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    Hi, I'm struggling to decide what course and what long distance university to choose!

    I am still undecided ultimately what I would like to do after gaining a degree. I really want to become a Science Teacher. But i'm also interested in research jobs.

    I'm looking at two courses:

    Q64 Natural Science (Physics) with Open University
    http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/q64

    or

    Planetary Science with Astronomy at Birkbeck University
    http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2017/unde...mes/UBSPSAST_C

    Planetary Science is my favourite subject but i feel the Physics might be a better subject to study for teaching? The physics degree at Open University is accredited. Also there is no guarantee I'd get into Birkbeck as my formal qualifications in GCSE and A-Level are not great.

    Just looking on some advice really,

    Thanks
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    Hi again. I think you should study whichever subject you like best. The planetary sciences degree involves a lot of geology, physics obviously does not - which subject are you more interested in? Apply to both - if you don't get into Birkbeck then your decision has been made for you.

    Accreditation with a learned society is a completely meaningless distinction. Unless you want to be a lawyer, engineer or psychologist, it doesn't matter if your degree is accredited or not. It is still a proper degree.

    I think the Birkbeck degree would be better if you are considering research but either degree would be absolutely fine for becoming a teacher.

    Plagioclase dragonkeeper999 what do you guys think?
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    (Original post by madmandan90)
    Hi, I'm struggling to decide what course and what long distance university to choose!

    I am still undecided ultimately what I would like to do after gaining a degree. I really want to become a Science Teacher. But i'm also interested in research jobs.

    I'm looking at two courses:

    Q64 Natural Science (Physics) with Open University
    http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/q64

    or

    Planetary Science with Astronomy at Birkbeck University
    http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2017/unde...mes/UBSPSAST_C

    Planetary Science is my favourite subject but i feel the Physics might be a better subject to study for teaching? The physics degree at Open University is accredited. Also there is no guarantee I'd get into Birkbeck as my formal qualifications in GCSE and A-Level are not great.

    Just looking on some advice really,

    Thanks
    Thanks Snufkin for the tag

    I would agree that in terms of becoming a teacher it probably doesn't matter either way, I'd say go for the degree you really enjoy (sounds like Birkbeck for Planetary Science?) - although do have a closer look into the modules of each option and if they would really suit your interests

    In terms of research, I personally would be inclined to say neither would really be ideal since they have very little practical component - both offer an optional practical module, but it seems very minor and basic compared to those offered by most other (non-online) courses - e.g. at my university, Natural Sciences undergrads get around 5-15 hours a week of practical work, and that's considered pretty low compared to some similar courses at e.g. Imperial. Of course, you could try and supplement this by doing research internships, for example over the summer, but these also tend to be pretty competitive to get and would be looking for a reasonable amount of practical lab work during your undergrad degree.

    As Snufkin says, accreditation isn't really an issue so I wouldn't make that a major consideration.

    Are you completely limited to on-line degree options? Many universities offer part-time courses or those which are taught partly online/ in short, intense study weeks on campus followed by long independent study months - these could also be options to consider if you do want to keep options in research open?
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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    In terms of research, I personally would be inclined to say neither would really be ideal since they have very little practical component - both offer an optional practical module, but it seems very minor and basic compared to those offered by most other (non-online) courses
    Just on this point, I don't think that's accurate. According to the website, many of the Birkbeck modules include practical work, and there are (optional) fieldtrips to Scotland, Greece and Morocco. The Birkbeck degree is available via distance and on-site learning, distance students are free to attend lectures, seminars and practicals with the on-site students whenever they like.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Just on this point, I don't think that's accurate. According to the website, many of the Birkbeck modules include practical work, and there are (optional) fieldtrips to Scotland, Greece and Morocco. The Birkbeck degree is available via distance and on-site learning, distance students are free to attend lectures, seminars and practicals with the on-site students whenever they like.
    Ah, yeah you're right I hadn't looked into the details of some of the optional modules. That being said, if OP needs to take only/ mostly online options for whatever reason then the amount of fieldwork would still be very limited, I'm not sure many researchers looking for new PhD students would consider just a couple of fieldwork modules sufficient. Geology students at my uni do at least 4 weeks of fieldwork a year, a 6 week summer mapping project, as well as 6-10 hours a week of labs (and probably more in final year if they do a practical project).
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    (Original post by dragonkeeper999)
    Thanks Snufkin for the tag

    I would agree that in terms of becoming a teacher it probably doesn't matter either way, I'd say go for the degree you really enjoy (sounds like Birkbeck for Planetary Science?) - although do have a closer look into the modules of each option and if they would really suit your interests

    In terms of research, I personally would be inclined to say neither would really be ideal since they have very little practical component - both offer an optional practical module, but it seems very minor and basic compared to those offered by most other (non-online) courses - e.g. at my university, Natural Sciences undergrads get around 5-15 hours a week of practical work, and that's considered pretty low compared to some similar courses at e.g. Imperial. Of course, you could try and supplement this by doing research internships, for example over the summer, but these also tend to be pretty competitive to get and would be looking for a reasonable amount of practical lab work during your undergrad degree.

    As Snufkin says, accreditation isn't really an issue so I wouldn't make that a major consideration.

