New Degree: BSc (Honours) Combined STEM

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Snufkin
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The Open University has announced a new degree - BSc Combined STEM.

Despite the rather odd name, it looks quite interesting because it would allow you to study any of the OU's science modules you like, but also (if you wanted to), to combine science modules with non-STEM modules. Interesting new subject combinations (e.g. Geology and Art History or Engineering and German) are now possible with this degree.

Would you consider doing this degree?
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Vikingninja
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So it's basically liberal arts and sciences?
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Snufkin
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(Original post by Vikingninja)
So it's basically liberal arts and sciences?
I guess so. This new degree appears to be the OU's way of taking advantage of recent changes to student finance rules, before you couldn't get a loan to do a second degree, now you can if the degree is part-time and STEM related.
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ChloeKathryn
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Any one currently studying this or just have any opinions?

Considering it but worried I might be too varied, not enough learning of any one topic etc.

Uncertain of future career plans, I was set on teaching (primary) but now I'm not sure
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04MR17
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(Original post by ChloeKathryn)
Any one currently studying this or just have any opinions?

Considering it but worried I might be too varied, not enough learning of any one topic etc.

Uncertain of future career plans, I was set on teaching (primary) but now I'm not sure
Hiya:hi:

I've popped your thread into this sub-forum so you should hopefully get the replies you're after.

My advice for any kind of combined degree would be not to worry about lack of depth.:nah: If the degree is right for you and your future plans, go for it.

How useful this course would be for teaching (or associated careers), I don't know but on the surface it appears fine to me.
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sputum
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(Original post by ChloeKathryn)
Any one currently studying this or just have any opinions?

Considering it but worried I might be too varied, not enough learning of any one topic etc.

Uncertain of future career plans, I was set on teaching (primary) but now I'm not sure
I had a quick look when thinking about a second degree. It's very flexible. How varied it is is up to you, you pick your own modules. It's basically a STEM Open degree which is an important qualifier for some funding as mentioned above.

If you pick your early modules wisely you can (as far as I know) retain the option to switch to various named degrees, and be better placed to know what STEM things you like best after exposure to a few topics.
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glitterphobia
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I'm studying this degree as my second part-time degree in February, can't wait. I've always been someone who can't decide on what I want to do so this is perfect to try a few modules out first.
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jsp_1983
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Think really carefully about doing a degree like this. It's great if you're pursuing it with something very specific in mind or because it will allow you to curate a pathway to suit your interests. From an employment perspective, it might be more challenging to pitch, with prospective employers not being able to adequately comprehend its content or perspective. I took a similar course, the BSc (Hons) Technology and graduated in 2014, but I'm still looking for work. Most often, recruiters and employers think I'm from an IT background and/or looking for IT roles, but also notice the absence of much IT-related stuff in my experience and skills. Fortunately, my objective wasn't purely a degree for employment.
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IrishShane
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If you start this in February 2018 and complete all of stage 1 (120 credits), can you proceed to stage 2 and study a further 120 credits in October?

When speaking to a representative on the phone, he said that I could do this, explaining it would be assumed I'd passed and I could proceed to stage 2 to do a further 120 credits, October 2018 - June 2019. However, where I'm confused is here - A woman on the live web chat said that she does not believe I could do this, and would have to wait until October 2019 to start stage 2 in this case? Is this the case even if I'm paying the fees myself? I'm very confused, the man on the phone seemed sure of what he was saying, but this woman is making me think twice.

Edit: I am in the Republic of Ireland, after reading this: http://www.open.ac.uk/students/chart...study-2016.pdf

It states "iii) There are no legal maximum fees for students studying outside the UK." - So I should be fine I assume?
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Snufkin
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(Original post by IrishShane)
If you start this in February 2018 and complete all of stage 1 (120 credits), can you proceed to stage 2 and study a further 120 credits in October?

When speaking to a representative on the phone, he said that I could do this, explaining it would be assumed I'd passed and I could proceed to stage 2 to do a further 120 credits, October 2018 - June 2019. However, where I'm confused is here - A woman on the live web chat said that she does not believe I could do this, and would have to wait until October 2019 to start stage 2 in this case? Is this the case even if I'm paying the fees myself? I'm very confused, the man on the phone seemed sure of what he was saying, but this woman is making me think twice.

