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OU Masters support thread

(68 Posts)
MrsMagnolia Thu 26-Apr-12 18:12:54

Having taken another thread off on a tangent, I thought it might be helpful to have a dedicated thread for those of us rats on the sinking ship of OU taught masters degrees.

I'm doing the MSc Forensic Psychology and Criminology, and just about to start my third module, D844 Ethnography, having just sat the exam for D867 Critical Criminology.

It has been many years since I graduated, and it has been really tough not just getting back into studying, but dealing with technology as an integral part of research, I'd only ever looked at newspaper archives on microfilm.

Hoping there are a few of us around...

webwiz Thu 26-Apr-12 18:28:49

I'm doing the MSc in Social Research Methods and am just about to start my 4th course D844 Ethnography as well. I have just taken the winter off and used it to do the Citizen's Advice Bureau adviser training so I'm hoping I'll come to this course a bit fresher than the last one smile

AgentZigzag Thu 26-Apr-12 18:29:03

Hello, found you MrsM smile

Am I the only one who likes being called a 'student parent'? Makes me feel a bit younger grin

I'm doing the same qualification as you then MrsM, but just starting my fourth module. I got my degree in applied social science and psychology with the OU, finished it a few years ago and found it'd seeped into my DNA and I can't not do it now grin

I'm hoping there are a few around as well, the OU forums and fb are OK, but it's just not the same as MN <saddo>

AlexanderSkarsgardIWould Wed 02-May-12 14:20:40

Am signed up for the PGCert in Social Sciences but as you may have read on the other thread I'm taking a break from studying at the moment.

MrsMagnolia Wed 02-May-12 15:54:20

Hi Alex', hopefully we will gather a few more on his thread and still all be here in November.

I have noticed that the OU forums are not very active (compared to MN!) and are also quite heavily moderated (eg we weren't allowed to discuss a crucial part of the exam). Lots of students seem to be using Facebook, which I don't and won't, so here feels like a nice comfy place to discuss all aspects of our modules and the associated anxieties grin

madwomanintheattic Wed 02-May-12 16:06:03

I thought they weren't offering soc sci at the mo? Have they started again?

I'm not with ou but am finishing similar via distance due to personal circs... Had looked into finishing via ou but nothing doing...

MrsMagnolia Wed 02-May-12 16:35:35

Hi madwoman, the OU are getting rid of the current social science masters programmes, last May was the final time to register so they are only offering a very limited number of modules for those of us left to complete. I would never have done it but for it feeling like a last chance! I imagine that if/when they reintroduce a masters programme it will be a lot more expensive... It does add to the pressure though, knowing there's no scope for time out.

madwomanintheattic Wed 02-May-12 17:21:32

Ah, wondered if the new programme had been announced and I had missed it...

I'm on my 'last chance' to finish via distance at current uni, so know how you feel...

AlexanderSkarsgardIWould Wed 09-May-12 20:19:52

ARGH! I've left it too late to pull out of the module I was signed up for (D843 Discourse Analysis) and get a full refund, the OU are saying I've got three options:

1.) I can withdraw from the course and they will give a voucher for 80% of the cost which I would have to spend on another course within 18 months, and I would have to make my OUSBA repayments for this course (£150 a month for 5 months from June). With this option I would lose £140.

2.) I can withdraw from the course and make my OUSBA repayments as detailed above.

3.) I can continue with the course.

I rang OUSBA and they said they can lower the amount of my monthly repayments but it would affect my credit rating.

I don't like the look of any of the modules starting in November that are the same price as this one - the ones I do like the look of, like TD866 Environmental Responsibility, are £500 more.

So I don't think I've got any choice - I've got to continue with the module, and I've just got to try to make the £150 a month repayments.

The course only started last week, I think it's really mean of the OU not to refund my money, or refund it minus a charge for the small amount of the course I've done already (this is what my local uni do).

No summer shoes for Alex...

AlexanderSkarsgardIWould Wed 09-May-12 20:20:45

P.S. Option 2 would lose me £700.

webwiz Thu 10-May-12 08:52:50

oh dear Alexander have you decided what you are doing?
I enjoyed Discourse analysis but its a bit difficult at the beginning while you get your head around all the concepts.

GiveTheAnarchistACigarette Mon 14-May-12 17:23:51

Hi all, I was MrsMagnolia but name changed (there is a MrMagnolia around and he is nowt to do with me!)

