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    Hi, as a middle-aged guy who studied Biochem. at uni back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I'm starting to explore subjects that I haven't thought about since I was 16.
    I'm currently taking short online courses with Oxford Continuing Education and thinking of doing the Cert HE in Eng. Lit.(120 CATS points). If I want to continue after this, it will have to be with the OU. I'm pretty sure that the CertHE will be accepted as equiv. to the first year. However, I really can't make up my mind if I want to go down the pure Eng. Lit degree route, the Eng. Lit & Lang, or even Eng. + French Language degree.

    I know that it's possible to take most OU courses just as standalone courses without registering on any specific diploma/degree, but do they still count if I decide to commit myself later? In theory, could I take a Level 2 or 3 course to see if I really like it?

    Thanks for any advice,

    Steve
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    Hi, as a middle-aged guy who studied Biochem. at uni back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I'm starting to explore subjects that I haven't thought about since I was 16.
    I'm currently taking short online courses with Oxford Continuing Education and thinking of doing the Cert HE in Eng. Lit.(120 CATS points). If I want to continue after this, it will have to be with the OU. I'm pretty sure that the CertHE will be accepted as equiv. to the first year. However, I really can't make up my mind if I want to go down the pure Eng. Lit degree route, the Eng. Lit & Lang, or even Eng. + French Language degree.

    I know that it's possible to take most OU courses just as standalone courses without registering on any specific diploma/degree, but do they still count if I decide to commit myself later? In theory, could I take a Level 2 or 3 course to see if I really like it?

    Thanks for any advice,

    Steve
    Any standalone OU modules you take can be incorporated into a degree at a later stage, yes.

    I was thinking of doing some of the short online courses at Oxford's Continuing Education Dept, how is it going? Personally I don't think the OU is very good at languages; there just isn't enough opportunity to practice your listening and speaking skills. I have the books (PDF version) of the level 2 French module, I could send them to you if you're interested?
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    Hi, as a middle-aged guy who studied Biochem. at uni back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I'm starting to explore subjects that I haven't thought about since I was 16.
    I'm currently taking short online courses with Oxford Continuing Education and thinking of doing the Cert HE in Eng. Lit.(120 CATS points). If I want to continue after this, it will have to be with the OU. I'm pretty sure that the CertHE will be accepted as equiv. to the first year. However, I really can't make up my mind if I want to go down the pure Eng. Lit degree route, the Eng. Lit & Lang, or even Eng. + French Language degree.

    I know that it's possible to take most OU courses just as standalone courses without registering on any specific diploma/degree, but do they still count if I decide to commit myself later? In theory, could I take a Level 2 or 3 course to see if I really like it?

    Thanks for any advice,

    Steve
    Which course at Oxford are you thinking about? The Foundation Certificate in English Literature can take you into the second year of a full undergrad degree at a number of unis, including Oxford itself. The Certificate in HE with a 'major' in Literature won't do that (but is a lot cheaper!) and should still earn you some OU credits.

    You would be well advised to make up your mind about whether you want to do the French language component at a reasonably early stage, as this might make things a bit more challenging in terms of finding suitable follow-on courses.

    I'd also check out exactly how the OU runs its language courses - I should be very surprised if they don't run webinars and the like to give you the opportunity to practise actually speaking the language in question.

    Finally, the great advantage about starting from where you are is that you may find that you want to dive into postgrad study after the Cert HE and forget about undergrad altogether. One of the myths about further education in the humanities in later life is that you have to complete the BA before you can do anything else. Not so . This is particularly relevant in your case because if you already have an undergrad degree in anything at all, you won't qualify for student loans and may even be charged higher tuition fees, under the ELQ (equivalent or lower qualification) rules.
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    I'd also check out exactly how the OU runs its language courses - I should be very surprised if they don't run webinars and the like to give you the opportunity to practise actually speaking the language in question.
    There is a system for doing online tutorials, but they are nothing like seminars or conversation classes. I only had three online tutorials for the entire module; each one lasted around 40 mins, but a good 15 mins was wasted just waiting for people to turn up and fix their mic problems. Most of the session was spent repeating the same two sentences over and over. Students couldn't talk to each other, all conversation was directed to the tutor. You had to electronically raise your hand if you wanted to say anything, then the tutor would turn on your mic. In short, absolutely not worth turning up for. I tried to organise a Skype group chat where everyone could meet to practice speaking together, not one person wanted to do it. It was all rather depressing.

