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    Open University FAQ and Information Thread


    Welcome to the Open University Forum! :hi:
    Well it seems that you are interested in studying with the OU or seeing what it is all about. :holmes: Hopefully you will find all the answers to your questions on this thread. If your haven't found the answer for it so far then please feel free to post and someone will hopefully answer it for you

    There has been a lot of threads in this forum (and I mean a lot that ask certain questions. Some of these questions may have been asked and answered many times before) So hopefully this thread will be of some use to prospective, new and existing Open University students alike.


    What is the Open University?
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    The Open University is a distance learning university based in Milton Keynes. The OU awards degrees, diplomas and certificates in a wide range of subjects at a wide range of levels. The Open University is one of the UK's biggest universities (and probably biggest in the world - not sure :erm: ) The Open University provides distance learning solutions to people at a very reasonable price. (If you are one of those that pay)


    How does Open University study "work"?
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    You have a look at what the OU has to offer and then choose whatever tickles your fancy. You may or may not have an idea of what you want at the end of things. You may already know that you want a degree at the end of your studies or you may not. This doesn't matter. Because any degree, certificate or diploma is made up of "Modules". Modules are individual courses which you can just take and study as if it were a freestanding thing or you can study a series of modules and request a qualifiication at the end of it , provided you have studied the correct modules.

    Basically you get your course materials sent to you (If you require anything like books and kits etc.....) these materials are provided FREE. You then start studying. You use the resources etc.... to study and you can also use the Forums on the Open University website and can even create study groups and meet up with other students nearby. In addition to this you may or may not have an option to attend a residential school. This is something held by the OU at a specific place for you to meet up with teachers and students and engage in some tasks for your course. This could be stuff like practical work for a Science course or maybe for Language course even.

    You also make contact with your own Personal tutor through the web, email or phone. They are usually availible for you anytime.

    When you have eventually studied all the modules , you contact the Open University and ask that they use your modules and create a qualification for you. If you have enough this could make a degree, certificate or diploma.


    How much does it cost to study at the Open University?

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    This depends. It depends on your income. If you earn below £16,000 you should get financial support towards your study and pay nothing at all to study. It all depends on your personal income. But it is a hell of a lot cheaper than studying with a "Brick Uni" For more information visit here: http://www8.open.ac.uk/study/explained/fees-2012

    For one thing as an example: If you are living at home with your parents and want to go to uni (I assume you either have a part time job and earn £16K or less or have no income or job at all......) unlike most 18 year olds , you might be studying for free! How cool is that?

    Is any Financial Support availible?
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    Financial Support is availible from the Open University. It depends on your income. They can offer loans and grants. They can also offer you a chance to pay on Credit arrangements.

    Please see here for more info: http://www8.open.ac.uk/study/explained/fees-2012


    Do employers and other places of education recognise/respect an Open University degree?

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    Of course! Many people recongise the skills , commitment and the discipline and independence that Open University students display! :smartass: Open University students are well sought after and good things are always said about the graduates by big firms like BT etc... Open University degrees are like any other degree.. they are a degree! They show someone with academic skills etc..... so you won't have to worry about being on a different level to everyone else.

    Who is the Open University for?
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    The OU is for anyone really! Anyone can study with them. It is not just for the elderly or middle aged or housebound. It isn't for those who failed to get the right grades etc.... Loads of people study with the OU for a variety of reasons! Many more young people are choosing to study with the Open University nowadays. The high costs of living and tuition fees are probably going to drive more young people towards the Open University. The OU is for anyone and everyone!



    What facilities are availible for me?
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    The Open University has offices dotted around the country so if you need to pop in for any reason , you can! You will be able to have a chat with one of the friendly staff and advisors at the OU and have any admin stuff taken care of.

    The Open University Library Service , based in Milton Keynes, also has a variety of resources availible online and advice on how to make the most of your studies too! :gthumb: They also have a library on thier campus site at Milton Keynes. If you are unable to collect material from MK you can order material to be sent to your home(If you fit the criteria) If not you can also use your Open University Library card at any other University Library near you (at another uni) as long as the uni library is a participant of the SCONUL Access Scheme.

