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General Chat Thread, Degree - Distance learning in General; Hi there, can anyone suggest the quickest way of getting a degree via distance learning? Ideally in the realms of ...
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    bodminman's Avatar
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    Degree - Distance learning

    Hi there,

    can anyone suggest the quickest way of getting a degree via distance learning? Ideally in the realms of IT. I'm more thanhappy to put the hours in around my work commitments.

    I keep going for jobs that have 'Degree' as an essential requirement and as such my application gets disregarded straight away, even though I know I CAN do the job! I know the 'Degree' bit matters as I've chased up applications and have had 'Your application was dismissed as your profile didn't match the essential criteria' response.

    Thanks

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    Open University? - it's easily done in 6 years part time - but probably possible in 5 part time also.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    Currently doing just this with the Open University for similar reasons - not looking to learn a huge amount, but just get the piece of paper. In theory you can do it in three years, but it would take up a lot of your time.

    Only on the first module at the moment, a level one course, five assignments in total, two out of the way and taken about five hours each. Because you only need an average of 40% accross all the assignments (but including at least this in the final one) then I should have enough marks from the first two that I do not need to do the next two (although I probably will to get used to the process and way of working).

    Everything is done online, some tutors even do all their tutorials online too through conferencing software, although this is not very widespread at the moment.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    zag
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    How much does the OU cost?

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    I've been looking to do this too, which course did you go for with OU? I found a fantastic one, but they'd started phasing it out a couple weeks before I found it so I couldn't enrol

    If you have pricing details too that'd be fantastic

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    It's about 5k to do a full degree at the moment, you pay for each module when you register for it, so it's pretty well spread out over the years of study. The fees are likely to change upwards as they currently have a government subsidy and with the cuts I've no idea if this will be done much longer. Mind you, still will be cheaper the the 18k or more to study at other universities.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Must say as well, OU degrees are actually very well respected by employers as it shows a lot of dedication and hard work to complete it.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    limbo's Avatar
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    As teejay says, you pay per module (approx 400 each), so if you suddenly find things are tight you can easily put it on hold until the next time the course starts.

    There is no time limit, although some final qualifications phase out, but everything should be transferable to another end point.

    You can also mix and match, if you fancy throwing in a module on philosophy or French, and aim for one of their "Open Degrees".

    Many employers have started to recognise the skills needed to complete an OU degree rather than the traditional route - especailly if done while working too. Self discipline, motivation, hard work etc.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    bodminman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info so far.

    It's really frustrating how employers sometimes ask for a degree and totally disregard experience!

    I'll have a look at the OU site and at the same time I'm seeing what funding is available for Supprt Staff CPD! (Doubt there be any but must try!)

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    Do you have any existing qualifications form previous posts, or even certifications? The OU are very keen on allowing you to use "Acreditation of Prior Learning" which can be used to reduce the number of points needed for a degree. You need to get 360 points to get an honours degree, with 120 of theose at level 3. As limbo says, you can mix and match interests to gain an "Open" degree (Effectively your degree would be BSc (Open), instead of say BSc(Hons) Computing and IT), but I wouldnt recommend it as most posts in the IT field seem to need a named degree. Having been through the OU for my own degree, I can highly recommend it, and it is very well respected by employers.

    Your employer should help support you with this. If your school doesn't, try asking the LEA. They all have budgets for career progression and development.
    Last edited by riffleman; 19th January 2011 at 11:09 AM.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    I completed the Learning, Technology & Research (now called Learning Through Technology) degree at Anglia Ruskin University in December 2009. It is part-time, i.e. a 3 year course which you completed around your full time job, though others joined the course part way through as they's taken time out for one reason or another. I see they now have a part time option, whether this means you can take longer to complete it, I don't know. I found it hard going doing it after a full days work, and by the final term I was completely knackered, but now I've had a year's break I'm considering the MA.


    Edit: I had to fund myself
    Last edited by beeswax; 19th January 2011 at 11:12 AM.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bodminman View Post
    Thanks for the info so far.

    It's really frustrating how employers sometimes ask for a degree and totally disregard experience!

    I have a Computer Science degree from Cardiff and I agree with you. Luckily I have had part time ICT support jobs since I was 16 so when I graduated from University at 21 I had 5 years experience in a couple of different places.

    For me, experience is just as important if not more important than a degree.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    also if you earn between 16-30K your intitled to partial financial support (assuming your single and a few other bits)

    I'm currently studying for a certificate in business studies (worth a 1/6th of a degree) just to see if i like studying at a higher level (which i do). I'm loving it - the flexibility is amazing and I'm choosing which modules I'm doing which is great for me. I manage to fit in part time study around my full time, part time and my own business commitments. tho i'm cacking my march/april time as i'll have 3 modules on the go at once.

    total cost for all of my studies this academic year will be 830.
    Last edited by mjs_mjs; 19th January 2011 at 11:24 AM.

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    Depending on you circumstances you may be eligble to financial help for your OU modules. I had a course fee grant that paid for 90% of a course I am starting next month

    Andy

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    bodminman (19th January 2011)

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    bodminman's Avatar
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    I've just read that you can get a 'Career Development Loan' if funds aren't forthcoming from my employer.

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