Open University course while having A-levels

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justlearning1469
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Not Year 12 yet, but I was wondering whether people here have aced their A-level studies, other stuff as well as an Open University module.

An Open University module takes around 10 hours a week so it's quite feasible to give up a couple free periods a week plus a weekend, while having enough time to study, finish homework, socialise etc.

Also, if anyone has aced 4 A-levels, EPQ + an Open University course, what are your experiences?
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McGinger
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That is far too much to take on to do any of it properly.

A levels are a massive step-up from GCSE and doing 3 A levels and an EPQ will be more than enough.
An extra A level wont help you get into Uni - Unis only require 3 A evels and they will just ignore your lowest grade so actually its pointless - it doent 'impress' or mean you are more likley to get an offer. And an OU module on top - what for? Again it isnt going to impress anyone - especially if it means you mess up everything else as a result. Remember AAA will always look better than ABBB and a half completed OU course.
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justlearning1469
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(Original post by McGinger)
That is far too much to take on to do any of it properly.

A levels are a massive step-up from GCSE and doing 3 A levels and an EPQ will be more than enough.
An extra A level wont help you get into Uni - Unis only require 3 A evels and they will just ignore your lowest grade so actually its pointless - it doent 'impress' or mean you are more likley to get an offer. And an OU module on top - what for? Again it isnt going to impress anyone - especially if it means you mess up everything else as a result. Remember AAA will always look better than ABBB and a half completed OU course.
'A levels are a massive step-up from GCSE'
Yes the gap is significant, but A2 to bachelor is a decent bit larger, let alone Bachelor to PhD. Not to mention that quite a few people say about how the gap between GCSE and A-level is exaggerated by various people.

'An extra A level wont help you get into Uni - Unis only require 3 A evels and they will just ignore your lowest grade so actually its pointless'
An extra A-level is one A-level more if someone screws up one A-level or wants to broaden their options for university.

'Unis only require 3 A evels'
Though they'd welcome the breadth from another one.

'it doent 'impress' or mean you are more likley to get an offer'
When the minimum requirement in various courses is A*A*A... Though they don't require 4 A-levels for opportunity reasons.

'And an OU module on top - what for?'
Dual enrolment with university, easier transition into university, and shows that you're ahead.

' Again it isnt going to impress anyone - especially if it means you mess up everything else as a result.'
It will if you manage to ace everything.

'Remember AAA will always look better than ABBB and a half completed OU course.'
What about acing all the A-levels, IB and one completed OU course?
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McGinger
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If you think you know it all - why bother posting.
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Cs115
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I do 4 A-Levels and an EPQ and as long as you are doing FM as your 4th A-Level I dont think it should be too hard. Unis however do not recommend 4 A-Levels except for things like Cambridge Phys nat sci, engineering, econ, and cs as far as I'm aware and for all those only FM should be taken as the 4th. so unless ur applying to any of those I wouldn't do 4 A-Levels. EPQ is also unnecessary and I just did it for fun as an excuse to learn about this maths topic I was interested in. The open university course is really unnecessary though and 10 hours a week is a lot although it may not seem like it now. It wont provide you with much benefit at all in your application unlike some other activities such as olympiads for science subjects. what subjects are u wanting to do and what open university course are you doing?
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rhaenyraa
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I think it's too much. You need time to relax and do things you enjoy, too - and 4 A Levels + EPQ + OU course is a very intense combination.

If I were you I would look into MOOCs instead (they tend to be shorter and more flexible, while still providing some challenge & helping you explore subjects).

For context, I'm doing 5 A Levels (inc. further maths & a language I'm fluent in, so I guess it doesn't really count) + an EPQ. It's been okay so far, but I've only just started Y12 so it will probably get harder.

In regards to doing 4+ A Levels, this is what Oxford say:

Any additional A-levels that you choose to take will be considered, and can help to demonstrate your ability to handle a large workload. However, we recommend that you think carefully before taking on any additional A-levels as this may reduce the time you have to read around your chosen subject beyond your school or college work.

So, yes, it may give you *some* benefits, but you have to think very very carefully and manage your time well.
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justlearning1469
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(Original post by rhaenyraa)
I think it's too much. You need time to relax and do things you enjoy, too - and 4 A Levels + EPQ + OU course is a very intense combination.

If I were you I would look into MOOCs instead (they tend to be shorter and more flexible, while still providing some challenge & helping you explore subjects).

For context, I'm doing 5 A Levels (inc. further maths & a language I'm fluent in, so I guess it doesn't really count) + an EPQ. It's been okay so far, but I've only just started Y12 so it will probably get harder.