    I only did one OU French module so perhaps my experience isn't totally representative, but from what the tutor told me privately, it doesn't sound as if things get much better at level 2 or 3.
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    Thanks to all of you for your fast replies and explanation of OU courses.

    ...“How is it going?”

    The courses are brilliant and are very addictive. I went into sciences many years ago but always felt that my heart was in the Arts. With the kids finally at uni, I have a bit more peace and quiet. I've only done two courses at Oxford and will definitely continue. Each course is 10 credits and requires two TMAs. After such a long break, it's been difficult to get back into the self-discipline and organisation required, but I'm getting there. I'm concentrating on Literature, but their Facebook page has already got me interested in History and Archeology so I don't know where I'll end up!

    There are many other online courses, but they do not offer transferable CATS points. Exeter uni has very similar courses to Oxford and a bit cheaper, but they do not have TMAs and are not accredited. Likewise Cambridge. There are also some brilliant free courses at FutureLearn.

    ….”The Foundation Certificate in English Literature can take you into the second year of a full undergrad degree at a number of unis,...”

    Thanks, but I think I'm way past that stage, and my family, boss and relatives may well have me sent to a looney bin. :-) I'm well past needing a degree and am doing this for personal reasons, so the CertHE is perfect.

    I think I'll forget about French. I really wanted to study the literature but the OU courses seem to focus on everyday language, which I don't want.

    ….”Finally, the great advantage about starting from where you are is that you may find that you want to dive into postgrad study after the Cert HE and forget about undergrad altogether. One of the myths about further education in the humanities in later life is that you have to complete the BA before you can do anything else. Not so . This is particularly relevant in your case because if you already have an undergrad degree in anything at all, you won't qualify for student loans and may even be charged higher tuition fees, under the ELQ (equivalent or lower qualification) rules. ...”

    Excellent advice. Thank you.
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    The courses are brilliant and are very addictive. I went into sciences many years ago but always felt that my heart was in the Arts. With the kids finally at uni, I have a bit more peace and quiet. I've only done two courses at Oxford and will definitely continue. Each course is 10 credits and requires two TMAs. After such a long break, it's been difficult to get back into the self-discipline and organisation required, but I'm getting there. I'm concentrating on Literature, but their Facebook page has already got me interested in History and Archeology so I don't know where I'll end up!
    That sounds great! I don't want to do the full CertHE myself, but I quite like the look of the 'Jane Austen', 'Ancestral Voices: The Earliest English Literature' and 'Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers' modules - have you done any of these? Do you interact much with other students? I heard there was a forum, are people very engaged on there?

    If you don't like the look of the OU course, you could probably transfer your Oxford CATs onto the University of London's distance learning English Literature degree. http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk...glish#overview
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    Thanks to all of you for your fast replies and explanation of OU courses.

    ...“How is it going?”

    The courses are brilliant and are very addictive. I went into sciences many years ago but always felt that my heart was in the Arts. With the kids finally at uni, I have a bit more peace and quiet. I've only done two courses at Oxford and will definitely continue. Each course is 10 credits and requires two TMAs. After such a long break, it's been difficult to get back into the self-discipline and organisation required, but I'm getting there. I'm concentrating on Literature, but their Facebook page has already got me interested in History and Archeology so I don't know where I'll end up!

    There are many other online courses, but they do not offer transferable CATS points. Exeter uni has very similar courses to Oxford and a bit cheaper, but they do not have TMAs and are not accredited. Likewise Cambridge. There are also some brilliant free courses at FutureLearn.

    ….”The Foundation Certificate in English Literature can take you into the second year of a full undergrad degree at a number of unis,...”

    Thanks, but I think I'm way past that stage, and my family, boss and relatives may well have me sent to a looney bin. :-) I'm well past needing a degree and am doing this for personal reasons, so the CertHE is perfect.

    I think I'll forget about French. I really wanted to study the literature but the OU courses seem to focus on everyday language, which I don't want.

    ….”Finally, the great advantage about starting from where you are is that you may find that you want to dive into postgrad study after the Cert HE and forget about undergrad altogether. One of the myths about further education in the humanities in later life is that you have to complete the BA before you can do anything else. Not so . This is particularly relevant in your case because if you already have an undergrad degree in anything at all, you won't qualify for student loans and may even be charged higher tuition fees, under the ELQ (equivalent or lower qualification) rules. ...”

    Excellent advice. Thank you.
    The great thing about all this is that is entirely 'for you' - so you decide how far you want to take it, and over what timescale. I will only say that you would not be the only person to have started out with the CertHE and landed up doing a doctorate. Just saying :tongue:
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    ….”That sounds great! I don't want to do the full CertHE myself, but I quite like the look of the 'Jane Austen', 'Ancestral Voices: The Earliest English Literature' ...”

