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OU - Exploring Psychology - anyone done it recently?

(59 Posts)
GreenEggsAndSpam Sun 24-Aug-08 17:15:06

If so, could you give me the low-down on how much time you needed to study, how hard it was, anything really smile, so I can hear first hand what it was like?
I am scared about taking the plunge and biting off more than I can chew. I do have a degree, but it was unrelated, a long time ago, and I fear my analytical brain has degenearetd somewhat since the fog of children.
If anyone is selling the books I'd be interested in buying them too, so I can have a look before I sign up smile.
Note - I am interested in the negatives and the positives hmm

GreenEggsAndSpam Sun 24-Aug-08 20:36:13


GivePeasAChance Sun 24-Aug-08 20:41:53

I did it in 2006 - allowed me to do a Grad Diploma conversion course and now doing my masters.

HOWEVER, I did the OU course while working and with 2 DCs - it was manageable if you had people to help around deadline time(I still left these until the last minute which I promised I wouldn't!)Tutorials were once a month IIRC and in the evenings. I enjoyed it and was really good way to get me back to stucying.

I have the books but you get them included in the course. I will lend you them no problem but would want them back because I like them as text books !!

<<hoarder alert !>>

wessexgirl Sun 24-Aug-08 20:42:16

I did it in 2005.

I found it interesting, not overly challenging and got a good coursework and exam grade on about 10 hours of study per week.

I started it when dd1 was 16 months, and when I did the exam eight months later I had a 2 month old dd2 as well - so the fog of children was definitely a factor for me! But it was still doable; not sure I'd have tackled a higher level course in those circumstances though.

I have all the books, but I have a feeling you'll get them included in your course fee - I didn't have to pay extra for mine.

Like you, I had a degree in an unrelated discipline, taken fifteen years earlier, but I found that once I got going, I really got into the groove. HTH smile.

GreenEggsAndSpam Sun 24-Aug-08 21:25:39

Ooh, thanks very much ladies smile

Peas, you sound like me. I am thinking about the conversion Diploma - how long did it take you? What is your MA on?

Ta for the offer of the books also (I just want to have a peek really, just to get an idea of the level ofstudy) - don't suppose you are in the SE are you? I know what you mean about hoarding text books - I still have mine from nearly 20 years ago blush although I have barely looked at them since.

Wessex - both you and Peas sound like you had a lot on when you did the course - hats off to you! It is good to hear that you managed on 10 hours a week though - I think the website says 18 doesn't it?

What were the tutorials like? Were they scary? Did you have to travel far? Anything else you can say to make me feel positive about taking this risk smile

Thanks so much for replying grin

wessexgirl Sun 24-Aug-08 21:31:50

Yes - being heavily pg with a toddler, I just couldn't do the 18 hours they recommended, but luckily it didn't seem to cost me too much in terms of marks or missed deadlines, so phew!

I didn't go to any tutorials blush; they were thirty miles away and I couldn't face a two-hour round trip on a Saturday morning. My tutor was great, though, and was really good about keeping in touch online.

GivePeasAChance Sun 24-Aug-08 22:39:58

I am in the NW - and really don't mind posting to you........however I would say don't worry about it too much: you don't need to read anything before you start.

I did a Grad Dip for a year to get GBR and now doing a Masters in Organisational Psychology (used to be Occupational). Loving the student life and learning in general!!

Tutorials for the OU course were local to me and they also did revision camps in Manchester on a Sat morning which were good. I found the OU really good and I can categorically state I did nowhere near the 18 hours recommended a week. I did the assignments and tutorial topics and that was it !

If you are going down the conversion route, I really do think this course is just to get you back into studying etc. so don't worry about coping with the course as such, more about the career change in general, if you know what I mean !

GreenEggsAndSpam Sun 24-Aug-08 23:10:00

More info - lovely!

Didn't realise you didn't HAVE to go to the tutorials. Obviously I want to, but have been worried about them being too far away. I reckon about 10 hours studying would fit in quite well too smile

How did you find the exam? Was it essay-based? How long?

Peas - did you really do the Diploma in a year? I am thinking about doing one course at a time, so taking 4 years in total. Would that be stringing it out then? smile

Ta for the book offer. I assumed they would be too heavy to be posted, but if not, I would be really grateful and would obviously pay all associated costs...

Where are you doing the Masters, and what do you want to do with it afterwards? <<<<<nosy emoticon now>>>>

wessexgirl Sun 24-Aug-08 23:17:07

Iirc, the exam was four essays, to be completed in three hours. (But dd2 was 10 weeks at the time, so forgive me if my memory is completely up the swanee there grin).

I meant to do the Graduate Conversion, and did the Child Development module afterwards. I would have needed 2 more years of study, I think, to get the degree, but since then I have taken a different career direction (again). It's good to know I could go back to finish the course if that doesn't work out though.

I'm in Dorset, if that helps books-wise. Would be happy to lend indefinitely.

GivePeasAChance Sun 24-Aug-08 23:19:39

Tutorials are pretty useful so try and go - my tutor was ace !

Exam was fine - can't remember how long it was or whether all essay based - know there were at least 2 but seems a while ago now !

Did the Diploma in a year - it was great - bear in mind that full time in social sciences is not full full time and so was 2 days a week in uni ( term time !).

Doing masters at Manchester Business School. I have many plans for it, but generally setting up own practice.....but in a very specific area related to what I did for 10 years before.

What are your plans?

Cocodrillo Mon 25-Aug-08 19:49:55

Ooh, a potential partner in crime!

I've just registered for this course, and I'm ultimately planning to do the conversion diploma.

I'm expecting DC3 in Feb, and have two DDs aged exactly four, and 20 months.