    Are you completely limited to on-line degree options? Many universities offer part-time courses or those which are taught partly online/ in short, intense study weeks on campus followed by long independent study months - these could also be options to consider if you do want to keep options in research open?
    Hi thanks for the response!

    I think I am limited to Open University to be honest with you. I achieved pretty much straight C's - D's in GCSE and A-Levels, long story short I did absolutely no revision at all. Now eight years later all I can do is look back and laugh at my stupidity. I would love to go to a brick university and I would be able to accommodate my full time job to be able to attend part time lectures in the evenings. Only problem is I'm stuck in the West Midlands area which narrows my options down even more. (That's if there was any options with my grades)

    Thanks again for the response it's massively appreciated.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Hi again. I think you should study whichever subject you like best. The planetary sciences degree involves a lot of geology, physics obviously does not - which subject are you more interested in? Apply to both - if you don't get into Birkbeck then your decision has been made for you.

    Accreditation with a learned society is a completely meaningless distinction. Unless you want to be a lawyer, engineer or psychologist, it doesn't matter if your degree is accredited or not. It is still a proper degree.

    I think the Birkbeck degree would be better if you are considering research but either degree would be absolutely fine for becoming a teacher.

    Plagioclase dragonkeeper999 what do you guys think?
    Hey thanks again for your suggestion in the first place!

    I read somewhere that the accreditation was "God like" but I don't fancy any of those jobs haha.
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    (Original post by madmandan90)
    Hi thanks for the response!

    I think I am limited to Open University to be honest with you. I achieved pretty much straight C's - D's in GCSE and A-Levels, long story short I did absolutely no revision at all. Now eight years later all I can do is look back and laugh at my stupidity. I would love to go to a brick university and I would be able to accommodate my full time job to be able to attend part time lectures in the evenings. Only problem is I'm stuck in the West Midlands area which narrows my options down even more. (That's if there was any options with my grades)

    Thanks again for the response it's massively appreciated.
    Is it just that you don't want to give up your job, or do you have financial/family commitments as well? *nosey*

    By the way, if you are more interested in astronomy than planetary science, this might be of interest: http://www.studyastronomy.com/advanced-study.php
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    (Original post by madmandan90)
    Hi, I'm struggling to decide what course and what long distance university to choose!

    I am still undecided ultimately what I would like to do after gaining a degree. I really want to become a Science Teacher. But i'm also interested in research jobs.

    I'm looking at two courses:

    Q64 Natural Science (Physics) with Open University
    http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/qualifications/q64

    or

    Planetary Science with Astronomy at Birkbeck University
    http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2017/unde...mes/UBSPSAST_C

    Planetary Science is my favourite subject but i feel the Physics might be a better subject to study for teaching? The physics degree at Open University is accredited. Also there is no guarantee I'd get into Birkbeck as my formal qualifications in GCSE and A-Level are not great.

    Just looking on some advice really,

    Thanks
    Assuming you can become a science teacher with either of these degrees then it comes down to do you want to study physics or planetary science as they are completely different (I saw another poster listed the specific differences so I wont list them again)

    I can't see why studying physics over planetary science would make you a better teacher, anything covered in a physics degree won't really be covered at GCSE in the level of detail you learn at degree level (not even first year), and nothing from year 2 onwards will be relevant for A-level teaching from a physics degree

    As for the research jobs, it depends on what you want to research tbh, if you want to do research into experimental condensed matter physics do a physics degree (if the open university have experimental physics modules) but if you want to do something in the more geology based side etc planetary science would be the way to go (those 2 topics are just examples)

    If you have any questions about studying physics feel free to message me as I am currently in my second year of a physics degree (though not at the open university)
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    (Original post by madmandan90)
    Hi thanks for the response!

    I think I am limited to Open University to be honest with you. I achieved pretty much straight C's - D's in GCSE and A-Levels, long story short I did absolutely no revision at all. Now eight years later all I can do is look back and laugh at my stupidity. I would love to go to a brick university and I would be able to accommodate my full time job to be able to attend part time lectures in the evenings. Only problem is I'm stuck in the West Midlands area which narrows my options down even more. (That's if there was any options with my grades)

    Thanks again for the response it's massively appreciated.
    Ah, have you considered foundation degrees/ access courses? Since you did your A levels a long time ago, it's possible universities wouldn't consider them anyway (since you've probably forgotten everything you studied, and learnt about time management etc. a lot through working after college). Doing an access course would give you an equivalent level qualification, and they are aimed at people exactly like you I'm not sure about the funding etc. for them though (feel like you can get a student loan for it?) and it would add another year of study.

    There's still the issue of needing to study part-time and in the evenings though - as you say there aren't many universities offering this (try talking to some local unis though and seeing if they may be able to? Often lectures are actually video recorded so you could watch them back later rather than actually going to lectures - my uni has started doing this this year, and although it's aimed more at students who couldn't make one or two lectures due to illness/ being lazy, it would also be invaluable for students needing to work during the day). Practical lab classes would probably have to be done during the day though, but if you find the perfect course for you at a local uni you could perhaps try and arrange working just 4 days a week so you'd have time?
 
 
 
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