This discussion is closed.
Bl
Badges:
#1
Report 18 years ago
#1
Hi there.

I've been interested in doing an OU course for some time now, but am
still unsure of exactly how it works. I'd be really grateful if someone
could answer a couple of questions for me.

How often, if at all, are students to meet up with their tutors and
fellow students - or does this vary on the course being taken?

How can you communicate with your tutor - email or phone?

I've read that a full degree can take 6 years - by taking 2 courses per
year, is it feasible to halve this and gain a degree in 3 years? (or is
it way too difficult?)

I'm quite young still - are there (m)any young (20ish) people who do OU
degrees, or is it mainly targetted at the 30+ age groups?

Many thanks for any advice you can offer.

David.
0
Steve Dunn
Badges:
#2
Report 18 years ago
#2
Hi David,

tackling each of your points there....

1. Meeting up with students/tutors does depend on the course you're
doing. It's rarely mandatory for you to meet up with your
tutor/fellow students - but if you're struggling on a course, or
just enjoy meeting like-minded people, it's the best thing you can
do. It's usually up to your tutor to arrange tutorials, although
many students have been known to "go it alone" and set up their own
informal gatherings!

2. Communication with your tutor can be either email or phone. It
depends on the tutor. At the beginning fo the course, they'll
usually telephone/write to you welcoming you to the course, and
outlining how it's best to get hold of them.

3. It is possible to get the degree in 3 years, but you'll find
yourself pushed if you haven't already got some credit you can put
towards your "points" total e.g. another degree from a different
university. And hey, what's the rush? Sure, it does take longer than
doing a part-time/evening school degree wih another university, but
the beauty of it all is you CAN combine it with work/whatever else
you're doing in life - which for many, is more flexible. For me,
I've just finished my OU degree - it took me 6 years, but it's been
worth it. Plus if you target appropriate courses, you can pick up a
diploma on the way, too. A real sense of achievement when you
complete. I'm now doing an MSc.

4. I'm not sure what age group the OU is targetting. I started my OU
degree at 26 - now I'm 32. I don't really consider myself over the
hill just yet. On one of my computer courses 4 years ago, there was
an 83 year old doing
it. For pure enjoyment/a challenge.

It seems you need to question WHY you want to do an OU course. I wanted
a degree to improve my "employability" as no job is safe these days,
plus I wanted to prove I could actually stick out 6 years of study
(along with 3 house moves, 2 job changes, and the arrival of 2 kids) I
would recommend you start with a Level 1 course to ease yourself back
into studying . And if you can, sponsorship from your employer is a BIG
HELP, and a real incentive. And just enjoy.....

All the best Steve Dunn

For your PC or Web developments, visit http://www.stevedunn.biz
1
Bob Nerkul
Badges:
#3
Report 18 years ago
#3
On 5 Jan 2002 17:20:26 -0800, [email protected] (BL) wrote:

[q1]>I've read that a full degree can take 6 years - by taking 2 courses per[/q1]
[q1]>year, is it feasible to halve this and gain a degree in 3 years? (or is[/q1]
[q1]>it way too difficult?)[/q1]

It's perfectly possible. I recommend it, especially for youngsters doing
their first degree. No room for slacking though.

[q1]>I'm quite young still - are there (m)any young (20ish) people who do OU[/q1]
[q1]>degrees, or is it mainly targetted at the 30+ age groups?[/q1]

Not targetted, but mostly 30+. It's only poor marketing that fails to
attract all the school leavers who don't want to be swamped with
students at ordinary universities.

nerkul
0
Martin Jones
Badges:
#4
Report 18 years ago
#4
David,

I would echo what Steve said.

I have just finished A103 - the level 1 course Introduction to the
Humanities, having been out of full time education since I failed my
A-levels nearly 15 years ago - I am almost 33. I passed with a good
mark, which is encouraging for the future.

