Open University vs University Of London External Program

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Appletiser
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I am currently studying 4 courses with the open university (MST121, M248, M249 and MS221) which will count towards a degree in mathematics and statistics. So far I am very impressed with the learning material provided and the open unviersity in general, however there is a lot of work involved and I am having real concerns about the value of the degree which I will (hopefully) acheive.

I have recently found out about The University Of London External Programs and I am wondering weather I would be better off leaving the open university and starting BSc Mathematics and Economics offered by the University of London External Programme even though it would set me back a year.

Which degree do you think is better?
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spacedonkey
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Don't know the answer to that one but I've looked at the UoL external programme too and wondered the same, so I'll be watching this thread
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Alessandro_22
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university of london ..offer little and sometimes no help at all..the administration staff are rude and unhelpful and rather stuck up, and seem to have lost touch with modern day society as most of them are well above the ages of 60. although a university of london degree is a better degree i believe in the end, but the open university is more widely recognised and a lot more help and guidance is given. im studying law with the u of london and regret choosing them,all they essentially do is take ur money post ur books and leave u till next may to sit an exam. not the best way to get the best out of ur education.
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SunburnedCactus
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OU degrees are as well regarded as any brick uni, sometimes more considering you're required to be a lot more self-motivated.
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*Elbereth*
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(Original post by Alessandro_22)
university of london ..offer little and sometimes no help at all..the administration staff are rude and unhelpful and rather stuck up, and seem to have lost touch with modern day society as most of them are well above the ages of 60. although a university of london degree is a better degree i believe in the end, but the open university is more widely recognised and a lot more help and guidance is given. im studying law with the u of london and regret choosing them,all they essentially do is take ur money post ur books and leave u till next may to sit an exam. not the best way to get the best out of ur education.

Hi Alessandro. Thanks very much for posting this info regarding the UoL External Programme. I have been torn between applying to do theology with either the UoL or Oxford Brookes Uni, not knowing which one to go for. Thankfully, you have answered my dilemma. I had surmised that there was very little contact by academics at UoL from the little info there is on the web, but really couldn't see how this would be feasible. What about your assignments? How are they marked, and is there no scope for further feedback? How can one take a degree without having tutors as a guidance along the way? It must be very, very difficult to study for a degree on your own like this.
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starry skies
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(Original post by *Elbereth*)
What about your assignments? How are they marked, and is there no scope for further feedback? How can one take a degree without having tutors as a guidance along the way? It must be very, very difficult to study for a degree on your own like this.
It's solely assessed by end of year exams, i.e. there are no assignments/essays set. You have a reading list & a subject guide and that's pretty much it, so difficult to know if you're thinking along the right lines except for looking at past exam papers/examiners reports and the annual study weekend in London if the lead college for your course is the LSE. OU has much more opportunity for tutor contact AFAIK.
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joonbug
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(Original post by *Elbereth*)
I had surmised that there was very little contact by academics at UoL from the little info there is on the web, but really couldn't see how this would be feasible. What about your assignments? How are they marked, and is there no scope for further feedback? How can one take a degree without having tutors as a guidance along the way? It must be very, very difficult to study for a degree on your own like this.
UoL LSE is where you're left out on your own. Different colleges have different programs, as of sometime in October of this year LSE will offer a VLE (virtual learning environment) and email accounts, with access to audio and video lectures. Anyways, as for assignments, for example Royal Holloway for Business Administration has TMA (tutor marked assignements), so depending on the college you choose at UoL it's different in what they offer. I know for sure that LSE, you're totally left on an island. Then again, my philosophy is that if you're really motivated and you're really putting in the work, you'll do well anyways and if the minimum passing score is "34" and you get can't "34" then you didn't study, so they shouldn't blame the school but themselves.
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melody1
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Run Far Away From The Uni Of London External Programme!
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starry skies
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^^^ care to expand your statement, melody1?
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**Cooookie**
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Hey. I'm hesitating between studying with the OU or London external. It seems to me Uol has a better reputation (?); but people seem to say there is no support basically... and that your left to teach yourself? Has anyone had good/bad experience?
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flexiblefish
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I chose OU as it seemed like there is more support than UoL. tbh, OU seems like a social experiment to get the masses educated, where as UoL seems like a money spinner, where they have little expenditure and lots of income.
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JetLeechan
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Hi,
I'm currently studying an old german "Magister" degree that lasts another 1 and a half year. After that I planned on going to a renowned british university for a grad program. I aim for either International relations, International economic relations oder economic history. But... the (incompetent) german military administration could't decide what to do with me when I was checked (for possible draft) the last 3 times (long story )! I will finally get the results this week (which means I'll get them -maybe- this year)

