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    Does anybody know that how many hours I have to spend at a university about at the first year of studying biology or microbiology on full-time? I can’t decide if I would be able to keep my full time job and study full time at a university simultaneously. Or I should just choose Open University and study online. For some reason I feel that to study just online is must be harder than having real lesson. What do you think?

    A very rough rule of thumb is that 1 point of credit towards your degree will require 10 hours of study. Some of that will be formal taught stuff and some will be self-guided such as reading, reflection etc etc

    IIRC most degrees require you to complete 360 points of study (120 a year full time requiring 1200 hours) and typically term time totals 30 weeks in the year so you can expect to spend 40 hours a week full time during term time.

    Now, of course, everyone is different and some people will spend much less time and some much more. In my experience there is a correlation between those people who put the work in and those people who do well...

    So, can you work full time and study at a brick university? Yes but you will need to know timetables - how much of that 40 hours a week requires you to be somewhere? Also, you will be burning the candle at both ends and three years is a long time to do that for.

    Can you work full time and study at the OU? Yes and it is slightly easier due to the flexibility of study patterns but you need to fit in the work. Be under no illusion it is tough.

    Studying part time with the OU is more realistic but your degree will take longer to get.

    Is distance learning harder? IMHO no it isn’t once you figure out the key rule which is that you are an adult and although you will get lots of support it is your responsibility to sit down and do the studying.

    Oh, the OU takes the word Open very seriously. There are very few restrictions relating to starting a BSc/BA it is open to pretty much everyone who meets the age requirements. This means that at the start of your degree they will cover the basics of your subject and skills required for studying (such as effective note taking, prompt analysis, referencing etc) and wider skills such as time management etc. Some people find this frustrating because it is too easy for then but it means that everyone is ready for their level 2 and 3 modules (roughly equivalent of what you would study in years 2 & 3 at a conventional University) which are much more academically demanding.

    For each module you’ll have a tutor who is a subject specialist. Most work for the OU part time and many have a day job in industry related to their subject. They are there to look after you pastorally, mark your work and deliver tutorials (both online and face to face). Many tutors are or have been OU students so understand the challenges of being a student who needs to work etc

    I’ve seen some posts saying that OU degrees aren’t proper degrees. Sadly these are generally inane comments from people who no little about what they are saying. The awarding of degrees in the UK is very tightly regulated to ensure that academic standards are met and the OU is no exception - the QA process they go through is extensive.

    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play

    Btw, have you seen OpenLearn. It contains short extracts from OU modules that you can use for free.
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
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