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    Average Bin man in my borough in Birmingham picks up 32k, no they don't.
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    OU is great, good teaching material and tutors who do their job. I've been to three brick university's, at the last one had a lecturer who sent us to the library after 30 minutes and didn't appreciate been asked questions. The fact (look at university league tables) is the OU is as good as most brick university's if the snobs don't agree who cares.
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    (Original post by BestProfileName)
    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.
    Well the point I was trying to make in the post was that studying at the OU is in no way going to be detrimental to one's career prospects etc within reason (i.e. the reasons behind why you did an OU degree over a traditional degree).

    I mean it can't be all that bad if it got me into Cambridge and University of Pennsylvania for postgraduate study, both prestigious universities and extremely competitive to gain admission too.

    Also no 87% in Biochem at a traditional university is not equivalent to 87% at the OU. The former had the luxury of daily lectures, seminars, labs, access to tutors, whilst the latter did it all by themselves.

    You're entitled to your opinion that's only fair and of course in a choice between say a traditional university and the OU....I'd probably go for the traditional university (as in choosing where to study) but circumstances didn't allow it.

    The point is, an OU degree won't harm your degree prospects.
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    (Original post by Gridiron-Gangster)
    Well the point I was trying to make in the post was that studying at the OU is in no way going to be detrimental to one's career prospects etc within reason (i.e. the reasons behind why you did an OU degree over a traditional degree).

    I mean it can't be all that bad if it got me into Cambridge and University of Pennsylvania for postgraduate study, both prestigious universities and extremely competitive to gain admission too.

    Also no 87% in Biochem at a traditional university is not equivalent to 87% at the OU. The former had the luxury of daily lectures, seminars, labs, access to tutors, whilst the latter did it all by themselves.

    You're entitled to your opinion that's only fair and of course in a choice between say a traditional university and the OU....I'd probably go for the traditional university (as in choosing where to study) but circumstances didn't allow it.

    The point is, an OU degree won't harm your degree prospects.
    I don't think one example is proof that prospects are not harmed. The truth is that neither of is really know the statistics, but if someone does they should chime in.

    To your point about luxury, I have to disagree. Firstly, you can often get into seminars whilst being a member of the public. Secondly, the study material with the OU is far beyond that of any brick university I've ever seen. Labs we can agree on.

    My only point was that people need to be less careless when they define the OU as better than brick universities. Maths and science degrees (I cannot speak for others) at the OU have less depth than most universities I have seen because they start at GCSE level in year 1, and don't really go beyond A Level (perhaps MST125 does, but not by too much). In addition, you don't have as much choice due to the fact that the modules are blocked into 30 or 60 credits. For example, I'd rather do three 20 credit modules in relativity, quantum mechanics and electromagnetism than two 30 credit modules in just the two.
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    Open University is well respected. Employers and universities understand how much commitment it takes to study via distance learning, so they value OU students.
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    (Original post by BestProfileName)
    I don't think one example is proof that prospects are not harmed. The truth is that neither of is really know the statistics, but if someone does they should chime in.

    To your point about luxury, I have to disagree. Firstly, you can often get into seminars whilst being a member of the public. Secondly, the study material with the OU is far beyond that of any brick university I've ever seen. Labs we can agree on.

    My only point was that people need to be less careless when they define the OU as better than brick universities. Maths and science degrees (I cannot speak for others) at the OU have less depth than most universities I have seen because they start at GCSE level in year 1, and don't really go beyond A Level (perhaps MST125 does, but not by too much). In addition, you don't have as much choice due to the fact that the modules are blocked into 30 or 60 credits. For example, I'd rather do three 20 credit modules in relativity, quantum mechanics and electromagnetism than two 30 credit modules in just the two.

    Of course example is just that, my example. I wouldn't for one moment suggest people quit their traditional universities and go en-masse to the OU in the hope that they will all lannd their dream job/grad course etc....in any case if that were the case it would perhaps devalue what makes the OU special and what it demonstrates.

    However using my example,one can say that it is indeed possible to go onto the best universities for competitive degree programmes via the Open University so it's not impossible. I would like to think I am neither the first, nor the last person to do this and I would be only too proud if future OU grads ended up finding themselves on degree programmes at the very best universities around the world.

