Access to HE course or straight to open uni STEM degree?Watch
I am interested in learning a STEM subject. I have a talent for maths, and computer science interests me, but I want to keep my options open. I'm interested in the Open University Combined STEM degree, because it offers flexibility.
I didn't do A-Levels. I am currently looking at 2 options:
1. Doing an access to HE course (A-level equivalent) before starting the degree in October.
2. Starting the degree in February, learning what I can between now and the start date.
Do you think it makes a significant difference if I have the Access course before the degree? From what I can see, I think I would manage the degree without the access course. But I could probably do higher level modules if I do the access course first. How much of a difference do you think this will make 1. To my success in studying 2. To my ability to get a job?
I just started my BSc(Hons) Computing and IT degree with OU in October. I'm in a similar boat to you. I left school after GCSEs without taking A-Levels. It's been over 11 years since I studied in education.
I didn't bother with an Access module as the Level 1 modules from OU are designed ot be a gentle intro to study, as they are geared to students who may have been out of education for many years.
I took the harder maths module (MST124) instead of the easier one I could have for my course (MU123) as MU123 is basically GCSE level, and I actually wanted to learn the stuff in MST124!
MST124 is a lot of work for a student if you haven't done A-Levels though. I've been scoring high marks, at around 92% on average over the assignments I've done so far, but it is taking quite a lot of my study time.
I devote 70% of my study time to the maths module and the other 30% to my computing module (which is easy as pie so far).
The maths module takes me at least 10 hours a week to just about learn everything before an assignment is due.
If you did well in your GCSEs and it's not been 30 years since you studied, I wouldn't bother with the access module.
I revised some GCSE maths and studied some AS level maths in the 2 months leading up to my start date, which was very useful.