The Open University

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Cpt_Darling, Dec 12, 2010.

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  1. Have any of the history buffs amongst us done the OU History degree? Im looking at it now as an option to fill up my time.

    Would you reccomend it?How did you find course content?Or any other thoughts/info would be appreciated.
  2. I started it in February 09 with the introdutory course 'What is Art'? - recommended if you haven't done any academic work for a while - it's only about £100 and only gets you 10 points towards the degree but does get you back into the swing.

    This summer I completed my first 'proper' module 'Arts Past and Present' which was excellent. May seem odd doing all this art stuff but OU strongly recommend this course (it may be mandatory if I remember rightly). It covers literature, philosophy, music, architecture, classical history, religion, art, modern history and other bits and pieces, which give you a good grounding towards a history degree 'proper'. Next I'm doing 'Enlightenment to Romanticism' (1780-1830), then 'Introduction to the Classical World', then history 1400-1900 (can't remember the title off the top of my head). At level 3 I'll probably cover 'Empire 1492 - 1970' and whatever classical course is running then (they're changing things round inthat department right now).

    I have thoroughly enjoyed it all, though music was a struggle for me, and certainly recommend the course. You can, of course, pick and chose different modules to suit your personal interests, though some modules are mandatory. Go for it and good luck.
  3. You can do what's called an Open Degree, where you essentially pick the courses that interest you to make up all the credits toward your degree. If you don't need specific topics or a named degree title for employment reasons, it's a good option.
  4. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    I'm currently doing the Arts Past & Present as the first step to a BA Honours degree in History. Find myself having to grit through the Cézanne and Divas units, but you do stumble across some interesting units too; Cleopatra and Faraday were good (the Stalin unit was disappointing weak though). Still, it is an education about things that I wouldn't normally have thought twice about.

    As for the History degree itself, the choice amongst the Level 2 and 3 modules isn't that broad, frankly. For my level 2 modules I'm currently planning to do; Exploring history medieval to modern 1400-1900, Exploring classical world. It's not till level 3 that I get to the stuff that interests me; Empire 1492-1975 and Total War & Social Change 1914-1955. Of course other modules could become available between now and then.
  5. Can I ask a really boring and academic question, what do you want the degree to do for you? Is it just for interest or to lead on to further academic research, or better prospects. Many Universitys have part time courses, or distance learing programmes, which can be as flexible as OU. Also, there may be generally more options and a range of topics. Birmingham and Kings London have history and military related. Exeter have a good naval maritime base. Bristol and Glasgow have what is called conflict archaeology, battlefields and theory of warfare. (You don't necessarily have to dig).

    I started the OU course but it didn't suit me. I later went to Southampton and read Archaeology. Now have B.A. and M.A. Was going to do PhD., but needed a break.

    I am ex-RAF Regiment as well, Rock Apes can read.
  6. Cheers bookman, you answered my question just as I was about to ask it!!

    I'm interested in The Great War, from a British perspective, and want to firm up my knowledge (gained through books,documentaries, the internet and travelling to the area) in an academic way.

    If it leads to some form of employment down the line then all the better but its not that important.
  7. Dear imbiber, have a look at birmingham uni web site and their WW1 programme. They have a range of topics which are quite interesing. Or if your in glasgow area, battlefield archaeology M.A. is excellent. Too far for me and would be pure indulgence doing another M.A. I have met Tony Pollard who heads up the course and he is a real battlefield nut. But getting ahead of myself, depends where you are located of course.
  8. Thanks, all advice and info gratefully received.
  9. Why not sign up for an Arrse tour? Been on several now travelling from the Fatherland and you will find it hard to find a better guide or group of people to go around looking at the old battlefields/memorials etc. Thouroughly recommended.
  10. KCL also have an excellent military programme and there is at least one contributor on ARRSE who could give very sage advice. Pm me if you're interested.

    Good luck!

  11. Yes Edinburgh uni does them . I've done a lot of the film courses just need to complete two more courses in the next year till I get my certificate . Here's the website

    Open Studies brochure | Open Studies 2010-11 | Open Studies

    As bookman said most universities will have something similar
  12. If that is the orbit of your interest then the University of Birmingham is the answer for you. As bookman says it is their CFS (First World War Studies) which leads the field. If it is more a conflict archaeology/battlefield thing, then Bristol or Glasgow are both excellent schools too. As an aside, not all of the best military history courses are brigaded under History faculties - a search through anthropology and archaeology courses may prove interesting.
  13. It's ten years since I got my BA (Hons) from the OU but I would throroughly recommend it. Hugely enjoyable, even the summer schools were a great crack. I would recommend that if you haven't studied for a few years you start off by doing the Arts foundation course - as I recall there were modules on literature, music, history, art and religion, all centred on the Victorian period - and as someone who hasn't been in a church in forty years, I can tell you that the religion module was fascinating - the Victorian crisis of faith brought about by increasing advancements in scientific knowledge - really interesting. This course is also a 60 pointer, fine for the BA, not so great for honours.

    In the following years I did levels 2 and 3 in Modern Europe 1914-1945, Modern Scottish History 1707 to the present day (via an affiliated module at the University of Dundee), The Enlightenment and Classical Greece and Rome.

    The Arts degree is pretty cheap as well. Although you could join the barricades in London demanding that we all club together to pay you through it....
  14. In the early stages of doing mine, just passed An introduction to the social sciences, currently doing a History based 15 pointer and due to start Exploring History next year. Has the OU Degree benifetted you career wise?
  15. I’m not sure if the system for building up “credits” towards you BA degree is the same as circa 1972-1975, when I studied.

    Back then, after your “Full” credit foundation course, you could take at subsequent levels “Half” credit courses.

    Be warned!

    From experience, I can confirm the amount of work required to successfully complete a “Half” credit course is about 60-70%, not just 50%, of a “Full” credit course.

    Best of luck.