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study maybe the OU?

Since being told im not allowed to work im starting to feel brain dead and am now considering doing some form of study.

I am considering an OU course as it seems more flexible to allow for costa admissions etc, i recently spoke to my local college who weren't particularly helpful re health issues which is why im thinking more distance learning.!

Has anyone done anything like this and how did you choose what to do? I have a rough idea about the areas of study but i also have a little niggle as to whats the point if i cant use the qualification after. I originally trained as a nurse but didnt quite qualify due to the early arrival of my eldest and so am thinking along the lines oh health studies .

Thanks in advance.

3 Replies

Hiya Hops,

I'm studying with the OU at the moment and have done since the end of 2006. I've found them amazingly supportive of my needs, allowing extentions for assignments when needed, and also taking into consideration the on-going impact of my asthma and frequent hospital admissions when marking the end of course assessment/exam and over all grades of assignments throughout the course. They have a huge range of courses, including some short courses of about 12 weeks, worth 10 credits each, or full-length 30 point courses that are less intensive than the usual 60 pointers. it sounds complicated when I try to explain, but it's simple really.

The OU has regional centres, and if you contact them they'll be able to talk through with you what the best courses might be for you. Also, if you register as disabled with them then you have access to other services they provide and they can supply you with equipment that can help you with your studies, or things like the course material on audio tape so that you can listen to it if you're not up to reading (I get these).

Oh, the other thing to say is that you can get credit transfer for previous degree level study. This didn't apply to me, but it sounds as though it may for you. Basically it means that you can count the study that you've already done and just finish off your degree with the OU.

As for your question about what's the point if you can't use the qualification in the future: Do it for yourself. I love it. I love the study and the feeling of everyday having some kind of purpose. I love the fact that I have more interesting things to talk about and think about than health and asthma all the time. I love the fact that I have targets to meet and the sense of achievement when I get a marked assignment back. I love the contact with other people (there is a huge amount of online contact available through the OU now, with hundreds of OUSA - OU Student Association - discussion fora) who have similar interests. I used to focus on vocational study and wonder what the point was of doing something that you couldn't use in the future, but now I do what I enjoy and know that, although what I'm studying now isn't vocational, the knowledge and the skills I'm acquiring will be used in the future just by the fact that I am bettering myself and feel better about myself. If nothing else, studying with the OU has helped to give me a sense of identity again - I'm no longer just someone on long-term sick/disabled, but a student.

If you want to chat about any this some more do feel free to pm me.




Ive just signed up to do an OU course because like you im feeling a bit brain dead, im really looking forward to learning something new, my course starts in september, there are sooooo many different courses to choose from. i worked as a care assistant before becoming to ill to work, so i choose something a bit different but still in a way to do with health when i have enough points i may well decide to then do a degree as these smaller courses add towards the degree you choose or something like that! who knows but they are quite expensive. my course i think is called science starts here and lasts four months. i would go for it start with something not to challenging then if you enjoy it take some more courses linked to your chosen subject.


Don't be put off by the expense of the courses. You can get financial assistance towards the cost of the courses if you household income is under £30 000/year (at least I think it's that much). This is on a sliding scale, so that if like me you are on benefit, you don't actually pay anything for the courses. In fact, they give me something like £200 for every 60 credit course I do to cover the extra costs of learning - books, stationery, petrol to tutorials etc.


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