MathsMayhem
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hello

I'm considering studying with the OU in the future, but I can't stick to a certain degree choice. I originally wanted to study the Sport, Fitness and Coaching degree, but was told it would be deemed a Mickey Mouse degree. I also considered History, but was then told that the employment prospects are very low. I know very few degrees guarantee jobs, but as I don't have a huge selection of GCSEs and A-levels, I need my degree to be respectable. I have since considered the BSc Natural Sciences degree with the Biology pathway, as I've heard Physics and Chemistry involve a lot of Math, which isn't my strongpoint to say the least! The BSc Health Sciences also interests me. Does anybody know if there is a lot of Math involved in the the stated degrees?

I don't have a clear career idea as it changes all the time, I just have a few interests which make choosing a degree quite difficult. I want a degree that is useful for many jobs if that is indeed possible? I also want my degree to be respectable. Can current or former OU students shade their experiences in terms of deciding what degree to pick? For example did you choose your degree because you were interested in the subject or did you choose your degree because you needed it for a certain career? The reason I ask this is because I was recently told that most employers accept most degrees as long as it's a good class? Maybe I was misinformed, I don't know.

My last question is that can everyone succeed with the OU? I obviously know an OU student will need to be disciplined, organised etc. I've only ever studied at GCSE level and I'm concerned that studying independently with the OU at degree level will be like being thrown into the lions den. Is this a normal concern? Would the OU access module be useful?

I know this is long, but if you could answer a few of my questions I'd be delighted.
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Kate.
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#2
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#2
I think you should probably have a long think about what kind of jobs you can imagine yourself doing in the future before you make a decision. As you say, no degree really guarantees a job now. Would you be interested in trying to get onto a graduate scheme when you've finished your degree? If so, they generally required a 2:1, and sometimes they require subjects in a specific area - have a look at some of the adverts and see what they are looking for.

I was lucky in that my decision was quite easy - I didn't even consider anything other than computing. It's an interest of mine and also my desired career.

As for whether everyone can succeed with the OU, I think that depends what you mean by success. The majority of people wouldn't be able to get a first, regardless of how much they studied! However, I do think most people are capable of completing a degree. For some people this might take 3 years and be pretty easy, for others it might take 10 years and be very difficult.

Your concerns are very normal though. How recently have you done your A-Levels? If they were within the last 2 or 3 years I'd say you'd be fine starting with normal level 1 modules rather than the Access modules, but it's totally up to you. Level 1 modules almost always start off at a pretty low level, and are usually accessible even to those who have been out of education for many years. They also generally don't count towards your final classification, so as long as you pass (40%) it doesn't really matter.
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HJ M
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#3
Report 8 years ago
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I think Kate answered you questions very well, I posted this recently on another thread noting what employers think of the OU and I'll re-post it here because it relates:

There are great employment prospects from the Open University degrees. 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.

What also adds to the OU degrees is that, for example, the business degrees are triple accredited, the law degrees are Qualifying Law Degrees developed with the Law College, the teaching on the PGCE courses were given an outstanding by OFSTED and the psychology degrees are accredited by the British Psychological Society. To make a few points.
To add to that what I would say is that it is challenging to do an OU degree (I'm doing a PPE full-time), but you get a lot out of it, all the tutors I have had are great, the module materials are brilliant (if you are curious about modules and what they are like I would suggest finding out where your OU regional center is as they all have 'libraries' of complete modules for people to look at), you can still be social with other OU students through your regional OU Student's Association groups and employers do respect the OU qualifications (it's actually the biggest university in the UK and has the biggest group of 18-24 year olds which shows how attractive it has become).
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Schrodingersfrog
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#4
Report 8 years ago
#4
(Original post by MathsMayhem)
Hello

I'm considering studying with the OU in the future, but I can't stick to a certain degree choice. I originally wanted to study the Sport, Fitness and Coaching degree, but was told it would be deemed a Mickey Mouse degree. I also considered History, but was then told that the employment prospects are very low. I know very few degrees guarantee jobs, but as I don't have a huge selection of GCSEs and A-levels, I need my degree to be respectable. I have since considered the BSc Natural Sciences degree with the Biology pathway, as I've heard Physics and Chemistry involve a lot of Math, which isn't my strongpoint to say the least! The BSc Health Sciences also interests me. Does anybody know if there is a lot of Math involved in the the stated degrees?

I don't have a clear career idea as it changes all the time, I just have a few interests which make choosing a degree quite difficult. I want a degree that is useful for many jobs if that is indeed possible? I also want my degree to be respectable. Can current or former OU students shade their experiences in terms of deciding what degree to pick? For example did you choose your degree because you were interested in the subject or did you choose your degree because you needed it for a certain career? The reason I ask this is because I was recently told that most employers accept most degrees as long as it's a good class? Maybe I was misinformed, I don't know.

My last question is that can everyone succeed with the OU? I obviously know an OU student will need to be disciplined, organised etc. I've only ever studied at GCSE level and I'm concerned that studying independently with the OU at degree level will be like being thrown into the lions den. Is this a normal concern? Would the OU access module be useful?

I know this is long, but if you could answer a few of my questions I'd be delighted.
Physics and Chem do involve a lot of maths, but it is not too scary if you take your time with it. If you go with the OU do one module first. I would recommend an introductory maths Module such as MU123 just for life skill's never mind what degree you go onto do. Sports and coaching is not a good thing to be doing degrees in - the market is saturated because everyone and his dog wants to be a 'personal trainer' etc.

Physics especially is a very highly sought after degree by a range of employers - and you can do so much with it. The numerical and analytical skills you gain are transferable. So sciences would be a better option for personal devlopment and employment prospects.
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