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Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
8:16 pm


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Thursday, March 10th, 2011
7:40 pm - Census question - Level 1 qualifications

So, I've been filling in our census form tonight. My highest academic qualification is a Level 1 Certificate. Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? If so, which box did you tick? I'm really reluctant to leave it at 5+ GCSE's.

Thanks in advance!


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Sunday, February 13th, 2011
12:21 am


Has anyone been to a degree ceremony? Can you tell me what it involves? Do they announce your degree classification? And lastly, how long after getting your final course results did you have to wait before attending one?

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Monday, October 18th, 2010
3:29 pm - Tutor group forums

I'm having a problem with mine. There's about two of us contributing to discussions. Is this unusual? It's a bit frustrating...

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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
4:04 pm - U211-ers?


After deciding I wasn't going to do another course with the OU, I signed up for U211. That's how they suck you in, isn't it? ^_^

So yet, I'm a bit late for registering and still waiting for all of my materials to arrive, but they're all up online in PDF format as of today so I'm getting to look at them now.

Just wondering if there's anyone else on here who's doing U211: Exploring the English Language.


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3:57 am - AA100 Course Website Open
sherlock2040 Hi, is anyone signed up to do the AA100? The course website has opened and it'd be fun to have a few OU-ers on my friends list!

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Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
10:17 pm

Anyone doing a course this Autumn?

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010
7:28 pm


Has anyone here done the A300 20th century literature: texts and debates? How was it?

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Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
4:40 pm - Choosing a course & blogs


I've just about come to the end of my second OU course (I've submitted the ECA so it's just a question of waiting for the results now) and I'm stuck when it comes to choosing what I want to do next.

The problem is, I've not really enjoyed either of the courses that I've done so far. I took AA100 because I thought History was the subject for me, but I didn't realise that it was less about history and more about study skills (and as I'd just finished a four year university course, I had most of the basics covered already).

I decided to abandon the History study and do Creative Writing (A215) instead (once I'd come to the end of AA100), but I was disappointed with that as well. The way that FirstClass was used to share work just doesn't work for me, I need face-to-face contact and as the course went on, it seemed like the less effort I put into my writing, the better my marks were. I actually wrote less during this course than I have ever done in my entire life since first picking up a pencil, so I'm in no hurry to try the third-level Creative Writing course.

The problem is, I want to continue studying for fun and the OU is the ideal way to do that as I don't have to pay for the courses. I'm hoping to return to 'brick' university in a couple of years time so until then I want to keep my hand in and hopefully get something out of it as well.

I'm feeling drawn towards the language courses, but I'm put off by negative reviews (and I don't really trust the handful of reviews posted on the OU site). What I'd like to see are some blogs that people who are studying the various courses have kept because I think that gives you a better overall idea of the course than a single review.

Have any of you kept blogs during your courses? Regardless of what you've studied, I'm curious because at this moment in time I'm beginning to think that the best way to pick my next course will be by drawing names out of a hat.

Which brings me to my second question, which courses have you taken and loved? Why?

Thank you.


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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
1:13 am - Exam question.

I've just read through the Exam Arrangements .pdf for this year and it says that I need ID with a photo and signature like a driver's licence or passport. I don't have either of these and I don't think there's any way I can afford either before my exam. Does anyone know if they take any other forms of ID?

So far the best I can find is an expired Young Person's railcard. Would they accept this (I can probably get this renewed in time!)? Failing that, are there any cheap/free cards I could get in time (exam is on 16th June)?


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Monday, March 15th, 2010
12:10 am


I am more of a lurker but desperately need advise or answers.

I started my second year with L194 Portales : Beginner's Spanish last year November.. Or October. Can't remember when the start date was exact. In the meantime my mom became intensely ill in between a hell of a lot of intense family problems already.

I look after my mom and meanwhile do most of the things that need to be done and have now for the first time ever
found myself unable to cope with my studies. I have already e-mailed my tutor, but was just wondering what
others did or what helped them when this kind of thing happened? Any advise or whichever would be appreciated.