    Ancestral Voices was my first course and I'm at the end of Middle English. My aim was to study Eng.Lit. in chron. Order, as you can see. Yes, you interact as much as you want. Anc. Voices was a little disappointing in that only about 8 people ended up regularly exchanging ideas on the forums. But still a good course! Middle English has a tutor who seems to never sleep and the forums keep us on our toes! For someone like me who hasn't had to do an essay for over 30 years, the TMAs were a cold slap on the face, but I survived.
    Re. forums, I did the free FutureLearn course Shakespeare's World with Prof. Jonathan Bate from Warwick Uni, and the forum was worth its weight in gold! Yes, I also plan to do the Jane Austen course....

    ”If you don't like the look of the OU course, you could probably transfer your Oxford CATs onto the University of London's distance learning English Literature degree.”....

    I know of this, but they don't have any student support..

    ” will only say that you would not be the only person to have started out with the CertHE and landed up doing a doctorate. Just saying “....

    My wife has the doctorate and I still end up proof-reading her papers! :-)
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    ...
    If you use the far right hand orange button with the quotation marks on it, the post you are replying to should appear in the Quick Reply box at the bottom of the thread. You can then 'chunk up' a post you are quoting if you want to, just make sure that you have [quote= ] at the beginning of the segment and [/quote ] at the end. (Remove the spaces though) If you want to quote a particular user, add the username after 'quote=' but within the square brackets. This is a useful way of alerting someone that you've replied to them - they may not be following the thread automatically.

    Husbands must have some uses :tongue:
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    There has been talk of PDF versions of language course books - do all courses (I.e. maths, business, etc) also provide PDF versions? Or is it just languages?
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    (Original post by Chrisruptor)
    There has been talk of PDF versions of language course books - do all courses (I.e. maths, business, etc) also provide PDF versions? Or is it just languages?
    All modules have PDF version of the course books.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    All module shave PDF version of the course books.
    Thanks - thought I was in the open uni chat thread when I asked that but I got my answer!
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    [QUOTE=Minerva;63393023]If you use the far right hand orange button with the quotation marks on it, the post you are replying to should appear in the Quick Reply box at the bottom of the thread. You can then 'chunk up' a post you are quoting if you want to, just make sure that you have
    (Original post by )
    at the beginning of the segment and [/quote ] at the end. (Remove the spaces though) If you want to quote a particular user, add the username after 'quote=' but within the square brackets. This is a useful way of alerting someone that you've replied to them - they may not be following the thread automatically.

    Husbands must have some uses :tongue:

    Hi Minerva, I'm sure that you must be very busy imparting wisdom to the Romans (still haven't sorted out their driving though!), but may I ask you a question? Was your CertHE with the OU or Oxf. conted or somewhere else? I ask because although the Cert HE is tempting, if I decide to take it further and continue with level 2 (FHEQ5) courses with the OU, when it came to asking the OU to accept my CATS credits, would it make make any difference to the OU whether I had the CertHE or just 120 CATS points without having ever registered for the CertHE? As far as I can tell, the only difference is the CertHE has to include two extra essays, a learning log (whatever that is) and at least one 'on site' course, e.g. summer school - which I was counting on doing anyway. Another difference is the CertHE is a lot more expensive!

    Steve


    PS Yes, husbands do have their uses. Recent uses include being blamed for snow, electricity cuts, trees falling down in garden and chainsaw not starting. Other uses include having to demonstrate for the millionth time how to open the bonnet of a car and explain calmly and sweetly that even people with PhDs are perfectly capable of adding windscreen washing fluid to the bleedin' pastic container! :-)
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    Hi Minerva, I'm sure that you must be very busy imparting wisdom to the Romans (still haven't sorted out their driving though!), but may I ask you a question? Was your CertHE with the OU or Oxf. conted or somewhere else? I ask because although the Cert HE is tempting, if I decide to take it further and continue with level 2 (FHEQ5) courses with the OU, when it came to asking the OU to accept my CATS credits, would it make make any difference to the OU whether I had the CertHE or just 120 CATS points without having ever registered for the CertHE? As far as I can tell, the only difference is the CertHE has to include two extra essays, a learning log (whatever that is) and at least one 'on site' course, e.g. summer school - which I was counting on doing anyway. Another difference is the CertHE is a lot more expensive!
    Have you looked at the www.open.ac.uk/study/credit-transfer webpage? You don't need to be awarded a qualification to transfer into the OU; simply having 120 credits is fine. There isn't much point getting a CertHE if you plan on transferring to the OU, although I think you would retain the Oxford qualification, you couldn't use it anywhere or put it on your CV.
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    Hi Minerva, I'm sure that you must be very busy imparting wisdom to the Romans (still haven't sorted out their driving though!), but may I ask you a question? Was your CertHE with the OU or Oxf. conted or somewhere else? I ask because although the Cert HE is tempting, if I decide to take it further and continue with level 2 (FHEQ5) courses with the OU, when it came to asking the OU to accept my CATS credits, would it make make any difference to the OU whether I had the CertHE or just 120 CATS points without having ever registered for the CertHE? As far as I can tell, the only difference is the CertHE has to include two extra essays, a learning log (whatever that is) and at least one 'on site' course, e.g. summer school - which I was counting on doing anyway. Another difference is the CertHE is a lot more expensive!

