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    This is an interesting discussion and one I can speak with some authority on as I have just completed a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) with the OU. Most OU students study with the OU because they did not have the opportunity of going to Uni at 18 and not because they were not capable of doing so.

    My LL.B took 4.5 years whilst doing a full time job and with a family so it is not as easy as doing it at 18 with no responsibilities and dedicated time to study and with nothing else on your mind.

    The standard is also very high with grade boundaries at 85% for a first 70% for a 2.1 etc. You are also not permitted any statute notes of any kind in exams whereas my friends daughter is permitted to take statute notes into her law exams at a red-brick uni, which annoyed the hell out of my friend even though it was her daughter she was talking about. My experience in business tells me that OU degrees in subjects such as law, chemistry etc are very well thought of indeed and give you a lot of credibility.
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    I'd like to add by saying that a person who makes a claim like that, that OU degrees are not 'proper', has probably not learned much at the Uni they went to otherwise they would know not to make extreme claims without providing evidence (unless of course they have not even been to Uni).
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    The snobbery over a OU degree not being as good as a " real " Uni is beyond facetious. I chose OU as I lived in America during my early 20's, served in the military got married and had kids. As a full time 120 credit student, I simply found the OU to be the best option. The degree I am doing ( BSc Hons Computer Science ) is set to standards by the regulation body that sets the comp sci degree standards at our local brick Uni. Not to mention that the OU is certified as top notch by CISCO, Microsfort and other top companies who would not support these universities if they were not up to task. Along with the main computer science bodies.

    I have friends who went to this local brick uni who can't even carry out basic work on a computer and although they graduated back in January / February time, they still can't get a job in their degree ( Business ) yet I know plenty of OU students who walked into their degree field.

    I will be doing my Masters at my local Uni but it is wrong for anybody to say that an OU degree is not as good.
    No harm to most young students but I go to local Uni to carry out my studying and most of them are always just sat around talking and acting like idiots. Most of them would not survive an OU degree full time.
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    I'd say "nay" in my final year of an OU degree they changed the requirements for the degree meaning it had to be completed in four years or additional modules (at extra cost). The main negatives for me are they don't address complaints properly - it's like complaining to the post office! Well the computing faculty is at least.
    The marking is a level down on normal uni, so the distinction level is 85%-100% rather than 70-85% in brick uni meaning you may end up with a 2:2 where you would get a 2:1 at the same level in normal uni. Their online tutorials which they are moving to increasingly are shockingly bad.
    I wouldn't study with them after this, and if i could do again would do a distance degree in a normal uni.
    Employer perceptions vary. Some don't take them seriously at all, some do but not as much as a standard degree (unless they or someone they know has personal experience) if it's just that a degree is an entry requirement then it shouldn't make a difference as long as you can walk the walk in an interview. I don't think my OU degree has credibly prepared me for work in the field personally
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    (Original post by winalotuk)
    The marking is a level down on normal uni, so the distinction level is 85%-100% rather than 70-85% in brick uni meaning you may end up with a 2:2 where you would get a 2:1 at the same level in normal uni.
    This isn't true. The OU simply uses a different system to brick universities, the quality is the same. For instance 85% in the OU is the same as 70% at a brick university.

    First-Class Honours (First or 1st) (70% and above) (OPEN UNIVERSITY 85%+)
    Upper Second-Class Honours (2:1, 2.i) (60-70%) (OPEN UNIVERSITY 70-85%)
    Lower Second-Class Honours (2:2, 2.ii) (50-60%) (OPEN UNIVERSITY 55-70%)
    Third-Class Honours (Third or 3rd) (40-50%) (OPEN UNIVERSITY 40-55%)
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    i've heard people say that before but how can it be the case in reality, given that people can get above 85% in brick uni. How could that work in a Maths module for example?
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    (Original post by winalotuk)
    i've heard people say that before but how can it be the case in reality, given that people can get above 85% in brick uni. How could that work in a Maths module for example?
    It's more possible with subjects like Maths where there is a 'right answer' but in the majority of subjects (and especially arts and humanities or anything where you're having to write essays or present project work) a brick uni would, in practice, basically never, ever award a mark above 85%. In my brick uni degree I think the highest mark I ever got was 82% and that was jaw-droppingly high. With the OU I've tended to get marks in the 90s, and once got 100% - and I'm not doing 'right answer' subjects. Not have I suddenly become super-intelligent. It's just not a comparable marking system.
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    For my first module (worth 60 points) I had to write five essays to be marked by my tutor, a report, and then an end of year essay. All the grades mattered.

