Is an open degree worthless? and other questions Watch

superhayes
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Hi, I'm currently studying online with Arden university, my experience with them as a uni has not been a good one. I am considering leaving them and moving to the open uni( i am on my second module only) The open uni seems better, more well known and respected and the option of some local lectures and books sent out etc. Does anyone have experience with the open uni?

My second question is, I am considering doing an open degree, I have been studying Business with marketing which I enjoy somewhat. I am really interested in psychology, so I was considering doing an open degree as I like the idea of building a degree around modules that I feel are relevant and will benefit me and go along with my learning interests. So I'm considering psychology and business, combined with masters in marketing or digital marketing. I am unsure which career path but was hoping the degree in both would keep my options open. Is an open degree worth less to employers? is it looked down upon etc? because the idea of building a degree that suits me is appealing and would be really interesting, but I don't want a worthless degree that won't benefit my future. Thanks in advance, Carl
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-Eirlys-
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If you're unsure of what you want to do or you like a whole host of topics, then it's a good choice. As long as the modules are accredited, you will end up with an accredited open degree.

I am starting a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree this October (excitedly waiting for my books) with the OU. Someone posted in the group today saying that they have been offered a scholarship to do a masters in Sheffield university, as she achieved a first in her bachelors with the OU. They didn't know much about the OU but she informed them about it and they all appreciated the commitment and really respected the university and her achievements.

A degree is a degree; it requires hard work and commitment so it can be appreciated by most employers. Also, you can get into business with just a psychology degree, but if business is your aim, then it wouldn't hurt to include business elements. It makes a lot of sense to do and I think it would be appreciated by a business based employer.


(Original post by superhayes)
Hi, I'm currently studying online with Arden university, my experience with them as a uni has not been a good one. I am considering leaving them and moving to the open uni( i am on my second module only) The open uni seems better, more well known and respected and the option of some local lectures and books sent out etc. Does anyone have experience with the open uni?

My second question is, I am considering doing an open degree, I have been studying Business with marketing which I enjoy somewhat. I am really interested in psychology, so I was considering doing an open degree as I like the idea of building a degree around modules that I feel are relevant and will benefit me and go along with my learning interests. So I'm considering psychology and business, combined with masters in marketing or digital marketing. I am unsure which career path but was hoping the degree in both would keep my options open. Is an open degree worth less to employers? is it looked down upon etc? because the idea of building a degree that suits me is appealing and would be really interesting, but I don't want a worthless degree that won't benefit my future. Thanks in advance, Carl
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superhayes
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Hey thanks it seems like a good choice, I just can't decide whether to go a single route or take the two! phycology interests me and business gives me the core aspects I need.. Decisions, decisions :/
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JollyCynic
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Personally, it sounds to me like you know exactly what you'd like to study. And the flexibility to do it doens't exist many places.

So it's down to whether or not it's "worthless". In some jobs, they just care that you have a degree, and don't care what the degree is in. (My wife has made a career of these with a Psychology degree. She isn't passionate about the work she does, but instead looks for organisations she's passionate about working at, and it's very rewarding for her.)