    What courses can I do?
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    You can do a wide range of courses from Undergraduate to Postgraduate! There are a wide range of courses from any of the following:

    Introductory courses
    Short courses
    Certificates, Diplomas and Undergraduate study
    Postgraduate study
    Research degrees

    in anything from:
    Arts and Humanities
    Business and Managment
    Environment and International Relations
    Sciences
    Social Sciences
    Languages
    Law
    Psychology
    Mathematics and Statistics
    Engineering and Technology
    Computing and IT

    And more!

    How old do I have to be to study with the Open University?
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    You can be any age from 16 to study with the Open University. In very rare circumstances , the OU may allow under 16s to study. However if you are under 18 , you will not be able to apply online. You will have to ring up the Support Line and arrange it over the telephone. Your parents will also have to fill in a consent form.

    Other than that .... there is no upper age limit neither.

    What about course materials?

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    Course materials are provided to you for free by the OU. You will get everything that you need.

    Do I have to do a Degree?
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    You don't have to do a degree. As mentioned above. You can do whatever you want. You can just study individual modules if you wanted to or just get a Certificate or Diploma if you wanted to. A degree is not necessary.

    Do I actually maintain any contact with anyone?
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    You do maintain contact with people. As mentioned above: You can drop into a local OU office , speak to them on the phone, contact your tutor and even meet and chat with other students


    Are there any Entry Requirements?
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    There are usually no entry requirements to study with the Open University. You can go straight in and no formal qualifications are expected of you. Obviously this is with the exception of Postgraduate qualifications.


    How much can I study and How long is it?
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    Ask yourself that question! :laugh: You can study at a pace that suits you. But each individual module does have a time limit so you don't have forever to study one module. But you can study at times that suits you. It is totally flexible. If you are working towards a degree or something , you can take as long as you wish. Some people take years to complete it , some over 5 or 6! For example: If you want to practice as a Solicitor or Barrister , the Law degree has to be completed within 6 years(usually). But it is up to you. Bear in mind though that after time modules and stuff are changed but this doesn't happen too often


    What happens if say I want to quit or something or take a break?
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    It is always best to speak to your tutor in these cases but it is possible. Just stop I suppose. You have all the time. If you want to resume then you can. It is always best to check with the OU. But nothing stops you though


    I will add more Questions and Answers in the future should anymore pop up. If your question has not been answered or you find that I missed soemthing please do let me know! Post here. I hope this has been of some help to you guys!
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    I'd change the 'how much does it cost' section because I'd guess the majority of people still thinking about whether or not to start with the OU may have missed registration dates for Jan/Feb starts and so will have to start on the 2012 loan system, which means no more free degrees for low earners unfortunately.

    Good idea to have a thread to collate all the FAQs though!
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    Yes, good idea Agent Smirnoff! I've said before that we could do with a FAQ sticky about OU topics. I was reading that the OU is already the largest university in the country for 18-25 age group and it's possible that many more in that group may be signing up once the loan system kicks in.
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    (Original post by Kate.)
    I'd change the 'how much does it cost' section because I'd guess the majority of people still thinking about whether or not to start with the OU may have missed registration dates for Jan/Feb starts and so will have to start on the 2012 loan system, which means no more free degrees for low earners unfortunately.

    Good idea to have a thread to collate all the FAQs though!
    Oh well that's true! So what happens with us current students now? I am currently doing SK185 and I am applying for B120 now.

    It starts in Jan 2012....... will I not get that module for free?

    What happens if you just want to study random modules that interest you but don't want a degree? I hope I get B120 for free! :erm:


    I think I may go to a Brick uni one day (I hope to eventually study Medicine) but that would be no good if I piss away all of my availible student fund money on OU Modules that aren't going for a degree. :erm:


    (Original post by Nitebot)
    Yes, good idea Agent Smirnoff! I've said before that we could do with a FAQ sticky about OU topics. I was reading that the OU is already the largest university in the country for 18-25 age group and it's possible that many more in that group may be signing up once the loan system kicks in.
    Thanks!

