Just one sec...
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

Which open university course to choose?

University Navigation

Announcements Posted on
Take our short survey, £100 of Amazon vouchers to be won! 23-09-2016
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    My current financial situation will not let me go to regular university (unless I wait 3 years to be eligible for student finance) so I think OU is the only option for me as I can study whilst working.

    I wish to become a theoretical physicist and I am aiming to get into Oxford University for my graduate course.

    I am finding it hard to choose between mathematics and mathematics & physics. (Latter would require me to do practicals, find laboratory and so on)

    Undergraduate in mathematics would lead to graduate in Theoretical Physics, wouldn't it?

    I am 18 yo atm and currently have A* in Mathematics, A in Physics and A in Further Mathematics. (I taught myself all of this in approximately 4 months.)
    I also have AS equivalents in Biology and Chemistry.

    How is course quality like at OU?
    Does it worth waiting 3 years instead? (to go to proper University)

    Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I'd wait to go to a brick university. Open university courses are ideal for those who aren't really aiming academically high.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fxlloutboyy)
    I'd wait to go to a brick university. Open university courses are ideal for those who aren't really aiming academically high.
    Would you like to back that up with some evidence?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I can't speak for which course, but have you tried looking for OU facebook groups for each course? There's often groups there, and someone studying either may be able to give better advice.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Well done on your outstanding Alevel grades. They're really impressive !!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Definitely wait - your A-levels show that you are much better then the Open University, and Open University --> Oxford just doesn't happen.

    You would surely get into places like UCL and St Andrews with your grades.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by #ChaosKass)
    Open University --> Oxford just doesn't happen.
    I seem to remember Gridiron-Gangster from this very sub going on to postgraduate Oxbridge study after an OU undergraduate degree, so it's perfectly possible.

    OP, I think your best bet, given that you have a specific end goal in mind, would be to contact the postgrad programme(s) you're interested in and find out what they would be looking for in applicants. They'll be able to give you much better advice in that point than any of us.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    It's extremely unlikely Oxbridge would choose a OU candidate over a good brick university. Yes the student may be equally academically inclined however it's similar to how a 'normal' university compares to a Russel Group university. Identical candidates with a better institution is more likely to be chosen.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tangotangopapa2)
    My current financial situation will not let me go to regular university (unless I wait 3 years to be eligible for student finance) so I think OU is the only option for me as I can study whilst working.

    I wish to become a theoretical physicist and I am aiming to get into Oxford University for my graduate course.

    I am finding it hard to choose between mathematics and mathematics & physics. (Latter would require me to do practicals, find laboratory and so on)

    Undergraduate in mathematics would lead to graduate in Theoretical Physics, wouldn't it?

    I am 18 yo atm and currently have A* in Mathematics, A in Physics and A in Further Mathematics. (I taught myself all of this in approximately 4 months.)
    I also have AS equivalents in Biology and Chemistry.

    How is course quality like at OU?
    Does it worth waiting 3 years instead? (to go to proper University)

    Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    If you have A-levels at those grades it would be worth talking to Oxford undergraduate admissions to ask their advice; though I believe they now expect at least two A*'s from their candidates now. What would you do with your 3 years whilst you waited to become eligible for Student Finance? How will you afford the OU, if not through Student Finance.

    Furthermore, it isn't unreasonable to expect to go from the OU to Oxford, but it would be much more difficult than from a conventional university. As with a conventional uni you'll be needing to achieve firsts and above in all of your modules which at the OU can be so difficult, partly because their marking criteria is on par with Oxbridge (though arguably the material is probably easier at level 1 and 2), so you need 85%+ to get a first; but also because home study can be really tough. The focus and dedication you need can be hard to muster when you're at home and there are a million other things which also need to be done.

    You would also need to talk to Oxford's postgrad. admissions because there's no point starting a degree with the OU unless you KNOW they'll consider it. But there are plenty of other really good universities out there which also offer theoretical physics so I wouldn't limit myself to Oxford alone.
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SuperCat007)
    If you have A-levels at those grades it would be worth talking to Oxford undergraduate admissions to ask their advice; though I believe they now expect at least two A*'s from their candidates now.
    Thank you so much for the reply.
    For Physics, Oxford's entry requirement is A*AA atm. I could retake 2 of my F.Maths modules for another A* (Normal students take 2 years for A levels anyway) in order to be on the safe side. Oxford offers entrance examination test called PAT based on which candidates are chosen whether or not to interview. I have practised most of the PAT papers and this should not be a problem with me.

