View Full Version : The Open Uni (UK)

19th Feb 2004, 22:19
Is there anybody currently studying, or has recently studied with the OU?

I'm thinking about doing a degree with them, just wondered if anybody had any comment about the OU generally.

(The doctors wife has already added the obvious, 'don't bother, your too thick') No need to go there, thanks!!


The Doc

19th Feb 2004, 22:52
Had a bit of a naff reputation in the 80s, but nowadays I get the feeling it's more highly regarded. However, degrees are becoming ever more common. Make sure you choose something sensible! i.e. Not Egyptian basket weaving or some such. :rolleyes: I think it's fairly good for Physics & Astronomy - Heather wassername used to work there.

19th Feb 2004, 23:01
Did the basics way baaaack with them but they've come a loong way since then.
The MBA course is supposed to be pretty highly regarded.

The OUBusiness School is a seperate establishment if it's that sort of course you're looking for.

Was chatting to two colleagues here yesterday who are studying there. I and yet another who have been there were taking the mickey as he was going over his first TMA (Tutor Maked Assignment). I never seemed to make a deadline on any TMA. But as the tutors were paid per TMA marked you could rely on them accepting them up to a couple of weeks late! (on't know if it's the same now...)

Any way, the residential courses are superb fun. WWork hard - and play hard. Imagine being a Uni student just for a week again....this time (hopefully) witha a job to provide the dosh for the student union bar :E

If you do decide to go for it .....enjoy!

19th Feb 2004, 23:09
Lear: I actually teach the Physics and Astronomy (thanks for the vote of confidence AB !) and would say that - short of flying - it's one of the best things I've ever done.

The courses are certainly more highly regarded than they used to be - not least because there are now plenty of folks around who have been through the system. Who knows, your next prospective employer may well be an OU graduate !.

The course materials are frequently reviewed and re-written, so the days of the "kipper tie" are long gone.

Also, the people involved are some of the nicest you could hope to meet. And yes, the residential schools are indeed a hell of a laugh.

PM me if you want some more specific details . . .

20th Feb 2004, 02:21
I started doing the a Law Degree through them but the pressure of work means I have had to take a break. Materials excellent and lots of distance learning stuff if you can't get to tutor groups, living in Guernsey made it more difficult but it was fun.

Highky recommend it!

20th Feb 2004, 02:41
Make sure you can schedule in at least 12 hours a week (60-point course, what they used to call a full credit; you can do 30, or even 10). I used to have a 1:45 train journey each way to work and could do a TMA with a month to spare (then I'd do it again two weeks later, compare the answers and if they were the same, send it off). This year I'm doing a 60-pointer in a computer language I learned ten years ago; but without the compulsory 'get up and on the train', it's proving a lot harder to get motivated, even when I already know most of the answers.

The OU are producing a fair number of programs that get general circulation on the BBC - I've been amazed how often an interesting and well-produced prog turns out to have been made by them. The kipper ties really are a thing of the past, although somehow it's quite touching to actually watch one these days.

20th Feb 2004, 02:45
One of my mates is doing his PGCE through the OU. Apparently because he still gets his bonus (6k I think) for the PGCE despite being easily capable of doing it purely part time...

Is it possible to do an MBA part time? Another one of my friends is working on his (1 yr course) day and night, dosn't even get enough time off to use his football season ticket.

20th Feb 2004, 05:51
Mrs 4_2 is currently in her last year of her course. She has a full time job, so there are times when she's" not available" for all our social events :) because of her studying, but she's loved almost every minute of it. Nothing depends on it so it's purely for pleasure. I agree with others who have said it is more highly regarded now than when it first started.
Her only complaint is that for a couple of the years, her tutor lived quite some distance away, which made going to the tutorials impossible. She bitterley regrets this, as it provides a very useful feature giving guidance face to face with the tutor.

20th Feb 2004, 06:22
Very interesting topic as I'm starting uni in September to study astrophysics, as has been mentioned. I'm currently in a full time job and my biggest worry is money, or lack thereof, when I become a student. I've considered the open university but I thought it would be better to go to uni and become a full time student as I would be more involved with lecturers who can help me there and then with anything I find difficult and give more direct support (plus I'm young and would like to experience student life). Anyway my question is this, is there the same support through the open university as there is through a conventional one?

20th Feb 2004, 08:14
Then there's the original Open University - The University of London (http://www.londonexternal.ac.uk/index.shtml). The university was originally set up to accept anyone for examination regardless of sex or religion. It has provided external studies to allcomers since 1858. Prior to that women and Roman Catholics weren't admitted to British universities.

Its more posh to be a BA (Lon) than a BA (Open) ;)

20th Feb 2004, 15:46
G-ALAN, I've never been to 'real' university so I can't make a direct comparison. However!

Support from the OU:

1. You can ring your tutor, preferably before 9pm of an evening (and not when he/she is on holiday, obviously - the pace usually slows a little in the middle of summer to take account of this).

2. You have the tutorials, about once a month depending on the course.

3. There are a small-ish number of day schools, usually on Saturdays between 10am and 4pm. Last course I was on had about 4; this one's got 5.

4. The setting up of self-help groups, especially once past level one, is very much encouraged. They actively encourage you to publish your contact details to everyone else assigned to your tutor so you can discuss things.

Wonder if I've forgotten anything? How this compares with Big School I don't know. Of course, you don't have the magnificent grounds surrounding the campus, nor do you have a subsidised Student Union bar. Mind you, with the introduction of top-up fees, I sincerely reckon membership of the OU is going to go through the roof in a short while as it's the only way a lot of people will be able to afford higher education.

20th Feb 2004, 15:59
Just a short note to say thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. The info on the London Uni was very useful, I had no idea that it even existed!!

Thus far I have managed to scrape though a sufficient number of aircraft engineering qualifications, so I'm not looking for a career change, this course is merely for interest.

I was thinking about doing a degree in Psychology, looking at some of the other posts in JB, this may well be a happy hunting ground for 'rubber room' candidates :p

Thanks again all


The Doc