How much time will it take?
Every OU course has the same number of study hours as any conventional university. For a 60 credit module that means that there is 600 hours of study spread over the academic year. However, not all of this is time spent reading module materials or writing assignments. For design and innovation a lot of your study time will be spent thinking about problems, researching and coming up with ideas. However, if you are trying to fit this in with your life you will find that you need to spend at least 16 hours a week studying materials or thinking about them and the projects you are doing. Some students do that by spending time every day, others focus on longer periods of study at weekends or on days off. If English is not your first language then you may have make extra time to ensure that you have understood and met the demands of the course. Thousands of students have done this already, so if it sounds daunting don't worry, work out the best routine for yourself and enjoy learning new things!
You will find that, depending on the specialism you have chosen, the number of assignments for each module varies, some specialisms such as engineering, have assignments more frequently than the design modules. If you take the engineering specialism you will also find that the pattern of study means there is not much break between the two engineering level one modules when you take them, but after that you should find that you get a break between modules.
A word of caution, if you have signed up to take two modules at the same time this is the equivalent of full time study and you will need to ensure that you plan well ahead to avoid clashes of deadlines. Indeed, it is helpful for all students to look at the study planner on their modules to make sure you have time when you most need it.
Activity: Plan your Me time
Start thinking about when would be a good time to study by creating a chart like the one below to identify the commitments that you have, map the activities that you do and identify when your best times for study might be. Use colour coding to help you see your work, life, study balance.
The chart below is an example, it shows the full 24 hours because you might be a shift worker, or someone who likes to get up very early or work very late, but create a chart that best suits you :-) This sample chart shows someone who works 9 to 5 and may be able to study for half an hour at lunch time, an hour in the evening on a week night and 5 hours a day at the weekends, this adds up to 17.5 hours.
Paper or pixels?
Is your natural inclination to draw up this chart on paper or to create it on your computer? Some people think better when they are working with a pen or pencil in their hand, others prefer to work digitally. In the Design and Innovation degree you need to be able to do both at different times. As an experiment try drawing up the chart in the opposite medium to your natural choice and reflect on whether this makes a difference to how you think or feel about the task. Would your chosen medium be different if you were asked to come up with a design idea? Share your thoughts on this with other people in the Meet and Chat forum.
|6am||Get up||Get up||Get up||Get up||Get up||Sleep||Sleep|
|8am||Kids to school||Kids to school||Kids to school||Kids to school||Kids to school||Get up||Get up|
|2pm||Work||Work||Work||Work||Work||Family time||Family time|
|3pm||Work||Work||Work||Work||Work||Family time||Family time|
|5pm||Shop/ pick up kids||Pick up kids||Shop/ pick up kids||Pick up kids||Shop/ pick up kids||Study||Study|
|6pm||Dinner||Dinner||Dinner||Dinner||Dinner||Family time||Family time|
|7pm||Family time||Family time||Family time||Family time||Family time||Dinner||Dinner|
|8pm||Family time||Family time||Family time||Family time||Family time||Family time||Family time|