Open Degree

Discussion in 'Education and Resettlement Courses' started by raymond_luxury_yacht, May 25, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Come back when you've got a proper degree!

  2. Come and work for me, clever young sir!

  1. I'm posting this in the TA forum becuase as a TA soldier myself, I reckon you guys have the most knowlege on civvi employment on arrse.

    I'm in the first few months of studying with the Open University. As I have commitments where I live, leaving to attend uni full time was not an option. If that had been an option, I would probably have just joined the regulars instead anyway. But I digress.

    I'm looking for people's opinions, civvi employers especially, of Open degrees. Not degrees offered by the OU in general, an Open Degree comprising of many different, and potentially unrelated subjects. Clicky here for a better explaination. I've already had a hard time trying to explain this concept to my employer, the PSAO, my oppos, family...

    As I've only just started, I could still use the points that I'm currently earning towards European Studies, for example, but I dont really have enough interest in European languages to study them at the level required for an ES degree.

    In a nutshell, I'm interested in my studies, but I'm not interested in enough related stuff to get a "specific" (for want of a better word) degree, making the Open Degree ideal. But do employers see the Open Degree as a bit of a cop out?
  2. I'm not uauslly one to bump my own posts, but the eductaion forum as dead as a dead thing.
  3. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Not a lot of help, but I'm doing one of those at the moment, although slanted heavily towards History. Have had feedback from tutors that it is considered a good option, since it allows a wide range of subjects to be studied, and can be followed by an MA or Msc.
  4. Your problem may be that some employers won't understand what it is that your degree does (The HR Nazis might bin you on a paper sift for not meting any desired work related critria), so to speak, whereas a degree in say biology or even bloody Media Studies tells them exactly what it is they need to know. It would all depend upon what sort of use you intended to make of your degree I suppose. Some employers may just look upon it as a higher education qualification when gauging what use you would be to them. If you are that concerned, and it's obvious that you've got your doubts hence your thread, then pick a subject and stick with it or do a sandwich degree.
  5. msr

    msr LE

    Does anyone really care? Unless you are off to medicine or engineering (E&OE) then you just need to show HR copy of the certificate.

    Face it, everyone has a degree these days...

  6. old_fat_and_hairy

    old_fat_and_hairy LE Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    What? Just the one?
  7. Not a civvie employer (not a civvie anything for that matter) but I have an OU degree and my employer-the Army counts it as exactly the same as a conventional degree. Also my old man was a personnel manager befroe they becam "HR" Staff and he rated OU graduates very highly as they had gained their degrees whilst doing all the other stuff. Stick with it and it'll be worth it in the long run
  8. Whatever you do knock the 'Open' degree on the head. As you have already discovered it will be difficult to fully explain or demonstrate its relevance to potential employers etc in the future.

    There are plenty of ways of diversifying your degree whilst still working towards a 'named' degree.

    Many degrees allow you to study a collaboration course with another uni, some also allow you to study 60 'free' points which mean you can study something totally unrelated.

    I did a degree in history, mostly modern era 1600/1700s until the Second World War, however I also did a Classics course on Roman history, a Social Science course which I counted as my 'free' points and an Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History with Oxford University which also counted as part of my degree.

    In my 'spare' time I completed a Level 1 Spanish course which I enjoyed immensely.

    Have a good look at all of the named degrees. OU study can be a thankless task, I spent almost 4.5 years in my spare room writing assingments before I reached the end of the tunnel. Make sure you direct your efforts properly or you will be left with a qualification you find difficult to justify.
  9. If you stick with the Open I'd find things that sound good but aren't too much of a b*stard to stuff in it. "Management" used to be a good one - "build and maintain the team, inspire and develop........" yawn, easy and sounds good. Something numerate is definitely a good idea, even introductory Economics, and something involving a bit of Research Methods.
  10. Hi mate,

    thought I'd post in on this as academia is where I'm at. I took DD100 Intro to the Social Sciences whislt still serving and am now doing my doctorate. The OU is highly respected, in the law league tables it came in at 24 I believe and many professionals do it so never, EVER knock an OU degree. It wasn't for me, ~I went full time at Bournemouth then an LLM at Kings but only becaue the Army paid for it, otherwise it would have been OU all the way. Good luck in what you choose, and, believe me, the most fun you will ever get is whislt studying - enjoy it!!
  11. No one is knocking an OU degree. The original poster is talking about an 'open' degree which is a degree the OU do which basically allows you to do any 360 points that can be counted towards a degree.

    Theoretically, it is possible to study French, Management, Biology, Computer Science, Geography, Law etc etc etc. Once you have amassed the 360 points at the correct levels you will be awarded a:

    BA/Bsc Open Degree
  12. Named degrees only came in when I was at the end of my time-at least I was able to get a BSc which pleased me no end. If anyone asks what my degree is I just tell them "Natural Sciences with a bit of maths, stats and computing". Never had a problem. The named degree is there if you want/need a specific degree, but the joy of the the OU is that you can study what you WANT to. My Mrs structured her whole degree around studying the Romans. The fact that she gained a BA in History with Humainites and Classics was by the by to her.
  13. Two schools of thought as far as I see:

    1. It could be argued that an open degree is a complete waste of time as it isnt subject specific, therefore not demonstrating an indepth view of any subject.
    2. It could be argued that an open degree shows your ability to get to grips with a variety of different subjects and that you bring more skills to the party then someone who has only a specific degree. It also demonstrates your ability to adapt to different subject matter, such as going from Natural sciences to pure mathmatics.

    Thats the way I see them, personally if someone had an open degree and I was a potential employer they would get an interview if other areas were up to scratch.
  14. One other thing - the phrase "currently studying for an OU degree" also looks good on your SJAR. Shows the board that you don't spend your spare time on the urine.
  15. You've hit the nail on the head to be honest.

    I'm doing my degree for myself, rather than for a potential career so I'm just going to stick with learning about what im interested in. If i get a job off the back of a pretty piece of paper than that's a bonus. At the end of the day there aren't going to be many jobs that require a fluent German and Welsh speaker, with knowledge of Welsh history, and the influences of Empires in global history - I'll probably just make the brews for the rest of my days, happy in the knowledge that I'm the most over-qualified brew-bitch around...

    I'm reminded of that Simpsons episode where Homer gets his diploma and dances around saying he's "smart, S M R T" and then sets fire to himself!