So, am a week into Ethnography and thus far I have demolished a patio, scrubbed floors, done anything but study! How are the rest of you getting on?

webwiz Mon 14-May-12 17:41:35

I was doing very well (have done all of block one and block two) as I have a huge chunk of the summer when I will find it difficult to fit in any studying. I have now lost all momentum and have been mostly eating biscuits today.

GiveTheAnarchistACigarette Mon 14-May-12 17:55:55

Well done and am sure you deserved biscuits grin

AlexanderSkarsgardIWould Thu 17-May-12 09:12:11

Sorry for not being around until now. I've started the reading for Discourse Analysis - I figure I've got no choice but to go ahead with it but that's ok, one final push and I'll be through with studying, plus I've decided it wouldn't be the end of the world if I lower my OUSBA repayments and take a hit on my credit rating (I'll be able to keep up with all my other bills). I'm enjoying it so far, though I think the language in the Reader is unnecessarily arcane. Why can academics never explain things in plain English? I've bought some other books to help me make sense of it all, and thankfully I did some of it, e.g. Saussure, for my undergrad degree.

Well done webmiz, have a wine

AgentZigzag Thu 17-May-12 16:54:40

biscuit biscuit biscuit for webwiz grin

849 is definitely a lot 'drier' than 873, no juicy ideas to get your teeth into, I found myself having to think about WTF they were going on about on 873 when I wasn't working just to get my head round it all, but methods/methodology is a bit...removed?

That's a bugger with them not letting you pull out Alex, not nice to be doing work you'd rather not be and having to pay for the privilege.

webwiz Tue 29-May-12 13:37:40

Hows everyone getting on? Ethnography is fine but its a bit of a lonely course with no online exercises or chatting. You just have to get on with it. There isn't even a fixed timetable so you can't tick the weeks off.

AlexanderSkarsgardIWould Thu 31-May-12 23:34:18

Have just finished and submitted my first TMA for D849 Discourse Analysis! The inpenetrability of the language in the reader started to really irritate me. It crossed my mind that it is the embodiment of a Bakhtinian centrifugal force - i.e. a discourse written by those with authority, middle class academics, designed to help shut plebs working class people like me out of higher education and keep us in our place. But I'm ok - it's done and the end is in sight! And I'm having a big wine

AlexanderSkarsgardIWould Sat 02-Jun-12 20:42:30

Nobody else about? What kind of stuff are you doing in Ethnography webmiz?

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Jun-12 22:27:13

The link to our iCMA opened yesterday, I've not done one before and thought it'd be easier with multiple choice questions hahahahaha yeah right hmm


Some people on the OU forum and fb group are saying they've worked a question out by hand and with SPSS, and the iCMA doesn't give the right answers to choose from!

Doesn't fill me with confidence.

Nice one getting the first TMA out of the way Alex, the weight being lifted is almost worth the hassle getting to that point grin

webwiz Sun 03-Jun-12 13:00:26

Alex ethnography seems free from the kind of philosophical angst that discourse analysis specialises in. We have to do some sort of mini project that involves either observation, participant observation or interviewing. Whatever we are planning has to be approved by your tutor and I have no ideas at all at the moment! I have a phone tutorial later on this week and hopefully that will help. We aren't allowed to observe the local drug dealers though or anything else that might be dangerous - spoil sports smile

AgentZigZag the OU seem to have the most difficult multiple choice questions I've ever seen!

AgentZigzag Sun 03-Jun-12 13:47:21

'What would be the statistical significance if Pearson shoved his correlation coefficient up his jacksy?' is one I'd like to see webwiz grin

GiveTheAnarchistACigarette Thu 14-Jun-12 13:11:54

How is everyone getting on?!

I'm sort of working on first TMA... Have identified research area and started doing the descriptive bit.

I'm impressed with the materials this time, absolutely hated all the downloading and printing needed for Critical Criminology.

webwiz Fri 15-Jun-12 14:34:55

I've sort of finished the descriptive bit for TMA 01 and have a lot of scribbled notes for part 2 that I was hoping to sort out today. I don't really feel like doing it as have a terrible cold and can't concentrate properly.

GiveTheAnarchistACigarette Tue 19-Jun-12 19:18:59

Yippee grin

Have passed exam for D867! Am thrilled and amazed. Just have to finish essay tomorrow for D844 now...

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