open university degree

(97 Posts)
MrsAragon Sun 12-Jan-14 17:06:13

has anybody done one? i am thinking about it, either health science or social science, nervous wreck just thinking about it never mind doing it sad

I did, gradating in 2011. It was hard work, along with working full time and having 2 young DCs. I couldn't have done it without DH's support.
I was very impressed with the OU set up and student support and would highly recommend it.

JodiA Sun 12-Jan-14 17:14:21

Hi Mrs!

I start (officially) in Feb, although I'm prepping as we speak (or type!)

I signed up last year and thought the process would be mind-blowingly complex (I've not studied at degree level before) but honestly, the Open Uni make it very clear to follow, providing tons of info on their courses and examples of career paths within your desired field etc, plus the actual application / registration is pretty straight forward.

I've chosen BSc (Hons) Psychology, which means my first module is Social Sciences. It's classed as a Part-Time degree, therefore is spread over 6 years.

Reading so many stories from people who've studied with the OU I am so glad I too will be. My regret is I just wish I'd have done it younger (I'm 30 now).

Do you have a career path in mind? X

spongebobsmallpants Sun 12-Jan-14 17:14:46

Hi
im starting an access course with the OU in February. after the access course I will being doing a business degree. They recommended an access course because of how long ive been out of education. The OU so far have been really helpful and im looking forward to getting started smile

OneHolyCow Sun 12-Jan-14 17:17:33

I'm doing one. Started level 2 in October. I'm doing an Open Degree which will hopefully turn out to be a Humanities degree in philosophy and religious studies. In it for the long haul, hopefully!
I enjoy it a lot, it's not easy though but I guess how hard it all is depends on a lot of circumstances.. work, children, support at home, your learning experiences up til now etc.

JodiA Sun 12-Jan-14 17:20:56

I think you definitely need to be self-disciplined, organised and passionate about your study. I know for me it's gonna be a tough ride, with a 6 and 3 year old, and a hubby I care for who has brain damage but that's the joy of the OU, being so easy accessible for people with such commitments and lack of scheduled time smile

lilyaldrin Sun 12-Jan-14 17:22:57

I've just graduated. I found the quality of materials, tutors, tutorials etc really good. It's taken me 6 years but I did have a baby in the middle of it. Though I was fortunate to be on the old fee structure, and also got some grants due to our family income.

UsedToBeNDP Sun 12-Jan-14 17:27:58

There have been enormous changes to funding since I did mine, it now costs not far off a bricks and mortar university (?£5k pa, I think). Before it was more flexible and you paid per module. Tbh, I wouldn't do it now, I'd go to a 'normal' uni. I found there wasn't a brilliant amount of support, I felt quite alone and although I was ok with that, as I could cope, in retrospect I would've been better off at a 'proper uni. I would've immersed myself more in the subject, increasing my understanding, speed of learning and got more immediate answers to my questions. Not to mention I would've halved the time taken to complete it! Also, I did a science-based degree which would've been much better as non correspondence (the practical res courses and online group experiments weren't really enough, IMO).

You do need to be very disciplined at fitting it in & a master juggler if you are fitting it around a job and a family. It is very stressful and long winded.

Sorry if that was a bit negative sad

EatingAllTheCrumpets Sun 12-Jan-14 17:31:49

I start mine in Feb, I'm doing the access course first as I've been out of education a while and never studied at degree level grin

I'm bricking it, but also really looking forward to it. I think I have to put around 25 hours in a week so along with working full time I know it's going to be hard and I will need to be disciplined with setting time aside for it, but I'm looking forward to doing something different and just for me!

So far the level of support and help from the OU has been great and I gather that they are very accommodating and helpful.

nouvellevag Sun 12-Jan-14 17:35:41

I'm halfway through an Open honours degree, been doing it module by module since DD was born, but I'm taking a break this year as I'm skint and busy with freelance work. Don't know if I'll keep going to the end as I don't need the qualification IYSWIM, but I've had all good experiences so far. Fitting it in round the rest of life does take a bit of planning, though.

DavidHarewoodsFloozy Sun 12-Jan-14 17:40:00

Has anyone finished one quicker than 6 years?

