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Open University - expensive?

(50 Posts)
WeAreGypsy Mon 08-Aug-16 19:53:59

I thought Open University degree course might be a good option for those who don't want to rack up large university fees, but still would like to study for a degree in the future, including my own children.

When I had a quick look on the internet, OU fees are approximately £6k per year, which I assume would work out about £18K for a full course. This seems to be nearly half the cost of a full normal university course, which seems quite alot.

Anyway, has anyone taken this option or considered this option? Did it seem expensive? Was it worthwhile?


lilyboleyn Mon 08-Aug-16 19:58:47

Wow! That's expensive! I'm doing an mlitt online with a famous Scottish uni and that works out about £6k for the whole thing (5 years cause it's part time).

MidnightRunner87 Mon 08-Aug-16 20:01:28

What course was that for? I'm doing a psychology degree and have been paying £2600 per year-starting my third year in October-unless the prices you've seen are the new fees? (Bit worried now).

WeAreGypsy Mon 08-Aug-16 20:05:08

This is on their website:

*"Modules cost £1393 (30 credits) or £2786 (60 credits).
Most OU students study 60 credits a year over six years for an honours degree"*

But I really don't want to worry anyone blush! Perhaps I should have rang them first to confirm the situation before I posted blush. I'll do that tomorrow.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 08-Aug-16 20:05:18

They've moved onto the normal Student Finance system, so for new students, the fees are comparable to a normal university. You can now get a student loan for studying with them, but they've got rid of a lot of the grants they used to offer too.

WeAreGypsy Mon 08-Aug-16 20:08:24

Yes the website mentioned student loans for sure. But regardless the fees seem high. I suspected this had to do with subsidies and grants being withdrawn. But still think its expensive compared to the more conventional way of studying. Or am I missing something?

SestraClone Mon 08-Aug-16 20:15:07

Very grateful for the Scottish education system, my degree isn't costing me a penny.

Inthepalemoonlight Mon 08-Aug-16 20:19:38

Good luck to them getting people to pay £6000. I had been considering an OU degree but would may as well go to a conventional university if I'm going to pay those prices.

wildcoffeeandbeans Mon 08-Aug-16 20:29:58

How are you getting £6k? It sounds like it's just under £3k per year.

Chikara Mon 08-Aug-16 20:34:37

I did a degree with the OU. It wasn't cheap although I got a grant to help with the cost.

The quality of the materials, the teaching and the marking were absolutely brilliant. I loved the course and it helped me with my career.

If I had a bit more money at the moment I'd do it again!

emummy Mon 08-Aug-16 20:35:55

You can get help with fees, I am in Scotland and get a part-time fee grant from the SAAS. Plus, you don't have to do it continuously, you can do a year, then have a few years off. I think you have 16 years to complete a degree!

Haggisfish Mon 08-Aug-16 20:39:15

The difference is, of course, that you can work while doing it, unlike many traditional uni courses, even part time ones. I work for the ou and think the materials and feedback and support students get is very good.

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Mon 08-Aug-16 20:39:18

A full time 'year' is 120 credits, it's just that OU students study part time generally.

The OU really didn't want to increase fees but the government forced them to when they increased the fees for higher education generally. It's a particularly horrible idea for OU students, and has prevented lots of people who might have taken OU courses when they were £300 or something from doing so. In particular, people looking to take a module just out of interest.

But, of course, the government decided it knew better. hmm

WeAreGypsy Mon 08-Aug-16 20:42:14

wildcoffee, I assumed you did OU in 3 years to begin with, but its actually done over 6 years (or longer). So instead of £6K each of the 3 years, its £3k each of the 6 years. Still the total is the same around £18k....

Glad it was worthwhile Chikara ...

