Booja484c
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Hi,

I am planning to do an open qualification on open university. I have a medical condition which means I have to pace myself. I was originally thinking of doing an open Hons degree but I was also looking at the open HND and the open HNC trying to decide what length course would be best for me.

My question is if I started to do a Hons degree but only got (for example) as far as 120 credits (HNC worth of credits) and I dropped out if it got too much would I still achieve a HNC? Or is it a case of if you have committed to do an Hons degree you have to do the full amount of credits (360) before being awarded a qualification.

TIA
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SuperCat007
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(Original post by Booja484c)
Hi,

I am planning to do an open qualification on open university. I have a medical condition which means I have to pace myself. I was originally thinking of doing an open Hons degree but I was also looking at the open HND and the open HNC trying to decide what length course would be best for me.

My question is if I started to do a Hons degree but only got (for example) as far as 120 credits (HNC worth of credits) and I dropped out if it got too much would I still achieve a HNC? Or is it a case of if you have committed to do an Hons degree you have to do the full amount of credits (360) before being awarded a qualification.

TIA
Not at all. The OU is designed to be flexible. I studied when I was very ill and managed at 50% rate (just!). But you can study as little as 25% rate which means you only study 30 credits per year.

It isn't like a 'normal' uni in the sense that you have to achieve what you initially register for. You can (within reason) chop and change qualifications as/when you need to. As you have up to 16 years to complete the degree I wouldn't worry about dropping out.

At any uni if you drop out and have achieved enough credits for a qualification that qualification will be awarded to you. So yes, if you decided you couldn't continue you'd get the Cert HE. But I really wouldn't worry too much, the OU worked perfectly for me when I was unwell. I ended up having an extension for nearly all the assignments I completed for one module and the tutors were very helpful and understanding.
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Booja484c
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(Original post by SuperCat007)
Not at all. The OU is designed to be flexible. I studied when I was very ill and managed at 50% rate (just!). But you can study as little as 25% rate which means you only study 30 credits per year.

It isn't like a 'normal' uni in the sense that you have to achieve what you initially register for. You can (within reason) chop and change qualifications as/when you need to. As you have up to 16 years to complete the degree I wouldn't worry about dropping out.

At any uni if you drop out and have achieved enough credits for a qualification that qualification will be awarded to you. So yes, if you decided you couldn't continue you'd get the Cert HE. But I really wouldn't worry too much, the OU worked perfectly for me when I was unwell. I ended up having an extension for nearly all the assignments I completed for one module and the tutors were very helpful and understanding.
Thanks so much for your help thats great. Do you think then that I should apply for the Hons degree and just play it all by ear? Rather than applying for a HNC aor HND and then deciding to do more? x
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SuperCat007
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(Original post by Booja484c)
Thanks so much for your help thats great. Do you think then that I should apply for the Hons degree and just play it all by ear? Rather than applying for a HNC aor HND and then deciding to do more? x
I started in 2010, so it may have changed since, but I registered for the Nat Sci degree and the Cert HE at a later date. I have since had to change my degree to the Open one, so don't think of it as once you're registered that's it. You aren't committed to pay anything until you register for the actual modules you want to study; because even if you register for the degree you still have to register for individual modules which make up the degree.
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Booja484c
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(Original post by SuperCat007)
I started in 2010, so it may have changed since, but I registered for the Nat Sci degree and the Cert HE at a later date. I have since had to change my degree to the Open one, so don't think of it as once you're registered that's it. You aren't committed to pay anything until you register for the actual modules you want to study; because even if you register for the degree you still have to register for individual modules which make up the degree.
Right thanks a few more question id that's okay your being very helpful. Its about student finance. If I apply to do the open degree and then for whatever reason (probably won't but just want to think about it incase) I only get as far as a HNC/HND what would happen with student finance as I would have taken out funding to do a full degree?

I also have a foundation degree from before I was ill that I don't use for my job as my priorities since being unwell I have changed but student finance will also only offer me the funding for the degree not the HNC or HND, but I'm just worried that if I say i'll do the full degree then become more unwell or find it's not for me or whatever and end up only with the HNC or HND will they want they want me to pay that money for my course back to them as I didn't achieve what I said I would? I may be on the wrong bit of the forum with this question. Sorry if that's the case
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SuperCat007
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(Original post by Booja484c)
Right thanks a few more question id that's okay your being very helpful. Its about student finance. If I apply to do the open degree and then for whatever reason (probably won't but just want to think about it incase) I only get as far as a HNC/HND what would happen with student finance as I would have taken out funding to do a full degree?

