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    Hey guys,

    Due to an unfortunate turn of events, I have been in and out of the hospital during my college years (16-18) due to some pretty awful health conditions. Regretfully now my local college will not accept me as a student and does not allow for any form of night school. The closest college that will allow me to study A-levels is 40 minutes away and would involve 3 train trips to and from college. Due to this circumstance, I have been considering other methods of getting back into university and I have discovered the OU. I am currently unsure about the degree I would like to study but I have a few in mind.

    1) Psychology or Sociology
    2)English
    3)History
    4) Law

    I currently have 10 GCSEs consisting of 9 A/A* grades and a C grade in Mathematics. I was just wondering if any current OU students could answer some questions I have.

    Questions

    Is the Open University looked down upon by employers? I have heard many people hold it in high regard on TSR. I have also seen many people slate it on TSR/Reddit.

    How much Mathematics is in the Psychology degree? This is something I have been worried about if I was to study Psychology.

    How well structured is the work packs?

    Would not having A levels affect me when applying for a PGCSE/Teacher training course? Would it be advisable for me to study the access module?

    I have studied around 5 months of AS content before I had a procedure performed that disrupted my studies. I obviously have not completed A levels but I feel I have a good grasp on the nature of independent study.
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    Hey guys,
    Is the Open University looked down upon by employers? I have heard many people hold it in high regard on TSR. I have also seen many people slate it on TSR/Reddit.

    How much Mathematics is in the Psychology degree? This is something I have been worried about if I was to study Psychology.

    How well structured is the work packs?

    Would not having A levels affect me when applying for a PGCSE/Teacher training course? Would it be advisable for me to study the access module?

    I have studied around 5 months of AS content before I had a procedure performed that disrupted my studies. I obviously have not completed A levels but I feel I have a good grasp on the nature of independent study.
    1. Not at all. I have heard a lot of positivity; someone was offered a scholarships amongst people from top traditional universities. Employers have told OU students that they have great admiration and are impressed that they are doing a degree along side work and know it requires dedication and self motivation to do. It's only an issue if you're going for a job which requires you to get a degree in a specific/top university.

    2. I am just starting the psychology degree. It is mainly statistical and basic Maths and algebra. I don't think it will be much harder than GCSE level to be honest. There are people who hate Maths, who haven't even got a GCSE in Maths and are almost scared of it who have completed the psychology degree so don't let it put you off.

    3. It is all very well structured and easy to follow with a lot of support.

    4. A levels are basically ignored if you have a degree so it shouldn't be an issue. I don't think an Access course is equivalent to A levels. It only lasts 6 months and is a basic university level 1 module. I don't think you'd need to do one.

    I have only AS levels and an animal management diploma so I'm not best prepared. :lol: I found my Maths was a lot better when I redid it in college as I had already tackled higher level work so everything below it is easier. Also having more support in smaller classes and a supportive teacher helped. You are much better placed than many who have applied for the OU - some have no qualifications whatsoever or haven't been in education for decades.
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    Hey guys,

    Due to an unfortunate turn of events, I have been in and out of the hospital during my college years (16-18) due to some pretty awful health conditions. Regretfully now my local college will not accept me as a student and does not allow for any form of night school. The closest college that will allow me to study A-levels is 40 minutes away and would involve 3 train trips to and from college. Due to this circumstance, I have been considering other methods of getting back into university and I have discovered the OU. I am currently unsure about the degree I would like to study but I have a few in mind.

    1) Psychology or Sociology
    2)English
    3)History
    4) Law

    I currently have 10 GCSEs consisting of 9 A/A* grades and a C grade in Mathematics. I was just wondering if any current OU students could answer some questions I have.

    Questions

    Is the Open University looked down upon by employers? I have heard many people hold it in high regard on TSR. I have also seen many people slate it on TSR/Reddit.

    How much Mathematics is in the Psychology degree? This is something I have been worried about if I was to study Psychology.

    How well structured is the work packs?

    Would not having A levels affect me when applying for a PGCSE/Teacher training course? Would it be advisable for me to study the access module?

    I have studied around 5 months of AS content before I had a procedure performed that disrupted my studies. I obviously have not completed A levels but I feel I have a good grasp on the nature of independent study.

    I can not offer much advice as I am in the same position as you however I do know a few things about the OU.