    That's pretty good! It seems a lot of young people on TSR study with the OU. I wonder how much OU study will cost...... still cheaper than a degree from a brick uni? :holmes:

    TBH I think Open Uni is like the Cambridge of Distance Learning
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    (Original post by Agent Smirnoff)
    Oh well that's true! So what happens with us current students now? I am currently doing SK185 and I am applying for B120 now.

    It starts in Jan 2012....... will I not get that module for free?

    What happens if you just want to study random modules that interest you but don't want a degree? I hope I get B120 for free! :erm:
    If you are currently registered for a degree and all courses you now sign up for can be linked to that degree then you will qualify for transition arrangements and financial support, regardless of whether you then actually fulfill and/or claim said degree.

    If it is just "random modules" that you're interested in but they "fit" into a named degree then link them to that when registering. Otherwise link them into an Open degree instead.

    Just beware of the points limits for levels and the total points of 360 for an Honours degree cannot be exceeded under transition fees.
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    (Original post by Hexe72)
    If you are currently registered for a degree and all courses you now sign up for can be linked to that degree then you will qualify for transition arrangements and financial support, regardless of whether you then actually fulfill and/or claim said degree.

    If it is just "random modules" that you're interested in but they "fit" into a named degree then link them to that when registering. Otherwise link them into an Open degree instead.

    Just beware of the points limits for levels and the total points of 360 for an Honours degree cannot be exceeded under transition fees.
    Well I am in the process of studying for my first OU Course .......

    So if I select a random degree and take all the modules I want then its free for me? :holmes:

    Even beyond September 2012 right? What happens if you say do a load of science , engineering , maths and business courses and selected Open Degree but all of a sudden want a Science degree?
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    (Original post by Agent Smirnoff)
    Well I am in the process of studying for my first OU Course .......

    So if I select a random degree and take all the modules I want then its free for me? :holmes:

    Even beyond September 2012 right? What happens if you say do a load of science , engineering , maths and business courses and selected Open Degree but all of a sudden want a Science degree?
    If you qualified for financial support for the duration of studying to your degree then yes you would get it all "for free". However there is a time limit imposed on the financial support provision that you can only take up to twice the time taken for equivalent full-time study.
    In simple terms... if a full-time degree in your chosen subject takes 3 years then you would only be able to get financial support for up to 6 years maximum.
    This doesn't prevent you from continuing your study to degree level beyond those 6 years but you would no longer qualify for funding.

    You will need to inform the OU of your chosen degree shortly (early 2012 is being mentioned) but you would still be able to transfer to any other degree of your choice provided your studied courses meet the requirements for it.
    You could study a bit of everything under the sun and link them all to the Open degree, or start with say science and change your mind later then transfer it all to an Open degree as long as your points are in the appropriate levels etc.

    Hope that makes sense :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Agent Smirnoff)
    Well I am in the process of studying for my first OU Course .......

    So if I select a random degree and take all the modules I want then its free for me? :holmes:

    Even beyond September 2012 right? What happens if you say do a load of science , engineering , maths and business courses and selected Open Degree but all of a sudden want a Science degree?
    You could still switch to a science degree but you'd have to make sure that you did all the compulsory or compulsory optional modules for it. And you'd need to get them done by 2017.
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    Hi,

    My first OU course doesn't start until January, does anyone know when I will be able to apply for a NUS Extra card? When I tried to apply it said 'start date of course' and the options only went up to 2011, does that mean I won't be able to get a card until September next year?

    Also, I've only applied to two courses so far and I've been granted financial support on both of those but from what I've read in this thread I'm wondering whether I will get finance for the courses I apply for next year and the year after to complete my degree?

    Any help will be appreciated. Thanks
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    (Original post by HalfBloodPrincess)
    Hi,

    My first OU course doesn't start until January, does anyone know when I will be able to apply for a NUS Extra card? When I tried to apply it said 'start date of course' and the options only went up to 2011, does that mean I won't be able to get a card until September next year?