    Steve
    I'd suggest checking with the OU about this - as far as I know if the CATS points are appropriately certified, you should be OK, but the idea of building them up in 'tens' is likely to be relatively unusual. It won't make any difference who awards the CertHE, by the way, as to whether the credits are transferable. What would make a difference, though less likey with the OU, is the content of the CertHE if you wanted to add to it for a full undergrad degree.

    PS Yes, husbands do have their uses. Recent uses include being blamed for snow, electricity cuts, trees falling down in garden and chainsaw not starting. Other uses include having to demonstrate for the millionth time how to open the bonnet of a car and explain calmly and sweetly that even people with PhDs are perfectly capable of adding windscreen washing fluid to the bleedin' pastic container! :-)
    :lol:
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    You don't need to be awarded a qualification to transfer into the OU; simply having 120 credits is fine. There isn't much point getting a CertHE if you plan on transferring to the OU, although I think you would retain the Oxford qualification, you couldn't use it anywhere or put it on your CV.
    Since the Cert would be from a completely different place, I don't see why someone wouldn't be allowed to use it as well as any future degree, particularly if the Cert were different/more advanced than the 1st year of the degree would have been.

    (Original post by Minerva)
    I'd suggest checking with the OU about this - as far as I know if the CATS points are appropriately certified, you should be OK, but the idea of building them up in 'tens' is likely to be relatively unusual.
    Yes, that seems to be unique to the Oxford Cont Educ. system and the Cert HE is built up in this way. That way, they're able to offer shorter and affordable courses and I think it's a great idea. I've only done two courses so far and I can assure you that they demand a lot of commitment and self discipline. Each course includes two TMAs; the first is relatively short but the second is a traditional essay and it was quite terrifying to have to do this after such a long time!
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    Since the Cert would be from a completely different place, I don't see why someone wouldn't be allowed to use it as well as any future degree, particularly if the Cert were different/more advanced than the 1st year of the degree would have been.
    It doesn't matter that the Cert was done at a different university, that's not the point. Using the same credits twice over for two different qualifications is fundamentally dishonest; it implies you've done more work than you actually have. I don't think you should assume that Oxford's Continuing Education modules are more advanced than Open University level 1 modules. I daresay they're more focused, but that's not necessarily a good thing if you're looking for a broad introduction into the humanities.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    It doesn't matter that the Cert was done at a different university, that's not the point. Using the same credits twice over for two different qualifications is fundamentally dishonest; it implies you've done more work than you actually have. I don't think you should assume that Oxford's Continuing Education modules are more advanced than Open University level 1 modules. I daresay they're more focused, but that's not necessarily a good thing if you're looking for a broad introduction into the humanities.
    Thanks Snufkin (is this name from the Wizard of Oz?) I hadn't thought of it like that. In fact they have strict rules about the courses used for a Cert HE. I think that just under half have to be from different subjects to the main subject area, which is a very good idea. Their facebook page seems to be dominated by History and Archaeology people and I find myself becoming interested in areas that I'd never thought about in the past.
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    (Original post by steven21020)
    Thanks Snufkin (is this name from the Wizard of Oz?) I hadn't thought of it like that. In fact they have strict rules about the courses used for a Cert HE. I think that just under half have to be from different subjects to the main subject area, which is a very good idea. Their facebook page seems to be dominated by History and Archaeology people and I find myself becoming interested in areas that I'd never thought about in the past.
    The Moomins!
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    The Moomins!
    Watching the Moomins late at night on Youtube when you can't sleep leads to some very strange dreams when you do finally nod off.....
 
 
 
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