    The only problem atm is funding. I hold Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) which on itself qualifies me as a home student for FE but not for the HE unless I have three years of ordinary residence prior to my course (as per the UKCISA website). The same case applies with the student finance.

    And the overseas fees are unaffordable (£22,000 a year in the case of Oxford).


    What would you do with your 3 years whilst you waited to become eligible for Student Finance?
    Not sure. Either an apprenticeship or a proper job. The reason I considered OU is I would have full BSc. qualification at the end of these three years.


    How will you afford the OU, if not through Student Finance.
    OU's £5,600 a year is currently affordable for me. As I will be staying in the home, this will be the only direct cost.


    Furthermore, it isn't unreasonable to expect to go from the OU to Oxford, but it would be much more difficult than from a conventional university. As with a conventional uni you'll be needing to achieve firsts and above in all of your modules which at the OU can be so difficult, partly because their marking criteria is on par with Oxbridge (though arguably the material is probably easier at level 1 and 2), so you need 85%+ to get a first;
    but also because home study can be really tough. The focus and dedication you need can be hard to muster when you're at home and there are a million other things which also need to be done.
    Indeed. I home studied my A levels and it was quite challenging (also exciting) and rewarding at the end.

    I will need to do one or two years masters program after BSc. before I apply to Oxford for the doctoral course. I have not limited myself to Oxford for this program.


    You would also need to talk to Oxford's postgrad. admissions because there's no point starting a degree with the OU unless you KNOW they'll consider it. But there are plenty of other really good universities out there which also offer theoretical physics so I wouldn't limit myself to Oxford alone.
    Not sure about this. Isn't the OU degree regarded same as other degrees if you have first class honors (I know this is usually utterly hard) ?
    OK, so what would be my chances for those universities.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tangotangopapa2)

    Not sure. Either an apprenticeship or a proper job. The reason I considered OU is I would have full BSc. qualification at the end of these three years.


    Not sure about this. Isn't the OU degree regarded same as other degrees if you have first class honors (I know this is usually utterly hard) ?
    OK, so what would be my chances for those universities.
    You would need to think about this if you are going to wait. Maybe you could find a company which would offer a job to you in the industry whilst you wait, then you might have some relevant experience. If you're close to Oxford then the Harwell Science campus has lots of companies whose sole purpose is physics-based research.

    The OU degree is the same as any other degree. My point was that you weren't sure whether to do maths or maths and physics, so you would need to talk to Oxford (and probably a couple of other universities/companies) about which one they think would be the best one/the most appropriate for where you want to end up.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tangotangopapa2)
    My current financial situation will not let me go to regular university (unless I wait 3 years to be eligible for student finance) so I think OU is the only option for me as I can study whilst working.

    I wish to become a theoretical physicist and I am aiming to get into Oxford University for my graduate course.

    I am finding it hard to choose between mathematics and mathematics & physics. (Latter would require me to do practicals, find laboratory and so on)

    Undergraduate in mathematics would lead to graduate in Theoretical Physics, wouldn't it?

    I am 18 yo atm and currently have A* in Mathematics, A in Physics and A in Further Mathematics. (I taught myself all of this in approximately 4 months.)
    I also have AS equivalents in Biology and Chemistry.

    How is course quality like at OU?
    Does it worth waiting 3 years instead? (to go to proper University)

    Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
    I'm sorry to hear our ridiculous HE policies have left you in a position where it's more affordable for you to go into FE and make less contribution to the economy. Unfortunately our politicians aren't very good at maths.

    An undergraduate course in Mathematics could lead to a graduate degree in Theoretical Physics, but not if the former is from the Open University and the latter from Oxford. Theoretical Physics at Oxford is very competitive and you'd need to be amongst the top of the year at an elite university to get in. I myself was one of the top students on Durham's Theoretical Physics course and I don't think I'd have stood a chance. You'd probably need to score 200% at Open University which is of course mathematically impossible.

    As has been suggested it would be a very good idea to talk to admissions tutors about your options. They'd be able to give you more concrete advice about whether an Open University degree is worth it, and also possibly whether there are any bursaries or alternative sources of funding that are at all possible. Make sure to show off your grades and how you got them after a mere 4 months of study. But while funding is a huge hurdle to being at a university, it's not so for self-study. You can still open some undergraduate Physics textbooks and try teaching yourself (you don't even really need to buy them if you catch my drift ). I'd also suggest picking up coding if you're at all interested, as that could lead to a decent job and is a skillset that could be very useful in a graduate degree.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: September 21, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Poll
How do you eat your pizza

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22

Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.