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Do people consider OU degrees

(175 Posts)
EverythingRightNow Sat 23-Sep-17 01:01:18

I was wondering do people consider OU degrees real degrees? One thing that gets me is I'm into arts and crafts, you essentially get a brief & work from it, why don't they do Arts OU that are funded the same way?

It would work in a similar fashion where you touch base with a tutor periodically.

My friends laughed when I suggested getting an OU degree as I should aim for a real one instead. Is this general consensus?

SparklyMagpie Sat 23-Sep-17 01:22:24

I didn't think though
I'm about to put my son into nursery and was planning on doing an OUcourse too

Ignore your friend and go do it, im using it as as first stepping stone smile

SparklyMagpie Sat 23-Sep-17 01:24:11

Plus nobody has laughed at me when i've mentioned enrolling, so please don't let them put you off. I wish I had some more info

iwantthegroundtoswallowmeup Sat 23-Sep-17 01:28:02

I have almost finished mine. I've been accepted onto a masters next year at a brick uni - the course leader had worked for the OU for 20 years and was impressed with the quality of the materials given.

In a way, I think the OU is better than going to a brick uni. I did my first undergraduate degree at a brick uni when I was 18 - 21 and I have felt that I have learned so much more this time round. Plus it's a degree in perseverance if anything. I always get asked about it at job interviews.

iwantthegroundtoswallowmeup Sat 23-Sep-17 01:30:18

I've had a few comments in relation to it but unless you go to a top 10 uni, all degrees are pretty much the same. Ignore her.

TDHManchester Sat 23-Sep-17 01:30:31

There is the utmost snobbery when talking and gaining degrees. In my view a degree in a subject should be the same as an O or A level i,e it is what it is. An indication of a level of study and achievement.

Alas with degrees,snobbery rules and an OU degree is considered very low. A degree from a provincial university is not considered as "good" as one from a major city Uni or Oxbridge.

And yet they even give them away to people for doing jack shite i.e honorary degrees.

So no,sadly i wouldnt bother wasting money on the OU

SparklyMagpie Sat 23-Sep-17 01:34:21

TDHManchester So if you can't get into Oxford or another major uni you shouldn't bother?

TDHManchester Sat 23-Sep-17 01:36:38

Yes of course you should. All im saying is that if i were to seek a degree, it would be from a traditional Uni and not the OU.

StumpyScot92 Sat 23-Sep-17 01:39:59

A lot of employers I know put as much if not more stock in them than traditional unis because it shows 'drive' because you've had to push yourself to do everything if that makes sense. Not saying you don't have to work at a traditional uni but that there's less driving you to continue other than your own will.

Plus in most industries experience is favoured over where your degree is from. Once you've been in a job five years or whatever they don't care where your degree was from they only care what you've done with it since.

TinselTwins Sat 23-Sep-17 01:42:08

I think the OU used to be a great option but these days lots of respectable unis are running distance learning at slightly cheaper fees than the OU, or you can do part time etc, there used to be a financial advantage to OU which just doesn't exist any more.

Respectability wise: On a par with the better ex polys. Not as respectable as red brick but that only matters in certain fields

sharksDen Sat 23-Sep-17 02:59:30

I treat distance degrees as on a par with regular degrees. I don't think students have quite as in-depth knowledge of their subject but I also think it takes enormous drive and self-management to complete one.

I wouldn't rate the OU any higher than several other large universities which now offer similar courses.

Degrees tend to be about getting you out of the starting blocks though. Within 5-10 years in a career, it's largely irrelevant where or what you studied. Skills and competencies demonstrated in the job are far, far more important.

Of course PPE from Oxford is better than P&E from Pompey, but that isn't comparing like for like.


A degree from one university may well be better than another though. Whilst there are the best known at the top, different courses are often considered better from those lower down the table. A perfect example is my sporty (now physio) brother who studied at Loughborough. Much better for him than Oxbridge. My father did his PhD at Southampton after his undergrad at Cambridge. He was an engineer and Soton had better equipment.

It isn't the same as A Level or IB subjects because of the specialism and often expensive equipment necessary. Whilst schools tend not to specialise in areas, universities do.

"an OU degree is considered very low"

Open University is an established, accredited, highly-ranked university, and if anyone doesn't understand that, I certainly don't want to work there. I assume that anyone who makes such a comment isn't actually in a position to use their judgement.

"And yet they even give them away to people for doing jack shite i.e honorary degrees."

Haha. Amazing red herring. Firstly, I'd argue that usually, people who are awarded honorary degrees have proved themselves extremely capable in whichever field. Secondly, my boss and others I know, always abbreviate h. before degree honoris causa.