    1) It is actually a highly regarded university with some amazing tutors on hand. The way employees see it, is that you are very determined as you have completed a degree from home.

    2) My sister did a pychology degree and she said it is mainly maths and chemistry and this was a shock at first.

    3) Some employees will take a very close look at all your qualifications but most will only look at your highest form of education and disregard your previous.

    4) I have done only a month or two of AS content because I had a major surgery and couldn't continue my work however as far as I'm aware you have great support and you have all the necessary materials to help you succeed.

    Whatever you choose, good luck! I'm starting my law degree in Oct, 2018 xx
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    I have read great things about the tutors and staff at the university online. My preferred area of study is the humanities and arts with a longterm ambition to teach either History or Literature. My main concern about the OU was the speculation around the credibility of the institution, everyone seems to have a conflicting opinion.

    How do you find the EMAs and TMAs hannxm? Does the OU prepare you for University style essay writing well?
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    Hello recent OU graduate here (2:1 in English Language and Literature in 3 years)
    I’m now at a brick uni for my MA and I absolutely hate it. I miss the OU so much! It’s amazing and the support is brilliant. As regards the PGCE I know many people from my course and the OU in general who have gone onto PGCE’s without A-Levels and without any issues. The materials are excellent and very detailed. I note you are considering English also so if you have any questions please do feel free to ask
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    Hey guys,

    Due to an unfortunate turn of events, I have been in and out of the hospital during my college years (16-18) due to some pretty awful health conditions. Regretfully now my local college will not accept me as a student and does not allow for any form of night school. The closest college that will allow me to study A-levels is 40 minutes away and would involve 3 train trips to and from college. Due to this circumstance, I have been considering other methods of getting back into university and I have discovered the OU. I am currently unsure about the degree I would like to study but I have a few in mind.

    1) Psychology or Sociology
    2)English
    3)History
    4) Law

    I currently have 10 GCSEs consisting of 9 A/A* grades and a C grade in Mathematics. I was just wondering if any current OU students could answer some questions I have.

    Questions

    Is the Open University looked down upon by employers? I have heard many people hold it in high regard on TSR. I have also seen many people slate it on TSR/Reddit.

    How much Mathematics is in the Psychology degree? This is something I have been worried about if I was to study Psychology.

    How well structured is the work packs?

    Would not having A levels affect me when applying for a PGCSE/Teacher training course? Would it be advisable for me to study the access module?

    I have studied around 5 months of AS content before I had a procedure performed that disrupted my studies. I obviously have not completed A levels but I feel I have a good grasp on the nature of independent study.
    Does your local college offer Access courses as well as A-levels and could you do an Access course? That would give you access to a 'normal' uni.

    I was very ill when I did my A-levels but they always let me back in, I did three years there overall. So if you haven't already, it might be worth looking up the rules and regs and seeing whether you're being unfairly penalised.

    OU access modules are only designed as preparation or further learning for OU courses, you don't receive a qualification from them.
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    I have read great things about the tutors and staff at the university online. My preferred area of study is the humanities and arts with a longterm ambition to teach either History or Literature. My main concern about the OU was the speculation around the credibility of the institution, everyone seems to have a conflicting opinion.

    How do you find the EMAs and TMAs hannxm? Does the OU prepare you for University style essay writing well?
    Yes they prepare you for uni writing. My first essay is 250 words. The next one is 750 words. So it's definitely gradual and writing help is integrated in what you're studying.

    Yes but there is conflicting opinions on everything. I can assure you that most of their degrees are accredited. My psychology degree is accredited and will allow me to join the British psychology society. People with OU degrees have gone on to do masters in traditional universities so if their degrees weren't good enough, that wouldn't happen.

    Also, written material from the OU is used in hundreds of top universities. It is well respected. It has only got a bad name from ignorant people who don't understand how a distance learning degree works and are stuck thinking there's only one way to get a degree. They also think it's not any good because it has no requirements which they seem to equate to not having any standards. Yes anyone can join but not everyone gets through it or are prepared for uni level work.
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    (Original post by princessmaire80)
    Hello recent OU graduate here (2:1 in English Language and Literature in 3 years)
    I’m now at a brick uni for my MA and I absolutely hate it. I miss the OU so much! It’s amazing and the support is brilliant. As regards the PGCE I know many people from my course and the OU in general who have gone onto PGCE’s without A-Levels and without any issues. The materials are excellent and very detailed. I note you are considering English also so if you have any questions please do feel free to ask
    I've spoken to a couple graduates from traditional universities who are now studying with the OU and they also said that they prefer the OU! They said you get so much support with the OU compared to traditional uni.
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    (Original post by SuperCat007)
    Does your local college offer Access courses as well as A-levels and could you do an Access course? That would give you access to a 'normal' uni.