Edit: I am in the Republic of Ireland, after reading this: http://www.open.ac.uk/students/chart...study-2016.pdf

It states "iii) There are no legal maximum fees for students studying outside the UK." - So I should be fine I assume?
The guy you spoke to on the phone is correct, you could move onto level 2 in October, you wouldn't need to wait a year. If you're still unsure then phone the OU and ask to speak to a study adviser.
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IrishShane
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(Original post by Snufkin)
The guy you spoke to on the phone is correct, you could move onto level 2 in October, you wouldn't need to wait a year. If you're still unsure then phone the OU and ask to speak to a study adviser.
Thanks for your help. I seem to have a new issue. I got the Email and I am set to start Febuary 2018, the issue is Introduction to computing and information technology starts April 2018, as does Introduction to computing and information technology. It's not allowing me to select both, I can only select the first one as it says

"You must have previously passed TM111, or have been studying it for at least 90 days, before you can study on this module. This module start is therefore unavailable.
For more information see pre- and co-requisite modules."

Does this mean I am unable to study both before October? This is a tad disappointing if so.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by IrishShane)
Thanks for your help. I seem to have a new issue. I got the Email and I am set to start Febuary 2018, the issue is Introduction to computing and information technology starts April 2018, as does Introduction to computing and information technology. It's not allowing me to select both, I can only select the first one as it says

"You must have previously passed TM111, or have been studying it for at least 90 days, before you can study on this module. This module start is therefore unavailable.
For more information see pre- and co-requisite modules."

Does this mean I am unable to study both before October? This is a tad disappointing if so.
Can you confirm, which degree are you registered on and what is your end-goal?

I assume you mean Introduction to computing and information technology 1 (TM111) and Introduction to computing and information technology 2 (TM112). Both these modules start in April and end in September.

If you are registered on a named degree (e.g. Combined STEM) then I don't think you are allowed to do TM112 until you've passed TM111, however you *might* be able to get round this by registering on the Open degree initially, and then transferring into the Combined STEM degree after you've completed the level 1 modules. Not sure if that loophole has been closed or not, worth checking. That said, unless you have a good knowledge of computers, networking and programming then I think you should just do TM111 first. Skipping ahead before you're ready is not a good idea.
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JollyCynic
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TM111 is currently on its first presentation, and TM112 will be on its first presentation in April. I'm afraid you're in uncharted territory.

I'd had a whole paragraph about the weird April time start, but just read on the TM111 website that October and April, not October and February, are the planned start times for both of these modules going forward, so had to edit the whole post. (This seems directly contrary to the OU's "Students First" initiative, as it will result in students studying year round without a proper break their first two years.)

With this information, it seems unlikely that you'll be allowed to take both simultaneously, but you may want to call and ask about the possibility of special dispensation from the TM112 module team. It doesn't seem likely to me, but it's worth a call.
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DreadZombie
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(Original post by IrishShane)
Thanks for your help. I seem to have a new issue. I got the Email and I am set to start Febuary 2018, the issue is Introduction to computing and information technology starts April 2018, as does Introduction to computing and information technology. It's not allowing me to select both, I can only select the first one as it says

"You must have previously passed TM111, or have been studying it for at least 90 days, before you can study on this module. This module start is therefore unavailable.
For more information see pre- and co-requisite modules."

Does this mean I am unable to study both before October? This is a tad disappointing if so.
Hi I’m starting this in April and have the exact same problem as you’d previously posted. Did you manage to get and sorted out and how did it go? Also have you any advice about it?
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sputum
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(Original post by DreadZombie)
Hi I’m starting this in April and have the exact same problem as you’d previously posted. Did you manage to get and sorted out and how did it go? Also have you any advice about it?
I'm not sure you'll get a response after two years but maybe my experiences will help.
I'm in the process of trying to skip TM111 entirely and just start on TM112. As noted it is not possible to just enrol myself, nor can it be sorted in a phone call. The nice lady I phoned to register couldn't sort this for me either. To get round prereqs etc an exception has to be made.
This entails submitting reasons and evidence for perusal by a senior student advisor, which I have done. I don't have a decision yet.
My attempts coincided with some heavy OU IT problems which may not have helped but I have had a bunch of emails from all over the place (including general-enquiries, computing-it-advice and (weirdly) [email protected]). The advice has been conflicting and wasted a bunch of time but I won't mind as long as I get what I want.

