Founded in 1969, the Open University was the first of its kind – a University offering distance learning. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest educational institutions offering a variety of courses, on a number of subjects, and across different degrees. Read on to gain an insider’s perspective find The Open University, UK.
How to Get Admission in an Open University Course?
The Open University was and is supported by the national government to ensure that education is available to each and every individual interested in learning. If you have an internet connection and money to pay your tuition fees, then all you need is the basic knowledge of the English language to get admission into one of the courses at the Open University.
Getting admission into an open university course is fairly affordable as the university is a not for profit institution. You may be able to finish your degree course at under $25,000. Of course, this does not make it cheap, as the courses are not free. However, they are certainly more affordable than most other universities in the UK or US such courses and degrees.
But this is not all. Open University allows you to gain knowledge from anywhere in the world. You need not bear other additional expenses that are typical of on-campus education.
Subjects and Levels offered
When it comes to subjects and levels, the Open University works on the same principle as any other major University. Undergraduate courses are divided into three levels. Subjects in the first level are more introductory in nature. The second level teaches students to handle the subjects on their own. And by the third level, they are ready to carry out a research-based project with very little guidance.
Students also have the option of selecting from a number of subjects including economics, engineering, mathematics, law, journalism, etc. And you can take courses in any of the subjects at any level, or you can also study all the levels as a single degree course.
The courses are offered across the globe. You just need an internet connection to be able to access the course material. Having said that, the exact course material may be modified slightly to suit the respective country’s educational guidelines.
The Benefits of Undertaking an Open University Course
The Open University UK is a pioneer in distance learning. You stand to gain immensely by undergoing a course here due to the following benefits:
Flexible Learning Options
While all of the courses are also delivered online and can be completed there itself, some may require you to be physically present on campus. This is usually typical of a science course requiring work in the laboratory. The Open University is well-equipped to handle students on campus in case it is necessary for the course that they are undergoing.
In this way, the Open University can function like any other brick and mortar University. However, its core strength lies in delivering distance-learning education.
Undergraduate students also have the flexibility of beginning the course either in February or in October. A typical undergraduate course here lasts around 9 months. You can register as late as just a few weeks before the course is scheduled to begin.
The undergraduate degree programs at Open University also allow you to take up complementary subjects. You can dedicate your time equally on both these subjects. On the other hand, you can also undergo an Open Degree. In such an undergraduate course, you can pick and choose from different courses to create your very own degree course that suits your interests and requirements. But the course must be completed across all the course levels.
While this may sound interesting, be mindful that you select course subjects that complement each other and help you achieve the required qualifications from a professional career point of view as well.
The Open University offers a number of different specializations that you can select within your degree course subject. Every specialization comes with a different set of courses including compulsory as well as elective courses. While you cannot change the subjects that are compulsory with the course, you can always select from different options in your electives.
Comprehensive Learning Materials
All students are provided with comprehensive learning materials that are produced in-house and are a part of the course fee that you pay. These learning materials can be physical textbooks as well as digital elements like USB flash drives or even special equipment depending on the requirements of your course. These will be shipped to you before the course begins so that you can familiarize yourself and be ready for the learning program.
Educators & Specialists
With the wealth of experience and knowledge, the Open University UK has mastered the art of creating distance-learning programs and courses.
This creation process is supported by different teams of experts from different backgrounds. The course contents are designed with the help of educationalists, academicians, as well as industry experts. Before the material is finalized, it undergoes the scrutiny of external examiners and content creation specialists, as well. In effect, everything, starting from the contents of the course to the contents of assessment and examinations, is drafted to provide an excellent learning experience.
Apart from this, the students are supported daily by their tutors to whom they can refer in case they have a question or need help with their subject. On the tutor’s part, they take in your submissions and assess them to provide you their feedback. But your main interaction with your tutor will be in the form of online sessions conducted live. An average educator handles a group of around 30 students taking the same course and following the same schedule as you.
Your tutor is also your first point of contact before the course begins. Be on the lookout for an email where your assigned tutor will introduce himself and tell you something about the course that you are about to embark on. make sure that you are in regular touch with your educator. This will hello you to complete the online course successfully.
Naturally, the tutors are subject matter experts and have knowledge of the academic angle as well as the industrial application of the subject they teach. Therefore, your educator could be an engineer, a lecturer, or even an alumnus of the Open University itself. Irrespective of the background of your tutor, the Open University educators are some of the finest distance learning authorities in the world.
The Open University might have started in a different era altogether, but it has adapted well to the changing world taking students from different nations under its fold. It has continued to retain the values of the traditional method of learning by incorporating the human element in the form of educators and examiners along with the digital method of learning. Therefore, you may stand to gain one of the best distance learning experiences here. But, before you decide on the Open University, make sure that you have done enough research to know that you will end up with the desired results, personally and professionally.