Well done to all you grads and best of luck OP!.

lilyaldrin Sun 12-Jan-14 17:41:37

I found it was a lot less than 25 hours a week. By the 3rd year modules I was doing 12 hours a week, more towards the end, but at the first couple of levels it was a case of doing next to nothing some weeks and then having some really busy weeks. Nearer 10 hours a week on average though.

MrsAragon Sun 12-Jan-14 17:48:26

i work part time at the mo in the health care environment so i think my choices could be helpful in the future for my career. my kids are all in school so should be ok for time maybe just need help with the discipline smile
i haven't studied at degree level before but i did a vocational course last year and managed fine with quite a bit of moans and groans though I am still looking into funding so that could be make or break.

Usedtobe, I am afraid of that I think I would be alot better in a 'proper uni' but don't think I could keep working or plan childcare round it so think the ou my best option.

UsedToBeNDP Sun 12-Jan-14 17:56:13

That's it MrsA, it was similar for me wrt working and child care, OU was a compromise and in the end, it felt like it. It might not be so for you. Lots of people have a very positive experience with it.

lilyaldrin Sun 12-Jan-14 18:00:07

I can imagine it would be more difficult doing a practical subject, but a social science which is basically reading/thinking/talking/writing seemed to work pretty well with the OU format.

littlewhitebag Sun 12-Jan-14 18:15:06

I did a psychology degree with the OU. My children were quite small at the time and i found i had to be very organised but i loved it.

MrsAragon Sun 12-Jan-14 18:18:08

lily that was my thought, I think my interest would be more towards the health science one but I think the social science one be more distance learning friendly. Really like the look of both so I am looking at these small things to help make a decision.

LucilleBluth Sun 12-Jan-14 18:29:29

I'm halfway through my first level one module, I am enjoying it but my course so so broad, I plan to take the History pathway, it's been hard to maintain interest in some of the chapters I have had to study......my last essay was on music and poetry, it's quite frustrating, I want to get my teeth stuck in to some history.

youarewinning Sun 12-Jan-14 18:35:13

I'm on my last module grin

I'm very glad I didn't because I can't pursue my chosen career without my degree - however don't underestimate the length of time it takes to do (6) years and the dedication it requires.

I work FT (30 hrs). I have a DS with SN and I'm a LP. It is doable but I would say do something your heart is really in because it can take it's toll - especially after the 3rd year when you've worked hard and realise although your halfway there you have to it all over again!

TinyDiamond Sun 12-Jan-14 18:36:52

Yes I am. I have a love/hate relationship with it but majority love. It is hard, there is no way round that. But if it wasn't then everyone would have one. The juggling is the hardest thing rather than the actual work. What is your home situation dcs etc?

I'm half way through my first module too, the same one as Lucille by the sounds of things. I still haven't submitted that essay, I HATE the poetry bit! Am also doing History pathway.
I've found that I need much less time than they said I would and so have signed up for extra modules this year to start level 2 in October and finish 1st year in 1. I don't expect to do that each year but hopefully can cut an extra year off the total!
I'm finding it a great experience, (apart from the bastard poetry!) have tons of OU support where needed and it absolutely fits in with my life at the moment.
Shall reassess in a few weeks though maybe as DC3 is due to arrive! grin

MrsAragon Sun 12-Jan-14 19:07:31

I have 3 kids, last one going to school in aug, my DH is great. I work 15 hours a week, would be upping my hours if not doing a course but would stay at 15 hours a week if investing in education andhopefully a better job at the end of it.

CosmicDespot Sun 12-Jan-14 19:21:54

I think I am doing the same module as Lucille and Undertheboredwalk! I am doing the English Language and Literature pathway. So far, I am really enjoying it, and don't need to put much time in. I did an access course last year which I would recommend doing - I have found the skills I learnt really useful now I've started the degree course.

LucilleBluth Sun 12-Jan-14 19:22:56

Undertheboardwalk....nice to meet a fellow AA100 student wink I have 3 DCs and I'm also finding that I could pick up the pace a bit, I'm sure I won't be saying that when I'm at level 3 though.

TinyDiamond Sun 12-Jan-14 19:46:19

In that case I reckon you can totally manage it, even full time so complete within 3 years. I am doing combined social sciences with Sociology. Actually a good plan could be full time for two years so 120 credits per year then one level 3 module per year at the end to finish off.

it is a great journey.

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