    With regards to the stats I don't think this is readily available but perhaps via the OU careers service. That's the one thing I will say the OU fails on is that their careers advisers are....well....not great and it was frustrating even making applications to Oxbridge and Ivies without getting several patronising phone calls advising me against it etc. It was quite frustrating as I felt like I was being treated like someone who didn't know any better and I got the feeling if they had their way they'd have prevented me from applying. They were never encouraging in that sense. Traditional university careers services are infinitely better in that sense but of course that isn't surprising given most OU students already have careers etc and the OU serves a rather different purpose.



    To the point about resource etc, I stand by the "luxury" point in that you have all the means and resources at your disposal at a brick university. For the most part you don't have to worry about bills, going to work, getting back from work, collecting the kids from school, feeding the family, working on the marriage oh and then fitting in study at some point. Your day and week will revolve around lectures, labs, seminars, maybe a meeting with your tutor, going to the library and then to most extents and purposes if you're in catered halls, you needn't worry about cooking food. Then you can spend evenings when not studying, playing sport, joining some society or going out to the SU or some cheap themed night at a local club etc with your mates. For the most part it's a happy existence and you're able to juggle work and play. Any issues, you just see your academic tutor or the campus counsellor etc. OU students have none of those luxuries.....well they'd need to do them all on their own accord outside university jurisdictions etc.

    But my point is traditional universities have their role and the OU does too. I'd be more inclined to celebrate a 1st from someone at the OU than say a traditional RG university (with the exception of say Oxbridge) because of the obstacles they have to negotiate just to even study, sit exams and graduate.


    So another long, drawn out post but the point remains that an OU education will in no way harm your prospects and whilst my example may well be a rarity (currently) I suspect this may change given the increase in students enrolling with the OU. Furthermore it depends on the individual and how far they want to go, how far they want to take their OU degree etc. It's certainly not impossible to aim for decent jobs in competitive fields or gain admission to the most prestigious universities in the world via the OU.


    And in any case no university be it Cambridge, UPenn, Oxford, Harvard, Manchester, the OU, offers a "golden ticket" in that sense any more. Employers would much rather hire someone from a "less prestigious" university with high grades and exceptional skills than someone from an elite college who was really average or even sub par in their skill set.


    Oh and my final point..... a 2:2 from a brick uni would be worth exactly the same as a 2:2 from the OU if not less.
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    (Original post by Weeves)

    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.
    You might not need competitive "academics" to get into the open university but it is still an academic course. A psychology degree at the OU is bps accredited the same as the majority of other universities.

    There are pros and cons to both. I've just been to open day in regards to a transfer and the main difference they explained to me, for my course, was that OU students wrote many more essays than they do in their programme per module. Also, a repeated theme for people going onto post-graduate is that OU students know their research methods more thoroughly. So for all the lab space a brick uni provides, it may not be providing the actual research experience in term time that OU students get.

    Im only transferring because i feel the weekly environment of brick will be better for me. OU is tough and not any easier than any other uni.
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    I am wanting to do a degree in fine art but I don't like the idea of being at uni because its not really my scene so I was wondering if I should do OCA in the arts, I think it is much better for money I would be able to work at the same time and be in the comfort of my own home. I know people would say your not getting the whole uni experience, but what if you don't want that? I am a very independent worker so I feel like I would get more done. I am applying through UCAS anyway for 2015 courses. What would be best?
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    Can you let me know roughly how long this is taking you? I'm interested in doing a business degree along side work
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    It takes as long as you make it. With all the family and work commitments that I have I can't do any more than 1 course per year so it'll be a total of 7 years by the time I finish (in my last year now). Roughly speaking, if you can only spare around 10 hours a week to study then you won't manage more than 1 course a year if you want to maintain a grade 2 average.

    You could probably cope with two Level 1 courses together (I did) but then it moves up a gear. My degree course is Maths and in that 10 hours I've got to get through a module book, exercises and problems and work on the assignment. Some folks take two courses a year but now you've got assignment clashes and around 20 hours/week study.