    For the 60 point level 2 module I did last year I had to write six essays and sit a three hour exam which was supervised. No notes or books allowed.

    The one I am doing this year is the same - six essays and a three hour supervised exam at the end.

    I can understand the conclusions you've drawn from your experiences, though. Which module was it that you did?
    Super delayed response to this (sorry!) but I did one called Challenging Obesity, which was meant to be about nutrition science and so on. I'll admit it was a totally random subject, I did it to put on my personal statement mostly! Reading this thread it sounds like I just picked a bit of a duff module, not that I'd wish real life exams and essays on anybody but the OU obviously does do it properly in other settings.
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    Depends on what you're doing: Are you interested in laboratory work? A red brick uni should be vastly superior. Interested in project work? Theoretical work? Law, in your case? OU should be fine.

    As for the entry requirements - I see what you're saying. But they don't need to stick to a seat limit in a lecture theatre, so it's not quite the same. At the end of the day, you're educated to the same level so I don't see the issue.

    I did my first degree at a brick uni and if I am honest, I prefer the way they do things here...
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    A degree is still a degree by all standards that's pretty black and white.

    The OU can take 3 years if you want to but it's still hard work. The ou is not walk in the park

    A full degree with the OU can cost anywhere between £10,000 even reduced if you have student grants, where as brick Uni you are looking at 9,000 per year so it's rather cheap compared and also with OU you can get full time job so long as it's under 21,000 a year.
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    Never give up
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    (Original post by Kittiara)
    For my first module (worth 60 points) I had to write five essays to be marked by my tutor, a report, and then an end of year essay. All the grades mattered.

    For the 60 point level 2 module I did last year I had to write six essays and sit a three hour exam which was supervised. No notes or books allowed.

    The one I am doing this year is the same - six essays and a three hour supervised exam at the end.

    I can understand the conclusions you've drawn from your experiences, though. Which module was it that you did?
    What are you studying?
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    (Original post by akafudge)
    This is an interesting discussion and one I can speak with some authority on as I have just completed a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) with the OU. Most OU students study with the OU because they did not have the opportunity of going to Uni at 18 and not because they were not capable of doing so.

    My LL.B took 4.5 years whilst doing a full time job and with a family so it is not as easy as doing it at 18 with no responsibilities and dedicated time to study and with nothing else on your mind.

    The standard is also very high with grade boundaries at 85% for a first 70% for a 2.1 etc. You are also not permitted any statute notes of any kind in exams whereas my friends daughter is permitted to take statute notes into her law exams at a red-brick uni, which annoyed the hell out of my friend even though it was her daughter she was talking about. My experience in business tells me that OU degrees in subjects such as law, chemistry etc are very well thought of indeed and give you a lot of credibility.
    Did you find work as a solicitor or a barrister? How receptive have potential employers been about your degree?

    I've just finished my second year of Law with the OU.
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    To me the open Uni gives me flexibility and being able to choose how to study as well as modules. It also means that I am not in lectures all week so I can look for jobs without worry.


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    Actually the OU is better than most Brick universities. I have studied at both and easily consider the OU better. At a Brick Uni' one attends lectures that basically tell you very little. You then have to go off and get on with the work. At the OU you have all the materials, lectures are available online and your tutor is just a phone call away. You just have to have the determination to get on with it. Many of those who do degrees with the OU already have a degree. Yes, anyone can start with the OU, however, those without the academic ability simply drop out. I simply cannot understand the idiots who keep praising the more traditional uni'. What the student with the OU misses out on is the 'beer culture'.
    Anyone who can complete a degree with the OU exhibit will-power, determination etc. The degree is no easier. In regard to fairness I simply don't know what you are referring to. Ideas of fairness simply don't come into it.
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    (Original post by penguin1959)
    Actually the OU is better than most Brick universities. I have studied at both and easily consider the OU better. At a Brick Uni' one attends lectures that basically tell you very little. You then have to go off and get on with the work. At the OU you have all the materials, lectures are available online and your tutor is just a phone call away. You just have to have the determination to get on with it. Many of those who do degrees with the OU already have a degree. Yes, anyone can start with the OU, however, those without the academic ability simply drop out. I simply cannot understand the idiots who keep praising the more traditional uni'. What the student with the OU misses out on is the 'beer culture'.
    Anyone who can complete a degree with the OU exhibit will-power, determination etc. The degree is no easier. In regard to fairness I simply don't know what you are referring to. Ideas of fairness simply don't come into it.
    It depends on how you define "better". The first year of an OU degree is generally lower than that of a brick university. Also, the module selection is generally less diverse. The OU has the best study materials I have seen though.
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    (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.


