Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • The Open University
  • Premier Icon mikey74
    Free Member

    In my continuing quest to decide what to do next, I have been looking at courses on the OU, particularly the Earth Sciences course.

    Has anyone got any experience of studying with the OU and, perhaps, of this course in particular?

    Any feedback from prospective employers?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Can’t comment on the OU, so I won’t, but I did a four year part time business degree with Nottingham Trent from 2001-5 – two nights of lectures a week plus all the rest in my own time.

    For a variety of reasons the degree has been of no day to day use to me, but the fact that I was studying while working full time, with a toddler (got married at end of first year, MCTD v2.1 arrived end of year two) certainly got me a great job change that made it all worth while.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Full Member

    I did an MBA with them. Materials were good, tutors were variable, but mostly on the right side of OK. Lots of places do distance learning degrees now though, so have a google rather than assuming the OU is THE place to do it.

    Premier Icon mikey74
    Free Member

    One of the reasons for going with the OU is that there is a centre in my town.

    Premier Icon Spin
    Free Member

    They seem to be generally well regarded.

    A few things I noted having done a 60 credit history course a few years back:

    There seems to be more written work than there would be on a course with contact.
    There’s flexibility in when you do the modules and how you build them into a degree but there doesn’t seem to be flexibility within the modules i.e. once you’ve started a module you need to finish it in the allotted time.
    I never did anything like the hours of reading they suggested. I basically just did the assignments. This approach might explain my first observation!

    Premier Icon IvanDobski
    Free Member

    I’m currently doing a degree via distance learning with a “regular” uni and tbh it’s a pain in the tits. Generally the materials are dumped on us and we just sort ourselves out – I’ve spoken to one tutor on 2 occasions in the last year and only one tutor has actually responded to emails etc in anything like a prompt manner.

    I think the OU is probably better in respect of the contact aspect as distance learning is what they do rather than an add on to get a few more quid.

    On a separate note – if you’re not certain on the course have you considered looking at a MOOC? Basically free distance learning courses but with little/no accreditation which doesn’t sound great but you can check if you like home study etc without spending a fortune and use it as an “intro to” the OU course. Futurelearn and Coursera are 2 I’ve looked at.

    Premier Icon peter1979
    Free Member

    I did a Geoscience degree with the OU just before they restructured their courses following the government Subsidy changes to university funding. As far as I know the Earth Science degree uses many of the modules that my Geoscience degree covered.

    The OU is a good choice for studying, well recognised and respected. It has a very accessible set of resources online and access to tutors via tutorials and email/phone corresponance. Course materials are easy to understand and well structured. A degree is gained by earning points. 300 for BSc or 360 with honours. I aimed to do 60 per academic year but managed to complete within 5 years by adding some short courses. I attended 3 summer schools, 1 week residentials where you visit field locations and work in classrooms with other students.

    I have recommended the OU to friends and some are studying now. I graduated in 2011. From what I can see their course structures have changed a lot, meaning you don’t have as much freedom of choice with modules and start dates. Summer schools may have even stopped altogether and although I was terrified at the prospect of attending my first one, it was by far the best part of the degree.

    Lack of student interaction, practical complete lack of social life and increased stress for 5 years were the downsides to studying. Don’t be fooled in to thinking it’s a part time thing. It took over my life. I enjoyed the pressure though, and it got me out of my previous job, makes me more employable.

    Any questions you have just let me know

    Pete

    Premier Icon mikey74
    Free Member

    Thanks for the useful comments Peter. What have you done with your Geoscience degree, if you don’t mind me asking? From what to what?

    I did an HNC a few years ago part-time, whilst I was self-employed, so I am use to that side of things.

    Premier Icon Anna-B
    Free Member

    I have just started a degree in Social Work with the OU. I am so far pretty impressed with them, lots of support, lots of tutors available to answer questions in the various forums. My tutor is supportive and knowledgeable and we have a tutorial once every 6 weeks to meet up with fellow students and discuss a theme. I’m doing the 360 credit Hons route in 3 years whilst working full time as well – have very supportive employer who is financing me. OU social work degree is reportedly highly regarded, as it shows that the student can work and study = cope with high workload, and more mature = more capable social worker. That’s what they say anyway!

    I know someone who is doing a History degree with the OU over 4-5 years, and he is really enjoying it.

    Hope that helps, good luck.

    Premier Icon IanW
    Free Member

    Good if you live in Wales or Scotland @ £300 per 30 credits. Bad if you live in England @£1200 per 30 credits.

    Premier Icon mikey74
    Free Member

    Thanks Anna. Unfortunately, I’d be funding it myself, which I haven’t figured out how to do yet. I don’t qualify for the loan as I already have a degree.

    Premier Icon peter1979
    Free Member

    I previously worked in retail but now work in the asbestos industry as an analyst and surveyor. To be honest I did t need a degree for my job, but it gave me the confidence to look elsewhere and shows employers you are dedicated and motivated. Ask yourself what your motivation for studying is? If it’s for career change then look into options now and get working towards that.

    Premier Icon Anna-B
    Free Member

    I don’t qualify for the loan as I already have a degree.

    Yes, I was in that position else I would have considered going back to Uni, which I couldn’t afford as I couldn’t get a loan for the same reasons. I only borrowed £3k originally and paid it back years ago, so seemed a bit unfair.

    I looked into other ways to fund and there are some, other than Student Loan company. Google see what you can find. Various post grad loans I think, can’t remember what I found now.

    Premier Icon loum
    Free Member

    mikey

    you probably know, but just in case, the cut off date for registration for courses starting this Feb is Jan 9th.
    good luck

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Full Member

    Always fancied doing a history OU degree but haven’t because it’s not really directly related to any jobs…would achieving the degree in itself be a boost to career prospects?

    Premier Icon mikey74
    Free Member

    mikey

    you probably know, but just in case, the cut off date for registration for courses starting this Feb is Jan 9th.
    good luck

    Yes, I was aware, thanks. There is another start date in October, so it’s no big deal.

    Premier Icon daverallye
    Full Member

    I started a Computing & IT degree with the OU last year and so far have been really impressed. The learning materials are fantastic, there is a great mix of online interactive and more traditional research based learning, plus they run local sessions which really help to get to know other students and get some face-to-face time with the tutors.
    The cost is now very high, but in my opinion worth it both from a personal development and achievement perspective, and hopefully a potential future earnings perspective.

    Premier Icon mikey74
    Free Member

    Cheers for the input folks. I’ve got some thinking, and financial planning, to do.

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)

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