    I was very ill when I did my A-levels but they always let me back in, I did three years there overall. So if you haven't already, it might be worth looking up the rules and regs and seeing whether you're being unfairly penalized.

    OU access modules are only designed as preparation or further learning for OU courses, you don't receive a qualification from them.
    Nothing at all. I called them yesterday and due to me being in the hospital I have missed the boat. The only access courses they do are for nursing degrees, aside from that all the evening courses are purely for leisure. I am 19 in January and they do state that they only accept 16-18 y/o pupils for A levels. I just want to be back in the education system doing something useful.
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    (Original post by princessmaire80)
    Hello recent OU graduate here (2:1 in English Language and Literature in 3 years)
    I’m now at a brick uni for my MA and I absolutely hate it. I miss the OU so much! It’s amazing and the support is brilliant. As regards the PGCE I know many people from my course and the OU in general who have gone onto PGCE’s without A-Levels and without any issues. The materials are excellent and very detailed. I note you are considering English also so if you have any questions please do feel free to ask
    I think the OU is going to be a beneficial move for me regardless. I have numerous procedures coming up and I struggle to get out much as it is due to illness. The method of study and the nature of the content delivery seems like I would be able to pursue a degree regardless of my current poor health.

    In regards to English, did you apply to the OU with previous level 3 qualifications?

    How did your current brick university look at your OU degree?
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    I think the OU is going to be a beneficial move for me regardless. I have numerous procedures coming up and I struggle to get out much as it is due to illness. The method of study and the nature of the content delivery seems like I would be able to pursue a degree regardless of my current poor health.

    In regards to English, did you apply to the OU with previous level 3 qualifications?

    How did your current brick university look at your OU degree?
    You’re in a similar situation to me- I was very poorly through most of my degree but the OU has the flexibility on its side which is why it has so many students with health problems/disabilities.

    I have an A-Level in English Language that I took 20 years ago however I may as well not have had it- I couldn’t tell you now any of what I did as my memory is very poor. This didn’t give me any advantage or disadvantage as everyone starts at the same level which assumes no previous study.

    My brick uni were very welcoming of my degree- the Professor in charge of the overall programme and one of my first modules is an external examiner for the OU and says she always welcomes OU students on the courses she chairs as they have such good levels of motivation and independent study skills.
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    (Original post by princessmaire80)
    You’re in a similar situation to me- I was very poorly through most of my degree but the OU has the flexibility on its side which is why it has so many students with health problems/disabilities.

    I have an A-Level in English Language that I took 20 years ago however I may as well not have had it- I couldn’t tell you now any of what I did as my memory is very poor. This didn’t give me any advantage or disadvantage as everyone starts at the same level which assumes no previous study.

    My brick uni were very welcoming of my degree- the Professor in charge of the overall programme and one of my first modules is an external examiner for the OU and says she always welcomes OU students on the courses she chairs as they have such good levels of motivation and independent study skills.
    Do you mind telling me some more about the Literature and Language degree?
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    Do you mind telling me some more about the Literature and Language degree?
    No problem!
    Everyone starts with AA100 which is a general introductory course to the Arts- that encompasses a bit of everything, Literature, History, Philosophy- that just basically prepares you to start studying and eases you in nice and gently.
    Then you have your ‘free choice’ module. You can pick from a list of modules as diverse as Law and Health studies or you can pick A151 which is basically a further extension of AA100. I picked DD102 which was introducing the social sciences as I had previously been a mental health nurse and so had some knowledge.
    At Level 2 you start to specialise. I did U214 which is called Worlds of English and A230 which i can’t remember what it was called but it’s a Literature module so you study the same amount of credits evenly for each subject. Those two were compulsory modules and the only two there were to choose from. A230 covered a wide range of literature from Shakespeare’s Othello to more modern day stuff like the Lonely Londoners.
    For that module there was I think 6 assignments and an exam- and to be honest it’s a very Marmite module. I hated it but others loved it- I guess it depends where your interests lie. I’m a linguist so I enjoyed every second of U214- in that you get to explore how English has become a global language and how even in England the language is changing- in fact my dissertation topic for my MA is an extension of an assignment I wrote for U214! I was so fascinated by it I really wanted to explore further and everyone I’ve showed it to has said what an interesting and unusual topic it is. That module was purely assignment based and assessed by final assignment.

