Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I found the OU really bad, they changed my degree mid-way through giving me the option of paying to take extra courses or finish my degree in 4 years (while working full time) . Quality of tuition, study materials, tutor motivation etc are getting worst and worst. Complaints are ignored Would recommend seeing what is available at your local brick uni via distance learning if that is an option and you have to do distance learning. OU also grade a level harder i.e a grade 1 is 85% vs 70% at brick uni which would be ok if common knowledge with employees but the perception generally is that OU is easier. Don't take a mixed degree strand with them whatever you do if you have to go OU stick to a single subject degree.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by winalotuk)
    OU also grade a level harder i.e a grade 1 is 85% vs 70% at brick uni
    You do know that the percentage is formed differently at OU to brick unis? That doesn't make OU harder.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (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.
    I completed my OU degree a couple of years ago. Got a 2:1. Was told it would get me nowhere. Since then I did a Masters at both Cambridge and University of Pennsylvania Wharton School (an Ivy League school) and now starting a decent job in "The City" whilst doing a part-time DPhil at Oxford.

    So for those who think the OU is dead-end or will take you nowhere, well clearly that hasn't been the case with me. Sure I admit there aren't a truckload of OU graduates heading for top jobs in The City/Wall Street etc or maybe on to top postgrad programmes at the elite universities (for reasons other than the recognition of the OU) but it does happen.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    The only issue I had with the OU is that they were extremely unhelpful with advising on postgrad applications and when I was requesting references they would make a big deal about it and question me as to why I was applying for so many programmes and to places like Oxford and Cambridge/Ivy League schools. They were incredibly patronising almost to the point where they were suggesting I wouldn't be good enough and that I should aim lower and I honestly believe they would have actually physically stopped me from applying if they had the power to do so. So in that sense whilst a good result in your degree might help you to get further, don't expect much help from the regional office. I don't necessarily think it was anything sinister on their part and that it was more to do with the fact that perhaps they had little or no experience of their graduates/students wishing to apply for Oxbridge and they certainly had never heard of terms like "Ivy League" or schools like UPenn, Columbia etc.

    I'm not taking a dig at the OU, not at all. I'm glad I did my degree with them and it has taken me places but I can't but wonder how things would have turned out had I taken the advice of the advisers at the regional office literally. I'd have never applied to Oxbridge or the Ivy Leagues, expanded my horizons and networks etc.

    So my advice is; make sure you do the groundwork and research on what you want to do post-graduation because the OU regional offices are of little help.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    They just accuse you of cheating with no real evidence. Really expensive to go to court to resolve.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (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.


    Just tell your friend to be careful as they accuse manypeople of cheating in assignments and there is not much he will be able to doexcept go to court or maybe a tribunal to get the matter resolved (can becostly).
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Just tell your friend to be careful as they accuse manypeople of cheating in assignments and there is not much he will be able to doexcept go to court or maybe a tribunal to get the matter resolved (can becostly).
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by OpenUniW101Law)
    Just tell your friend to be careful as they accuse manypeople of cheating in assignments and there is not much he will be able to doexcept go to court or maybe a tribunal to get the matter resolved (can becostly).
    Are you going to elaborate on your experience? Also, can you back up claims that others were accused of plagiarism or cheating and why this came about?
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mollydblybarrly)
    Are you going to elaborate on your experience? Also, can you back up claims that others were accused of plagiarism or cheating and why this came about?
    I imagine that the software that scans the documents (standard practice at most universities) when they are submitted have picked up strong similarities to other texts or other peoples work or if sections weren't referenced correctly it would pick it up as plagiarism.

    Or if TMA questions were discussed inappropriately on a forum before a Mod has deleted them, or on FB etc... the participants would be accused of cheating as it clearly against discussion guidelines.

    Although OpenUniW101Law hasn't elaborated at all just spouted off.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by OpenUniW101Law)
    They just accuse you of cheating with no real evidence. Really expensive to go to court to resolve.
    And how expensive is it to defend yourself against a libel claim?
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by winalotuk)
    I found the OU really bad, they changed my degree mid-way through giving me the option of paying to take extra courses or finish my degree in 4 years (while working full time) . Quality of tuition, study materials, tutor motivation etc are getting worst and worst. Complaints are ignored Would recommend seeing what is available at your local brick uni via distance learning if that is an option and you have to do distance learning. OU also grade a level harder i.e a grade 1 is 85% vs 70% at brick uni which would be ok if common knowledge with employees but the perception generally is that OU is easier. Don't take a mixed degree strand with them whatever you do if you have to go OU stick to a single subject degree.
    What were you originally doing?

