1. I don’t have the time – I have to work
Don’t worry – you don’t have to give up their day job. In fact, 70% of OU students balance study with full-time work.
The average OU student studies 16-18 hours a week. That may sound like a lot but it’s do-able. A recent OU survey found that 75% of people had 20 hours of ‘free time’ a week, with many citing TV, social media and online shopping as sources of time wasting. So cut down on the telly, updating your status and the online retail therapy and you could find time you never knew you had!
2. I don’t have the qualifications
Many OU degrees – or other undergraduate qualifications for that matter – don’t have any entry qualification requirements. The OU also has its own range of Access courses to help get you back into the swing of study if you’ve been out the game a while.
3. I’ll have to go it alone – but I need one-to-one support
This is an easy one! You’re never alone with the OU. A state-of-the-art library and other digital resources are designed to make the learning experience varied, accessible and engaging. You’ll also get a designated tutor for each module who you can call on for help and feedback on work, not to mention a very experienced Student Support Team.
Many OU graduates say how surprised they were at how sociable learning with the OU is. Web tutorials and forums are part of every course and there is a very active online community where you can discuss work with your peers. Some students even form local study groups and meet up.
4. It sounds too flexible – I need direction
Are you a stickler for structure? Fear not. Your exam and assignment dates will be set and there’s a clear structure to each module – you’ll know exactly what to do, by when. You’ll soon get in a routine and before long it’ll be second nature.
5. Online courses are easier than ‘traditional’ qualifications – and not as respected
The study method may be different but OU qualifications are exactly the same as those from bricks-and-mortar universities.
They’re the same amount of credits and work – and many employers have told us they see distance qualifications as even more valuable because they demonstrate exceptional commitment, organisational skills and self-motivation. Perhaps that’s why 86% of FTSE 100 companies trust the OU to develop their staff.
Graduating was the best achievement of my life. It’s really changed me – I’m a lot more confident.
Luke Badharee, BA (Hons) Business Studies
So there you have it – five of the biggest myths about distance learning debunked. There’s no doubt about it – it will be a challenge – but you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to study when it suits you – and the OU will be there to help you every step of the way.
Maybe it’s time to think about what course you’d like to study?