    I've already completed a Physics degree at an RG Uni in an earlier life so can compare styles. I prefer the OU method now due to my circumstances, nobody is going to give up his job and struggle with the family just to attend a brick uni. In my humble opinion the course is rigorous but not up to the standard of Oxbridge (but then neither are a lot of bricks), and falls a bit short on choices at Level 3 (no Galois Theory, Differential Geometry, Topology etc). Apart from that it seems a good solid UG level of Math. The Physics dept is very good as well but there is a problem there with hands-on labs being thin on the ground.
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    my response may be a little late, however as its said
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    It doesn't necessarily take as long as you make it. The OU changed my degree course mid-way meaning i had to complete the full degree within 4 years or take (and pay for) additional courses duplicating material. The OU were entirely unsupportive throughout - quite the opposite actually causing me a lot of unnecessary added stress and leaving me no choice but to do 120 points of level 3 study in one year (while working and commuting full time). I don't want to freak people out who are mid-way through but feel responsible to alert people to the possibility of whats happened to me happening to them.

    I don't think it's correct to see the OU as a bargain alternative to university, rather a case of you get what you pay for (or in my opinion, much less actually).
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    I'm studying w301 -law: ownership and trusteeship. I studied LLB law with at Wolverhampton uni 14 years ago, I never got chance to finish the degree due to work commitments. i can tell you something right now, the OU exams are very tough, I score in the high 80's for 6 assignments throughout the year, for those grades I work very very hard. You literally have to live with your head in your books. I feel the exam is too heavily weighted at 50% of your overall module grade, your whole years work can be pulled down by an average performance on the exam day. The exams are tough, however the OU Law manuals really are amazing. If you can hack the workload, and happen to be a self motivated individual, go for it. Make sure you perfect your exam technique and ensure your handwriting is legible under pressure. If I was interviewing prospective lawyers for a firm, I would know that someone with a 2:1 in law from the OU had to work like a nutter. Not happy with the heavy exam weighting at all, I know its going to pull my overall degree classification down. Make sure yo are on top form on exam day. Just wished I graduated as a youngster, took everything for granted back then.
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    Glad it's working OK for you with the OU. For me with the ou changing my degree requirements where I had to do 3 level 3 courses in a year, it was just impossible and their support has been disgusting. I agree I'd think someone with a 2:1 from OU had "worked like a nutter" but I don't think most HR people would think the same.
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    (Original post by winalotuk)
    Glad it's working OK for you with the OU. For me with the ou changing my degree requirements where I had to do 3 level 3 courses in a year, it was just impossible and their support has been disgusting. I agree I'd think someone with a 2:1 from OU had "worked like a nutter" but I don't think most HR people would think the same.
    What was the degree course that was changed midway through?
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    you are right winalot..its just a hope that prospective employer recognises the self-drive of an OU student. Im doing just one level 3 module at the moment and juggling that with work and family. I find that hard. Not to happy to read your story about being lumbered with 3 level 3s..honestly..i would have just refused and tried to take it right to the top somehow to argue your point. I contemplated 2 level 2's simultaneously and was advised that the workload was too heavy by the OU. Feel bad for you man. Cant imagine how your life must have been. A few of my friends from over a decade ago went on to become barristers and solicitors, and to be honest, I wish i just finished off my degree back then. It was a heck of a lot easier. The OU is tough, nice though that we have our monthly lectures at LSE, well not for w301 anyway. The amount of effort I'm putting in , i know I would be on a strong 2:1 or 1st at another institution. I was going to study at Kings College but work just got in the way. I've wasted too many years with my head absorbing the legal babble of lord so and so. We spend so much time preparing to live but we have to remember that the clock is always ticking and we are certainly not getting any younger. I made it to the BBC as an Introducing Artist a few years back, maybe I should have just put that effort into music, instead i took the safe path (the OU detour).
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    (Original post by OURab61)
    OU is great, good teaching material and tutors who do their job. I've been to three brick university's, at the last one had a lecturer who sent us to the library after 30 minutes and didn't appreciate been asked questions. The fact (look at university league tables) is the OU is as good as most brick university's if the snobs don't agree who cares.
    And still you do not know the plural of university.....
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    Hi, what are peoples thoughts of doing the bsc hons in Psychology and then going into teaching. Do you think its a realistic route into a job in a school x
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    I want to study
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    As I understand it the Open University is highly regarded world wide and collaborates on some amazing projects. The quality of degree is still very high, it is no easier to achieve or any less thorough in teaching. Many OU students are studying whilst working and/or raising families - many employers view the skills required to do that as very valuable when transferred to the work place It is also very fair - every one has a shot at it as you can still fund your fees with a student loan. For those who are resentful of studying to attain grades for entry into a bricks and mortar uni' - you really shouldn't be, you choose your own path according to your own requirements.
 
 
 
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