To be shocked at the cost of OU courses?

(66 Posts)
plaingirly Sun 10-Feb-13 19:09:02

I thought that distance learning was a sort of affordable (time and moneywise) way of getting a qualification.

The course that I was looking at was 6 years and £15000!!

Even the short courses are over £600.

Guess I am stuck doing what I am doing! sad

niminypiminy Sun 10-Feb-13 20:05:29

(@arbitrary username - yep, if you were very suspicious, you'd think the government had a secret agenda about restricting higher education to the very privileged. Not that I am, or do. Or anything.)

betterwhenthesunshines Sun 10-Feb-13 20:10:17

No - I have also seriously looked at courses, but I'm unsure where they will take me on a new career path. I would be quite willinging to pay something and put the time in and see what happens, but I can't justify £15k on tuition that doesn't lead anywhere at my age

WilsonFrickett Sun 10-Feb-13 20:10:20

Their fees have gone up like all other unis, it's not a cheap option any more. However, you can get a student loan, you can also get a OUSA bursary to pay the cost every month, all textbooks and materials are provided and there's very little travel costs. So when you compare it to any other university it's a good deal. But I completely understand where you're coming from.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Sun 10-Feb-13 20:13:11

There are other options than OU, I'm doing a distance learning degree (in a very niche area granted) through a UK college and the 6 year course (4 modules per year) will cost about £10,000. Thankfully my employer is paying the course fees!

CoffeeandDunkingBiscuits Sun 10-Feb-13 20:14:03

Look at Alison learning. It is free, started to uphold the principle that learning should be free and accessible to all.

BrittaPerry Sun 10-Feb-13 20:19:16

It doesn't have to take six years, it can take three if you double up and therefore become a full time student (but you are still allowed to pick your own study time to fit around whatever else you do) and it is cheaper than a normal uni.

It's shit, but the OU is still considerably better for anyone with extra stuff going on in their lives.

BrittaPerry Sun 10-Feb-13 20:26:25

Plus obviously a lot of the materials are online for free on openlearn, so if you don't actually want a qualification you can work through them.

sooperdooper Sun 10-Feb-13 20:28:06

You can't even get a student loan if you want to do a post-grad course sad

plaingirly Sun 10-Feb-13 20:28:15

My income is low enough that I would get help but I live with my parents (am a carer as well as working full time) and the household income is too high.

Work wouldn't pay for it as I am trying to do something totally different! smile

I work in finance / admin and my qualifications are all around that - from ICS customer services and an NVQ in admin to a management diploma equivalent to a level 4 or 5 BTEC. I want to get into a more caring type role - not sure what exactly. Guess I am having a quarter life crisis!!

OU has a good reputation and I would be wary about going with another company. There is a BTEC level 2 on icslearn - just a year as an introductory course.

Badvoc Sun 10-Feb-13 20:29:51

The fees have gone up over 400%.
I did some courses a few years ago they were £4/500.
They are now £2500.
So that's my degree over then.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 10-Feb-13 20:37:47

What help is actually available now, apart from paying for an OU degree with a student loan?

I was told there is no reduction in fees for anyone anymore OP.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 10-Feb-13 20:38:54

What help is actually available now, apart from paying for an OU degree with a student loan?

I was told there is no reduction in fees for anyone anymore OP.

I hope you can get the help you mention OP, but I was told the only help was student loans now. hmm

plaingirly Sun 10-Feb-13 20:48:04

Guess I have left it too late! sad

Badvoc Sun 10-Feb-13 20:49:41

Student loans.

SwedishEdith Sun 10-Feb-13 20:54:53

Feel for you OP. Just grateful I got in on the last boat, as it were.

BrittaPerry Sun 10-Feb-13 21:01:22

If you can get a student loan, you will get more as you have such a low income (your parents income won't count as you are not the same household for benefits etc purposes, presuming you are over about 25)

elfycat Sun 10-Feb-13 21:03:27

I think the OU will end up being full of younger students who choose it over a bricks&mortar Uni, while working, living with parents etc to keep their student loan down. It's an option we would ask our DDs to consider.

DH has just finished his degree and I'm in the transitional fees bracket with one course left. I wanted to take this year out and start in Sept when DD1 stars school, but I'd have gone onto the expensive fees so persevered. DH would have still done his degree as it was for a career change even at these prices, but I would never have been able to do my degree which was for interest/ sanity while having children.

It's such a shame.

plaingirly Sun 10-Feb-13 21:07:17

My income is just under £17000 so I don't know what I would qualify for.

The open degree path sounds interesting - picking the modules that most interest me / point me in the right job direction.

WilsonFrickett Sun 10-Feb-13 22:10:52

Your BTEC will count for some course credits too, you wont necessarily have to do the full block of courses.

ComposHat Sun 10-Feb-13 23:08:46

Move to Scotland or Wales Alas you have to have completed your secondary education in Scotland to get the free tuition.

It makes me livid the OU used to be one of the few ways working class people could get an proper education later in life.

My Uncle completed a degree with the OU when he was working at the pit. It meant he was employable when he was laid off.

Bloody Tories don't have a sodding clue.

JoanByers Sun 10-Feb-13 23:22:05

What a fucking scandal.

I did one 7 years ago, and it cost basically £300 for a 30 point course, £600 for a 60 point course, and a little more for the project option, so in total for a degree the cost was about £4000

Now the cost is exactly £15,000 (and rising year on year).

It seems however, that if you live Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you still pay by the unit at typically £420 for a 30pt or £735 for a 60pt, so the total cost would be under £5,000 for the 360pts.

How the fuck does that work?

I'm registered for the Open Degree. It isn't as flexible as I had initially hoped, you have to gain a certain numb of credits at each of levels one, two and three, you can't really do level two or three modules in subjects you haven't studied at Level 1 and can only therefore combine two or three subjects, unless they are pretty closely related. It is still extremely flexible compared to most other degrees though. I am totally undecided what I want to do for my next module at the moment.

JoanByers Sun 10-Feb-13 23:26:03

"Move to Scotland or Wales Alas you have to have completed your secondary education in Scotland to get the free tuition. "


"Your fee eligibility is determined by where you are ordinarily resident at the start of the academic year of your first module/qualification with The Open University."

So you can move to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for a year and save £10k.

sashh Sun 10-Feb-13 23:45:44


Check out your local FE college, lots do HNC/HND in health and social care which you can then top up to a degree. And they are usually much cheaper than the same at a uni.

ComposHat Sun 10-Feb-13 23:50:30

Sorry Joan, I thought it would be the same as ordinary degrees.

I stand corrected.

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