first year is a broad based module, so it covers various topics including English Literature which I've already got a degree in.

Anyway, seeing as I've only started myself, I have very little advice to offer however I will say that I find going to as many tutorials and day schools is incredibly helpful, so try and make those if you can. (although there are online tutorials and the online community is fantastic for getting in touch with others who are muddling through). I've had some great tips from the forums.

Time management is tricky especially if you're working, but what I do is make a plan for each week and work out where I can fit in some studying. You're told how many hours you should be studying a week when you start so I've found it helpful to plan my week and see where I can fit in study hours.

Anyway, good luck!

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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3
RE: Open university - 16/12/2012 10:27:48 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
I really didn't want to do the cross-subject one for arts either - I left it till the end when I already had my degree mark and did the level 1 where I just needed a pass and nothing else. I wanted a History degree, not to listen to bloomin' opera! I tended to stick to the history type questions, and the art ones, to get through. I was always crap at poetry.




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Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Lazy wolf eyes)
Post #: 4
RE: Open university - 16/12/2012 10:42:09 PM   
pablodiabloescobar


Posts: 1339
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Wherever I Lay My Phone
I'm currently working towards a degree in english literature and think i may be on the module you are discussing (AA100)

As its my first foray into this distance learning stuff over 15 years after leaving school, i have found it a good way to get back into the swing of things. However i agree, some of the chapters on opera etc are a little frustrating as i feel they add nothing to my learning at all

So far so good though, i have had two assignments back with scores of 80 and 85 so i'm happy with my progress. I think its really worth attending the tutorials and day schools as they offer some invaluable tips on getting the most from your assignments and really helped me plan how i approached some of the more unfamiliar areas of the course.

The course materials are great too and its all well paced (i am only doing one module so its classed as part time) allowing me to balance study with fun stuff.

I'm enjoying it and would recommend you go for it.

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Postponement
Suspension of rational movement
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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 5
RE: Open university - 16/12/2012 10:54:09 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
AA100 is the one. I dragged myself through that bloody opera 




_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to pablodiabloescobar)
Post #: 6
RE: Open university - 17/12/2012 3:37:22 PM   
Brooksy84


Posts: 461
Joined: 25/1/2010
Thanks for the replies guys, all helpful stuff.
Well I decided to go for it, and I've applied to study law starting in February. Waiting to hear back from them, something about duplicate records on their database or something, so hopefully in the next couple of days I'll know whether I'm in or not.
I work part time at the moment and look after my daughter at home, and I couldn't bear the thought of letting all that spare time go to waste, and the idea of her starting school in 3/4 years and me having not made any inroads into a new career scared me. I can't imagine she'll be letting me get much done during the day so will have to use my time well at weekends and evenings. Actually really looking forward to it.

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Post #: 7
RE: Open university - 17/12/2012 6:18:50 PM   
Lazy wolf eyes


Posts: 4104
Joined: 9/9/2006
From: Royston Vasey
Don't talk to me about opera! They must know everyone loathes it.

Good luck Brooksy. If you've got the determination (and it sounds like you do) you'll do fine.

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Post #: 8
RE: Open university - 17/12/2012 6:37:12 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12192
Joined: 30/9/2005
I've given some though to this myself, but I'm slightly intimidated at the length of time I'd have to dedicate to doing it. Is there a way of speeding through a course? I've been flirting with the idea of doing psychology or counselling course, but the idea of graduation being 8 years away scares me

(in reply to Lazy wolf eyes)
Post #: 9
RE: Open university - 17/12/2012 11:46:06 PM   
Erlenmeyer Flask

 

Posts: 738
Joined: 30/9/2005
Have you any previous experience of studying those subjects? If you're thinking of becoming a clinical or counselling psychologist, it can take 8-10 years to finish training due to the requirements and how competitive the field is. That said, there are probably other options if you want to be a therapist - just make sure your course is accredited.

I'd encourage anyone who is interested and willing to put in the effort to do a distance learning degree. It doesn't suit everyone. I haven't gone through the OU system, but did my MA with a major UK university over two years. Good admin, and tutors. Hard work, lots of long hours and reading, but I really enjoyed it. It's not easy when you're also working. You do need a routine and have to be able to set aside a few hours to cover the work you're set. Personally, I could not have managed it without access to a quiet library space.

< Message edited by Erlenmeyer Flask -- 17/12/2012 11:47:59 PM >


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Post #: 10
RE: Open university - 18/12/2012 9:40:28 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Brooksy84

Thanks for the replies guys, all helpful stuff.
Well I decided to go for it, and I've applied to study law starting in February. Waiting to hear back from them, something about duplicate records on their database or something, so hopefully in the next couple of days I'll know whether I'm in or not.
I work part time at the moment and look after my daughter at home, and I couldn't bear the thought of letting all that spare time go to waste, and the idea of her starting school in 3/4 years and me having not made any inroads into a new career scared me. I can't imagine she'll be letting me get much done during the day so will have to use my time well at weekends and evenings. Actually really looking forward to it.


Make full use of the forums. My sense was they were used heavily by parents in exactly your position - fitting studying around looking after children, swapping tips and giving support. They seemed overwhelmingly positive, not like your normal chat forum!


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Brooksy84)
Post #: 11
RE: Open university - 18/12/2012 9:42:04 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Erlenmeyer Flask

Have you any previous experience of studying those subjects? If you're thinking of becoming a clinical or counselling psychologist, it can take 8-10 years to finish training due to the requirements and how competitive the field is. That said, there are probably other options if you want to be a therapist - just make sure your course is accredited.