    I had to complete my joint hons degree by Dec 2014 (which I did by cramming in modules at the end) but other degrees had the option of transferring over to the new Q coded degrees with allowances in place for differing modules. I could have switched over to the new one but I was far enough through that it was doable to finish before it phased out.

    I can't really comment on your specifics as don't know them, but I'm surprised you would have to do a load of extra modules as for the degrees I looked at they put allowances in place for transferring over.

    At some point degrees have to be refreshed, technically you have up to 16yrs to complete one but they need updated every so often otherwise subject matter could become stale and outdated or to meet new requirements. Plus there have been a lot of changes due to government subsidies, regulations and loans so it has been a bit of a upheaval the last couple of years. Open degrees offer more flexibility as don't require compulsory modules and you can always transfer to an Open. Which is all the OU used to offer before named degrees.

    As with anything it's best to weigh up all options between OU, other distance/part-time providers and brick and seeing what is best for individual circumstances.

    As for being harder, it's not as such, just graded using a different scale. Scores of 90+% are practically unheard of at brick universities, where a first is 70%, but entirely possible with the OU. It's just a different style.

    A lot of larger name companies do recognise OU degrees and do offer sponsorship to take modules through them so they are valued. (There's a thread somewhere on here with this which I can't be bothered finding all the references again).

    It is not without it's faults, far from it at times, but it has been a great resource for a lot of people.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I have a Bachelors and Masters degrees with the OU. I also did a Postgraduate course on campus at a local 'respected' University. The key distinction for me is being a 'mature'.

    Once over 35 I don't think the on-campus experience is quite as transformative as it is at 18-21. My on-campus module was quite a lonely experience actually. Hunting down books in the library, walking across a barren concrete campus looking for a place to eat my sandwiches. I was surrounded by students from China and the Continent and didn't interact much.

    OU courses are beautifully structured. This is framed and scaffolded learning and NOT a correspondence 'postal' course. During my time with the OU I did a lot of blended face to face work at Summer Schools, Day schools and Seminars. The criticism it gets is largely due to the first year which is relatively easy. People see materials for the Foundation year and think it's always like that-it is NOT! They are highly professional providers of Distance education-the best in my view.

    The downside is that without A levels OU grads are always going to feel exposed or open to criticism when they graduate. It's unfair because most major Universities offer (and have always offered) open access to 'mature' students. Many 'matures' study at Universities with career experience or a rag bag of Diplomas and odds and sods when they start.

    But the key thing is psychology. In my own experiences people are much more willing to sanction your learning if you've 'been somewhere'. Even though I sat amid Chinese students hardly having a conversation during my campus course people are more willing to accept your personal transformation than via a 'distance' course. That is to say, more accepting of personal accent change or vocabulary development. Personally, in my own experience, this was negligible during my campus course since hardly anyone spoke to me as a mature student! I certainly wasn't going to discos or having life enhancing friendships- I basically said hello to other matures at seminars! Younger students seemed to shy away from us.

    The A level question is an important one and I would advise prospective OU students to get a couple of Diplomas or A levels as a precaution. I came up against privately educated people who were deeply, deeply resentful I was working alongside them after graduation. It was as if I had navigated some legal loophole!

    So, in summary, it's different if you're a mature. I adore the quality of OU courses but acknowledge that obtaining a couple of A levels is a very wise insurance policy. So balance things, don't be wide eyed and idealistic but at the same time don't be bothered by the naysayers. Just be sensible. The OU are VERY professional but take care to protect yourself from attacks later on!

    Life is competitive!
    Offline

    7
    ReputationRep:
    I think that the OU is great. I have my Master's with them, and it took three years of work - rather than one year at a full-time university. Now I hope to do my PhD with them. I think OU is worth more than other unis. That's why I'm going with them.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (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.
    I think it's a great idea for some people your general student at 18 maybe not but for those who are full time carers for a ill parent or relative or severely disabled or have many medical issues (dialisis for instance) then it's a great idea.