Due to work commitments, I have elected NOT to take a level 2 course
this year, but plan to return to study with A216 - Arts & Its Histores -
in 2003. However, I have bought the course materials second-hand, so I
can familiarise myself with the course before I take the plunge and
re-register in the autumn. If you want to do the same, materials are
available through http://www.universitybooksearch.co.uk.

Obviously, I have no idea in which direction you want your studies to
take you. A103 is a very enjoyable course - the summer school is
GREAT fun.

I would say - "go for it" but do because you know why you want to study
and most importantly that you will enjoy it. You have to know WHY you
want an OU degree, even if, like me, you just want to prove to yourself
that you can do
it.

Good luck,

Martin

"Steve Dunn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Hi David,[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> tackling each of your points there....[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 1. Meeting up with students/tutors does depend on the course you're[/q1]
doing.
[q1]> It's rarely mandatory for you to meet up with your tutor/fellow[/q1]
[q1]> students - but if you're struggling on a course, or just enjoy meeting[/q1]
[q1]> like-minded people, it's the best thing you can do. It's usually up to[/q1]
[q1]> your tutor to arrange tutorials, although many students have been[/q1]
[q1]> known to "go it alone" and set up their own informal gatherings![/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 2. Communication with your tutor can be either email or phone. It[/q1]
depends
[q1]> on the tutor. At the beginning fo the course, they'll usually[/q1]
[q1]> telephone/write to you welcoming you to the course, and outlining how[/q1]
[q1]> it's best to get hold of them.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 3. It is possible to get the degree in 3 years, but you'll find[/q1]
[q1]> yourself pushed if you haven't already got some credit you can put[/q1]
[q1]> towards your "points" total e.g. another degree from a different[/q1]
[q1]> university. And hey, what's the rush? Sure, it does take longer[/q1]
[q1]> than doing a part-time/evening school degree wih another[/q1]
[q1]> university, but the beauty of it all is you CAN combine it with[/q1]
[q1]> work/whatever else you're doing in life - which for many,[/q1]
is
[q1]> more flexible. For me, I've just finished my OU degree - it took me 6[/q1]
[q1]> years, but it's been worth it. Plus if you target appropriate courses,[/q1]
you
[q1]> can pick up a diploma on the way, too. A real sense of[/q1]
[q1]> achievement when[/q1]
you
[q1]> complete. I'm now doing an MSc.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> 4. I'm not sure what age group the OU is targetting. I started my OU[/q1]
degree
[q1]> at 26 - now I'm 32. I don't really consider myself over the hill just[/q1]
yet.
[q1]> On one of my computer courses 4 years ago, there was an 83 year[/q1]
[q1]> old doing[/q1]
[q1]> it. For pure enjoyment/a challenge.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> It seems you need to question WHY you want to do an OU course. I[/q1]
[q1]> wanted a degree to improve my "employability" as no job is safe these[/q1]
[q1]> days, plus I wanted to prove I could actually stick out 6 years of[/q1]
[q1]> study (along with 3 house moves, 2 job changes, and the arrival of 2[/q1]
[q1]> kids) I would recommend you start with a Level 1 course to ease[/q1]
[q1]> yourself back[/q1]
into
[q1]> studying . And if you can, sponsorship from your employer is a BIG[/q1]
[q1]> HELP, and a real incentive. And just enjoy.....[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> All the best Steve Dunn[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> For your PC or Web developments, visit http://www.stevedunn.biz[/q1]
0
Five Cats
Badges:
#5
Report 18 years ago
#5
In article <[email protected] sting.google.com>, BL
<[email protected]> writes
[q1]>Hi there.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>I've been interested in doing an OU course for some time now, but am[/q1]
[q1]>still unsure of exactly how it works. I'd be really grateful if someone[/q1]
[q1]>could answer a couple of questions for me.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>How often, if at all, are students to meet up with their tutors and[/q1]
[q1]>fellow students - or does this vary on the course being taken?[/q1]

Depends on the region and the course.

