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Psychology degree at the OU

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    have a few questions on behalf of a Polish friend, and would be extremely grateful for any help anyone can give. He wants to study psychology at the OU, but is worried about his level of English, (I'd say it's towards the higher end of intermediate / lower end of advanced), can someone tell me if this will affect him grately (it'll mainly be a problem in written things / exams) - or is most of it written assignments as opposed to exams?

    also, I;m having difficulties finding out if he will need to attend any centres (and if so how regularly) i know it will vary for different modules, but can someone with experience share their experiences

    thirdly, can someone confirm the costs of studying a degree at the open university (he currently lies in Birmingham, but may re-locate to Wales - will this affect the cost of study?)

    fourthly, how easy is it to transfer credits from previous study (he did start his studies in Poland, but had to stop his studies (last year) - he finished 1st year and his university is listed on the page.

    and finally, would it be possible to fit the equivilant to a 3 year degree around a full time job (he works 6am-3pm and is looking at doing about 120 credits (the equivilant to a normal full time degree) per year for 3 years.

    I know there are a lot of questions, but any help would be extremely helpful

    thanks
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    (Original post by welshy0204)
    have a few questions on behalf of a Polish friend, and would be extremely grateful for any help anyone can give. He wants to study psychology at the OU, but is worried about his level of English, (I'd say it's towards the higher end of intermediate / lower end of advanced), can someone tell me if this will affect him grately (it'll mainly be a problem in written things / exams) - or is most of it written assignments as opposed to exams?
    Different modules have different types of assessment - some modules have exams and others don't. For example, it wouldn't be unusual for a module to have assignments at intervals throghout it, and then an exam (or sometimes an end-of-module assessment) at the end. Each individual module page explains what type of assessment applies to that module.

    (Original post by welshy0204)
    also, I;m having difficulties finding out if he will need to attend any centres (and if so how regularly) i know it will vary for different modules, but can someone with experience share their experiences
    Again, if you look at the module pages, they explain whether there's a residential school as part of the module. There might be day schools or tutorials which are usually optional (I think it's worth going along to at least some, just to get an idea for the tutor's preferences about things) - these tend to be on a Saturday or in the evening. They usually assign you to a tutor group based on regions, so the tutorials for that group would be somewhere nearby; however, you can always request to go along to other tutorials if they're going to be more convenient.

    (Original post by welshy0204)
    thirdly, can someone confirm the costs of studying a degree at the open university (he currently lies in Birmingham, but may re-locate to Wales - will this affect the cost of study?)
    This is really complicated.

    Students in England who start a degree (or other qualification) before September 1st this year are able to pay on the current fee arrangements. The cost of a full degree would generally be, very roughly, £4,500ish (i.e. a 60-credit module is about £700 and you need 360 credits for the full degree). Some students are eligible for financial help with this.

    For students in England starting study next academic year (i.e. anytime after 1st September 2012), the fees and funding arrangements will completely change from what they have been in the past. It will effectively cost £15,000 for a full degree (divided into module-sized chunks, i.e. £2,500 for a 60-credit module), with eligible students able to get a student loan to pay for this.

    For students in Wales, things are staying as they are for 2012-13 (i.e. at the lower fee levels), but my understanding is that they will go through a similar changeover the following year.

    Your friend might therefore feel that he would be financially better placed to study if he were to start a course this academic year. If he wants to do this, he should bear in mind that the degree structures are also changing for next year, so what's on the website now relates to next year's 'new' psychology degree, whereas if he starts now he'd be on the old structure. I'm not sure if you can still access the 11-12 prospectus so he can compare the two - if not, let me know, 'cos I've got it saved.

    (Original post by welshy0204)
    fourthly, how easy is it to transfer credits from previous study (he did start his studies in Poland, but had to stop his studies (last year) - he finished 1st year and his university is listed on the page.
    I don't know the process for transferring credit from outside the UK, but certainly transferring credit from within is very straightforward and if his university and programme of study are listed that's a good sign. One thing to think about might be that if he's worried about his standard of English in relation to study, he might be better off with the gentler start of Level 1 (which won't count towards his degree classification) rather than trying to jump in at a higher level.

    (Original post by welshy0204)
    and finally, would it be possible to fit the equivilant to a 3 year degree around a full time job (he works 6am-3pm and is looking at doing about 120 credits (the equivilant to a normal full time degree) per year for 3 years.
    There are people who do this - and his working pattern would at least mean he had a nice chunk of the afternoon to be able to get his head down and get some work done - but I think my advice would be to start out doing less, and build up to studying at this pace if he finds he can manage it. I think it's better to do it that way, even if it means taking slightly longer to finish, than to dive in to really full-on study and end up doing badly or giving up because it's too much. Especially if he has some worries about studying in another language, which is an extra complicating factor.

    I hope that's helpful - but please do get your friend to check it all out properly with the OU!
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    Persipan as always has been super helpful. The OU has a site for English for academic study. Might help. Also is your friend aiming to be a psychologist? It's really competitive and takes a long time in the UK. Worth looking at other subjects such as Business Studies. Someone who's bilingual and familiar with business practice can go a long way!
    http://www.open.ac.uk/skillsforstudy/english/index.php
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    I´m Polish and doing Psychology at OU. Firstly, just because there´s no language certificate required for OU (as is the case for all brick unis if you´re a non-native speaker) doesn´t mean that the language is any less, you know, psychological and hence, demanding. Even native speakers struggle at times. I´d recommend your friend check out the study materials on OpenLearn and see for himself. I reckon it won´t be that much of a problem for essay writing since you can double-check every word if you please (as I would, obsessively ), but i´m personally petrified about the exam. I´m pretty sure there´s an option of bringing a dictionary in, but with time restrictions as they are I doubt I´ll have a spare second to put the pen down to scratch my nose, not to mention to browse dictionary in search for this perfect word.

    If your friend wants to do BSc(Hon), all modules have exams at the end.

    Can´t help with the credit transfer, I came to the uk right after matura exam, did a couple years at brick uni here and with that, yes, credit transfer was very straight forward. For the psychology, it can only count for the level 1 study though, so he still must do some 285 credits regardless.

    Having said that, it may all be very different now. I don´t quite follow all the changes to the degree structures, for they overwhelm my simple Polish brain :P:P:P
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    I was doing 120 psychology credits while working full-time, it is do-able, but you have to be organised.

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