I've worked out that it would take my 4 yrs with the OU to get the diploma, by which time the new DC would be nearly 4 and nearly school-age, so that suits me fine.

I've just bought last year's course books off Ebay to try and get ahead, as am tad concerned about doing assignments with a newborn.

DD2 is already nocturnal so I'm starting to think I'm nutty, but I'm nearly 35 and think I need to retrain now if I'm to do it at all. Got my first degree in 1996, and have worked in publishing ever since (currently 3 days/wk). Am in London.

GreenEggsAndSpam Mon 25-Aug-08 20:22:06

Oh, Wessex are you anywhere near Yeovil at all, as I have friends there I am seeing soon...

Why the change of mind about the diploma btw? What are you doing now?

Peas - you did the diploma in a year - 1x level 2 and 2 x level 3 courses - blimey! Hats off to you. What did you do before the return to studying?

Cocodrillo - hats off to you too! I have 3 dcs too, but the youngest is 3, and it is only now I feel able to start studying! It does sound like we could be taking the same path - do you have along term plan/goal?

I am so glad I posted on here about this - I feel so much better about it grin

Cocodrillo Mon 25-Aug-08 20:55:46

I'm interested in doing something with children. I've looked at training to be an educational psychologist, but I'd need to do a doctorate after the conversion... playing it by ear really. How about you GreenEggs?

I don't like the sound of the week-long residential school that one of the level 3 courses has. Sounds scary, and would be a nightmare arranging child care cover for that week.

GreenEggsAndSpam Tue 26-Aug-08 22:02:38

Cocodrillo - I am not sure about plans after - that is one of the things holding me back - worrying that I may spend 4 yrs studying and then have nowhere to go wth it. I know that further study/training will be essential and that competition is stiff hmm

I thought there was an associated week residential for the Exploring Psychology course btw, that you have to do beofre you can apply for the Diploma. It is in June IIRC. That is also putting me off, although there is an online one you can do instead...

Decisions, decisions!

Leda Tue 26-Aug-08 22:36:32

Coco, I'm also starting this in September and I also worked in Publishing before!

I'm encouraged by the ten hours. Although that is more than I ever did for my first degree.

wessexgirl Tue 26-Aug-08 22:39:23

Hi, greeneggs - yes, I'm near Yeovil!

When will you be there?

I sold some stories to a publisher, so I decided to head that (v. poorly paid) way for the time being. No doubt I'll be back taking another OU course by next year!

If I can be in Yeovil at the same time, I'll be happy to pass over the books.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 26-Aug-08 22:43:12

I did it in 2005 as my first OU course. It was pretty straightforward, and I really didn't do anything like 18, or even 10, hours a week. Probably 10 in the week before a TMA was due in, but not otherwise. I didn't work (but did have a baby and a toddler) which made it easier. Have done allthe psych courses, and am finishing my last now. Must get that last TMA started in fact...

GreenEggsAndSpam Tue 26-Aug-08 22:57:56

Wessex - I am going to be in Yeovil this weekend...hmm...I will be staying near St Micheal's Avenue. Is there any chance you could be nearby? If not, where are you, could I drop by??? Good luck with the publishing - what do you write? I know that getting stuff taken on by publishers is the hardest thing, so well done smile

Leda and TheFallenMadonna - welcome and thank you for your support smile.

Looks like I may nave some allies and some brains to pick on here grin

wessexgirl Tue 26-Aug-08 23:06:21

We can be in Yeovil Sat. morning - we're hoping the weather will be picnicky so we can go out for lunch.

Email me at rubens underscore de underscore falco @ hotmail dot com if you want to organise a drop-off smile.

I've sold 2 short stories for a couple of hundred quid each - not exactly enough to live on - but the publishers seem to like me so I'm working on a novel-length thing.

GreenEggsAndSpam Tue 26-Aug-08 23:13:27

Wessex - have emailed you - thanks so much smile

So, what sort of stories do you write?

Cocodrillo Wed 27-Aug-08 22:53:15

GreenEggs, I'm planning to do the online version of DX222 or whatever it is. That starts in October 2009 till Jan 2010, I think, then Child development would start in Feb 2010.

I'm really interested in the subject matter, so I'm hoping that I'll find it worth doing 'for the sake of it', even if I decide against a career change.

But it has dawned on me recently that I have no interest in my area of publishing (reference/international affairs), and it has just become a comfortable rut after 11 years (challenging in it's own way, but predicatable and routine-y). I don't want to be doing this at 60, and think I'll regret not having at least tried to change direction.

Cocodrillo Thu 28-Aug-08 13:24:44

Does anyone know if you're allowed to study more than one 60 unit course in the same year?

That would speed things up.

GreenEggsAndSpam Thu 28-Aug-08 21:40:56

Coco - GivePeas said she did the whole thing in a year, so it must be possible. Bl**dy tough though, I'd imagine.

So, it that 3 of you intending to do it in Oct, all who used to work in publishing? Does that mean you can all write a mean essay? hmm

I am going to make my decision to sign up this weekend, once I have had a look at the texts - THANKS AGAIN TO WESSEX grin

Cocodrillo Fri 29-Aug-08 06:13:39

I've just read GivePeas posts again. Does she mean she did the Conversion in a year at another university though?

IMO the workload doesn't look too bad. In last year's course books it says there is 12 hours 'core' study each week and 3 hours 'optional' study. I've just done the reading for weeks 1 to 3 and it has taken nowhere near 45 hours.

Last year's TMA's look quite challenging though. We will have to do two experiments!

(At least by the time I do Child Development I'll have readymade cohort of subjects to experiment on grin)

So tired <<snore>>.

Cocodrillo Fri 29-Aug-08 06:15:01

Oh, and re the essays, background in publishing means I can PUNCTUATE my essays really well ... not sure about any other advantages!

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