[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>How can you communicate with your tutor - email or phone?[/q1]

Phone yes, not all of them have email.

[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>I've read that a full degree can take 6 years - by taking 2 courses per[/q1]
[q1]>year, is it feasible to halve this and gain a degree in 3 years? (or is[/q1]
[q1]>it way too difficult?)[/q1]

To do 120 points in a year can mean up to 4 courses and is feasible if
you are not working, or work part time. IMHO it's too hard to do along
with a full-time job. I expect my degree to take 6 years, and I'm
doing it in computing which I have worked in for many years - despite
all the background knowledge etc. it's still a large undertaking. If I
was doing it in something I know much less about it might take me more
than 6 years.

[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>I'm quite young still - are there (m)any young (20ish) people who do OU[/q1]
[q1]>degrees, or is it mainly targetted at the 30+ age groups?[/q1]

The OU isn't targeted at any specific age group but I find most people I
meet at dayschools are 25+. However we are the youngest wrinklies you
could hope to meet!

[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>Many thanks for any advice you can offer.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>David.[/q1]

--
Five Cats
0
Beallian
Badges:
#6
Report 18 years ago
#6
"BL" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Hi there.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I've been interested in doing an OU course for some time now, but am[/q1]
[q1]> still unsure of exactly how it works. I'd be really grateful if[/q1]
[q1]> someone could answer a couple of questions for me.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> How often, if at all, are students to meet up with their tutors and[/q1]
[q1]> fellow students - or does this vary on the course being taken?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

Depends on the course some have regular tutorials, others like T171
which I start in Feb only have one or two (T171 is designed to be
presented over the web tho).

Some courses have summer schools too, which sounds fun.

In addition to this theres the Firstclass confrencing system, which
allows you to chat to & disscuss with others on the same courses as you
& seems to give good support between the students.

[q1]> How can you communicate with your tutor - email or phone?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

Depends on the tutor. but I suspect most will have many ways of contact.

[q1]> I've read that a full degree can take 6 years - by taking 2 courses[/q1]
[q1]> per year, is it feasible to halve this and gain a degree in 3 years?[/q1]
[q1]> (or is it way too difficult?)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

The courses are given a certain number of points for completion, mainly
30 or 60 points per course. Your allowed to do a maximum of 120 pints a
year, which is considered to be equivelent to full time study. To get a
degree you need 360 points, so at 120 pints a year, it is possible.

However I've read comments from ppl who've done 120 points, saying you
need to be unemployed, with no commiyments & preferable an insomniac to
manage 120 points in a year.

[q1]> I'm quite young still - are there (m)any young (20ish) people who do[/q1]
[q1]> OU degrees, or is it mainly targetted at the 30+ age groups?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

I'm 24 and just starting my first OU course, theres one lad on my course
who's 18. Somone posted a link to a story which stated more ppl are
choosing to go for a OU degree staright from school than in previous
years, if I can find it I'll post the link.

[q1]> Many thanks for any advice you can offer.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> David.[/q1]
0
Bl
Badges:
#7
Report 18 years ago
#7
"Martin Jones" <[email protected] t.com> wrote in message
news:<[email protected] net.com>...
[q1]> David,[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I would echo what Steve said.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I have just finished A103 - the level 1 course Introduction to the[/q1]
[q1]> Humanities, having been out of full time education since I failed my[/q1]
[q1]> A-levels nearly 15 years ago - I am almost 33. I passed with a good[/q1]
[q1]> mark, which is encouraging for the future.[/q1]

Thanks for both your replies. Due to a personal bereavement during my
A-Levels, I only managed to scrape 2 passes at that level (a C in
English and a E IIRC in IT). As such, I can't find any "normal"
Universities who will accept me to do Psychology, hence why I'm so keen
on OU. I'd really like to do it 3 years, but I don't understand how I
could. Would it mean doing 2 `courses` for my degree per year, as
opposed to 1?