    At Level 3, final year, you get more autonomy in choosing your modules but there are two groups- Language and Literature and you need to pick a module from each. In the Language group I chose language and creativity- all about the different ways in which language is creative, or I think there’s a module about grammar as well.
    I chose Creative Writing for my Literature module although there’s also a Children’s Lit module and from Shakespeare to Austen which I think is about older literature over more modern stuff.
    Like most OU degrees there is no dissertation although the final EMA’s (examined assignments) where appropriate are usually fairly lengthy. I did my degree full time, 120 credits together all the way through so I ended up writing about 8500 words in total for my final two EMA’s which is broadly equivalent to an undergrad dissertation I would guess.

    I got a 2:1 and it was surprisingly achievable. I really enjoyed my course and had some amazing tutors. I’ve always loved English and this definitely allowed me to indulge my passion.
    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by princessmaire80)
    No problem!
    Everyone starts with AA100 which is a general introductory course to the Arts- that encompasses a bit of everything, Literature, History, Philosophy- that just basically prepares you to start studying and eases you in nice and gently.
    Then you have your ‘free choice’ module. You can pick from a list of modules as diverse as Law and Health studies or you can pick A151 which is basically a further extension of AA100. I picked DD102 which was introducing the social sciences as I had previously been a mental health nurse and so had some knowledge.
    At Level 2 you start to specialise. I did U214 which is called Worlds of English and A230 which i can’t remember what it was called but it’s a Literature module so you study the same amount of credits evenly for each subject. Those two were compulsory modules and the only two there were to choose from. A230 covered a wide range of literature from Shakespeare’s Othello to more modern day stuff like the Lonely Londoners.
    For that module there was I think 6 assignments and an exam- and to be honest it’s a very Marmite module. I hated it but others loved it- I guess it depends where your interests lie. I’m a linguist so I enjoyed every second of U214- in that you get to explore how English has become a global language and how even in England the language is changing- in fact my dissertation topic for my MA is an extension of an assignment I wrote for U214! I was so fascinated by it I really wanted to explore further and everyone I’ve showed it to has said what an interesting and unusual topic it is. That module was purely assignment based and assessed by final assignment.

    At Level 3, final year, you get more autonomy in choosing your modules but there are two groups- Language and Literature and you need to pick a module from each. In the Language group I chose language and creativity- all about the different ways in which language is creative, or I think there’s a module about grammar as well.
    I chose Creative Writing for my Literature module although there’s also a Children’s Lit module and from Shakespeare to Austen which I think is about older literature over more modern stuff.
    Like most OU degrees there is no dissertation although the final EMA’s (examined assignments) where appropriate are usually fairly lengthy. I did my degree full time, 120 credits together all the way through so I ended up writing about 8500 words in total for my final two EMA’s which is broadly equivalent to an undergrad dissertation I would guess.

    I got a 2:1 and it was surprisingly achievable. I really enjoyed my course and had some amazing tutors. I’ve always loved English and this definitely allowed me to indulge my passion.
    Hope this helps!
    I spoke to someone at the OU's admissions yesterday and they told me that introduction to the arts module has some Music study involved?

    How did you find full-time study? I am currently 18 so I am able to study the course fulltime but the admissions employee suggested doing the first year part-time.

    I am not entirely sure if you will know this but does the English Language and Literature degree contain enough relevant content to be eligible to teach the subject? I have heard that PGCE courses take into consideration the modules that you have studied during your degree.

    Do you possibly have any course content you could send me so I could get an idea of how the course is structured?

    So does the first year not involve any content purely specific to the degree? Other Universities are studying content such as:

    *Studying Literature
    *Approaches to Literature
    *Structures of English
    *Language and Text

    Would this possibly sit me at a disadvantage?

    Have you ever had an admission issues to brick unis with an OU degree? I may have already asked this but many people have told me that the OU is highly recognized due to the discipline and determination needed to study. Is the content for year 1 still as rigorous as other institutions despite the content being different?

    Was the transition back into education smooth? I would hope that the course teaches some degree level academic writing prior to the first TMA/EMA.

