Multidisciplinary study: the value and benefits
Multidisciplinary study: the value and benefits

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Multidisciplinary study: the value and benefits

Multidisciplinary study: the value and benefits

Introduction

You might be studying, or considering learning about, more than one subject as part of your studies. Combining different subjects provides an exciting opportunity to find ways in which those subjects intersect and influence each other, across different subject boundaries. ‘Multidisciplinary’ study at The Open University includes our ‘Open’ qualifications (BA/ BSc (Hons) Open degree, Diploma of Higher Education Open and Certificate of Higher Education Open) [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , which provide you with an opportunity to choose from a range of different subjects, allowing you to learn in different ways. At other universities, multidisciplinary qualifications may include combined honours and interdisciplinary degrees.

Watch the following video, featuring Peter Taylor and Helen Cooke from The Open University, and Open University students Cherry Day, Kathleen Bruce and Claire Davey, introducing what it’s like to study a multidisciplinary degree with the OU and what the benefits might be as a learner.

Download this video clip.Video player: Studying a multidisciplinary qualification at The Open University.
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Transcript: Studying a multidisciplinary qualification at The Open University.

SPEAKER 1
The first year was Design Essentials. Last year was Working with Children and Young People. And this year is Teaching Young People and Children.
SPEAKER 2
So students studying more than one subject have the benefit of being able to develop a qualification that's unique to them so they can choose modules that are of interest to them, or are relevant to them in terms of their personal interests, but also their career ambitions. So they get flexibility in terms of what they choose.
SPEAKER 3
Nowadays, people tend to change jobs and their careers throughout their lives. And so having a range of different subjects that will actually could be used in a number of different career settings will be important. And also, people actually change their career while they are studying. So to have that flexibility to be able to move into a different subject is quite unique.
SPEAKER 4
It gives you wonderful choices to adapt you're studying to your interests, to your career, that doesn't demand you get a doctorate or a PhD or study law. You can switch around between courses that interest you.
SPEAKER 2
Multi subject students have the benefit of being able to apply knowledge from a range of different subjects to a particular job. So a student, for example, might be interested in working in a recording studio. So they might choose to study modules in music and a bit of business management and technology, which they can do within an Open degree.
SPEAKER 1
When people ask me what I do at the Open University, I go design technology, and childcare. And it's a look on their face, and they go, really? My end goal is to be a design technology teacher, so to me it flows and it works quite well.
SPEAKER 4
I started with the Introduction Foundation Arts and Humanities module.
SPEAKER 5
I've done the S103 and SXR. I've attempted a couple modules where I wasn't successful with, but a couple of them were kind of more leisure, something that I wanted to have a go at.
SPEAKER 4
But it gives you a taste every month with a TMA-- Tutor Marked Assignment. And a lot of students think they want to do maybe sociology or psychology, and they will switch from the idea of having done that first foundation module. So that can lead you into areas you never thought you'd be interested in.
SPEAKER 5
I think I like having that flexibility. I mean, that's what the Open degree is all about.
SPEAKER 3
So students can pretty much study any modules they like, because they're all online so they can all be studied consecutively without too many problems. There are a few little rules, like having to do stage one first, stage two, and then stage three. And also there may be some prerequisites for particular modules. But apart from that, students can pretty much study any subjects they want.
SPEAKER 4
It can be challenging. I'll be quite honest-- I chose the social sciences module, and realised about a month into it I've made a huge mistake. It didn't make me want to read on and do it, so that personal excitement I wanted wasn't there. So I dropped it, and re-registered with something else.
SPEAKER 3
Multi subject study is really something that students like doing. The most popular degree across the university. Almost 20% of our students are studying the Open Programme.
SPEAKER 2
So we have a website specifically dedicated to Open degree students, which includes information about modules that work well together within a particular subject area. So that's to help students navigate our curriculum, which can seem quite overwhelming at times.
SPEAKER 4
I think it all depends what you want it for. Be quite clear about that. Is just like me, for purely selfish personal development reasons? Or will it help your career, if you are in a job that you want to progress in or do you want to change career? Do your research. Go to the OU, go to the library, look at the prospectus. But get clear in your mind what you want it for.
SPEAKER 1
Doesn't matter what your age is or what your background history is. If you've got the enthusiasm, do it. End of the day, if you've got it, you can do it.
End transcript: Studying a multidisciplinary qualification at The Open University.
Studying a multidisciplinary qualification at The Open University.
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