Open University PhD Experiences/Advice

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LadyMondagreen
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Hi everyone, I've been incredibly lucky and won a funded place at the OU from autumn of this year to do my doctorate in English and Creative Writing. I'm overjoyed and excited, but also a little apprehensive. Of the couple of friends I have who've done a PhD, all pursued theirs at brick-and-mortar unis, and not very recently. No one else in my family has a degree. I've been given a dispensation to study at a distance (due to caring responsibilities) although I will try to travel up to campus as much as possible. Any one else around who's done or is currently undertaking doctoral study at the OU? Does anyone have any experiences they'd like to share, or advice to offer?
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Evaaeri
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Hi, I’m not but I studied Ma Creative Writing at OU. I enjoyed it but too a break after a year when I found out that I enjoy YA writing and OU only does adult fiction. Keep is posted how it goes, the whole online experience was excellent and I’m sure you’ll do well.
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LadyMondagreen
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(Original post by Evaaeri)
Hi, I’m not but I studied Ma Creative Writing at OU. I enjoyed it but too a break after a year when I found out that I enjoy YA writing and OU only does adult fiction. Keep is posted how it goes, the whole online experience was excellent and I’m sure you’ll do well.
Thank you for responding. Funnily enough the OU don't actually do online/distance learning PhDs, you're normally expected to attend campus, so I think I'll be on Zoom and there in person as often as I can. Good luck with your work.
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K250816
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Hello, I am currently doing my PhD at the OU. It really depends on your habits and time management skills. For me, it has been very hard to arrive in the UK as an international student and cope with work from home as I don't feel there is a separation between my job and my personal time, I am aware I need to improve and it is part of the process as well (especially under the current cirsumstances). In your case, you need to find out what is that could possibly be difficult for you with the environment you have at home. For your studies I highly recommend you start reading and taking notes of the papers as soon as you can if you already have an assigned project or if you are sure your project won't change anymore. Definetely consider if you will need a pilot study, and try to plan, design and submit everything as soon as possible after you started, the Ethics review takes a long time and it is best to get your pilot done earlier (although you might not need one, you can ask your supervisors).
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LadyMondagreen
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(Original post by K250816)
Hello, I am currently doing my PhD at the OU. It really depends on your habits and time management skills. For me, it has been very hard to arrive in the UK as an international student and cope with work from home as I don't feel there is a separation between my job and my personal time, I am aware I need to improve and it is part of the process as well (especially under the current cirsumstances). In your case, you need to find out what is that could possibly be difficult for you with the environment you have at home. For your studies I highly recommend you start reading and taking notes of the papers as soon as you can if you already have an assigned project or if you are sure your project won't change anymore. Definetely consider if you will need a pilot study, and try to plan, design and submit everything as soon as possible after you started, the Ethics review takes a long time and it is best to get your pilot done earlier (although you might not need one, you can ask your supervisors).
Hi - thanks so much for this. I'm doing a practice-based PhD and my research will be about creating a new artistic work and the discoveries I make (about depictions of non-linear time in fiction narratives) during that process, so I don't need to do any quantitative studies or get approval from the ethics committee. I'm hoping that I'll be OK in terms of time management because I've already been self-employed and working mainly from home for over a decade - but part of the funding is a requirement to travel and attend quite a lot of extra research training, which is not something I'm used to! I'll definitely need to stay on top of my word count targets and research plan so as not to get distracted.

How do you feel about the level and quality of supervision the OU offers? And have you ever encountered any prejudice from other PhD candidates about the OU?
Last edited by LadyMondagreen; 2 weeks ago
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