Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Studying At Home // The Open University

When I was younger, I always dreamt of becoming 18 and going straight to university, starting my life as an adult and falling in love. Well... That didn't really go to plan haha! I took a few months out and thought about what I really wanted to do in my lifetime. I blogged a lot in those months and really had a passion for it. I love the writing aspect of blogging, it just makes me feel relaxed and creative. I knew I wanted to study something that involved Creative Writing but none of the courses were close to home and I am the biggest homebird. That's when I came across The Open University. The thought of working at home scared me a little bit and I wasn't 100% sure I'd be able to do it. Four months into my university course, I still have a passion for it. Learning excites me. Planning my week, research tasks, submitting assignments and reading feedback all still appeals to me! I always have said, if I don't like doing something, I won't do it anymore (hence why I dropped out of Swansea University last March). This post is for people who want to know more about The Open University and hopefully it will help you out to decide whether or not you can make it work for you.

How does studying at The Open University work?

  1. You apply on their website, enter your details and choose your course/modules.
  2. Apply for Student Finance if you are not paying with your own money. Student Finance for an Open University course is different to if you were applying from a "traditional" university and this was the part of applying I did not enjoy!
  3. Wait for your course materials to arrive. For example, for one of my modules, I received a box full of books, DVDs, audio CDs, study guide, assignment booklet and a checklist (to make sure everything you have is everything you need for the course). 
  4. Study! You log onto The Open Uni website and your planner will appear. This will tell you what you need to be studying each week. It will sometimes include quizzes, assignment tips and other sources of information. You can begin to study as soon as you get your materials, or, like me, you can start on the date the course begins (For me this was 4th October, 2014).

How are you examined?

For my first year at The Open University, I have NO exams!!! YAY! I am currently being marked by Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs) or Computer Marked Assessments (iCMAs). The most common for my course are TMAs and I get about one a month, which is great as it keeps me on my feet! The feedback on TMAs is excellent. The tutors go into depth and provide so much help so you can improve next time! I know in my second year of study I will have at least, one exam. Exams will be held at the nearest exam centre (mine is Swansea University). 

Can I handle the workload?

At The Open University, as it is referred to as "distance learning" you can take one module singularly to 120 credits per year. This year I have taken 120 credits (full time student) and this has meant I have taken three modules. I also have a part time job of about 20 hours a week. At this moment in time, I am coping well. I struggled around the Christmas period as I was needed more in work but I survived it! The best way to handle the workload is to use a planner. Writing down weekly to-do lists is the way forward, I am telling you! If you are motivated and want to study, you will be able to cope with the work. 

These are my answers to some questions people may want to know. If you have any other related questions, please write them in the comments! I will get back to you! Hope you enjoyed the post!

Thanks for reading! 

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Hannah x


  1. what a lovely blog post!!.. had a great read

    i <3 your blog

    new blog post --> http://myroutinesjade.blogspot.co.uk/ would love to see your comment



  2. Great post, good luck with your studies :) I love your blog and I have followed you with Bloglovin. If you ever get a chance to check out my blog I would be delighted, thanks!

    Camille xo


  3. I'm a homebird to but after taking a year out and deciding to go to uni I'm loving it. Luckily I'm only 45 minutes on the train from home. I'm glad the open university is working for you and best of luck with your degree <3 Gisforgingers xx

  4. I love studying at home, the only thing is that I have to make an effort to go out more and socialise.



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