Newest Review: ... as now I was married and wanted a family and I felt the distance learning would be the best option. I needed 2x 60 credit modules and d... more
The sky's the limit with the OU
Open University in general
Member Name: Decluttering
Open University in general
Date: 15/04/13, updated on 16/04/13 (205 review reads)
Advantages: Very flexible, allows independent study
Disadvantages: Not for everyone, can feel a little lonely sometimes
When I was 17 and ready to leave school, I was strongly advised by my school to go to University. At 17 I had no idea what I wanted to study or what career I wanted to eventually have and I had a fear of committing to a course that I might not enjoy for the next 3 years of my life. In contrast to my view of a traditional University, the Open University is a lot more flexible in it's approach to studying and it is allowing me to get the degree that I know I am clever enough to hold.
With the Open University a degree can be studied in a period of 3 to 16 years, with students deciding the pace that they would like to study at. Modules begin in October, February and May allowing students to tailor their studies to a timetable that may suit them better than a traditional academic year and the distance learning structure of the courses allow students to study at a pace and time that suits them. This flexibility has allowed me to work part time while studying.
My tutors are always at the other end of the phone or email and while I have not yet needed them for anything major it is comforting to know that they are there should there be a need. Study materials include a mixture of textbooks and online materials which are then reviewed at tutorials (which can take place both online and in person with other students). This independent way of learning is one which I enjoy immensely although it is not everyone's cup of tea.
The cost of learning varies depending on location. As a Scottish student my fees are reduced dramatically in comparison to my English counterparts, however without financial support I am still paying somewhere between £1500 and £1750 for each year of my course. For my undergraduate degree I am charged seperately for each module that I select and there is a variety of payment options available to students. I personally use OUSBA (Open University Student Budget Account) to pay my fees, where I am loaned the funds at enrollment and I pay back monthly installments for the duration of the module in order to settle my debt. The English fees system quotes the price of a full degree (at todays prices) at the cost of £15,372 however additional Government support is available in the shape of tuition fee loans to make it more affordable.
Overall my experience with the Open University has been very positive so far, with all services proving to be efficient and helpful. The sky's the limit with the Open University, opening doors to the people who previously would have been shut out.
Summary: The Open University provides a great alternative way forward into further education