So I think you would need a reason to exempt yourself from the 90-day requirement or similar. If you have one phone student support and prepare for a runaround.
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Danielfdsuv
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(Original post by sputum)
I'm not sure you'll get a response after two years but maybe my experiences will help.
I'm in the process of trying to skip TM111 entirely and just start on TM112. As noted it is not possible to just enrol myself, nor can it be sorted in a phone call. The nice lady I phoned to register couldn't sort this for me either. To get round prereqs etc an exception has to be made.
This entails submitting reasons and evidence for perusal by a senior student advisor, which I have done. I don't have a decision yet.
My attempts coincided with some heavy OU IT problems which may not have helped but I have had a bunch of emails from all over the place (including general-enquiries, computing-it-advice and (weirdly) [email protected]). The advice has been conflicting and wasted a bunch of time but I won't mind as long as I get what I want.

So I think you would need a reason to exempt yourself from the 90-day requirement or similar. If you have one phone student support and prepare for a runaround.
What about you? Did you work it out? I'm having the same issue. But not only do I want to start three modules this April (I can only only start one because of the 90-day pain in the butt thing), I actually want to start another three in October, after these first three would end . Which is again very problematic given that you can only do 120 credits a year, and I'd go well beyond that, even though there would be overlap between these two sets of modules, since the ones starting october would begin after the ones starting in April finish.
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GabiAbi84
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(Original post by Danielfdsuv)
What about you? Did you work it out? I'm having the same issue. But not only do I want to start three modules this April (I can only only start one because of the 90-day pain in the butt thing), I actually want to start another three in October, after these first three would end . Which is again very problematic given that you can only do 120 credits a year, and I'd go well beyond that, even though there would be overlap between these two sets of modules, since the ones starting october would begin after the ones starting in April finish.
Yup you certainly won’t be able to do 180 credits in an academic year that’s for sure. 120 is the limit (depending on where you are Wales has a 150 exceptional circumstances limit) but England have a 120 credit limit as there is a cap. Not from the OU itself.
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Danielfdsuv
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(Original post by GabiAbi84)
Yup you certainly won’t be able to do 180 credits in an academic year that’s for sure. 120 is the limit (depending on where you are Wales has a 150 exceptional circumstances limit) but England have a 120 credit limit as there is a cap. Not from the OU itself.
I'm in Wales. So you're telling me there's a chance I could yet study 2 modules in October, taking it all to 150 credits a year. That would be fantastic. That's what I'll try for, then. Thanks
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GabiAbi84
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(Original post by Danielfdsuv)
I'm in Wales. So you're telling me there's a chance I could yet study 2 modules in October, taking it all to 150 credits a year. That would be fantastic. That's what I'll try for, then. Thanks
Very slim chance -you wouldn’t get it funded by student finance either. I believe it is generally reserved for those resitting at module. Just wanting to study that many isn’t enough for exceptional circumstances I’m afraid.
I know of only two people who were allowed to do it and both funded the degree themselves and both were resit modules.
Highly Unlikely that you will be able to do it tbh. Plus it wouldn’t take any time off your full degree so unsure why that is the plan?
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Danielfdsuv
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(Original post by GabiAbi84)
Very slim chance -you wouldn’t get it funded by student finance either. I believe it is generally reserved for those resitting at module. Just wanting to study that many isn’t enough for exceptional circumstances I’m afraid.
I know of only two people who were allowed to do it and both funded the degree themselves and both were resit modules.
Highly Unlikely that you will be able to do it tbh. Plus it wouldn’t take any time off your full degree so unsure why that is the plan?
I'm going to self-finance the first and probably second year as well, if not the full course. It would take some time off the total duration in that if I study two modules in October, then the subsequent year I'd only have 3 modules left at level 2 that I'd like to take on in one year. But if i can only study one in october, that would mean I'd have to do 120 in one year to finish the whole level 2, which would be much more challenging
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