In regards to doing 4+ A Levels, this is what Oxford say:

Any additional A-levels that you choose to take will be considered, and can help to demonstrate your ability to handle a large workload. However, we recommend that you think carefully before taking on any additional A-levels as this may reduce the time you have to read around your chosen subject beyond your school or college work.

So, yes, it may give you *some* benefits, but you have to think very very carefully and manage your time well.
'If I were you I would look into MOOCs instead (they tend to be shorter and more flexible, while still providing some challenge & helping you explore subjects).'
So those taster courses, well they're a bit easy. At least with an OU level 2 course it shows that you're ahead of the pack.

'For context, I'm doing 5 A Levels (inc. further maths & a language I'm fluent in, so I guess it doesn't really count) + an EPQ. It's been okay so far, but I've only just started Y12 so it will probably get harder.'
I mean that does broaden options while having your STEM focus, which is decent, unlike what people claim as '5 A-levels are FaR tOo MuCH'

'So, yes, it may give you *some* benefits, but you have to think very very carefully and manage your time well.'
Thanks for the reminder.
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Cs115
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ahahaha not all moocs are easy. i completed one on multivariable and vector calculus and one on design and analysis of algorithms which are not at all taster courses. 5 a levels is too much unless you've done maths in year 11 which you haven't. so why have the extra work even if according to you it isn't much - it literally has no benefit
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summerbirdreads
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(Original post by justlearning1469)

'For context, I'm doing 5 A Levels (inc. further maths & a language I'm fluent in, so I guess it doesn't really count) + an EPQ. It's been okay so far, but I've only just started Y12 so it will probably get harder.'
I mean that does broaden options while having your STEM focus, which is decent, unlike what people claim as '5 A-levels are FaR tOo MuCH'

'So, yes, it may give you *some* benefits, but you have to think very very carefully and manage your time well.'
Thanks for the reminder.
um people claim 5 A-Levels are far too much because they're and not to mention 5 A-Levels are pretty much useless since universities make it very clear that only 3 is needed and 4 will only give you some extra benefit
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justlearning1469
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(Original post by Cs115)
ahahaha not all moocs are easy. i completed one on multivariable and vector calculus and one on design and analysis of algorithms which are not at all taster courses. 5 a levels is too much unless you've done maths in year 11 which you haven't. so why have the extra work even if according to you it isn't much - it literally has no benefit
'5 a levels is too much unless you've done maths in year 11 which you haven't.'
I'm only saying 4 A-levels + EPQ, not 5 A-levels.

'ahahaha not all moocs are easy.'
Oops.

'i completed one on multivariable and vector calculus and one on design and analysis of algorithms which are not at all taster courses.'
Thanks for the experience.
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justlearning1469
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(Original post by Cs115)
I do 4 A-Levels and an EPQ and as long as you are doing FM as your 4th A-Level I dont think it should be too hard. Unis however do not recommend 4 A-Levels except for things like Cambridge Phys nat sci, engineering, econ, and cs as far as I'm aware and for all those only FM should be taken as the 4th. so unless ur applying to any of those I wouldn't do 4 A-Levels. EPQ is also unnecessary and I just did it for fun as an excuse to learn about this maths topic I was interested in. The open university course is really unnecessary though and 10 hours a week is a lot although it may not seem like it now. It wont provide you with much benefit at all in your application unlike some other activities such as olympiads for science subjects. what subjects are u wanting to do and what open university course are you doing?
'for all those only FM should be taken as the 4th. so unless ur applying to any of those I wouldn't do 4 A-Levels.'
Or you want to expand your university options.

'EPQ is also unnecessary and I just did it for fun as an excuse to learn about this maths topic I was interested in.'
I can consider dropping it, though I'll replace it with something else self-initiated.

'The open university course is really unnecessary though and 10 hours a week is a lot although it may not seem like it now.'
OU level 2 course, to show you're ahead of the pack, as a formal qualification. For ten hours a week, sacrifice a weekend every day, and maybe some time on the weekday, so I'll still have one weekend, along with some free periods and study time.

'It wont provide you with much benefit at all in your application unlike some other activities such as olympiads for science subjects.'
I'd rather dive in to university stuff than olympiads. And my school doesn't offer olympiads.

'what subjects are u wanting to do'
Haven't decided yet, though something like physics/chemistry/maths/economics/law.
Well, keeping 4 A-levels if I have a change in mind.
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Admit-One
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It’s a complete waste of energy tbh.

You’d leave more doors open by nailing three A-Levels, (four if you are doing maths and further maths), than spreading yourself thin over AL + OU + EPQ.

