Studying with Open University

August 15, 2019
Studying Online
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Studying with Open University

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that I had achieved a distinction in the first year of my Bachelor’s in International Studies. This was with the Open University, and I completed half of my studies while travelling through Asia with Global Grad. While I cannot compare it to traditional university as I’ve never attended, I have noted several things about doing a degree online which may be useful for those considering doing the same to know:

MODULES
With the Open University, you will study 360 credits to make up your Bachelors with Honours. For some, this may be only six 60 credit modules, but in some subjects, 30 or 10 credit modules are optional or compulsory. If you don’t know what course you want to take but still want to get a degree, you can also complete what they refer to as an ‘Open Degree’- you still graduate, but without having a specific subject of speciality.
This can make it easier to branch out into what you want to do, which leads me to my next point.

SPECIALISING
As stated, you can do an Open Degree, but you may have more choice in what you specialise in with your degree. For example, I have to do a joint major in my Open University studies, but I got a choice of three- Environmentalism, History or Politics, of which I chose the latter. These have no impact on your schedule unless you decide to attend the optional Tutorials the Open University provides.
Meanwhile, Jordan, who studies Maths, got so many choices for her second year that she spent ages pondering over her choices. These ranged from things such as Accountancy to learning a second language.

FLEXIBILITY
You’ll have plenty when it comes to when, where and how much you study. For every 10 credits you’re studying at any point in time, the Open University suggest around three hours of work per week, although many have noted taking far less time. Depending on your course, you can do from as little as this to 120 credits at any point in time.
And where do you have to study? Your choice! As long as you complete your assignments by their due dates (and these aren’t extremely often- in Years 1 and 2 I have seven assignments/exams for each 60-credit module), then you can study as much or as little as you want, where you want, at whatever time you’re feeling productive. So, you wouldn’t have to relate to all the 9 am lecture jokes that traditional university-goers make.

FREEDOM
Did, like me, you have that one teacher whose class you struggled in because your learning style and the teachers teaching style weren’t compatible? With the Open University, you won’t run into this issue. All the information you need to learn is written down in PDF format or audio- you can do whatever you want to make sure you retain it.
Can’t learn visually? There are audiobooks if you request them. Can’t learn auditorily? The audio sections are transcribed.
Whether you’re a studygram-esque user of fancy pens, washi tape and notebooks galore or others will find your things a mess, as long as you understand the content, you won’t get judged! And assignments are done online, so it’s not an issue if you make a stereotypical doctor’s handwriting look good.

So, if you’re someone who likes to be in control with what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, then studying with the Open University may be a good option for you. If you have any enquiries, feel free to get in contact with Global Grad and they will be able to get you any relevant information you’d like.

About the author

Jasmin Dawling is one of Global Grad’s January 2019 students and is completing a full-time Bachelor’s degree with the Open University in International Studies. While this is her first time formally blogging, she has had plenty of writing experience in the past, from novel writing since the age of six to working on the school newspaper. Apart from seeing the sights of South East Asia and working on her degree, Jasmin spends most of her time either procrastinating or writing down her novel ideas, be it on her travelling-inspired new ideas or the 7-part series she’s been toying with for almost ten years.

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