    Also, I've only applied to two courses so far and I've been granted financial support on both of those but from what I've read in this thread I'm wondering whether I will get finance for the courses I apply for next year and the year after to complete my degree?

    Any help will be appreciated. Thanks
    For financial support, read this page!.

    As for the NUS card, I think I always applied a couple of months before my course started I think, as soon as I was registered...but mine have always been the same year (so I applied for my NUS card in August when my next module started Sept/Oct). If you can't select 2012 yet you may not be able to apply. You could try just doing it with 2011 start date and seeing what happens though!
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    (Original post by HalfBloodPrincess)
    Hi,

    My first OU course doesn't start until January, does anyone know when I will be able to apply for a NUS Extra card? When I tried to apply it said 'start date of course' and the options only went up to 2011, does that mean I won't be able to get a card until September next year?

    Also, I've only applied to two courses so far and I've been granted financial support on both of those but from what I've read in this thread I'm wondering whether I will get finance for the courses I apply for next year and the year after to complete my degree?

    Any help will be appreciated. Thanks
    Just use the date where you registered for the course/finalised everything/got some sort of confimation as a start date. If you get your course materials before your course (IE: December or November 2011) what is to stop you from working ahead (like I did when SK185 started in September and I got my pack in August) therefore as far as anyone is concerned... your start date is the date where you start working.

    So apply for the NUS Card now I suppose. You won't be able to select 2012 for a while.

    As for financial support..... If the course starts before September 2012 and everything kicks in...... select the kind of degree or qualification that you want and choose everything etc...... You will get the normal Financial Support package.

    (Original post by Nitebot)
    You could still switch to a science degree but you'd have to make sure that you did all the compulsory or compulsory optional modules for it. And you'd need to get them done by 2017.
    (Original post by Hexe72)
    If you qualified for financial support for the duration of studying to your degree then yes you would get it all "for free". However there is a time limit imposed on the financial support provision that you can only take up to twice the time taken for equivalent full-time study.
    In simple terms... if a full-time degree in your chosen subject takes 3 years then you would only be able to get financial support for up to 6 years maximum.
    This doesn't prevent you from continuing your study to degree level beyond those 6 years but you would no longer qualify for funding.

    You will need to inform the OU of your chosen degree shortly (early 2012 is being mentioned) but you would still be able to transfer to any other degree of your choice provided your studied courses meet the requirements for it.
    You could study a bit of everything under the sun and link them all to the Open degree, or start with say science and change your mind later then transfer it all to an Open degree as long as your points are in the appropriate levels etc.

    Hope that makes sense :rolleyes:
    Thanks for the help guys!

    Think I may just select any course.

    I wouldn't mind doing Law modules :awesome:
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    (Original post by Agent Smirnoff)
    Thanks for the help guys!

    Think I may just select any course.

    I wouldn't mind doing Law modules :awesome:
    Watch out for Law... due to the higher course fees you won't get fully financed for the whole degree :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Kate.)
    For financial support, read this page!.

    As for the NUS card, I think I always applied a couple of months before my course started I think, as soon as I was registered...but mine have always been the same year (so I applied for my NUS card in August when my next module started Sept/Oct). If you can't select 2012 yet you may not be able to apply. You could try just doing it with 2011 start date and seeing what happens though!
    (Original post by Agent Smirnoff)
    Just use the date where you registered for the course/finalised everything/got some sort of confimation as a start date. If you get your course materials before your course (IE: December or November 2011) what is to stop you from working ahead (like I did when SK185 started in September and I got my pack in August) therefore as far as anyone is concerned... your start date is the date where you start working.

    So apply for the NUS Card now I suppose. You won't be able to select 2012 for a while.