    The Open University exists to allow those access to university level education and courses etc who otherwise would not have access to this be it due to work commitments, being in the army, disability etc etc. It was there to allow that equal opportunity to everyone who were otherwise unable to attend a traditional university.

    Of course it doesn't carry the same "wow" factor as say Cambridge or even somewhere like Manchester but the courses are just as rigorous if not more so. I would say more so as traditionally you need to score a higher percentage on average to get the equivalent grade at a traditional university e.g. you would need an average of 85% or above in your courses to get a 1st. In some courses you need to be consistent in every module i.e. you would need to get an average of 85% in ALL TMAs and in the EMA otherwise you would drop a grade or two. So you can see that with the OU there really is no room forever and a "bad day" on an exam or with an EMA or TMA can see you drop a grade or two.

    Aside from the grading, to most extents and purposes you are on your own. Sure your tutor is a call or email away and there may be the odd weekend seminar etc but it requires an incredible amount of dedication and organisation to just sit there and learn the material on your own without the lecturer there in front of you, then to understand it all and communicate that effectively in an essay.

    Law is also particularly popular with the OU and rigorous. The OU is highly regarded by employers for the reasons that it demonstrates candidates have a high amount of self-discipline and dedication which a lot of recruiters actively look for.
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    (Original post by Gridiron-Gangster)
    The Open University exists to allow those access to university level education and courses etc who otherwise would not have access to this be it due to work commitments, being in the army, disability etc etc. It was there to allow that equal opportunity to everyone who were otherwise unable to attend a traditional university.

    Of course it doesn't carry the same "wow" factor as say Cambridge or even somewhere like Manchester but the courses are just as rigorous if not more so. I would say more so as traditionally you need to score a higher percentage on average to get the equivalent grade at a traditional university e.g. you would need an average of 85% or above in your courses to get a 1st. In some courses you need to be consistent in every module i.e. you would need to get an average of 85% in ALL TMAs and in the EMA otherwise you would drop a grade or two. So you can see that with the OU there really is no room forever and a "bad day" on an exam or with an EMA or TMA can see you drop a grade or two.

    Aside from the grading, to most extents and purposes you are on your own. Sure your tutor is a call or email away and there may be the odd weekend seminar etc but it requires an incredible amount of dedication and organisation to just sit there and learn the material on your own without the lecturer there in front of you, then to understand it all and communicate that effectively in an essay.

    Law is also particularly popular with the OU and rigorous. The OU is highly regarded by employers for the reasons that it demonstrates candidates have a high amount of self-discipline and dedication which a lot of recruiters actively look for.
    I can only speak for maths and science but the courses at the OU are NOT more rigorous than universities like Manchester. Whilst you need 85% to get a first at the OU and only 70% at a brick university, the exams at the OU are significantly lower level and easier to prepare for if you use the past papers. In addition, what if someone at a brick university gets 90%? That is not equivalent to a 90% at the OU.
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    (Original post by BestProfileName)
    I can only speak for maths and science but the courses at the OU are NOT more rigorous than universities like Manchester. Whilst you need 85% to get a first at the OU and only 70% at a brick university, the exams at the OU are significantly lower level and easier to prepare for if you use the past papers. In addition, what if someone at a brick university gets 90%? That is not equivalent to a 90% at the OU.
    So who gets 90 % at a brick uni?

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    (Original post by addylad)
    So who gets 90 % at a brick uni?

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    I've gotten a few 90% marks in some modules. In fact, there are hundreds of people who have over 90% in degrees like mathematics. The most recent top-scoring graduate in Mathematics at Cambridge got somewhere in the region of 98%. There was a guy at my university who got 87% in a biochemistry degree. Is that equivalent to 87% at the OU? No way.

    I think there are a lot of people lying to themselves in these forums. I study with the OU too but I think we should be a little more neutral in our assessments.
 
 
 
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