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    Hi.

    I am considering taking an OU degree course in Health & Social Care, I have standard and O grades but no highers to my name which if I was to apply to a Uni for the same course I would not be suited due to my grades as they request minimum 2 highers.

    I have a disabled child who requires 24-7 care and regularly ends up in hospital which is why I'm thinking O.U. may suit my home situation best.

    Are there any mature students with similiar grades who have found an O.U. degree course completely achievable. I guess there is always the fear that I won't manage academically to complete this. How is the tutor support on OU course??

    Thank you
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    Yes its definitely manageable, I did my GCSE's in 2001, got a B, 3 D's and the rest E's, last year I started The Open University and achieved 95%, 92% and 89% in my 3 modules.

    You can study at any time day or night, the only timelines you need to keep to are the assignment hand ins which you do via the online service on TOU's website from your computer.

    Also tutor support was amazing for me, some people weren't happy with theirs though, its luck of the draw which tutors you get I'm afraid.
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    Also to add, make sure you check with any benefits you receive on what you can study without it affecting them.

    I made the mistake of signing up to a full 120 credit year (35 hours), after this I discovered I was entitled to no help apart from tuition fee loan (jobseekers don't care that you can study at midnight and work around it, you can't have anything over 15.99 hours a week dedicated to anything other than them), so had to find a job before term time.

    Working full-time which was extremely tough the past year.
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    Thanks for your reply, good to hear a success story. I googled OU reviews and some slate these OU degree courses and say that employer's don't rate them at all.

    I was thinking I would aim for 120hrs which would mean completing it in 3yrs, I don't know how practical that will be with my daughter's health issues but I could reduce to 60hrs if necessary.

    I don't get any benefits for being a carer as I already work part-time and if I sign up to 120hrs then I also get nothing.
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    If you are caring for your daughter while also working part time then id probably advise you to go 60 credits a year and do in 6 years.

    The first year is easy with degree classification not counting, so you could essentially 'scrape' a 40% pass if you wanted to see if you could manage 120 credits, it really is 35 hours a week you need free for this though (i had no social life last year).

    You can always defer modules if the workload becomes unbearable, not sure how this affects what fees you need to pay though, id confirm with the open university over the phone about what penalties deferring modules are.
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    Something to consider, I took OU modules and used them as evidence of learning ability instead of access to get into a brick uni, because it demonstrated I could work independently it was seen positively.

    When I applied to start my MA, I was given an interview with the director of the course, of the 30mins I was in the interview the professor conducting it spent at least 15 mins talking about the merits of the OU and how wonderful it was I studied with them and how I therefore demonstrated the ability to work independently, to absorb and analyse information without a tutor to hand, and how to effectively manage my time. I am pretty certain that having studied with the OU, along with my passion for my subject, helped my application considerably.

    Ignore the reviews about employers, either it's nonsense or the employers don't understand the OU or only value degrees from Oxbridge etc - and if that's the case I wouldn't want to work for them if they are swayed with a 'name'. Over the years on various OU message boards I have spoken to a number of OU graduates who have gone on to get excellent jobs in their field or who have gone on to study their Masters at places like Oxbridge/LSE etc.

    The OU opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me, and I'm sure it will do the same for you
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    (Original post by Clur.M.)
    Something to consider, I took OU modules and used them as evidence of learning ability instead of access to get into a brick uni, because it demonstrated I could work independently it was seen positively.

    When I applied to start my MA, I was given an interview with the director of the course, of the 30mins I was in the interview the professor conducting it spent at least 15 mins talking about the merits of the OU and how wonderful it was I studied with them and how I therefore demonstrated the ability to work independently, to absorb and analyse information without a tutor to hand, and how to effectively manage my time. I am pretty certain that having studied with the OU, along with my passion for my subject, helped my application considerably.

    Ignore the reviews about employers, either it's nonsense or the employers don't understand the OU or only value degrees from Oxbridge etc - and if that's the case I wouldn't want to work for them if they are swayed with a 'name'. Over the years on various OU message boards I have spoken to a number of OU graduates who have gone on to get excellent jobs in their field or who have gone on to study their Masters at places like Oxbridge/LSE etc.