    Did you start your degree with an access module?

    Sorry for the bombardment of questions, I just want to be well informed before I make a decision
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    I spoke to someone at the OU's admissions yesterday and they told me that introduction to the arts module has some Music study involved?

    How did you find full-time study? I am currently 18 so I am able to study the course fulltime but the admissions employee suggested doing the first year part-time.

    I am not entirely sure if you will know this but does the English Language and Literature degree contain enough relevant content to be eligible to teach the subject? I have heard that PGCE courses take into consideration the modules that you have studied during your degree.

    Do you possibly have any course content you could send me so I could get an idea of how the course is structured?

    So does the first year not involve any content purely specific to the degree? Other Universities are studying content such as:

    *Studying Literature
    *Approaches to Literature
    *Structures of English
    *Language and Text

    Would this possibly sit me at a disadvantage?

    Have you ever had an admission issues to brick unis with an OU degree? I may have already asked this but many people have told me that the OU is highly recognized due to the discipline and determination needed to study. Is the content for year 1 still as rigorous as other institutions despite the content being different?

    Was the transition back into education smooth? I would hope that the course teaches some degree level academic writing prior to the first TMA/EMA.

    Did you start your degree with an access module?

    Sorry for the bombardment of questions, I just want to be well informed before I make a decision
    No problem at all- I’m glad to help, honestly! Ask away.

    1) Yes it does. I think if I remember correctly it was just a case of listening to a piece of music and reading the accompanying notes then answering a question based on the notes. I’m hard of hearing and I just used the notes which I had no issues with- it’s nothing mega complicated.

    2) Full time study to be fair wasn’t as hard as some made it out to be. I don’t work as I’m disabled, I had no other commitments and my partner works long shifts so I was at home alone all day with nothing else to do. The OU did try to discourage me at Level 3- they said ‘it’s not recommended with all your other commitments’ to which I laughed and said I don’t work, I have no kids, pets or other caring responsibilities and I’m home alone twiddling my thumbs all day- I’ve got no other commitments! It is what you make it though- I didn’t do loads of extra work and tended just to write the TMA’s when they were due. At Level 3 when the workload is supposed to be about 40 hours a week full time, mine was in the months where I had two TMA’s due, probably about 14 hours a month.

    I can absolutely categorically tell you that yes the ELL degree (as it’s known) is suitable for teaching as that’s why I took it. I was advised to study a named degree rather than an Open for teaching so yes that’s absolutely fine- no issues there.

    I’m so sorry I haven’t got any of it! I sold my books as soon as I had done- I was that glad to see the back of them by the time I had finished. My laptop died with all my OU work in it as well which is really frustrating as I was very proud of some of my assignments- especially for the ones I gained firsts for in my final year!

    It’s certainly not disadvantaged me I’ve found and I’m sure that it won’t be an issue for you either. Those sorts of topics are introduced at Level 1 then integrated into the Level 2 courses.

    I looked at 4 unis before I settled on De Montfort- the other three were all Russell Group and all of them were perfectly accepting of my degree as I told them outright I was from the OU. No issues. If you’re planning to see the degree through to the end then apply to brick uni perhaps for a Masters, I doubt you’ll have an issue. I do know of some in my cohort who have been accepted to Oxbridge with OU degrees. It’s a little different if you’re planning to transfer after first year but at Masters level 1st year really isn’t relevant.

    I was fortunate enough to have completed an apprenticeship immediately prior to starting my course. This was one of the new style courses and involved a lot of academic writing so I was fairly used to it. For this reason I didn’t need to do an Access module. There is absolutely tons of help on academic writing available and always someone to ask!
    I won’t lie it was a bit of a shock to the system at first. I was 33 when I started and had last been in education eight years before when I did my nurse training. It was totally different to what I was used to but there’s so much help and support out there- you’re never alone 😊
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    (Original post by princessmaire80)
    No problem at all- I’m glad to help, honestly! Ask away.

    1) Yes it does. I think if I remember correctly it was just a case of listening to a piece of music and reading the accompanying notes then answering a question based on the notes. I’m hard of hearing and I just used the notes which I had no issues with- it’s nothing mega complicated.

