I can't decide whether to do an open degree or a normal degree Watch

xBeautifulMind
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#1
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I have been considering doing an open degree for a while but my friends from sixth form (who are all at brick universities) say that I should just go to a normal university. They say this is because I won't get much/any support if I do an open degree.

However, I have my doubts whether the typical university life is for me. First of all, I struggle a lot with depression/anxiety and physically attending classes at school and sixth form was a big struggle for me, despite the fact I enjoy learning. Secondly, I am unable to drink alcohol because of the psychiatric medication I take.

The main reasons I'm considering the OU are that I like the idea of doing a degree without having to put my life on hold for it. I still want to do my volunteering (which relates to my degree) and possibly work part-time as well. Also, I prefer learning by reading or visualising things rather than being spoke at in a class/lecture (everything goes in one ear and out the other!). I would also be able to save a lot of money by staying at home rather than living in halls or a student house.

Basically, I'm just not sure if 'university life' is really worth it for me. Some people say they make friends for life at uni and others don't make any close friends and feel really isolated. At the end of the day, I would just like a degree so I can progress to my dream career. If I just did an open degree, would I really be missing out on much in term of 'university life'?

Does anyone have any advice or input?
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You sound like a perfect fit for the OU! Your mental health, your prefered way of learning, not being a huge fan of tradiontal 'uni life', still wanting to work.. etc, sounds like the OU would be the best path for you.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say your friends said to attend a brick university because you won't get much support, but if you mean that they think the OU offers less support than a brick university, then most people would totally disagree. At the OU, you usually have your tutors email adress and phone number, as well as the student support phone number. I've texted my tutor numerous times for support and used the student support line and I think most people would agree that they're both great =)

Yes, with the OU you're missing out on making a lot of friends, but there are student-made OU facebook groups for each module and a lot of people get chatting to people and make longtern friends. You also can meet people at face-to-face tutorials and OU social events. It's not the same as a brick university of course, but still many oppotunities to make 'life long uni friends'
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ohhello92x
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With your mental health and lifestyle, the OU would be perfect for you.

I did my degree at Bucks Uni, so can’t comment on the support at the OU, but can only assume you’d get the same amount of support from the tutors at the OU.

You’d be missing out if you went to OU in terms of making a lot of friends, but as the previous poster has said, there are student made fb groups, etc so you can make life long friends.

Do what is best for you, if you feel like doing a degree through the OU would benefit you than going to a regular brick uni then I say go for it.

Good luck on what you decide.
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Davidswift9
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Do a core subject such as chem,bio,phys, maths or engineering with OU not open. Open will be difficult to explain to employers and its a mish mash of a degree becuse you can pick unrelated modules. I done physics and that pathway is accredited by institute of physics. It got me a good job ans better life. Started it wwhen i was 27 and finished it in 3 years.
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username4236092
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I have just left ou after realising the degree I was doing (biology) not accredited and their online lab is useless, doesnt count as experience. Waste of time for biology students unless you are a mature student already working in a lab with extensive experience.
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artful_lounger
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I would point out that drinking alcohol is not a requirement of university, to make friends or otherwise. Either way, the OU might be a reasonable option; you can always start at the OU and move to a brick and mortar university, provided you haven't achieved the degree from the OU, as part time and full time funding from SFE are calculated separately (provided you aren't going on to an equivalent or lower level qualification).

As for the Open degree vs a named degree from the OU, I think the former can be a good option if you either a) have a very specific and academically cogent plan of study which isn't already supported or b) are just doing the degree for personal enrichment and want the flexibility to choose which modules you want. If you are getting the degree specifically to try and progress your career/whatever, and don't have a specific route for the degree planned, it might be better to stick to one of the pre-existing courses to make sure you cover any necessary background (both subject specific and transferable skills).
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bones-mccoy
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OU sounds good for you. Just need to make sure whichever degree/modules you pick are recognised and/or accredited by societies and employers.
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