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    Hi, I'm 18 years old and am pretty certain I will get really poor grades or completely fail my Alevels as I had some personal stuff going on and haven't had much time to revise. I really want to become a primary school teacher and recently heard about Open University. If I was to go there I would study education studies full time. I just wanted to know if anyone else went there and how your experience was. Also is having a degree from the Open University looked down upon and would I have difficulty getting onto a PGCE with it? Thank you.
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    Open university is by distance learning from home mostly, unlike a physical uni , which you can attend.
    You will have to be self disciplined to study by yourself. Pist again if you get no replies as there are people who do OU degrees.
    A degree from the OU is well respected.
    Yes it should be fine for a PGCE, but you will need other things to support your application.

    The chepaest way imo is to resit and do well in your A levels.
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    I am just coming up to the end of an Open University degree and I have hated the experience and wouldn't recommend it to anybody. Also, the OU is mostly designed for mature students who need to study around work/raising kids etc and I honestly don't think that it would be suitable for an 18 year old.

    Like the above poster I would recommend either resitting your A-Levels or taking a break from education and coming back to apply to physical uni's in a year or two from now. You will realise that once especially you pass 21, A-Levels actually mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Any extra money you can save from working will always help as well.

    Also, many universities have foundation year programs for people who don't have A-Levels or have poor A-Level results to maybe look at one of those too.
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    The open university is not the easy option. It's still a degree with the same academic rigour as a brick uni.

    People often seem to be confused, thinking that entry requirements equal difficulty of course. That's not the case. Entry requirements are, more often than not, a way to limit applications more than anything else.

    In addition to same academic rigour, study is completely self directed. You don't have your networking and work experience opportunities placed into your lap in the same way you do at brick uni. You probably also have work commitments, social life (of some kind but that goes during study) and have to contend with people around you not seeing your study as real study.

    I love the open university and especially the opportunities it has opened up for me but it's not a walk in the park. It's not the option you take because you don't think your grades are good enough to go elsewhere.

    Pick open uni for its reputation, its flexibility, its ridiculously cheap cost - £5k loan a year (based on ft equivalent) versus £18k a year at brick for low income
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    The Open University is great, especially if you're committed and an independent learner. I have done one year (120 credits) with the the Open University, that is while I worked full-time. It is a very challenging experience, though definitely worthwhile as it has allowed me to access into a local brick university.
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    Honestly, Open Uni saved my life (sounds dramatic - but it really got me on the right track and I certainly wouldn't be where I am today without it). I'm 21 and between the ages of 15-17 I started suffering terrible depression and panic attacks, they were really debilitating, as a result of this I have 2 GCSE's and No A Levels, no UCAS points, there's no way I'd be attending uni without OU. I'm 21 now and after 2 years part time, I worked my ass off, gained a CertHE and have been offered a place at The University of Nottingham - a uni in the top 20 in the UK! - starting in september.

    A few pros and cons of Open Uni:

    PROS
    - really great module choices and options, very broad range of topics covered
    - gives you a chance to rebuild your academic career and confidence
    - tons of online learning resources via forums and the website
    - open uni isn't solely done from your home, your tutor group will hold (optional) tutorials once a month and your regional centre (usually a college room they rent out for a few hours)

    CONS
    - lack of social life. honestly, if you're really keen on experiencing the social side of uni, it does suck, but in my case this wasn't a massive issue for me as i really wanted to focus on working hard so i could get qualifications and transfer to a good uni
    - tutors. if you get stuck with a bad tutor it can be really difficult because the only contact you have with them is email/phone, and it can be a bit frustrating if you're struggling with the course material. my last year, i've basically just self taught, my tutor was disgraceful. literally. but this is an isolated incident i was told and regardless, easily rectified - open uni can change your tutor if it gets too bad - just keep in contact with them - i changed my tutor!


    i've been in the position where you feel all hope is lost regarding education and academia (as i said, my GCSEs and A Levels were abysmal) but it's just not the case. open university can open those doors for you, and you can easily transfer credits or once you've studied full time there for one year - or part time two years - you'll be eligible for a certification of higher education (CertHE) and as i said, that's how i've been accepted at UoN. for the most part, i enjoyed OU tremendously and 100% would not be in the position i am now without it
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    I agree with a lot of the opinions expressed in this thread so far. The OU is absolutely not the path that you should take if you don't think that you can get in anywhere else. If you are the sort of person who has any chance of seeing an OU degree through to the end then you would probably find that most institutions in the UK would probably be happy to have you (I have personally received offers for places on Masters courses with Russell Group unis based on my OU qualifications for example).

    I think that a lot of the experiences recounted here related to first year undergrad and below levels of OU study though. With determination it is totally possible to complete level 1 of an OU degree within 1 year as well as working full-time, I know because I did it, however like with most degrees, the first year is rather simple. Brick unis use it as way to spin a bit of extra money and ease people into student life and academic writing and the OU is no different in that regard. Level 1 counts for zero on your final grade so you literally just have to do the minimum possible to pass.

    I defy anybody who says that they can do more than 60-90 credits of level 2 or level 3 OU study within a year though and in many cases the OU grades far more harshly than a lot of brick UK unis. I know for a fact that my dissertation would have received a better grade at a brick uni as I have personal contacts based on my job and received other professional opinions. Regardless, the OU both wanted more work from me than a brick uni would have and then hated my final submission and marked it low as a result.

    At ages 18-21 there is a lot of focus on direct paths and UCAS and those muddy the waters a lot and make things seem far more complicated than they actually are. As I said in my previous posts, I would expect at the very least that you would be able to get into a foundation year program if your A-level results aren't up to code. By all means go down the OU route if you want to but don't underestimate the amount of personal determination and discipline that is required and don't go in expecting it to be an easy ride compared to studying at a brick uni full-time because I'm telling you now, it won't be.
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    And if you do for some reason decide to pursue part-time distance study over a more conventional route then for the faith of the seven, don't choose the UoL External Program.

    As an 18 year old with poor A-level results they would be even more likely to turn the noses up at you than the likes of Oxford and Cambridge.
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    Hi,
    I'm thinking of going to the OU this year doing 120 credits. I just wanted to know how you went about transferring into a brick as that is what I intend on doing.
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    (Original post by cara01)
    Hi,
    I'm thinking of going to the OU this year doing 120 credits. I just wanted to know how you went about transferring into a brick as that is what I intend on doing.
    That depends on the brick but normal procedure is that you fill in a form, provide proof of what you did (transcripts) and they assess whether or not you're eligible.*

    The problem is that OU first years aren't normal. They are designed to ease people back into academia and unfortunately they don't include a lot of the study skills and academic writing stuff that other UK uni first year courses do. Since first year studies count for absolutely jack **** in the grand scheme of things though you will probably be OK but you would need to speak with the other uni about that.*
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    Hi there!

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the OU. What have you hated about it?
 
 
 
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