    The OU courses are also quite well respected I'd be happy to employ someone with one of their degrees.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (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.
    h

    hi i am llb student in oepn university.
    I am seraching llb past exams papers can u help me?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    You are studying at OU? What is it like? Do you find that OU is more thorough/better or worse than brick and mortar universities like Erasmus, Groningen, Birbeck, University of London? Are lectures thorough? What are you studying?

    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    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.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by spanishvu)
    You are studying at OU? What is it like? Do you find that OU is more thorough/better or worse than brick and mortar universities like Erasmus, Groningen, Birbeck, University of London? Are lectures thorough? What are you studying?
    There are two sides to this:

    The OU is excellent as a distance learning provider. The scaffolding via cutting edge online/video conferencing is top drawer. I was very impressed with the materials. I still revisit them often.

    For an adult I think the OU is appropriate because the modules are tailored for the working mature student. The courses are the same as any University in terms of difficulty. This is not a soft option. My Masters papers with them were externally verified by Swansea and Manchester Met University tutors for instance.

    The downside is prestige and snob value. Education is as much about exclusivity and snob value as it is pure knowledge. I've found (as an OU grad and postgrad) people are much more willing to confer respect on learning acquired at a face-to-face brick institution, i.e. social constructivism, than by distance education. That is to say, much more willing to accept you've developed and been tested thoroughly face-to-face. This is instinct I'm afraid and very common.Yet there is a paucity of research on just how effective distance learning is. Research on reading and how it encourages positive cognitive change is quite clear. Trust me, you will do a lot of reading on an Open University degree!

    I later did a campus based module at a local University too and it was awful. I was a mature student and most students were teenagers and from overseas, they didn't interact much. Also, the set books were often frustratingly out at the library! It was a dreadful experience. So for a mature student I would highly recommend the OU. But (and there is always a but) they still leave their students vulnerable to detractors due to their open door policy. People are reassured by both exclusivity and brick buildings-a sad fact of life I'm afraid.

    Hope this clarifies things. My opinion is, if you're under 30, funding no object and possess good A Level passes, brick is better. Over that age, you are probably working, set in a routine and in a very different place psychologically to young students, so go for distance.

    The silver lining is HR and business professionals are very positive about the OU, indeed distance learning in general!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Does anyone study - BSc (Honours) Computing and IT?
    I want to know if this course is difficult or easy?
    Did you get the help or support you need?
    Compared to a brick uni is the open uni better?

    I'm doing a credit transfer and hoping to start from my second year, but last year I did full time at city university and now I am working so would it be hard to do a degree and work at the same time.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I cannot comment on computing and IT courses specifically Saadia, except to say that Business and Technology faculties are very well respected. The OU MBA programme plays host to some very successful, high calibre people! In many ways I see the OU becoming rather more vocational in its focus in the years ahead.

    I think any advanced democracy should offer its adult citizens the opportunity to 'earn and learn' graduate level qualifications whilst working. I am slightly biased but have no fears about the quality of the OU material. It is a great solution if you cannot self fund two or three years away from the day job!

    Of course, people get very strung up about 'how good is the OU?'-'is it all egalitarian hype?' But apart from Oxbridge and the top five in the Russell Group most other Universities are divided by fairly debatable margins. Even some Russell Group Universities offer very patchy adult learning. And remember, creating modules for working students is an OU specialism.

    All I can underline is how professional they are. There is prejudice out there, but those same people sneering would probably do so if you acquired a degree from Staffordshire, Birmingham City or Wolverhampton Universities. If it isn't a degree from the Top Ten there will always be one or two hecklers. You could even tackle that by taking a Postgrad at a prestigious University in the fullness of time. The reception a 2:1 from the OU receives from Postgraduate admissions departments up and down the country has always been favourable in my experience.

    So people do value exclusivity, of course they do, but there are still ways you can add polish to an academic career or CV.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Does open university offer an Accounting(BScHons) degree?
 
 
 
  • 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.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
  • 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.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.