    2) Full time study to be fair wasn’t as hard as some made it out to be. I don’t work as I’m disabled, I had no other commitments and my partner works long shifts so I was at home alone all day with nothing else to do. The OU did try to discourage me at Level 3- they said ‘it’s not recommended with all your other commitments’ to which I laughed and said I don’t work, I have no kids, pets or other caring responsibilities and I’m home alone twiddling my thumbs all day- I’ve got no other commitments! It is what you make it though- I didn’t do loads of extra work and tended just to write the TMA’s when they were due. At Level 3 when the workload is supposed to be about 40 hours a week full time, mine was in the months where I had two TMA’s due, probably about 14 hours a month.

    I can absolutely categorically tell you that yes the ELL degree (as it’s known) is suitable for teaching as that’s why I took it. I was advised to study a named degree rather than an Open for teaching so yes that’s absolutely fine- no issues there.

    I’m so sorry I haven’t got any of it! I sold my books as soon as I had done- I was that glad to see the back of them by the time I had finished. My laptop died with all my OU work in it as well which is really frustrating as I was very proud of some of my assignments- especially for the ones I gained firsts for in my final year!

    It’s certainly not disadvantaged me I’ve found and I’m sure that it won’t be an issue for you either. Those sorts of topics are introduced at Level 1 then integrated into the Level 2 courses.

    I looked at 4 unis before I settled on De Montfort- the other three were all Russell Group and all of them were perfectly accepting of my degree as I told them outright I was from the OU. No issues. If you’re planning to see the degree through to the end then apply to brick uni perhaps for a Masters, I doubt you’ll have an issue. I do know of some in my cohort who have been accepted to Oxbridge with OU degrees. It’s a little different if you’re planning to transfer after first year but at Masters level 1st year really isn’t relevant.

    I was fortunate enough to have completed an apprenticeship immediately prior to starting my course. This was one of the new style courses and involved a lot of academic writing so I was fairly used to it. For this reason I didn’t need to do an Access module. There is absolutely tons of help on academic writing available and always someone to ask!
    I won’t lie it was a bit of a shock to the system at first. I was 33 when I started and had last been in education eight years before when I did my nurse training. It was totally different to what I was used to but there’s so much help and support out there- you’re never alone 😊
    Sounds brilliant, the novels for lit looks great as I have read a lot of the literature during my AS year. Before I had my procedures and stuff done I was doing A levels so I have a fairly good understanding of academic writing to some extent. Did you ever attend any face-to-face seminars?

    How did you find the examinations with a disability? I spoke to someone at the OU and they informed me that I could sit the examinations from home if my health was poor.
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    (Original post by Piña colada)
    Sounds brilliant, the novels for lit looks great as I have read a lot of the literature during my AS year. Before I had my procedures and stuff done I was doing A levels so I have a fairly good understanding of academic writing to some extent. Did you ever attend any face-to-face seminars?

    How did you find the examinations with a disability? I spoke to someone at the OU and they informed me that I could sit the examinations from home if my health was poor.
    Oh yeah, I forgot to ask. What drew you to DMU over the other unis? I have friends in DMU and they seem to love it.

    What RG unis did you apply to if you don't mind me asking?
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    I did attend some of the face to face seminars and day schools- more so in the first and third years. They were incredibly helpful and valuable- however the beauty of the OU is that it’s so flexible and if you can’t make them it really isn’t a problem. I was really poorly in Year 2 and only got to one tutorial but my marks didn’t suffer- I got a 2:1 for one module and a 2:2 for the other.

    I only did one exam through the whole of my course and I had masses of adjustments. I wasn’t able to take the exam at home because my partner has severe mental health issues and cannot tolerate anyone he doesn’t know in the house so they just gave me a room of my own in the exam venue. I was allowed to use a laptop as I have fibromyalgia and I cannot handwrite anything beyond my name because of severe pain in my hands, and I had extra time and rest breaks. They are fantastic with adjustments though- they’re very used to it.

    I only actually applied to DMU, however I went to open days and had meetings with staff at Leeds, Nottingham and Leicester Universities. I also considered Newcastle (I’m from there) but I didn’t like the course there. All the staff I spoke to though said firmly an OU degree is certainly not a problem and some, like DMU actually value them highly. The Professor in charge of my course is an external examiner in Literature for the OU and she told me she’s always pleased to see OU students apply for the courses she chairs as she knows we have excellent independent study skills, are extremely well motivated and work hard.

