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    Hi Everyone.

    I've been doing some research on potentially doing a degree with the OU, in an
    environment/geography/science related field.

    I currently work full time as a secretary and although I've read that many people juggle full time work with part time study, I wonder how feasible this actually is in the real world. Realistically leaving the house in the morning at 7.45 and returning 5.30-ish, making meals etc, and after a day at work how much studying would realistically be achievable? I have read about the 16 hours recommended studying per week for a 60 credit module part time, which seems a lot to fit in around full time work and I don't really want to be spending the weekend solely studying as this is really my only down time. Do many people here work reduced hours to fit in their study?

    The other question is about the term dates, do the OU work to the same holiday timetable as other universities e.g. Christmas/Easter/summer holidays?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by rachb01)
    Hi Everyone.

    I've been doing some research on potentially doing a degree with the OU, in an
    environment/geography/science related field.

    I currently work full time as a secretary and although I've read that many people juggle full time work with part time study, I wonder how feasible this actually is in the real world. Realistically leaving the house in the morning at 7.45 and returning 5.30-ish, making meals etc, and after a day at work how much studying would realistically be achievable? I have read about the 16 hours recommended studying per week for a 60 credit module part time, which seems a lot to fit in around full time work and I don't really want to be spending the weekend solely studying as this is really my only down time. Do many people here work reduced hours to fit in their study?

    The other question is about the term dates, do the OU work to the same holiday timetable as other universities e.g. Christmas/Easter/summer holidays?

    Thanks
    Identifying your available time to study is a critical piece of the OU puzzle. They have lots of tools that allegedly help you find the time, but they really aren't useful as they don't account for the realities of life.

    I have two types of study hours: Static and dynamic. My static hours are the hours that I can guarantee myself and do not change. These include two hours every night after I've put my sons to bed, and an extra three hour block on Sunday when my wife takes them to visit her parents. My dynamic time includes a couple of hours as necessary on Mondays and Wednesdays when I've got different home responsibilities, and half hour lunch slots as necessary at work. I've rarely had to use my lunch slots, but it has happened.

    I'm a night owl, so the later hours work for me, as waking up two hours early A) won't happen, B) is low-value brain time for me, and C) just means my children will wake up early and bounce around in my lap as I try to study.

    So you'll definitely want to find the time before committing to study, and you'll want to try for a combination of time which will not be altered, and flexible time on weeks you need it.

    As for holidays, yes, there are breaks at Christmas and Easter, and summer. Obviously the amount of time will depend on whether you're taking October or February presentations (or others). If you mean exact weeks, no, they sometimes vary a bit, but all universities do.
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    (Original post by rachb01)
    Hi Everyone.

    I've been doing some research on potentially doing a degree with the OU, in an
    environment/geography/science related field.

    I currently work full time as a secretary and although I've read that many people juggle full time work with part time study, I wonder how feasible this actually is in the real world. Realistically leaving the house in the morning at 7.45 and returning 5.30-ish, making meals etc, and after a day at work how much studying would realistically be achievable? I have read about the 16 hours recommended studying per week for a 60 credit module part time, which seems a lot to fit in around full time work and I don't really want to be spending the weekend solely studying as this is really my only down time. Do many people here work reduced hours to fit in their study?

    The other question is about the term dates, do the OU work to the same holiday timetable as other universities e.g. Christmas/Easter/summer holidays?

    Thanks
    The recommended 16 hours is only a guide, so you may find that you don't need that much - I found that generally I didn't, apart from around the time that assignments (TMAs) were due.

    You'll know your circumstances best, but you may be able to read some material during your commute or lunch break - you can get PDF versions of the textbooks, so would be able to load these onto a tablet/e-reader if you don't want to carry the textbooks around.

    You would get a couple of weeks off over Christmas and Easter, but many people do use this time to catch up or get ahead. Depending on your module choice, you might not get a "summer holiday" though. If you only choose modules starting in October then these would finish in June, and you wouldn't start your next module until October. But for many degrees you might end up doing a module that starts in February, and that would end in September so would cover the summer period. You do get some free choice of modules, though, so you might be able to work around this. You also get all the work in advance (except for the very last assignments (EMA) or exam), so if you are going on holiday you can plan ahead.
 
 
 
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