Open University > Yay or Nay? Watch

Weeves
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Hey guys!

Today I found out that my friend is paying to get a law degree via Open University.
For those who don't know what Open University (more commonly referred to by its initalism OU) is, it's a student fee funded university which has an open entry policy i.e Students' previous academic achievements are not taken into account for entry. You can study your course where you want when you want - There's no campus as such. The Uni offers education via television, Internet, email and post.
It's very different from the traditional university expirence.

I must say, I'm very happy for my friend as its a life long dream for him to study law, and with his medicoa CBB A levels he wasn't able to secure a place at university to study law, until he found OU that is!

However, I can't help but think OU is not as good as it sounds.
Many people work their butts off for years to attain great grades to be able to study a degree at Uni. With OU however, you don't need any academics at all!?

Surely this is not fair?

I'm wondering if anyone could clarify this for me, and explain the pros and cons of Open University? Granted I don't know a huge amount about it.
0
reply
the man from space
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
i dont see anything bad with it, its for people who want to take steps to improve their career aspects, for example a bin man, could study law while still working so its a great win for him
10
reply
Dippy Dip
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#3
Report 6 years ago
#3
(Original post by Weeves)
Hey guys!

Today I found out that my friend is paying to get a law degree via Open University.
For those who don't know what Open University (more commonly referred to by its initalism OU) is, it's a student fee funded university which has an open entry policy i.e Students' previous academic achievements are not taken into account for entry. You can study your course where you want when you want - There's no campus as such. The Uni offers education via television, Internet, email and post.
It's very different from the traditional university expirence.

I must say, I'm very happy for my friend as its a life long dream for him to study law, and with his medicoa CBB A levels he wasn't able to secure a place at university to study law, until he found OU that is!

However, I can't help but think OU is not as good as it sounds.
Many people work their butts off for years to attain great grades to be able to study a degree at Uni. With OU however, you don't need any academics at all!?

Surely this is not fair?

I'm wondering if anyone could clarify this for me, and explain the pros and cons of Open University? Granted I don't know a huge amount about it.
My mum has a degree via the open university. But that's because she started her degree after becoming a mother.

It's not unfair at all. From my understanding, a degree given by the OU doesn't really compare to a degree given by a "proper" uni. The OU is intended for people who, for some reason or another, can't attend university, which is why it's all done by post, the internet etc.

So, the pros are that you can study something you really want to study, and that you can do it at home (useful for the elderly, parents, etc).

The main con is that you don't have the true university experience.

Also, your friend's grades, BBC, could've gotten him into a university. I know somebody with CCC who is studying law at nottingham trent (mind you, it's law with a minor).
2
reply
Moho
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#4
Report 6 years ago
#4
(Original post by Dippy Dip)
From my understanding, a degree given by the OU doesn't really compare to a degree given by a "proper" uni.
Sure it does. I've done a degree at a regular uni and now I'm study with the OU, and although there are no entrance requirements they still have to get you to the same standard by the end.

It means they cover some basic stuff, but then they move on pretty swiftly. If you've seen it before you just read it over and move on, if not you've got a whole lot extra to get your head around.
16
reply
Kate.
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#5
Report 6 years ago
#5
Why is it not fair? The OU is open to everyone, but you won't succeed unless you have the academic ability. Anyone can start a degree, but not everyone will finish. It's not like they just hand out degrees to anyone who wants one.
19
reply
edence
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report 6 years ago
#6
My boyfriend is studying Student Nursing with the OU. For him to start the degree, they required him to do a sort of access course, which adds towards his degree. Or he can use the access course and go else where. This is because he had no formal qualifications. But he's getting along with it really well, he's gotten a very good deal out of it. It's a great place to study if you need to keep working.

The only difference between the OU and a mainstream Uni is that you can take longer with the OU, and it gives you a lot more options if you simply can't afford to go to university. You learn the same and get the same out of it at the end, you can just control it a lot more with the OU and tailor it to what you feel you need.
5
reply
tface
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#7
Report 6 years ago
#7
(Original post by Kate.)
Why is it not fair? The OU is open to everyone, but you won't succeed unless you have the academic ability. Anyone can start a degree, but not everyone will finish. It's not like they just hand out degrees to anyone who wants one.
Just out of curiosity - I see you are doing an OU degree in Computing and IT. How does this compare with a traditional Computer Science course at a standard university? Is it pretty much the same (lots of programming, how computers work)? Or is it focussed on things similar to ICT education in schools?
0
reply
Kate.
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#8
Report 6 years ago
#8
(Original post by tface)
Just out of curiosity - I see you are doing an OU degree in Computing and IT. How does this compare with a traditional Computer Science course at a standard university? Is it pretty much the same (lots of programming, how computers work)? Or is it focussed on things similar to ICT education in schools?
Well, I didn't want a Computer Science degree as I have no interest in studying more maths and little interest in hardware. So the modules I've chosen definitely wouldn't be comparable to a Computer Science degree (although there are those choices available for those who want them) as maths tends to feature quite strongly in those. They also aren't really comparable to ICT education in schools, which is usually mind-numbingly dull, haha. My main interests are in programming and web development I guess - I've chosen a couple of programming modules, a databases/SQL module, an e-business module (as I'm interested in web development and web services), a networking module and a few others...still have to decide what my final two modules will be next year.