I'd encourage anyone who is interested and willing to put in the effort to do a distance learning degree. It doesn't suit everyone. I haven't gone through the OU system, but did my MA with a major UK university over two years. Good admin, and tutors. Hard work, lots of long hours and reading, but I really enjoyed it. It's not easy when you're also working. You do need a routine and have to be able to set aside a few hours to cover the work you're set. Personally, I could not have managed it without access to a quiet library space.


OU is a major UK university

Re study space - Brooksy, you could ask your local uni/college if you can get access to theirs? Some can be quite accommodating.


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Erlenmeyer Flask)
Post #: 12
RE: Open university - 30/12/2012 5:00:02 PM   
Filmfan 2


Posts: 1054
Joined: 30/9/2005
Currently doing a course with them and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. I say got for it.

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Post #: 13
RE: Open university - 30/12/2012 8:38:22 PM   
Sumintelligentguy


Posts: 3743
Joined: 31/8/2006
How goes the OU's online community work?

Is it like a forum where you get to interact with other students as well as academics? Or does contacting the latter just involve using email?

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Post #: 14
RE: Open university - 30/12/2012 11:28:26 PM   
JessFranco


Posts: 2523
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: London
I did some kind of business course a few years ago. It was good, on the whole. One tutor kept going missing for weeks at a time, which I think impacted the grades of a few people in the class. If this happens to you, complain immediately.

My brother did a Classics degree with them too. We had the same experience, that we could effectively get all the set work done in a quarter of the suggested time, but that is probably true of a lot of university courses.

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Post #: 15
RE: Open university - 31/12/2012 3:37:10 PM   
Lazy wolf eyes


Posts: 4104
Joined: 9/9/2006
From: Royston Vasey

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sumintelligentguy

How goes the OU's online community work?

Is it like a forum where you get to interact with other students as well as academics? Or does contacting the latter just involve using email?


You're generally in contact more with other students (on the more general forums) but you have tutor group and tutorial forums where you interact with tutors as well as students but the best way to contact your tutor is either via email or phone.

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Post #: 16
RE: Open university - 31/12/2012 4:05:02 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
And, as Jess notes, most tutors will be easily contactable and will give you the info how upfront.

The OU use a kind of proprietary log in system (First Class I think - I only finished my degree a year ago and I've already forgotten!). As well as centrally bookmarking your Inbox and the area relevant to your course (which may or may not be a locked forum) you can also access the signpost to any other sub-forum including people who'd previously done the course (which is a good place to ask before opting for one) and more general stuff like, eg, discussing films.


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Lazy wolf eyes)
Post #: 17
RE: Open university - 31/12/2012 4:43:36 PM   
Sumintelligentguy


Posts: 3743
Joined: 31/8/2006
Cheers for the responses.

So if you have a problem with your course, one that you think that can be improved upon, is there an elected student who approaches the course convenor? Or are you encouraged to go straight to them than via a proxy?

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R.I.P. Punchy

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 18
RE: Open university - 31/12/2012 4:51:36 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54677
Joined: 1/10/2005
Straight to them. There will be a named person for your particular course (might be a separate person if you're in Scotland).

We've had to do it before because of an inexperienced tutor - I was too close to getting the classification I wanted to let some things slide and as there were two of us seeing the same problems we sent it jointly.


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Sumintelligentguy)
Post #: 19
RE: Open university - 10/1/2013 12:42:13 PM   
Harley Quinn


Posts: 5797
Joined: 23/1/2008
From: Arkham

quote:

ORIGINAL: Lazy wolf eyes


quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I broadly enjoyed doing a second degree with the OU. Apart from maybe one tutor the quality was quite high and they engaged with the work in a way I don't recall from the first time around. I do think it's a bit different if you're older going into it as there can be some silly stuff that seems a bit pointless - getting marked on self-assessing your learning progress on an academic course seems wholly redundant to me eg.

In terms of course I guess it's down to what you're interested in. Perhaps given the massive price rises (unless you're in Scotland?) you could try one of the 10 pointers first just to get a feel for things? It's what I did.



Yes, I really don't like that aspect (and that may be partly because I'm waiting for my mark back on that one!)

I'm doing a second degree at the moment with the OU. I started in October and so far really enjoying it. I'm doing Art History. The only thing is the first year is a broad based module, so it covers various topics including English Literature which I've already got a degree in.

Anyway, seeing as I've only started myself, I have very little advice to offer however I will say that I find going to as many tutorials and day schools is incredibly helpful, so try and make those if you can. (although there are online tutorials and the online community is fantastic for getting in touch with others who are muddling through). I've had some great tips from the forums.

Time management is tricky especially if you're working, but what I do is make a plan for each week and work out where I can fit in some studying. You're told how many hours you should be studying a week when you start so I've found it helpful to plan my week and see where I can fit in study hours.

Anyway, good luck!


Arts Past & Present?

I'm trying to figure out where to go with my degree now. I'm doing an open course with the plan to do a degree in English Literature but am thinking of changing my mind to The Classics or History.

I found studying with them relatively easy I dropped out of my last course due to personal circumstances but there was a lot of problems with the tutors I think the course ended up having 3 by the time it had finished.

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(in reply to Lazy wolf eyes)
Post #: 20
RE: Open university - 11/1/2013 5:47:10 PM   
Lazy wolf eyes


Posts: 4104
Joined: 9/9/2006
From: Royston Vasey
That's the one! Just handed in my latest essays - the first on Stalin, the second on poems about cattle.

_____________________________

If God had wanted us to walk everywhere he wouldn't have given us Little Chefs.

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Post #: 21
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