    As for financial support..... If the course starts before September 2012 and everything kicks in...... select the kind of degree or qualification that you want and choose everything etc...... You will get the normal Financial Support package.
    Thanks guys!
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    (Original post by Absinth)
    I've received a long e-mail from the Open Uni explaining that my first year would count towards 120 credits of an Open Uni degree, and 60 credits of a named degree. I'm debating which one to take and if it will affect my employment opportunities in the long run. Then again, I want to graduate asap (would be at the end of 2013 with an Open degree). Anyone know what they would do in my situation?
    I wouldn't try and rush things. 90 or 120 credits worth of modules a year might seem reasonable but the large amounts of reading plus all the assignments and computer tests can soon bog you down and make you unhappy and perform badly. I'm not even sure you'd be allowed to complete an Open degree by 2013 if you're starting in Feb 2012 but someone else may be able to clarify that. What career are you after?
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    (Original post by Absinth)
    Sorry, perhaps I didn't make it clear enough. I've done a year at university, and I've been told by the OU that this would mean that I am exempt from 120 credits at level 1 of the Open Degree.

    120 credits is supposed to be the equivalent of a year's full time study. I have no other commitments, so I don't think it would be unreasonable, but I'm e-mailing them atm asking for their opinion as I've done distance learning before so I'm used to the structure. I don't really know what kind of career I want, although I'd like to do a Masters in something related to English/creative writing.
    120 credits is what you would study in a year of full time university, but with the way OU modules run the workload can vary a lot. For example, I wouldn't recommend doing 4 separate 60 point modules that all run October-June, as TMA dates are often quite similar so you may have 4 TMAs due in within a period of a week or two, and your final EMAs/exams will all be due at a similar time. At full time uni you would usually do 60 credits over the first semester and 60 in the second in my experience, whereas you could be studying all 120 simultaneously with the OU. It can be done, of course! You just might need to be a bit more organised. It also depends on if you're planning on working - I work full time and 90 points overlapping has been quite easily manageable for me so far, but how people cope with distance study/work varies massively.

    Open Degree vs named degree is up to you though. Perhaps speak to some potential future employers and see what they think?
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    (Original post by Absinth)
    Sorry, perhaps I didn't make it clear enough. I've done a year at university, and I've been told by the OU that this would mean that I am exempt from 120 credits at level 1 of the Open Degree.

    120 credits is supposed to be the equivalent of a year's full time study. I have no other commitments, so I don't think it would be unreasonable, but I'm e-mailing them atm asking for their opinion as I've done distance learning before so I'm used to the structure. I don't really know what kind of career I want, although I'd like to do a Masters in something related to English/creative writing.
    Hi there. I did understand what you meant but I was a bit concerned that you might be pushing yourself too much. It's as Kate says really. Even my 10 pointer alongside my 60 pointer has been a pain.
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    (Original post by Absinth)
    Are you working part time? Which subject are you studying?
    I work full time in a 9-5 type office job. I'm studying S104 Exploring Science (60 credits) (see my thread on it) and S155 Scientific investigations (10 credits). S104 is quite demanding time wise so this is more than enough. I'm glad S155 ends before Xmas. I was with the OU years before and once tried two 30 point courses together and became a cropper and had to drop a L3 IT course wasting £200. No-one should get themselves into that situation really so it's always worth being cautious about what you think you can study.
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    CHANGES TO BE MADE TO THE OP:

    Changes to be added to the Original Post on Monday 28th November 2011:

    1) Change Finance Section with relation to what Kate. said about 2012 Finance

    2) Create a new section entitled: "Can I transfer to Open University" and explain credit transfer.

    3) Add a special section on the Law Degree (LLB Hons) offered by the Open University.

    Anything else I missed? Let me know!
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    hello,

    I am a student outside UK and i have some questions .
    What about fees with international students?
    Can i get financial support if i am not a UK citizen?


    I need to know the exact fees for the 3 years bachelor program BA (Honours) in business studies
    Are there any minimum requirements O.U demands from students like a good grade of high school or other diplomas?

    Do I have to wait until 27 of March in order to register and see what lessons I should choose?
    Where I can take a look of the lessons so I can decide?
    If I register on Mach 27 2012 when I have to take my first exams?

    Do I have to take any entry level test in order to proceed with my registration?

    Do you have any limitation when you choose your students? If so is there any chance that I can be left out even if I pay my fees for registration?

    I would really appreciate it if you give me any advice.

    My best wishes for a happy new year,
 
 
 
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