To be thinking that open university might be better than a traditional university for me?

(11 Posts)
FedupofbeingtoldIcantusemyname Fri 07-Oct-16 10:41:20

I am in my second year of a foundation degree at a 'normal' uni.

Unfortunately the uni I attend does not do a 'full' undergraduate degree in my subject, or any similar subject. The only option for a full undergraduate degree at this uni is to transfer in the 3rd year to a degree which is completely different except for one similar 'unit'. This is not something I want to do at all, completely different subject area and definately not interesting to me.

I've basically narrowed it down to 2 options of what to do in my 3rd year:

Study a different degree at a different uni. I have recently found another uni offering a few similar undergraduate degrees that I could choose from, in the nearest big city which is about 1-1/2 hrs away. This may restrict the possibilities for work though, as I will definately need a job to support myself while I'm at uni and studying somewhere so far away will mean I can't work in the evenings on my uni days. Which means I may end up having to work/study 7 days a week to fit it all in confused. Also I will be spending a LOT more than I currently do getting the train to uni if I transfer there, especially because I can't use my student rail card at peak times angry

The other option is to study a similar degree at the open university. That way I can get a full time job (much easier to do around here), earn decent money to pay for my studies, and I don't have the pressure of having to complete the degree in a set time period. I don't know if I will be able to cope with working full time and studying though, especially since I will have to write a dissertation in my 3rd year and won't have as much tutor support if studying remotely. Basically I'm just not sure if I'd be capable enough to do it on my own.

Having said this wibu to still think that open uni might be better for me? Family doesn't seem to think so. I've done distance study before (A levels) and didn't find it too challenging but isn't a degree a completely different animal?

Acrasia Fri 07-Oct-16 11:36:43

I am just starting my final module of my OU degree and I can say that in my experience the tutor support has been great. If you are on Facebook, I would recommend joining the main OU student group to pose any questions specific to the degree you're contemplating. Good luck!

Nakatomi Fri 07-Oct-16 11:41:24

I did my MA through the OU and it was fantastic. I actually felt I had more support than I did at my traditional university when I did my BA and PGCE. My tutor was excellent and couldn't do enough for me and it was great because I could fit the work around my job. Took me 3 years to do my MA but I was able to complete to a better standard in that timeframe, in my opinion.

The OU isn't for everyone but it was for me.

FedupofbeingtoldIcantusemyname Fri 07-Oct-16 11:50:52

Well that's really good to hear! I really like the idea of studying with OU but I think because the degree I'm looking at is science based I'm worried I might really struggle with the work sad

It would be really nice to be able to fit studying around work though, at the moment I'm finding although I enjoy studying its a right pain trying to find a job that will fit around my uni days and still give me enough time to study. Studying with OU would make that a bit easier even if you can't get student loans to pay for it. Also the idea of having to commute up to 3hrs a day on uni days does not fill me with joy.

MsRinky Fri 07-Oct-16 12:21:44

You can get student loans for OU study! Why don't you contact them and talk through your options, their advisers are really good, and will call you back.

StillSmallVoice Fri 07-Oct-16 12:30:11

I did an OU degree. It was a very long time ago, but it was fantastic, and life changing. I'd go for it.

Seacatses Fri 07-Oct-16 13:43:30

I have an OU degree, science based. Got a very good job out of it too at the end smile

myownprivateidaho Fri 07-Oct-16 13:51:58

I really like the idea of studying with OU but I think because the degree I'm looking at is science based I'm worried I might really struggle with the work

So you need to do some research into whether this is in fact the case. It's a specialist question and not something this forum can help on. Speak to tutors at the universities you are considering, look at employment statistics for the courses, go to a careers advisor, make use of any careers resources at your current uni, look at prospective employers and the academic profiles of their staff...

123Yellow123 Fri 07-Oct-16 13:52:42

I too did my undergrad degree with the OU and it was fantastic. I have since completed a masters and currently another graduate entry degree both at league table toping universities and I can honestly say that the OU was by far the best out of the three.

As PPs said, for me it was also life-changing, led to a £15,000 jump in pay and a great job.

Rollonbedtime7pm Fri 07-Oct-16 14:09:19

Going against the grain and saying I struggled with the OU - it was in no way a 'part time' and I found it hard alongside f/t work. I also found it hard to motivate myself with the distractions at home like TV, chilling out with my DH etc. I personally need to go out to a dedicated place to study (ie. an actual uni) to focus my mind!

CartwheelGirl Fri 07-Oct-16 14:37:32

It depends what you're studying and which other universities you are comparing Open Uni to.

If your only other options are changing the subject or commuting for 1,5 hours one way, then I think Open Uni is a no-brainer. Are you not considering any other universities, and relocating? It's only one year.

I think Open Uni is difficult in terms of keeping your motivation up, but some 'real' universities can be just as bad. Depends on the commitment of tutors and other students.

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