Open university during the army

#1
Is it possible to take a degree from Open University while working in the army?

Because I've read a few articles on this site and they haven't filled me with a comfotable amount of confidence about life after the army if you have no qualitifications.
 
#2
Short answer - yes. I got my BSc from the OU while still serving (used all my educational allowances to assist). Before doing anything, plan it out. Look at how many modules you can realistically do each year and how they fit into the degree you want. I worked my bollocks off but also allowed for some down time during holidays etc. Generally it was Mon - Fri 18:00 - 22:30 and a good few hours on the Saturday. You've already realised that you're responsible for how you quantify your skills on the outside, so whatever you decide, good luck!!
 
#3
Yep, I was doing an OU BA degree, but the Falklands fucked it up and after that my career took a new and very hectic direction so I didn't finish the final year. No matter, the OU courses are very well put together and very worthwhile.
 
#4
If you can get a posting to Scotland or Wales. Barbaric places I know, but the charges are less. You're looking at £15,000 for a degree now in England.

There are other providers but OU are still pretty much the best in terms of support and courses.

You can take tasters or disparate courses as you wish. Named degrees are available but you can also get a misc course 'open' degree in anything you want.

120 points is a Un year, I'd suggest you start wih 30 to see how you go, no more than 60 per year. Buy an organiser (and insert all your tma dates etc) and buy a brief case or similr to store all your papers, books etc. Particularly if you go on exercise etc.

Tell your CoC and let them know as far ahead as poss re exams and other things.

Finally find a freind you can trust. They can upload tmas on your behalf, TMAs (tutor marked assignments) can be mailed and if you are on tour tthey are understanding but CMAs (marked by computer are not!). It isn't unknown for me to text a set of answers or talk the mrs through the cma answers!

Any Q's PM or put here.

one last thing. Be ready to lose a significant portion of free time! In the singly block (esp) this can be a p1sser. I once sat for a whole week of AT in Bavaria at my desk with my laptop whilst the rest hit the pubs like nobodies business. (I got a few nights out ) but that is how it is!!!

Good luck.
 
#5
As has been said, you can, but it will cost you a lot of time and (now) money. I did a Psychology degree which took me 5 years (I managed to transfer an NVQ for the 6th year) and it is not easy. I believe for a 60 point course the OU recommends up to 15 hours per week. Apart from exam time I don't think I did that much but certainly the best part of 10 hours most weeks. Ensure you pick a subject you enjoy; it aids the motivation in picking up the books. Also, the OU will generally help service people better than the Army helps its own people who are studying. The big stumbling block now is the price. From next year the prices are going up about 4-fold if you are in England. That will affect the amount of service people doing OU courses I guess. Finally, if you do a course with a Summer School, under the present system the Army sponsors you (£300) for the extra cost of the Summer School. And, personally, the 4 I have attened (3 with the degree and one this Summer for a diploma I am doing) are 4 of the best weeks of my life. But that's another story! Enjoy!
 
#6
I can't speak for doing an OU course within the military as I started mine after I left. However, I can only agree with the other posters regarding the cost, allocating your time wisely and choosing your course modules carefully. All this kind of advice is available on the OU website, which you can create an account on without signing up for any courses. If you haven't studied for anything like this before, or it's been a long time since you did, it's advisable to take one of the short "Openings" modules to get an idea of what you're letting yourself in for and get you into the studying routine and essay writing, amongst other things.

Make sure you use all financial help available to you from the military (ELC, etc) and good luck!
 
#7
Due to costs risng, you can nw get student loans to spread the damage...
 
#8
Thank you for the replies :) all of you, it's been very helpful, I have one other question though, what are Enhanced Learning Credits? Some people keep mentioning them on their posts.
 
#9
I started an OU degree, then got short toured to Corsham looking after comms links from/to Bosnia, (it's a satellite thing)was in crash accomodation and mail was redirected (late was a seriously abused word) from main unit 250 miles away so my OU units turned up very late if at all.
Also, I had got very busy "fixing" military stuff so it worked right which is what I was paid for.

No place to study, crap place to rest.

Go for the OU! Just make sure the decks are cleared.
 
#10
I started an OU degree, then got short toured to Corsham looking after comms links from/to Bosnia, (it's a satellite thing)was in crash accomodation and mail was redirected (late was a seriously abused word) from main unit 250 miles away so my OU units turned up very late if at all.
Also, I had got very busy "fixing" military stuff so it worked right which is what I was paid for.