Rosamund1 Mon 08-Aug-16 20:46:32

It depends on what you are doing it for. If it is to further your career there may be other ways of gaining accreditation through work based qualifications for example. If it is for your mind there are now so many free online university courses which will not be accredited but will open your mind. The one thing you will miss is class interaction. With hindsight I wish I hadn't bothered with uni.

monkeysox Mon 08-Aug-16 21:18:12

Omg. I have a degree from the OU. Could not even consider it if was starting now. That's awful angry

NoDramaForTheLlama Mon 08-Aug-16 21:22:49

It's just under 3k per 60 credits. Most OU students study part time so spend 3k a year, if they study full time it's 6k. Regardless the overall cost is around 18k for an honours degree.

I'm doing it. It's expensive especially as they seem to be withdrawing tutorials from my pathway and going to book less modules. However it's the only way I will get my degree as I can't afford to give up work. Needs must and I do love it.

chameleonspots Mon 08-Aug-16 21:30:32

I'm doing it too and yes it's expensive. But so far done first year (so one 60 credit module) and I found it course very well put together and the marking and feedback very, very good. It's my second degree (first in a not useful, but interesting subject years ago) and my first one was at a red brick. The quality of feedback was no where near as good as I've had with the OU.

wildcoffeeandbeans Mon 08-Aug-16 23:43:37

Ah, okay, I thought they meant 60 credits was full time. I didn't do uni in the UK, so what do I know!

It does sound pretty expensive. I'm told Open University is well respected, but I'd be hesitant to pay so much for an online course unless I really needed the flexibility.

gwenneh Mon 08-Aug-16 23:51:23

I did my MBA with them last year and I thought it was fantastic value for money -- although that being said, I did undergrad in the U.S. which is MUCH more expensive anyway!

I really liked the way the modules were put together. I found the tutoring absolutely fantastic and the course itself was very "real world applicable" meaning I was able to use what I learned in my job right away, so it kept me going.

I would absolutely do it again, especially since the alternatives with the same accreditation are much more expensive.

BluishSky Mon 08-Aug-16 23:58:23

I had to give up on my degree with them due to this (I had to have a break and then would have had to pay the new prices and they had more than doubled)

fuckweasel Tue 09-Aug-16 00:38:28

Wow. I hadn't realised that OU fees in England were three times as expensive as doing OU in Scotland. Have just checked and my 60 credit module is nearly £900 if studying in Scotland (as I have just done) and nearly £2800 if studying in England. I assumed the fees were the same with OU.

Haggisfish Tue 09-Aug-16 00:46:47

It will be because the Scottish gov still subsidise a lot whereas England stopped doing that.

Catsrus Tue 09-Aug-16 02:27:18

I was an OU student and I've also taught for them. I did my BSc with them, then MSc and PhD at another uni. I've taught in 3 other universities as well as the OU.

The OU is fantastic value for money, the module materials are very thorough and generally well structured. You get a lot of material and, generally, more tutor time and feedback than at a F2F uni. It's still cheaper for the whole degree than other Unis.

What you don't get is the experience of being a student and student life. You have to be organised and committed. Even though you do your degree part time you have to be able to put in the required hours and get assignments in on time. You will generally have more written assignments than students at a face to face uni have as the whole process of writing and getting feedback is the central teaching tool for the OU rather than the lecture / seminar model at other universities.

As a model it works well for many people who have other committments such as children or other caring responsibilities. I started my OU degree when I had 3 DC under 5 yrs old - was often working till the early hours.

The OU has been very badly hit by the govt cuts to funding for HE, on any module you used to find a mix of people doing it for a variety of reasons. Some as part of a first degree, others for CPD, others just out of interest and some because they wanted a career change. Everyone apart from students on loans getting a first degree has now been priced out of the market. Employers used to sponsor whole groups of employees to do courses ....

It's still cheaper than the conventional route and in my professional opinion better for a more a more mature student who wants to learn not get the whole "living away from home for the first time " exoerience.

BluishSky Tue 09-Aug-16 10:15:42

It may still be cheaper, but that doesn't mean it's affordable...

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