I doubt the choice and depth of the modules is comparable to those at the top universities for computing, much as the content/depth/choice of modules at Cambridge is unlikely to be comparable to Wolverhampton University, haha. However, I will still get the degree I want next year once I've finished. And I do have the grades to get into a good university (likely one of the top universities if I actually bothered putting any effort into my A2 year, which I didn't). I plan on going to a brick university for a Masters.
1
reply
tface
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#9
Report 6 years ago
#9
(Original post by Kate.)
Well, I didn't want a Computer Science degree as I have no interest in studying more maths and little interest in hardware. So the modules I've chosen definitely wouldn't be comparable to a Computer Science degree (although there are those choices available for those who want them) as maths tends to feature quite strongly in those. They also aren't really comparable to ICT education in schools, which is usually mind-numbingly dull, haha. My main interests are in programming and web development I guess - I've chosen a couple of programming modules, a databases/SQL module, an e-business module (as I'm interested in web development and web services), a networking module and a few others...still have to decide what my final two modules will be next year.

I doubt the choice and depth of the modules is comparable to those at the top universities for computing, much as the content/depth/choice of modules at Cambridge is unlikely to be comparable to Wolverhampton University, haha. However, I will still get the degree I want next year once I've finished. And I do have the grades to get into a good university (likely one of the top universities if I actually bothered putting any effort into my A2 year, which I didn't). I plan on going to a brick university for a Masters.
Thanks
0
reply
Nitebot
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#10
Report 6 years ago
#10
(Original post by Weeves)
Hey guys!
Today I found out that my friend is paying to get a law degree via Open University.
The OU law degree is actually one of the stronger ones it does as it was drawn up with the College of Law, which is the biggest educator of law students and professional lawyers in the country. But as others have said, just because you can sign up for it with no formal qualifications doesn't mean that it's easy to succeed. And you've still got to do all that postgrad legal training stuff and further qualifying exams.



This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
6
reply
Mindbodyspirit
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#11
Report 6 years ago
#11
(Original post by Dippy Dip)
It's not unfair at all. From my understanding, a degree given by the OU doesn't really compare to a degree given by a "proper" uni.
I think your statement is misleading. For some degrees you are better placed going to a campus based uni. However, with alot open uni degree's, they are certainly comparable to that offered at standard campus uni's. For instance, open uni's degree is psychology is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Therefore, it has to be at the same academic level and quality of other campus based psychology degrees that are accredited.
4
reply
Rhi_rhi1
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#12
Report 6 years ago
#12
I have never really understood WHY people have this impression that a degree from the OU isn't "proper" yes it is unconventional but it isn't designed with your regular student in mind. The majority of students are older then the usual 18-21 year olds at a brick university and alot are parents who for various reasons cannot return to university, this gives people who might have skipped A levels or even GCSEs the chance to obtain a degree rather then making them go all the way back to the beginning. This is why it is OPEN to everyone, but remember just because everyone can sign up it doesn't mean they can finish.
5
reply
silverwolf94
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#13
Report 6 years ago
#13
"Many people work their butts off for years to attain great grades to be able to study a degree at Uni"

True, but then i also find a lot of students don't deserve to be in University when they go out drinking, partying, missing lecturers and giving other students a bad name.

I think if anything they should be thrown out, and 'less clever' people given the opportunity to actually WANT to study.

I prefer the OU because it shows ones determination to study =]
21
reply
Tiger Rag
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#14
Report 6 years ago
#14
I was once told that the OU would make lazy. I'm not sure how - I have about 6 tutorials a year. Unlike a brick uni, (I did one year there) I found that we have to be more independent.
0
reply
cholod123
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#15
Report 5 years ago
#15
I am doing a business studies honours degree and its the best decision I have made, it means I can be in full time work gaining 'Business experience' as well as learning the 'book' Side to business. After all employers look for experience now days hence why people going to normal university cannot find a job after they have finished.

I dont know what you on about that a degree from the OU isnt 'proper' it is exactly the same! in fact harder as you have to do independant studies.!