Admissions staff just don’t care.
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summerbirdreads
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(Original post by Admit-One)
It’s a complete waste of energy tbh.

You’d leave more doors open by nailing three A-Levels, (four if you are doing maths and further maths), than spreading yourself thin over AL + OU + EPQ.

Admissions staff just don’t care.
not to mention you'll have more time to do recommended super-curriculars related to your course and work on a strong PS
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BrainDrain
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(Original post by justlearning1469)
Not Year 12 yet, but I was wondering whether people here have aced their A-level studies, other stuff as well as an Open University module.

An Open University module takes around 10 hours a week so it's quite feasible to give up a couple free periods a week plus a weekend, while having enough time to study, finish homework, socialise etc.

Also, if anyone has aced 4 A-levels, EPQ + an Open University course, what are your experiences?
If you are keen to learn more about your chosen university course subject, maybe you could take a look at some of the Podcasts universities like Oxford and Cambridge produce and are made available online.
You can watch these at your leisure to improve your knowledge of the course giving you advantages at the interview stage and maybe in any pre admission tests.
I wouldn't advise signing up for the Open University as I feel you could get much better value from studying past papers and tests to nail those three or four A*'s you are taking.
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rhaenyraa
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(Original post by justlearning1469)
'If I were you I would look into MOOCs instead (they tend to be shorter and more flexible, while still providing some challenge & helping you explore subjects).'
So those taster courses, well they're a bit easy. At least with an OU level 2 course it shows that you're ahead of the pack.

'For context, I'm doing 5 A Levels (inc. further maths & a language I'm fluent in, so I guess it doesn't really count) + an EPQ. It's been okay so far, but I've only just started Y12 so it will probably get harder.'
I mean that does broaden options while having your STEM focus, which is decent, unlike what people claim as '5 A-levels are FaR tOo MuCH'

'So, yes, it may give you *some* benefits, but you have to think very very carefully and manage your time well.'
Thanks for the reminder.
As far as I understand (from an admissions point of view), unis are looking for engagement & genuine interest in your subject - there are many ways to show this (e.g. essay competitions, courses, work experience, olympiads).

A candidate who completed a course (at a pre-degree level) but was able to reflect on it critically/say something meaningful would probably be more impressive to admissions tutors than a candidate who completed an OU course but couldn't reflect on it in their personal statement. At least, that's my understanding based on what I've heard from admissions tutors at Oxford/UCL/Imperial.

I'm happy to be corrected if anyone has a different experience with this.

In regards to your original question, based on my experiences so far, doing an OU course above 4 A Levels and an EPQ would take up too much time (at least for me). You're more than welcome to try, of course.
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rhaenyraa
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(Original post by summerbirdreads)
um people claim 5 A-Levels are far too much because they're and not to mention 5 A-Levels are pretty much useless since universities make it very clear that only 3 is needed and 4 will only give you some extra benefit
Well, I want to do a maths-related degree (so I definitely need maths/further maths) + I'm going to sit the language A Level at the end of Y12. I don't take any essay subjects.

So all things considered, I have a pretty light workload.

I enjoy all my A Levels, I have more than enough free time. I genuinely don't think doing 4+ subjects is too much, as long as you can manage them & they don't stress you out.
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summerbirdreads
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(Original post by rhaenyraa)
Well, I want to do a maths-related degree (so I definitely need maths/further maths) + I'm going to sit the language A Level at the end of Y12. I don't take any essay subjects.

So all things considered, I have a pretty light workload.

I enjoy all my A Levels, I have more than enough free time. I genuinely don't think doing 4+ subjects is too much, as long as you can manage them & they don't stress you out.
work load is light for you because you do math, fm and language you're fluent in, this might not be the case for everyone
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Admit-One
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(Original post by rhaenyraa)
As far as I understand (from an admissions point of view), unis are looking for engagement & genuine interest in your subject - there are many ways to show this (e.g. essay competitions, courses, work experience, olympiads).

A candidate who completed a course (at a pre-degree level) but was able to reflect on it critically/say something meaningful would probably be more impressive to admissions tutors than a candidate who completed an OU course but couldn't reflect on it in their personal statement. At least, that's my understanding based on what I've heard from admissions tutors at Oxford/UCL/Imperial.

I'm happy to be corrected if anyone has a different experience with this.
You are spot on and were clearly paying attention during those admissions presentations
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rhaenyraa
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(Original post by summerbirdreads)
work load is light for you because you do math, fm and language you're fluent in, this might not be the case for everyone
I never said it would be the same for everyone. All I'm saying is that doing more than 3 A Levels isn't always a terrible idea especially if it's a combination like maths/further maths.
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