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

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Multidisciplinary study: the value and benefits

8 Choosing which subjects to study

So far in this course, you have learned about the terms ‘interdisciplinarity’ and ‘multidisciplinarity’, explored the historical context of these terms, and examined both the differences and many benefits of studying this way. You have also considered a range of skills that multidisciplinary students can develop through the study of different subjects, from critical thinking to adaptability and flexibility. What does this mean to you in terms of the subjects you might choose to study and your personal or career-related interests? In the following video, current students studying The Open University’s BA/ BSc (Hons) Open degree [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] explain which subjects they have chosen to study and why.

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Transcript: Why do Open University students choose to study in a multidisciplinary way?

STUDENT
When I was at my brick University, they chose everything for me. And I didn't think that was a great idea because I know I picked the degree name, but I wasn't quite interested in the modules that they chosen.
STUDENT
Having to take early retirement due to being diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia, I was housebound and looking for something that would keep my brain active. And my first modules came down to what would make me go to the computer and be interested, like reading an excellent novel or watching a series on TV. I wanted to feel like I couldn't wait to get back to it and see it and get into it again. So you need that incentive. And if you've got a subject that really interests you, you really can't wait to get the text book and get into module forums. That excitement for somebody that had been very busy, has a very full life, and need that spur again.
STUDENT
I left that university and decided to go with The Open University because I could feel like I could work my job and do my university at the same time, and yet, still get the same outcome.
STUDENT
I've had stuff like health issues as well. And I've had stuff like issues with stuff like learning, stuff from early childhood. I really struggled at school, didn't really pass my GCSEs at school. I'd gone back to college a few years later and done a GCSE package, and it eventually led me to applying to the Open University.
STUDENT
Unlike a lot of OU students who are in work and are probably tailoring their degree, be opened or named, to their career, to their job progression, even change of job even. Mine was purely an indulgent, I want to do it for me, and enjoy it. So that's why I'm abroad. And the Open degree let's you do that.
FACULTY
Online, we have a student forum, so all students are able to connect via that that forum and create a community themselves where they can seek advice from each other about which modules work well together, the kind of careers that they want to go into, why they're choosing to study in a multi subject way.
STUDENT
When I first started my degree with Open University, it was to be a design technology teacher. But the more I'm doing it, the more I'm thinking of doing a master's and then going on to design technology. But that's the beauty of Open University. I don't have to decide at this moment in time.
FACULTY
Like all Open University students, students on the Open degree have access to a tutor based on the module that they're studying.
STUDENT
My tutor is quite helpful, yes, especially the one I've got now. She's really, really good. She knows I don't have the experience, but she still guides me towards what I need to do. And I can still do the TMEs without the practical experience, which is quite good as well.
FACULTY
The student support team is able to help give the students advice and guidance on which modules they want to study. If they have any difficulties with their studies, the student support team can help them address those issues and steer them in the right direction.
STUDENT
And the last thing about the OU, you can have a little taste of courses through OpenLearn to access course. Just dip your toe in the water. Don't rush into it.
STUDENT
I guess it's given me a wider perspective of what the Open University can do, like the doors it can open.
STUDENT
Look at the amount of time you can get to it. Now will you have to be starting at 2 o'clock in the morning because that's the only time when your children are in bed, your husband's in bed, and you can have that quiet time on your own. Because you do have to devote, I think, it's 10 hours for every credit point. So if you're doing a six credit module over six months, that is 600 hours of studying minimum. So you have to carve out that time for your personal life.
STUDENT
I'd say go and look at the Open Learn site to start with because that gives you an idea of what the full modules would be like and see what your personal interests are.
STUDENT
And my own off, honestly, it would just be just do it. Because my aunt recently just started an Open University degree, and I think she's 40-ish, and she spent ages going on going to go do a degree, and she eventually this year decided she was going to start her degree. And I'm quite proud of her.
STUDENT
Very best of luck. You'll love it. Once you're in, you'll love it, absolutely love it.
End transcript: Why do Open University students choose to study in a multidisciplinary way?
Why do Open University students choose to study in a multidisciplinary way?
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Choose and read through at least one of the following OpenLearn articles to explore how different combinations of subjects can be applied to specific, interdisciplinary contexts:

You can also explore a wide range of other subjects on OpenLearn using audio, videos and interactive content. All of this may help inform the subjects you decide to choose.

Activity 6 Choosing which subjects to study

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Which subjects have you already chosen, or might choose to study, as part of a multi-subject qualification, and why? For example, are you choosing to study each of these for personal interest and/or career reasons? Write your preferred subjects in the left-hand column below and then add Yes or No in the other two columns.

SubjectPersonalCareer
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Discussion

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here. Reflecting on the reasons you might like to study a subject or the reasons for having chosen a subject can help you to identify your motivation for studying particular subjects and/or may help if/when you might seek employment opportunities in the future.

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