For jobs requiring an industry-related degree, it's going to lead to a question about it in a job interview. If you're awkward about it, or don't explain it well, this can be something of a stone around your neck. On the other hand, if you show real enthusiasm about what your customised educucational experience has given you, and how it uniquely qualifies you for the job, it can be a real advantage. If you keep it focused to those two areas, I can think you could easily impress the right hiring managers.
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superhayes
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Thankyou, everyone for your comments, I will leave Arden and apply for OU to do the open degree with Business and Psychology being the main modules. It feels the right thing to do.
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Mary yates
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Couldn't disagree more, you are having a laugh, a degree is NOT a degree when it is done via your letterbox
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steve2802
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(Original post by Mary yates)
Couldn't disagree more, you are having a laugh, a degree is NOT a degree when it is done via your letterbox
Why? Would it be the evidence to future employers that you can manage your own time instead of having to be told what to do by a tutor? Or perhaps it would be the fortitude needed to force yourself to study when you can fit it in, often around a full time job or family commitments rather than be told you have to be at uni for a lecture at a certain time where you just sit there and listen to a teacher talk to you? Ok I'm being a little simplistic, but don't talk such utter rubbish. Many employers regard OU's degree's more highly than those obtained at traditional universities for the reasons above and more. I'm not even going to start on the reasons why people choose to use OU rather than go to a traditional university. Please, if you're going to troll do it using factual evidence rather than uninformed opinion given most likely to cause upset.
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Kiraz
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I did 330 credits with ou and started looking/applying jobs. Unfortunately I couldn't even get interviews. I did biology with ou though and you really need an accredited degree in that area while ou biology related open degree was not accredited. So I left ou last year without gaining any qualifications while I paid it all out of my pocket. Loss of £15000. I loved studying with them though and I rate them highly if you are already working in the area you want to study or retired like most ou students. I guess physiology degree is accredited. So you could get career out of it.
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Themysticalegg
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A degree is a degree, just make sure you supplement it with work experience and you'd stand out against a fresh graduate from a traditional university.
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OUScienceStudent
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(Original post by Kiraz)
I did 330 credits with ou and started looking/applying jobs. Unfortunately I couldn't even get interviews. I did biology with ou though and you really need an accredited degree in that area while ou biology related open degree was not accredited. So I left ou last year without gaining any qualifications while I paid it all out of my pocket. Loss of £15000. I loved studying with them though and I rate them highly if you are already working in the area you want to study or retired like most ou students. I guess physiology degree is accredited. So you could get career out of it.
To be fair, the OU do say on most of their module descriptions that Science modules are often most useful for applying for further study.

For example, I hope to study my medicine, using my OU degree to gain entry into medical school. Some medical schools will not accept me, as they require specific types of the degree which the OU does not offer (i.e. biomedical science). However, after researching the med schools most suited to me and contacting them, all of the ones that I thought would be suitable have said that my OU degree would meet the entrance requirements to study Graduate Entry Medicine (Warwick, ScotGEM plus others). Some medical schools i.e. Glasgow, would accept my degree as a graduate applicant in lieu of A-Levels for school leavers entry.

Research is key - you have to know what you want to do with your degree and choose your modules appropriately. The above scenarios I give for medicine for example are only possible because my degree contains sufficient biology and chemistry content. Of course, I have to get the required grades - minimum of 2-1, with varying scores in the chemistry and biology modules for different unis.


(Original post by Mary yates)
Couldn't disagree more, you are having a laugh, a degree is NOT a degree when it is done via your letterbox
Mary clearly hasn't moved with the times, and seriously needs to do some reading. Accessible education is a massive priority in the modern world, and the OU provides that. If medical schools, graduate employers and others are willing to accept applicants with OU degrees, I'd say distance learning qualifications are worth just as much as yours!
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Kiraz
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(Original post by OUScienceStudent)
Mary clearly hasn't moved with the times, and seriously needs to do some reading. Accessible education is a massive priority in the modern world, and the OU provides that. If medical schools, graduate employers and others are willing to accept applicants with OU degrees, I'd say distance learning qualifications are worth just as much as yours!
I applied to Quenn Mary university to study genomic medicine masters just before completing my last module with ou. They asked me for a reference from my employer how studying with them help me in my career. I told them that me wanting studying with them has nothing to do with my current job I told them that I work as a cleaner in a hospital. They didn't even reply back. I pulled out from ou, told them I want nothing to do with the modules I completed as well. I applied to a brick university to start from scratch with year placement. Starting from September.
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OUScienceStudent
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(Original post by Kiraz)
I applied to Quenn Mary university to study genomic medicine masters just before completing my last module with ou. They asked me for a reference from my employer how studying with them help me in my career. I told them that me wanting studying with them has nothing to do with my current job I told them that I work as a cleaner in a hospital. They didn't even reply back. I pulled out from ou, told them I want nothing to do with the modules I completed as well. I applied to a brick university to start from scratch with year placement. Starting from September.
Ok... not really much context to go by but I'm not going to discredit your experience. I'm just saying that the OU, at least in principle as I have proved, can open up certain doors.