[q1]> Due to work commitments, I have elected NOT to take a level 2 course[/q1]
[q1]> this year, but plan to return to study with A216 - Arts & Its Histores[/q1]
[q1]> - in 2003. However, I have bought the course materials second-hand, so[/q1]
[q1]> I can familiarise myself with the course before I take the plunge and[/q1]
[q1]> re-register in the autumn. If you want to do the same, materials are[/q1]
[q1]> available through http://www.universitybooksearch.co.uk.[/q1]

Great idea, thanks for that.

[q1]> Obviously, I have no idea in which direction you want your studies to[/q1]
[q1]> take you. A103 is a very enjoyable course - the summer school is[/q1]
[q1]> GREAT fun.[/q1]

The other thing I'm a bit concerned about it being the only 20 year old
on the course....I have no problem at all socialising with older people,
but I can understand people older than me finding it hard to relate to
someone of my age. But that's an aside, really.

[q1]> I would say - "go for it" but do because you know why you want to[/q1]
[q1]> study and most importantly that you will enjoy it. You have to know[/q1]
[q1]> WHY you want an OU degree, even if, like me, you just want to prove to[/q1]
[q1]> yourself that you can do[/q1]
[q1]> it.[/q1]

That's true. I still need to really know what I want "out" of a degree,
although I'm pretty sure Psychology is the one - nothing else has ever
jumped up and grabbed my attention. Since leaving school, I've found it
hard to get any sort of job without a degree - employers laugh in your
face and turn their heads. And besides, I feel I'm more "ready" to do
one now - even if I had got good A-Levels, I always felt 18 is too
young to go to Uni. None of my friends still know why they're doing the
degree they chose - I've had the fortune of travelling on and off for a
couple of years which has certainly focussed me into what and why I
want to study.

Just as a bit of an aside, and a bit OT, I was always amazed at how
schools force you into going to Uni. A friend of mine made it into the
Marines, and is currently on standby - yet teachers scoffed at him not
choosing to go to Uni. He's doing what he wants to do, which is surely
the main thing. Schools these days seem to be more concerned with
getting as many of their 6-formers into higher-education in order to
improve their school-rating in the yearly newspaper-charts, which is a
great shame.

D.
0
Mousetrap
Badges:
#8
Report 18 years ago
#8
On 6 Jan 2002 10:01:59 -0800, [email protected] (BL) let us know that
this is not where the reply goes:

[q1]>Thanks for both your replies. Due to a personal bereavement during my[/q1]
[q1]>A-Levels, I only managed to scrape 2 passes at that level (a C in[/q1]
[q1]>English and a E IIRC in IT). As such, I can't find any "normal"[/q1]
[q1]>Universities who will accept me to do Psychology, hence why I'm so keen[/q1]
[q1]>on OU. I'd really like to do it 3 years, but I don't understand how I[/q1]
[q1]>could. Would it mean doing 2 `courses` for my degree per year, as[/q1]
[q1]>opposed to 1?[/q1]

It may well be up to 4. You would need to do 120 credits a year. Each
subject is usually for 30 or 60 credits.

120 credits is deemed equivalent full time study and is difficult
(though not impossible) to do if working as well

--
mousy, who did 120 last year plus working full time and only just
survived
0
Five Cats
Badges:
#9
Report 18 years ago
#9
In article <[email protected] sting.google.com>, BL
<[email protected]> writes
[q1]>Would it mean doing 2 `courses` for my degree per year, as[/q1]
[q1]>opposed to 1?[/q1]

The OU restrict you to a maximum of 120 points in a year, which is held
to be the equivalent of doing full-time study.

As courses are worth 30 or 60 points, doing 120 points in a year means
doing 2, 3 or 4 courses depending on the value of each course.

I did 1 60-point course in my 1st year and 2 30-point courses in the
second. Although I found one of the 30-point courses very easy it gave
me more to do in the way of planning and managing course work and
revision - had I needed to revise seriously for both courses it would
have been hard as the first was on a Monday and the second (which was
the easy on) on Thursday of the same week.

