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Open university - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Open university

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
Hi Chelsea,

I'm also quite late in getting a reply to you because I only joined the forum today!
I completed my BSc in Natural Sciences last October with a 2:1. Throughout my degree I worked full time until the very last module and I took a year off to complete this as I knew it would be very labour intensive. I got a distinction in this, so it paid off!

However, because I worked full time (and moved house twice) the degree took longer - 9 years in total. I found working and studying manageable only by studying one course/module at a time for level 3 and planned out my time well. I used to get 2nd hand books for modules from ebay or Amazon and read them over the summer. This is harder to do now that materials have moved online and books are being phased out, but you can find facebook groups for modules where students sell their print on demand copies once they have finished the course.

My advice would be to get super organised:-

1. Plan for a couple of hours study a night and save 1 day for weekend study.
2. Before the course gets into full swing, organise your computer by adding a module folder and organising sub-folders for downloadable module materials. I also made folders for a working draft assessment and the final assessment for submission.
3. Note assessment due dates and build in more time for these. I usually blocked out two weeks prior in my calendar to complete assessments.
4. Fulfil the learning objectives, as these are assessed in the exams and assessments.
5. If studying courses in tandem, choose courses that crossover in subject. Repetition of materials cuts down revision time.
6. If doing two courses simultaneously, choose one that has an exam and one that has an end of module assessment. You then only have revision for one module. Bear in mind that the end of module assessment (EMA) will steal revision time from the exam module. To counteract this, complete the EMA early to free up revision time for the exam module.
7. If you must complete the degree in less time, double up only on level 1 courses. The degree classification is not based on level 1 courses, but how well you do at level 2 and 3. However, I did do two level 2 courses at once by combining an exam module with an EMA module. I recommend doing only one course at a time for level 3, as higher levels increase in work levels and difficulty and you do not want to compromise final marks.
8. Revise topics weekly so that it is not a panic around exam time. I was bad at this and found I had to build in 2 months of revision prior to the exam, but wished I had used the weekly method.
9. Get hold of past exam papers from the OU Student's Association shop and make sure you work through these before exams. If you do a paper in exam conditions, it will get you used to exams and steady your nerves.
10. Try to book in some time to relax and exercise.
11. Buy drip dry clothes!

I'm not going to lie, I was completely burnt out working full time and studying. It's not easy, but you will feel like you have made an incredible achievement once you get your degree. You will have made lots of new friends and studying will broaden your thinking. You will never look at the World the same way and hopefully you will have broadened your horizons :).

Go for it and good luck!

I attended a part time Honours degree in Business Studies specially for mature students at Southampton Institute, now Solent University. It took four years, attending one day a week and studying at home. Everyone else was working, most funded by their employers. At times I wonder how I ever even got to college, but it was well worth it. My husband was made redundant just as I was finishing the course, we went on to run a business together for many years, and it worked. well, until he died.
Hi Chelsea, I can say that this is not a big problem and everything can be easily solved. I have many friends that had the same situation and it was easier than to study full time at the university. Everything you need is just to take your time and do what you need to do. The hardest thing is the exams session, there you need more time for studying, the rest of the time you can dedicate for work or for yourself.