[credentials - the bugger in charge of 477 staff, every single one a post grad. Bricks and mortar BSC. I have one MSc from a 'brick' university and one MSc distance course]

counterpoint Sat 23-Sep-17 03:15:31

The OU has been around longer than some other universities.

drinkswineoutofamug Sat 23-Sep-17 03:36:24

Doing an OU course at the moment, part time around family, work , mn and also doing a fast track course at college in November . My course is relevant to my job and I hope to use it to climb through the ranks , so to say. My manager is impressed with what I have achieved

PolkaDotty7 Sat 23-Sep-17 04:18:55

Of course it's a real degree, it is given a lot of respect as most students study alongside working. It takes a lot of drive, organisation and self-sufficiency: all great qualities which an employer will value.

Thethreegraces Sat 23-Sep-17 05:05:47

My friend who is a lecturer in a Russell Group university has a PhD from the OU. I think your friends are talking crap.

BikeRunSki Sat 23-Sep-17 05:25:57

A lot of employers I know put as much if not more stock in them than traditional unis because it shows 'drive' because you've had to push yourself to do everything if that makes sense. Not saying you don't have to work at a traditional uni but that there's less driving you to continue other than your own will.


BoomBoomsCousin Sat 23-Sep-17 05:39:11

It really depends on the subject you're doing and what you want to do with it. If your option is the OU or Cambridge, you'd probably be foolish to turn down Cambridge. But if it's the OU or the University of Bedfordshire, you are likely going to get as good a reception with an OU degree.

If you're looking to go onto a postgrad - good OU grads go on to excellent post-grad courses, having your Bachelors from the OU isn't going to close that door. Some of the milk-round type graduate schemes may not consider pretty much anyone who isn't from a particular set of universities, and the OU isn't likely to be in that set. But other employers really like the drive you have to show for an OU degree.

I think the real issue with an OU degree is that it doesn't suit many people. The dropout rate is atrocious. Think carefully about whether you can really do it, because it isn't inexpensive.

BeatriceBeaudelaire Sat 23-Sep-17 06:08:11

Not really ... tbh. It's a qualification and a good one but I wouldn't consider it on par with an in person actual degree

WhooooAmI24601 Sat 23-Sep-17 06:15:56

I wouldn't consider it on par with an in person actual degree

Yet it is an in-person actual degree Beatrice because the person has still achieved that level of education. It's exactly an 'actual degree'.

I went to an RG bricks and mortar University but have work friends who went the OU route; our degrees are worth the exact same amount to potential employers in our field.

HerSymphonyAndSong Sat 23-Sep-17 06:18:14

I think some opinions here are rather out of step with the majority of employers (perhaps rather out of date?)

I have a BA and an MA from B&M universities, and have nearly finished a BSc in a STEM subject with the OU. Current employers and prospective employers are very keen on the BSc. I wonder whether it depends on the subject and industry in question?

OU degrees have to meet the same academic quality standards as any other (I actually work in this area in a B&M university, and have still chosen to do an OU degree instead of study at my own institution)

crikeycrumbsblimey Sat 23-Sep-17 06:18:50

Your friend is wrong.

OU degrees can be a lot more difficult and of a higher level than traditionally taught degrees. I say that as someone who works at a very traditional university and knows the sector reasonably well.

As an employer I have always been impressed with anyone who has the determination to do one. I think especially now with the higher fees etc. I think someone hasn't gone to uni automatically and instead has done something a bit different, like an OU degree,
makes me look twice.

Saying that I don't know how they are viewed outside the sector.

monkeysox Sat 23-Sep-17 07:14:40

I have bsc hons from ou. I'm a teacher now.
No student loans as my former employer paid for my courses.
I bought a house age 20.
I have only ever had positive comments about commitment, determination and being organised re studying with the ou.

Andromeida29 Sat 23-Sep-17 07:21:00

Laughing at the idea that degrees from Oxbridge etc are worth more than other degrees! The standards at Oxbridge have declined rapidly over the past few years and the only thing going for it is the associated snobbery. I believe that a degree from the OU is incredibly worthwhile as they're so difficult to complete. It takes an incredible amount of discipline to come away with a degree from the OU.

Nettletheelf Sat 23-Sep-17 07:27:47

Well, you can laugh at the idea that Oxbridge degrees are worth more than other degrees, but you'll be in a minority.

Who is more likely to get the interview at the magic circle law firm? Somebody at Oxford or somebody at the university of Lincoln? Think carefully about your answer.

MrsMHasIt Sat 23-Sep-17 07:28:09

Your friend has an out of date and snobby point of view. Ignore!!

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