I suggest you do 30 or 60 points for your first year to find out what
it's like. Remember that level 1 courses are easier than level 2
courses, which again are easier than level 3 courses. This is a way of
saying it takes more of your time and effort to get 30 points at level
than at level 2 or level 1.

--
Five Cats
0
Ann Other
Badges:
#10
Report 18 years ago
#10
http://www.open.ac.uk/frames.html

Hi David The OU is adaptable to suit your individual needs. You can find
out all you need to know on the OU site by clicking on the above link
and having a good look around the site. If all your questions are not
answered there are OU helpdesks to answer your questions by e mail.
There are people of all ages, and no discrimination. It doesn't take
long to become part of the community, and there is always help on hand
for anything you need. If you find you have any issues that have not yet
been addressed you can bring them into focus with the help of the
student's union. I wish you well. Regards Ann "BL" <[email protected]>
wrote in message news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Hi there.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I've been interested in doing an OU course for some time now, but am[/q1]
[q1]> still unsure of exactly how it works. I'd be really grateful if[/q1]
[q1]> someone could answer a couple of questions for me.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> How often, if at all, are students to meet up with their tutors and[/q1]
[q1]> fellow students - or does this vary on the course being taken?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> How can you communicate with your tutor - email or phone?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I've read that a full degree can take 6 years - by taking 2 courses[/q1]
[q1]> per year, is it feasible to halve this and gain a degree in 3 years?[/q1]
[q1]> (or is it way too difficult?)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I'm quite young still - are there (m)any young (20ish) people who do[/q1]
[q1]> OU degrees, or is it mainly targetted at the 30+ age groups?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Many thanks for any advice you can offer.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> David.[/q1]
0
Thom Baguley
Badges:
#11
Report 18 years ago
#11
BL wrote:
[q1]> Thanks for both your replies. Due to a personal bereavement during my[/q1]
[q1]> A-Levels, I only managed to scrape 2 passes at that level (a C in[/q1]
[q1]> English and a E IIRC in IT). As such, I can't find any "normal"[/q1]
[q1]> Universities who will accept me to do Psychology, hence why I'm so[/q1]
[q1]> keen on OU. I'd really like to do it 3 years, but I don't understand[/q1]

An alternative might be an Access to HE course at a local college. Many
good Universities will accept these as entry qualifications (usually
subject to interview) - check with a few Universities you are interested
in adavance.

[q1]> how I could. Would it mean doing 2 `courses` for my degree per year,[/q1]
[q1]> as opposed to 1?[/q1]

Yes. You'd do 2 60 credit courses a year. Most of the psychology
courses are 60 credit so you should be able to avoid taking 3-4 courses
in one year.

[q1]> The other thing I'm a bit concerned about it being the only 20 year[/q1]
[q1]> old on the course....I have no problem at all socialising with older[/q1]
[q1]> people, but I can understand people older than me finding it hard to[/q1]
[q1]> relate to someone of my age. But that's an aside, really.[/q1]

Unlikely to be a problem - you won't have much time to socialize at
tutorials, and at Summer School there will likely be a few other
students in your age group (20-25).

Thom
0
Mark Hill
Badges:
#12
Report 18 years ago
#12
On 6 Jan 2002 10:01:59 -0800, BL
<[email protected]> wrote:

[snip]

[q1]> And besides, I feel I'm more "ready" to do one now - even if I had got[/q1]
[q1]> good A-Levels, I always felt 18 is too young to go to Uni.[/q1]

I agree. Eighteen is a bit young, although some people are prepared for
a degree at that age. I think people need more time to realise what they
want to do, career wise.

Also, the current UCAS system is insane in my opinion. Applying to do a
specific degree at the beginning of the academic year seems very wrong.

Anyhow, I'll stop whining now, and go read some T171 related info. (:

BTW, I'm 22.
--
Mark Hill - http://www.fero.uklinux.net
0
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