Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

2 What will OU study be like?

As an OU student you choose when and where you study, whether that’s at home in the evenings, in the local library at the weekend, in the office after work or on the move during your commute. This is different from going to a traditional university, college or school where you would be expected to be at a set place, at a specific time.

The best people to tell you about what OU study is like are other students. Watch the following video of real students for some insights into what you can expect.

Download this video clip.Video player: bous_1_s1_toptips.mp4
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I'd say that OU study is very accessible and dynamic for learners.
I would say OU study is refreshing, flexible, and inspiring.
The OU study is informative and exciting.
I think it's because it's different. It's not your traditional learning. So I went to a traditional university to do my degree, and that was great. I absolutely loved it. But to do postgraduate study, it means it can fit in within my current working day. I work full time. And so by refreshing it means it's new, it's exciting. I can fit it around my work and life, my work-life balance, as well. And yeah, it's a new way of working, and I like it.
Some of the courses, they tie in with what's going on in the world at this current time, and they tackle topics that may not be in a wide variety of courses.
I think with distance learning with the Open University, there's a lot more flexibility and options around how you want to study, the way the material is presented to the student, and the options that they have for working the study in around their lifestyles.
I think the biggest challenge is fitting it in within your work. Working full time is hard, because when you come home in the evening, the last thing you want to do is go back onto your PC. Because my working involves me working 9 to 5 on a PC. However, I think the thing that gets me around that is that it's so engaging.
So it's not just static texts. There's interactive media. There's videos. There's audios. There's different things, and the topics, as well. I think the biggest thing is the modules that you pick have to be something that interests you. Because I'm so passionate about the topic that I'm doing, it's quite easy for me to get back onto that PC and engage myself.
I think there are definitely challenges with it. But I think the big advantage is that it fits in around you and how you live and when you can find the time to work on the material around everyday life.
One tip I would say is to- don't be afraid to ask for help and advice within the Open University team.
I'd say to them to use all the options and flexibility available to them through distance learning, you know, using different materials, using online materials and printed materials and different technologies to study on the go, to do everything that the Open University makes available to them to suit their learning style.
I think the best thing to do is get on your module website, get familiar with it, learn where your resources are. There's so many different bits of helpful information. The welcome week usually has really good PDFs and stuff that tell you where things are. Make note of those assignment deadlines, and make sure that you're not planning a massive trip around one. Or if you are, that's fine, because you know it's coming, and you can plan your time. So I think the biggest tip is plan your time and know what you've got coming. Because I found that that's the most helpful thing to make sure you can still have a work-life balance and not let study overtake your life, and vice versa.
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Studying on your own doesn’t mean that you’ll be isolated or unsupported in your studies. You’ll have a tutor for most modules you study, as well as a team of people at the OU to support you in succeeding in your studies and beyond.

You’ll also have opportunities to work with, and meet, other students. Depending on what module(s) you study, you might have live online tutorials, face-to-face tutorials, forums and activities.

You’ll also receive high-quality materials to guide you through your studies. The format of these will vary depending on the module you’re studying. You may get:

  • printed materials delivered to you
  • online activities that can be followed either on a computer or a mobile device (these can include quizzes, audio, video and interactive materials).
Described image
Figure 1 Printed module materials
Described image
Figure 2 Online module materials

You’ll also have access to an online study planner to guide you through each week. This can be a great starting point when planning your studies.


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