I am OU all the way!
3
reply
cholod123
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#16
Report 5 years ago
#16
I think that was wrong to say they are not 'proper' people work harder at OU than they do at campus based university!
0
reply
HJ M
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#17
Report 5 years ago
#17
In concurrence with what other people have said the OU degrees have no formal entry requirements (most of them), but they do build you from the ground up and get you to the same standard as anywhere else, if not higher. If it was a lower standard the OU would not be able to award degrees as there are benchmarks that every institution/awarding body needs to meet. As some other people have said some OU degrees are accredited such as the business degrees, the Law degrees were designed with the Law College and are a Qualifying Law Degree. Lots of big companies sponsor their employees to do OU modules (75% of FTSE 100 companies do it) which definitely counts for something and means that they must think it is worth it. I can name loads of organisations I have spoken to who love OU graduates for the quality of degree, the amount of determination it takes and the transferable skills learnt as well as knowledge from the degree. I spoke to some people from the armed forces and civil service at a careers day and they really loved the fact that I was doing an OU degree and said that they find OU graduates to be great employees. There are also employers who note themselves to be particularly keen to employ OU graduates/students from Barclays, Unilever, Waitrose, RBS, The Met Police, Tesco, NHS, Heinz, KPMG is a big one along with the FDM group, and plenty more. The quality of the study materials is outstanding with great tutor support, university support, interaction with other students and the ability to be flexible is all great. The variety of people who take modules is just brilliant, you don't find that anywhere else. Recently and 80 year old local Councillor got his degree as well as a 16 year old got his. The OU has now the largest amount of students in the UK aged between 18-24 which is larger than any other university which just shows how attractive OU qualifications are to people.

I think those who say that the OU doesn't give out 'proper degrees' are misguided and haven't looked into it properly. The quality of the degrees, the testimonies from students about how it helped them in work or a career or for just sheer enjoyment, the value for money, the support structures, quality of study resources and the amount of employers who want OU graduates and those who have employed OU graduates show how wrong those people are.
10
reply
HJ M
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#18
Report 5 years ago
#18
(Original post by OU Student)
I was once told that the OU would make lazy. I'm not sure how - I have about 6 tutorials a year. Unlike a brick uni, (I did one year there) I found that we have to be more independent.
I can agree with you about tutorials. I was in college for a year with a tutor who was always about 5 meters away and I think looking at the support from the OU I have had more quality time with my tutor with the OU who lives at the other end of Wales in tutorials than I ever did in college with a tutor who was five meters away for the year.
0
reply
addylad
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#19
Report 5 years ago
#19
(Original post by HJ M)
In concurrence with what other people have said the OU degrees have no formal entry requirements (most of them), but they do build you from the ground up and get you to the same standard as anywhere else, if not higher. If it was a lower standard the OU would not be able to award degrees as there are benchmarks that every institution/awarding body needs to meet. As some other people have said some OU degrees are accredited such as the business degrees, the Law degrees were designed with the Law College and are a Qualifying Law Degree. Lots of big companies sponsor their employees to do OU modules (75% of FTSE 100 companies do it) which definitely counts for something and means that they must think it is worth it. I can name loads of organisations I have spoken to who love OU graduates for the quality of degree, the amount of determination it takes and the transferable skills learnt as well as knowledge from the degree. I spoke to some people from the armed forces and civil service at a careers day and they really loved the fact that I was doing an OU degree and said that they find OU graduates to be great employees. There are also employers who note themselves to be particularly keen to employ OU graduates/students from Barclays, Unilever, Waitrose, RBS, The Met Police, Tesco, NHS, Heinz, KPMG is a big one along with the FDM group, and plenty more. The quality of the study materials is outstanding with great tutor support, university support, interaction with other students and the ability to be flexible is all great. The variety of people who take modules is just brilliant, you don't find that anywhere else. Recently and 80 year old local Councillor got his degree as well as a 16 year old got his. The OU has now the largest amount of students in the UK aged between 18-24 which is larger than any other university which just shows how attractive OU qualifications are to people.

I think those who say that the OU doesn't give out 'proper degrees' are misguided and haven't looked into it properly. The quality of the degrees, the testimonies from students about how it helped them in work or a career or for just sheer enjoyment, the value for money, the support structures, quality of study resources and the amount of employers who want OU graduates and those who have employed OU graduates show how wrong those people are.
This is a fantastic post. Thanks for taking the time to put right any misconceptions of OU degrees on behalf of all OU students.

Posted from TSR Mobile
2
reply
addylad
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#20
Report 5 years ago
#20
(Original post by returnmigrant)
OU is brilliant.

Its certainly not 'easy' and anyone with an OU qualification will be taken very seriously by employers because they know that it demands commitment and self discipline to organise your life whilst studying like this.

I did two OU units in my late 20s. It was the best decision I ever made. I went on to complete a conventional u/g degree (2.1), a Masters (distinction) and I'm now half way through a PhD.

I will thank OU for giving me exactly the right confidence boost and encouragement for the rest of my life.
Can I ask what you studied? Thanks.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How did your AQA A-level Biology Paper 3 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (335)
15.65%
The paper was reasonable (1168)
54.55%
Not feeling great about that exam... (462)
21.58%
It was TERRIBLE (176)
8.22%

Watched Threads

View All