No place to study, crap place to rest.

Go for the OU! Just make sure the decks are cleared.
Not judging mate, but for the Op.

I was able to cary on normal jogging in an a red hot iso in an Afghanistan FOB. Mail can be redirecting, and if you inform your tutor they will give you a bit of leeway.

Ditto working in NI - shift work, Bosnia - in a tent/winter in Bos/on a hill. In a Adv Trg lodge, on courses learning other things, on leave and a plethora of other places.

Get a breif case (or similar) put all your stuff in their, and work it out from there. You only need a dry, quiet place with a light to study.

All of the matierials can be downloaded from the OU, so another thing I do is stock up the Netbook and you can do everything, anywhere.
 
#11
As an aside to the OP, I just checked the price of a module I was thinking about starting. England cost, £2500, Wales, £735

now thats a huge difference
 
#12
... what are Enhanced Learning Credits?
I guess you are serving - speak to your RAO, Education officer (if you have one) or Early Learning Centre; it's an allowance towards certain recognised education.

I did it over six years, working between 0500 and 0700 every morning and more over leave weekends. The quality of the material is high and well worth doing. With the world as it is out there, an OU degree is recognised and respected. Highly recommended.
 
#13
I guess you are serving - speak to your RAO, Education officer (if you have one) or Early Learning Centre; it's an allowance towards certain recognised education.

I did it over six years, working between 0500 and 0700 every morning and more over leave weekends. The quality of the material is high and well worth doing. With the world as it is out there, an OU degree is recognised and respected. Highly recommended.
You do realise that when people click on your link they get the Early Learning Centre.

Which is probably quite apt really.

I'm not at home at the moment, but have more info on ELC and SLC there.
 
#14
Getting a degree through the OU seems cheaper than the conventional route. For a start, the fees are lower, according to the page I just visited, plus your living costs are already taken care of by the army. In all, it's a good time to go for it.
QD - BA/BSc Open degree - Open University Qualification

One thing worth pointing out is gettting a good degree in a tech subject is a lot of work over 3+ years, so choose an area that really interests you. Be prepared to live and breathe the subject.
 
S

squirt

Guest
#15
I know lots of people who have done OU work whilst in. I am actually doing a degree through the University of Essex. They seem really good and literally everything is done online so perfect for military personnel. You can pause your studies after any module and resume when you're ready - i.e. during a tour.

You can also get you a £50 Amazon voucher if I recommend you. :)
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#16
Do it mate and think about a student loan if cash is tight. Pick subjects you really like or you'll be stuck with a dull course and won't have the motivation, though my studies have to be relevant to my career and what I want to do later on.

While ex serving now, I'm pretty confident I could have studied with the OU while serving. The web and course resources are top notch and much of the content, assignments and planning , is done online. But you'll probably have to pay for any set Books and you might not be able to get to Tutorials, or day schools. Everything else is done through your Student Homepage and the student services are the bollocks. There are E-resources online for all the course materials.

Pretty steep leaning curve but this gets easier, once you get the hang of higher education study.
 
#18
I started my first module, Open Mathematics, during my last year in the Army. I just got stuck in and did as much as I could whenever I could. Because for 6 weeks, I had a resettlement course to do in Plymouth, which entailed homework until about 2300hrs most nights, on top of my OU assignments, plus the socialising at weekends.

Ended up many years later with a B.Sc (Hons) in IT & Computing. And no debts to pay.
 
#19
I did a BA(Hons) History with the OU in 4 and half years.

Quite possible if you overlap and double up courses. For example I doubled up a heavyweight level 3 history course with the Intro to the Social Science (pass or fail, end of course assessment no exam) and cracked 120 points in one year.

I finished mine before the fee increases and 60 point module was costing me around 600 GBP by the end.

I saved my ELCs for the MSc I'm now doing. Not sure what I would do with the current (in my view grossly unfair) fee structure. Are student loans available?
 
#20
OU degrees do indeed now attract student loans...

they had to really. After the rug was pulled from those who may wish to study with them.

How many people are going to find £15,000 to study, and potentially feed a family, service a mortgage etc.

Fcuking insane? Yes. Unfair? Well, the Welsh and Scots have chosen to carry on topping up tertiary education, England has gone the other way.

If you are in the Armed Forces though, ask for a posting to Wales or Scotland. You get cheaper rates on the OU.
 

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