I hate messing up like this but also know when I simply can't go on with something without
making a complete and utter mess out of it.

Thank you in advance.

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Friday, February 5th, 2010
12:30 am - S193 Fossils & S194 Astronomy

In an attempt to keep all I've learned in my brain, I've taken to moving the PDF versions of my old OU course textbooks to my iPhone so I can quickly revise a fact before casually displaying my awesome knowledge whenever I feel the need to inflict it on people.

However, I am missing the PDF of my very first course, S193 Fossils and the History of Life. Does anyone have this PDF and would be willing to share it please? I began this course in October 2007 but would welcome any dated version.

Edit: I am also missing the PDF of S194, Introduction to Astronomy (I think they went down with my now-deceased laptop). If anyone can share a copy of this too, I will be very grateful.

Many thanks in advance :)

current mood: busy

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Monday, January 4th, 2010
12:08 pm - Any history students out there?

I'm currently saving up to do the MA in History with the OU.  I have a BA (hons) in English and I've been told there won't be any problem with enrolling on the MA without an undergraduate degree in history, I have however been advised to do a module from the undergrad programme. I was all set to do that but then I found it it would cost €1500 as I'm in the Republic of Ireland.  I simply can't afford to do this module and the MA.

So I'm wondering if there are any rescources, past papers or what have you, that I could peruse to familiarise myself with the 'language' of academic history?

Thanks in advance!

current mood: curious

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Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
11:47 am - Changes to Presentation Patterns for Arts courses

Something I just stumbled across in a First Class OUSA forum I read, and thought it might be useful to disseminate here:

Changes to Presentation Patterns for Arts courses

Over the next few years, all 60 point undergraduate Arts and Humanities courses will be moving to an October presentation pattern. The main reason for making this shift to October presentations is that we believe the current mix of February and October starts makes it harder to plan a clear pathway through the programme. Further to this, our experience suggests that the majority of students prefer and perform better on courses which run from October to June. In order to cause as little disruption to study plans as possible, the changes will be phased so that there is a gradual shift from February to October over the next four years. Follow this link to see which courses are changing...

The major exception to the change is AA100 The arts past and present which will continue to be available in both February and October. In addition, three courses will continue to start in February for the remainder of the life of the course:

  • Total War and Social Change: Europe 1914 - 1955 (AA312) - available for the last time in February 2013

  • Religion Today: Tradition, Modernity and Change (AD317) - expected to be available for the last time in February 2012

  • Shakespeare: text and performance (AA306) - offered for the last time in February 2013

  • Words and music (AA317) - available for the last time in February 2011.

With FAQs at http://learn.open.ac.uk/mod/resourcepage/view.php?id=319958

The list of courses includes several each from Art History, History, Music, Philosophy, and Religious Studies, and some special handling of AA100.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
7:00 pm - Reasons to be an OU Student

1. Cost. My entire degree should come in at under £5000, and most of that will be paid for by grants.

2. Freedom with timing. Although I do have to get assignments in on time, I'm very flexible about when I can work. Since I don't work much atm, I generally have my books open, and just study throughout the day. I also get the majority of the set books and the assignment leaflets at the beginning, so I can just get on with it. I like to study in the middle of the night, too.

3. I don't have to leave the house. Being out in public is quite stressful for me (I'm an aspie). A lot of the time, I'm just acting normal, and being away from home for too long - or having guests - makes me very stressed, because I have to keep it up. I went to college for a bit when I was sixteen, but, partly because I was still in the midst of depression, I found it hard to get up and leave the house everyday. And, once you'd done that a few times, you get so far behind you can't really catch up. And the work's designed to be done with a teacher, in a classroom, so you can't really take it home etiher. Now I've got absolutely nothing standing between me and the work but me.

4. Control. I know which courses I'm doing up to the end of my degree, and when. It's all about me. No one bugs me.

5. Time. Because I'm studying part-time, I'm able to slot in extra courses just for the fun of it, like the Welsh language and Welsh history. And they are fun.:D

x-posted to my own journal. Any other ideas?