    The OU opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me, and I'm sure it will do the same for you
    I'd echo this too, its well known a TOU degree is respected (sometimes even more so than brick uni's as it takes greater discipline to study independently), Oxbridge even welcome masters applications from TOU.

    I used last years TOU progress to get into a brick uni this year, inplace of a foundation/access/a-level entry.
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    (Original post by loooopppyyy)
    I'd echo this too, its well known a TOU degree is respected (sometimes even more so than brick uni's as it takes greater discipline to study independently), Oxbridge even welcome masters applications from TOU.

    I used last years TOU progress to get into a brick uni this year, inplace of a foundation/access/a-level entry.
    Thank you for your advice, it's been a great help and I've found it really positive feedback about OU. I think I may be best to do the access module first to help me get back into course work and hopefully this will let me see if I can combine studying along with caring for my disabled daughter at least before I commit to BA Hons course!

    Can I ask what you both studied via OU?
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    (Original post by Loupark744)
    Thank you for your advice, it's been a great help and I've found it really positive feedback about OU. I think I may be best to do the access module first to help me get back into course work and hopefully this will let me see if I can combine studying along with caring for my disabled daughter at least before I commit to BA Hons course!

    Can I ask what you both studied via OU?
    Personal opinion is that the access module is a waste of time and money (you can do all that sort of stuff for free on khan academy), you only need 40% to get a pass with the first years not counting to overall degree classification, you could take a 60 credit module and complete the other 60 credits next year, but again its your choice.

    I studied IT and Computing.
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    (Original post by Loupark744)
    Thank you for your advice, it's been a great help and I've found it really positive feedback about OU. I think I may be best to do the access module first to help me get back into course work and hopefully this will let me see if I can combine studying along with caring for my disabled daughter at least before I commit to BA Hons course!

    Can I ask what you both studied via OU?
    I studied Humanities with a focus on Art History, but I inititally thought about studying English Literature. Because of the OU modules I took I realised I had an interest in non-western art and anthropology.

    My brick uni degree was in Art History (non-western arts based). My MA will be a combination of art history/museology/anthropology and archaeology focusing on Africa Oceania and the Americas.

    I owe a lot to the OU, I initially wanted to take an intro module to see if I was 'smart enough' to study, and it put me on a path I never imagined I would take.

    I wish you good luck in your studies, whether you do it for you or a future career I think you will get lots out of it
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    I have decided to bite the bullet and attempt to get straight into doing the BA hons Health & Social care without the access module first!! 😱

    It's all about applying yourself and making the effort to study, I'm sure if it's interesting enough then it should make studying enjoyable!

    Thank u both for your advice. Glad to hear you both have done so well from OU.
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    TOU also have a free Openlearn site which helps;
    http://www.open.edu/openlearn/about-openlearn/try

    Khan acadamy also has alot of resources that will prepare you for University life, but like I said previously the first year is very academically based, it more than teaches you the necessary skills required for Uni level work.
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    I did the level one in health and social care. I think it was k101 back then. It's a really good course. I moved over to psychology because of many reasons but primarily my career goals changed. It was 10 years ago but I still remember how interesting the module was and if I hadn't taken the route I have, I would have stuck with that.

    I've never heard of anyone who has actually studied with OU, being turned down for job opportunities or anything like that because it's seen as not as good. The opposite happens. The minute I put that I was studying at OU I started getting interviews, even for jobs I was very under qualified for. When I went to uni for open day to scope out possibility of transferring to them, they practically tore my arm off to join.
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    (Original post by ~Tara~)
    When I went to uni for open day to scope out possibility of transferring to them, they practically tore my arm off to join.
    Same here! Looking at undergrad and postgrad courses, all the uni wanted to talk about was my OU experience. They really like the fact that people are self-motivated and can manage their own time, I think they also see it as going the extra mile as usually people studying with the OU have extra commitments.
 
 
 
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