I also have a foundation degree from before I was ill that I don't use for my job as my priorities since being unwell I have changed but student finance will also only offer me the funding for the degree not the HNC or HND, but I'm just worried that if I say i'll do the full degree then become more unwell or find it's not for me or whatever and end up only with the HNC or HND will they want they want me to pay that money for my course back to them as I didn't achieve what I said I would? I may be on the wrong bit of the forum with this question. Sorry if that's the case
With Student Finance you'll have to tell them you're working towards a qualification above what you already have, otherwise they won't fund you. But your entitlement is (amount of years of course) - (amount of years already studied) = entitlement. For part time the longest you can study for is 16 years so it would be 16 - (however long you've already studied for) = amount of years you get.

If you drop out due to illness you can apply for mitigating circumstances to have the money written off. But if you apply KNOWING you only intend to achieve an equal or lower qualification to one you already have then this is fraud and you might be in a sticky situation.

On the form enter BA/BSc Open and then see how you get on. You will only get finance for modules actually studied so if you only do 30 credits one year they'll only pay the OU £1300 (or however much it is), if you do 60 they'll pay £2700 etc etc. The OU will tell them how many modules you have started once you've been enrolled on the module for two weeks (i.e. 2 weeks after the start date). After that, if you change your mind you may be liable to pay course costs yourself.
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Booja484c
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Right thanks! It's just so hard when you don't know what it is you want to end up with yet and what the future holds at this early stage. Which is what's so great and flexible about OU but having student finance issue makes it much more confined as to what I can really do. My original plan was to take it module by module and see how it went with life/illness but I can't really with student finance. What a pickle! It's whether I commit to the full degree or try and find so money myself and just do a HND/HNC.

That makes sense though so THANKYOU for your help.
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SuperCat007
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(Original post by Booja484c)
Right thanks! It's just so hard when you don't know what it is you want to end up with yet and what the future holds at this early stage. Which is what's so great and flexible about OU but having student finance issue makes it much more confined as to what I can really do. My original plan was to take it module by module and see how it went with life/illness but I can't really with student finance. What a pickle! It's whether I commit to the full degree or try and find so money myself and just do a HND/HNC.

That makes sense though so THANKYOU for your help.
Well you can do exactly that. As you can study at a rate of 25% at the minimum (30 credits per year) you can just apply for that one and see how you go. You can get up to 16 years finance doing it this way and finish your degree in that time.

Like I say, you can register for all/any degree(s) you want. But YOU choose when you study each module. So if you feel one year you can do 90, do 90. If the next you can only manage 30, do 30. SFE doesn't confine it really because, like I say, they will only pay the OU for what the OU tell them you are studying. They won't continue to pay if you aren't registered on any modules. It isn't like 'normal' uni where you could have dropped out, but if you don't tell SFE they could easily keep paying.

I stopped studying with the OU in 2012, this year I am taking it back up again, so it really is that flexible.
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Booja484c
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Oh right! Okay!

I have also been talking the OU about using my old foundation degree to gain credits towards this one. That way I could do a whole degree without as many modules. But I'm waiting to hear back about whether I can do this.

They suggested that I could be eligible for 120 credits for the first year of my foundation degree and 120 credits for the second year of my foundation degree. But if that means I would have to start level 3 doing only level 3 modules I'm not sure. I was wondering if I can do level 1 and 2 modules in level 3 study? As I've not done OU before? Or if I could choose how many credits fromy fda go towards each level so I can still do atleast one level 1 and one level 2 module to ease myself in.
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SuperCat007
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(Original post by Booja484c)
Oh right! Okay!

I have also been talking the OU about using my old foundation degree to gain credits towards this one. That way I could do a whole degree without as many modules. But I'm waiting to hear back about whether I can do this.

They suggested that I could be eligible for 120 credits for the first year of my foundation degree and 120 credits for the second year of my foundation degree. But if that means I would have to start level 3 doing only level 3 modules I'm not sure. I was wondering if I can do level 1 and 2 modules in level 3 study? As I've not done OU before? Or if I could choose how many credits fromy fda go towards each level so I can still do atleast one level 1 and one level 2 module to ease myself in.
What do you mean by level 1 and 2 in level 3?

You can do any modules you want, but it could be that SFE won't fund them if your previous course comes under the ELQ rules.

You will have to have a look at the module descriptions and maybe try to get your hands on some materials at level 3 to evaluate whether you might be able to study at that level.
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