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Open University.

(8 Posts)
patterkiller Wed 21-Oct-15 09:39:21

Am I too old to start at 43?

In a different life a long time ago I went on to do a HEFC in art and design after A levels but didn't go on to a degree. I since worked in mostly admin but I started my own business eight years ago which is linked to art and design. But I still have a burning desire to complete a degree and the art and design course has caught my attention.

Dcs are older teens and my work is part time so I do have the time. I'm really just worried I don't have the capability.

So is it a struggle starting back in education after such a long gap? Anyone have any experience they would care to share?

Daffydil Wed 21-Oct-15 09:46:45

Goodness no! I've been studying with the OU for years, and am often the youngest at tutorials (I'm 38). I did Oceanography a couple of years ago and I was pretty much the only one without a long grey beard.

People of all ages study with the OU. And the level 1 courses are pretty much geared to people who haven't studied for a long time, if ever.

Give it a go!

patterkiller Wed 21-Oct-15 09:50:48

Thanks daffy I feel a bit giddy looking at the prospectus. I don't know why I've never thought of the OU before.

CatTheDog Wed 21-Oct-15 11:58:19

Patter if you are interested in art degrees by distance learning have you looked at the Open College of the Arts? They have several pathways including fine art, graphics and illustration and it is pay by module like the OU

Peregrina Wed 21-Oct-15 12:33:45

I did Oceanography a couple of years ago and I was pretty much the only one without a long grey beard.

I did oceanography too, not sure when, 2012 ish, and I don't have a long grey beard either! 43 is still quite young in OU terms although I gather the age profile is coming down.

I'm really just worried I don't have the capability. Lots of OU students feel like that when they start, but there is support available and the materials are good.

dinglethdragon Wed 21-Oct-15 12:39:37

disclaimer - I did an OU degree, went on from that to do a PhD and now work for them. It is a fab organisation. The design modules are within the technology department so are a bit more geared to product design than arty design. Though of course you can do the art appreciation side as well. Remember you can also do an Open degree (putting together modules that interest you without being constrained by a design degree pathway - I did an Open degree, never regretted it). You will have a mixture of face to face tutorials and online with the OU. The assignments are testing - quite demanding and academically rigorous. You will have deadlines.

OTOH the OCA courses are also fab - but I think need much more personal motivation and are far more practical and hands on throughout. I started one but never finished it - I missed the discipline of the deadlines that OU study gave me and at that time their online student forums etc were pretty rubbish - they'd moved to a new system - and I missed the community aspect of OU study. OTOH again OCA had a great tradition of organising study days in different museums and galleries - this was extra to the courses - I really enjoyed taking part in those.

I would say OCA is more practice based, you work more in isolation and my tutor was very hands off - I found it hard to get help without really pushing for it. The work produced by OCA students is fantastic though.

The OU is more academically focused and allows for a wider range of interests. There is more support, more of a structured timetable, and it is less practice based. While you do produce artifacts on the design modules you will be sending photos, drawings, images of them in, not the artifact itself. With OCA you produce artwork that you submit. (well you did in my day!)

I would recommend both to be honest - but it totally depends what you are looking for and where you want to end up.

Headofthehive55 Wed 21-Oct-15 13:09:16

I have studied with the ou, and I second it being a fab organisation and a fab degree! The quality is just fantastic and support excellent. I have also recently studied at Nottingham- it just didn't live up to the ou in any way whatsoever.

patterkiller Wed 21-Oct-15 14:17:46

Thanks for all your replies. I've downloaded the prospective and will have a good look tonight.

I haven't heard of OCA and will take a look, thanks.

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