Sorry yours didn't work out.
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OUScienceStudent
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(Original post by Kiraz)
I applied to Quenn Mary university to study genomic medicine masters just before completing my last module with ou. They asked me for a reference from my employer how studying with them help me in my career. I told them that me wanting studying with them has nothing to do with my current job I told them that I work as a cleaner in a hospital. They didn't even reply back. I pulled out from ou, told them I want nothing to do with the modules I completed as well. I applied to a brick university to start from scratch with year placement. Starting from September.
Pretty sure that course is for current medical doctors too...

"This is a flexible MSc course designed to provide healthcare professionals with a multi-disciplinary perspective on genomics and its application in medicine"

https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/...es/155742.html
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Kiraz
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(Original post by OUScienceStudent)
Ok... not really much context to go by but I'm not going to discredit your experience. I'm just saying that the OU, at least in principle as I have proved, can open up certain doors.

Sorry yours didn't work out.
Thank you. I am really upset about it tbh that nobody mentioned accreditation is important in a degree. I thought a degree was a degree too. I gave 6 years to study with ou, pulled out on my 7th year and had to wait a year for ucas decision to get into brick uni. So wasted 8 years of my life
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Kiraz
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(Original post by OUScienceStudent)
Pretty sure that course is for current medical doctors too...

"This is a flexible MSc course designed to provide healthcare professionals with a multi-disciplinary perspective on genomics and its application in medicine"

https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/...es/155742.html
Yes but I cant get jobs without experience anywhere and without experience cant get into masters. I was doing ou to get into masters, so I could get lab experience through university.
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Anisablue
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It’s really depends what your future plans are I’m done ba hon open degree this year. I have chosen modules that I’m interested in and iv spoken to uni about how I can get into teaching with an open degree and they are all fine with it. I have lots of different route I can go into actually after finishing my degree just see where life will take me
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Kiraz
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(Original post by Anisablue)
It’s really depends what your future plans are I’m done ba hon open degree this year. I have chosen modules that I’m interested in and iv spoken to uni about how I can get into teaching with an open degree and they are all fine with it. I have lots of different route I can go into actually after finishing my degree just see where life will take me
Absolutely! I have friends who went into teaching with ou degree and PGCE training afterwards. In my experience if you want to study biology, dont do it with ou if you are not already working in a profession to do with biology. I have a friend who did a masters in creative writing after her ou degree and now she is a writer. Plan everything well before starting a degree and ask around.
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Anisablue
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Yep definitely you need to know what career you want and research ways of getting there. If you don’t you will be limited to what you can do and may have to do more courses

(Original post by Kiraz)
Absolutely! I have friends who went into teaching with ou degree and PGCE training afterwards. In my experience if you want to study biology, dont do it with ou if you are not already working in a profession to do with biology. I have a friend who did a masters in creative writing after her ou degree and now she is a writer. Plan everything well before starting a degree and ask around.
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kitkatninja78
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(Original post by Mary yates)
Couldn't disagree more, you are having a laugh, a degree is NOT a degree when it is done via your letterbox
I have to respectfully disagree with you there, as long as the degree is approved and the issuing organisation has been awarded degree awarding powers - a degree is a degree. And if you don't believe that. try telling that to every university here and abroad that it isn't - they will tell you otherwise. In the UK, the more "traditional universities" are offering distance learning degrees, universities such as Arden, Birmingham, UCL, Salford, London, Oxford (yes Oxford), Anglia Ruskin, Staffs, Northampton, De Montford, Leicester, etc... Just do a search for distance learning degrees...

The only difference is when a certain profession requires a certain accreditation for that field, but then again, it applies to full time & part time degrees as well...
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princessmaire80
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I’ve got a lesser view of my campus uni Masters degree than I have of my OU degree.
My Masters degree was a badly organised, badly taught shambles run by a bunch of over worked and under bothered lecturers teaching us stuff that I had learned in first year of my OU degree and the rest of the class, 95% of whom had come from undergrad at that university wailed ‘but no-one told us this at undergrad’
They had to be taught how to Harvard reference and how to search for a relevant journal. They also needed their hands held continuously while I, who had the skills of independent study, went off and did the tasks I was set without having to go crying to my tutor that it was too hard like most of my classmates did. Even the Professor in charge of the course who was an external examiner for OU said she would take an OU student over ANY OF HER OWN students any day because they were independent and had excellent research and time management skills.
Go figure.
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