However, I plan to refuse the draft to make a "volunteer year abroad" as alternative service. Now I thought to myself "hmm, why not doing something useful this time and applying to the external program of LSE."

Now that you now my reasons I'd like to know how the actual studying in the external program looks like. I've read some statements and the tenor was like ... let's say not too good. But none of it explained how it works.
Would I only get a list of books with some exercises? Do they have a forum for all the students? Online library? Do they use video and audio material? Licenses for online journals? Do they use learning software at all? Wolud I get the required readings in form of a "reader" in pfd-format?

Thanks in advance


p.s. I'vealready mailed the application service of UoL EP, but I'd like some unfiltered informations of former oder current applicants.
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starry skies
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(Original post by JetLeechan)

Now that you now my reasons I'd like to know how the actual studying in the external program looks like. I've read some statements and the tenor was like ... let's say not too good. But none of it explained how it works.
Would I only get a list of books with some exercises? Do they have a forum for all the students? Online library? Do they use video and audio material? Licenses for online journals? Do they use learning software at all? Wolud I get the required readings in form of a "reader" in pfd-format?

Thanks in advance
You get a reading list (extensive!), a "study guide" which is the bare bones of the subject (you could scrape the barest of passes, maybe, if you only studied this, but you need to do the required & recommended reading to have a decent chance at getting good marks. There are exercises certainly in the IR modules that I studied (International Politics of East Asia, Security Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis & Introduction to International Relations) and I can't vouch for other courses, I would imagine they follow a similar format.

There is athena access for journal searches, lexis nexis etc and also a study weekend in early February which is useful if only to meet the lecturers and get an idea what they want out of you in the exams! From my experience the quality of the material supplied (in content that is) was very variable. The Security Studies stuff was excellent, but the Int. Politics of E Asia study guide had last been revised about 1996 and concentrated heavily on WW2-Cold War history, whereas the exam questions were mainly about post Cold War issues, e.g. Six Party Talks, the role of the US & China in escalating tensions across the Taiwan Strait etc so most of the reading felt fairly undirected.

Depending on what course you do and when, you might get access to the "VLE" (Virtual Learning Environment) but mine didn't. They are supposed to be increasing provision in this area though so you might get podcasts/video presesntations if you're lucky.

You have to source your own textbooks (i.e. library or buy new/2nd hand) though some modules will direct you to certain websites as part of your readings.

There is a forum for students of UoL external called uolexternal.yuku.com (it's known as YANSA (You Are Not Studying Alone)) which can be useful but seems to be mainly populated by people doing economics courses.


Hope this all helps.
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JetLeechan
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(Original post by starry skies)
You get a reading list (extensive!), a "study guide" which is the bare bones of the subject (you could scrape the barest of passes, maybe, if you only studied this, but you need to do the required & recommended reading to have a decent chance at getting good marks. There are exercises certainly in the IR modules that I studied (International Politics of East Asia, Security Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis & Introduction to International Relations) and I can't vouch for other courses, I would imagine they follow a similar format.

There is athena access for journal searches, lexis nexis etc and also a study weekend in early February which is useful if only to meet the lecturers and get an idea what they want out of you in the exams! From my experience the quality of the material supplied (in content that is) was very variable. The Security Studies stuff was excellent, but the Int. Politics of E Asia study guide had last been revised about 1996 and concentrated heavily on WW2-Cold War history, whereas the exam questions were mainly about post Cold War issues, e.g. Six Party Talks, the role of the US & China in escalating tensions across the Taiwan Strait etc so most of the reading felt fairly undirected.