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1:55 pm - Another question

So, I have another question for you fine folks. Has anyone here taken beginner & intermediate language courses? (and this also half-applies to courses in general, too...) I am looking to take a beginners' language course (either German or French) in November 2010, but then the intermediate courses start in Feb.

Is it possible to do courses at your own pace and finish them sooner than the allotted time? Could I take beginners' and finish it prior to the start of intermediate? Or failing that, do they allow overlap where I could enroll in them both anyhow? I'd obviously try and finish it prior to the start regardless, but then just hand in things as they are due, however that works, while already working on intermediate... Are either of these options feasible?

If not, having to wait to do that one 30pt course will add an entire extra year to my completion time of the degree, as the Level 2 & 3 languages courses also begin in Feb!! This rigid -only in November & February- course start thing is making me nuts, it makes everything so freaking difficult!!

Any suggestions/advice?

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Monday, November 30th, 2009
5:12 pm - Questions

Hey all, I had some questions and was hoping maybe some of you could help me out.

I'm an American living in Belgium, and I want to get a degree so that I can potentially do TESOL in the future, in places where degrees are required to teach. I discovered the OU recently and it seems like a great place, but I'm a bit confused by a handful of things.

1) Some posts here have mentioned "tutorials" and going to things on campus, do all courses require these things? I thought the "distance" part of distance learning was that there was no on-campus (except possibly for some potential exams) stuff with it? How does this work?

2) I am, accordingly, looking at the degree plan for the BA in Modern Language Studies. Thing is, I want to get started on this, but it says only 60pts of Level 1 courses, but the beginner language courses are only offered at the end of the year! Which means I have to wait a full year before taking them. That seems incredibly backward to me, and is quite frustrating. The only 2 Level 1 course options left, then, are Introducing the social sciences (DD101) and The arts past and present (AA100), which are both 60 pts, and would leave me still needing to take the language courses! This would be a waste of my time and money, since it would be unnecessary and I'm guessing a decent workload, since it'd be a 60pt class. But the main point is, I'd still need to take beginner and intermediate language (I'm thinking German), which ridiculously I cannot do for another year. Is it possible to take a Level 2 course (Exploring the English language (U211) is the compulsory Level 2 for that study path) before the Level 1s? I know it'd have a heavier workload, and it says you should have prior classes, but I've gone to university in the US years ago, it's not like I've never done this before...

3) I'd really love to actually TALK (just through email) with an actual person there, not these stupid contact form email things. I'd like to be able to actually discuss this stuff with someone! Especially about the courses, which I know the site mentions advisors, but it looks like that is more geared towards those in the UK only? Either way, it'd be nice to discuss the "can I take this course while I wait for those??" questions to a real person who works there, and have a back&forth with them. Is this at all possible?

I think that's essentially what it comes down to, right now. Can any of you offer me any insight here? It'd be much appreciated.

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Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
6:15 pm - Law

Hello Everyone!

I am brand new to this so please excuse me if I flout any rules :-S
anyway, i am hoping to study Law starting with W100 in February of 2010. I say hoping because, although I have sent off my financial support information, I still haven't received my registration documents- despite requesting them twice..eek.
Iim so excited to get started and get on with it, just wondering if there is anyone else here studying Law, and how they're finding it it, and tips/advice at all?

Thank you!

current mood: curious

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Thursday, September 24th, 2009
4:09 pm

I've started T189 Digital Photography : creating and sharing better images.

Has anybody done this short course before or is currently doing it?
I'd just like to know what other students thought about the course.

It's a shame they don't offer any other photography courses.

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Sunday, September 6th, 2009
10:50 pm - U211 Exploring the English Language


I'm coming towards the end of the U211 Exploring the English Language course which has an exam and I just wanted to know if anyone who has taken this exam has any advice in regards to revision?

I've struggled with the course as a whole and I'm feeling rather overwhelmed by the amount of material to cover in preparation for it!

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