    I chose DMU as I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to do and the course they offered is the only one that gave me the autonomy to do it. Now I’m on the course I am finding it frustrating (as is my supervisor to be fair) that the course is extremely Literature orientated and geared to those who are studying Literature projects. I have very good supervisors though who specialise in Language and Linguistics and have said they are more than happy to champion my cause as they see how passionate I am about my subject and that they will do everything they can to help me make it work. DMU is my local uni (I’m actually in the fortunate position to live slap bang in the middle of three excellent unis- Leicester, Loughborough and DMU- I looked in depth at Loughborough where I would have loved to have gone but their tough entry requirements scared me off! Again nothing to do with having an OU degree and I had the requisite 2:1 but the fees were astronomical and given the fact my fairly straightforward DMU application took me three months the thought of a 2000 word essay for an entry requirement was just too much!)
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    I don't think you should give up on going to a brick uni just yet. Not having A levels is no barrier to a brick university, there are lots of alternative routes - see this thread for a list of options: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3401311

    An OU degree is a proper degree, there's no doubt about that. That vast majority of graduate jobs are open to people with an OU degree, although there are jobs which require practical scientific skills e.g. lab-based or fieldwork that as an OU graduate, you won't have - however, OU students tend to overstate just how good the OU is. It's good, but it has some failings.

    My biggest issue with the OU is the lack of module options. A brick uni might have 40 or more optional modules for you to choose from whereas the OU has, at best, 2 or 3. If you like the subject matter covered in the OU modules then that's no problem, but if you want to study specific areas of history or literature that the OU does not cover then I'd advise you to look elsewhere (the Uni of London has more comprehensive distance learning degrees, although you get less academic support), or a brick uni.

    (Original post by hannxm)
    Also, written material from the OU is used in hundreds of top universities.
    I'm wondering if this is one of those OU myths. I keep seeing people say this on the OU facebook group, but nobody ever says which unis or which material is used, or by who.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I don't think you should give up on going to a brick uni just yet. Not having A levels is no barrier to a brick university, there are lots of alternative routes - see this thread for a list of options: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3401311

    An OU degree is a proper degree, there's no doubt about that. That vast majority of graduate jobs are open to people with an OU degree, although there are jobs which require practical scientific skills e.g. lab-based or fieldwork that as an OU graduate, you won't have - however, OU students tend to overstate just how good the OU is. It's good, but it has some failings.

    My biggest issue with the OU is the lack of module options. A brick uni might have 40 or more optional modules for you to choose from whereas the OU has, at best, 2 or 3. If you like the subject matter covered in the OU modules then that's no problem, but if you want to study specific areas of history or literature that the OU does not cover then I'd advise you to look elsewhere (the Uni of London has more comprehensive distance learning degrees, although you get less academic support), or a brick uni.



    I'm wondering if this is one of those OU myths. I keep seeing people say this on the OU facebook group, but nobody ever says which unis or which material is used, or by who.
    I think the OP did say they have some health issues which could potentially make attending a brick uni difficult. I know personally the support I had from the OU with my disability issues was brilliant and whenever I had an issue I just had to pop over an email and someone would be right back- I’m at a brick uni now and although the support I get is okay when I can get it when I’m having a crisis a ten minute appointment 2 weeks next Thursday isn’t going to be much use! I can’t speak for all brick unis of course but the experience at the brick uni I’m at is fine if you’re 18 and able bodied but if you’re neither of those you’re stuffed.

    I’m doing a very specific topic for my MA and although my supervisors are good again there is very little support. Fortunately- I’m okay with that, the OU has taught me how to get my head down and get on with it so I don’t need continual support.

    Brick unis aren’t designed for those who need a lot of support or who have serious health issues- as I discovered at Nottingham Uni when i contracted an illness that led to cancer and was kicked off the course. I was told because it was a specific female cancer I had they couldn’t take it into account as they could only take into account conditions that an average student male or female could have- so if I had had something like leukaemia it would have been okay! The students union helped me mount a legal challenge on the grounds of gender discrimination which I won but this is the sort of things that brick unis do. Brick unis are not suitable for everyone- I’m looking at going back to the OU for my PhD as I really hate my brick uni so much. I only stay because it’s such a specific topic that I’m studying that I can’t find an equivalent in the OU. I know you say OU students overstate how good the OU is and if you want to think that then fine but I’m having such a horrible experience that frankly the OU is absolutely miles ahead!
 
 
 
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