Depending on what course you do and when, you might get access to the "VLE" (Virtual Learning Environment) but mine didn't. They are supposed to be increasing provision in this area though so you might get podcasts/video presesntations if you're lucky.

You have to source your own textbooks (i.e. library or buy new/2nd hand) though some modules will direct you to certain websites as part of your readings.

There is a forum for students of UoL external called uolexternal.yuku.com (it's known as YANSA (You Are Not Studying Alone)) which can be useful but seems to be mainly populated by people doing economics courses.


Hope this all helps.

Yes it helps, thank you very much .

I'm currently studying so I have access to lots of materials as well as a good library, at least for German standarts, british students would most likely judge it by higher ones. My issue is, what to do when I'm finished, how to get the books then, beacuse I've spoken with former students who told me they had absolutely no access to anything. I want to go to England for the Msc but as I told I will have to do the alternative service-thing
Btw. I also plan to apply for the IR course :p:

Thanks again
Greetings
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twista88
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Hi Ladies and Gentlemen,

With regards to studying through the UOL external system.

I am currently pursuing the LLB programme at UOL externally through a institution in Singapore.So far I have found it to be excellent, if you choose to study on your own, then you have to be prepared for the worse. Its not common to find people reading Law on their own without any assiatnce such as attending classes and lecturers from a qualified individual.Even top universities such as Oxford,Cambridge,Harvard,etc, have lectures who are qualified to hold classes.In UOL's case,the lecturers hired by the institutions would be qualified to lecture you.

Attending a institution would really bolster your chance of getting the grades, ultimately if you have achieved a 2nd class honours, you are eligible for the bar.As far as the name and identity of the university you may have graduated from is concerned,it makes employment easy but not your work. When firms higher you, you have to prove yourself and justify your stay in the firm.

Don't be easily taken in by what others say, first hand experience is priceless!

Go ahead and pursue your dreams, whether it maybe at the Open University or UOL, we are more or less still obtaining a degree via distance learning.
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chindanai
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How intense in an online degree? How many hours of studying per week do you actually have to do? Thanx
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Moggs
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(Original post by chindanai)
How intense in an online degree? How many hours of studying per week do you actually have to do? Thanx
About 8 hours per week for 8-9 months per 30 points. It really depends on the course and your familiarity with the subject. I find it's often less than that, and only gets more efficient the more experienced you become with distance learning.
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drjmpc
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This is a really interesting thread as a Yank that WANTS to study at both instittutions. Moggs You in particular would be of great assistance to me because I really need to get a better understanding of how th e Engineering program at OU works. Still, I plan to spend WAY too much time studying three of the four courses mentioned here [Econ & Mgt + LLB @ UoL & B.Eng @ OU]. Please keep it going... I have settled on my decision, but anymore data that can give me fuel for what to expect is much appreciated.
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special-s
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errr heey people i`ve just applied for my course with the ou and its due to start in may but i was just wondering can you go to any other university and do year 2 ?and what do you get (like certificates) at the end of your first year?
thanks
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Lunarsea
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(Original post by special-s)
errr heey people i`ve just applied for my course with the ou and its due to start in may but i was just wondering can you go to any other university and do year 2 ?and what do you get (like certificates) at the end of your first year?
thanks
It is possible to use points from Open University courses to apply for another unversity but it depends on the university in question, so you would have to contact the ones you are interested in. If you have enough points, some of these universities may allow entry to the second year, but once again you would have to ask.

If you are doing chemistry or physics you can take part in the "2 plus 2" scheme which allows you to do the first two years of you degree study with the OU and another two years with one of the OU's partner universities but obviously they may not be universities you wish to attend.

It is possible to get a certificate with some courses at the OU, look at the certificates under the subject you want to do but not all courses can be counted towards certificates.

I've turned this post into a bit of an essay but I hope this helps.
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