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Hi everybody


Just would like some advise please. I have completed the first year of the sector endorsed FD. I am currelty employed fulltime and work 11 hours days so as you can imagine to go to Uni as well as been really difficult. I have earned some credits just by scraping through as I can't dedicate enough time to the study. So I am at a cross roads of what to do

I stop and give up. ( dont really want to do that)

Try and carryon with Uni even through the work load is bigger and harder

Or swop to OU and transfer my points and do it at my pace.


I have read some good and bad stuff about OU and it seems to be recogniced everywherre.

I just feel abit of a failure for having to make this decison and I sound like right wuss. I am like everybody else I really want to expand my knowledge and exsperiance and not be stuck in a day nursery all my working like.

So if anybody can give me some real good pointed about the OU and honest ones then that would be great.


Thanks to you for reading this post



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Firstly please don't feel like a failure or a wuss! You are certainly not either in my opinion - I take my hat off to you for completing your first year whilst working 11 hr days and managing time to attend uni as well.


I can't comment on 'brick university' study as I have no experience of it. I do have experience of being an OU student since starting my FD with them back in 2003.


I purposely chose the OU as I wanted distance learning. I only work part time in a pre-school but I am flexible in the days/hours I do and I did not want to commit to one day every week at Uni. The beauty of the OU for me has been the flexibiity of when I study. You have cut off dates for each assignment to reach your tutor and you are given a study calendar and recommended to follow it. However, life in general sometimes gets in the way of study and occasionally study has to go on the back burner. With the OU that is fine and there were some times when I did nothing at all studywise for a couple of weeks. Technically I was then behind according to the study calendar but I just 'caught up' as and when I could and as long as your assignments are in on time there's no problem. I have had five different tutors for the various courses I have done and without exception they have been great. You are allowed to ask for an extension if your circumstances dictate you will be unable to get an assignment in on time. It is just a case of asking and explaining why and providing your request is reasonable they are just fine about it. Last Summer we suffered the unexpected death of a colleague and my study went totally out of the window - my tutor was superb and I just managed to get an assignment writtaen when I could and it was certainly way after the cut off date!


The OU have an online system called Firstclass which is basically a forum to chat/discuss about courses etc. They tend to have a discussion site and chat site for each course which are accessible to any student studying that course. They also have 'tutor group conferences' which are only open to your tutor group. Each tutor group has roughly 20 students and face to face tutorials are also held, the number of tutorials held depends on the course you are studying. I have made many friends over the years and without doubt the support and help from them, the conferences and the tutors has been invaluable.


My only criticism of the OU has been the fact that every course I have done has been a first presentation so I have been a bit of a guinea pig really but teething problems that arose with each new course were promptly and efficiently dealt with and the OU do listen to students. They can't please everyone all the time but who can? Overall I have no real complaints and would recommend the OU to anyone.


I graduated in June with the FD and the OU have now added a new course starting in Jan 08 that will enable me to top up the FD to a BA in Early Years. They have listened to the numerous students crying out for a BA (Hons) in EY and the wheels are in progress to introduce a further course in 2009 to lead to BA (Hons). They also do EYPS but off the top of my head I cannot remember which pathways they offer but think they offer two out of the four different ones!


The best advice I can give is to phone the OU and ask to speak to a student advisor. The best bet is to ring your regional centre. A quick google search should tell you where that is or if you don't mind letting me know where you live I can find it for you.


Good luck with the decision making, it's never easy but please pat yourself on the back for having completed your first year. I do think it would be a shame to stop now but you definitely aren't a failure. You have managed the first year and found the practicalities of attending UNi to be somewhat difficult so all you are considering is carrying on your study with a different provider - nothing wrong with that in my book :o


If you have any specific OU questions I am happy to help if I can - I think there are quite a few OU students who are FSF members so plenty of people around to help.

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As Geraldine says, bluebelle2002 - there is no way you should feel anything other than proud of completing your first year of the Foundation Degree. Most people do their degrees at university, full time. You work a full time job, and cram your studies into whatever free time is left over - so what an achievement to have successfully completed your coursework and attained the points!


I have just completed my Foundation Degree, working part time. It never ceased to amaze me that the people who worked in full day care were able to get to college at all - let alone get all their research, reading and assignments done on time.


I can't comment on what studying with the OU is like, but I hope you manage to sort out what you want to do. Having put all the effort into finishing year one I'm guessing that you really won't want to stop now. Is your employer supporting you through the study or are you doing it by - and for - yourself? Can you talk to them about finding a way to lighten the load?


Good luck with your decision making - and make sure you give yourself credit for what you have achieved. You're amazing!



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Hi there Ive nearly finished my degree with the OU while I cant compare it to any thing else, I have really enjoyed it. Plently of support for when you need it. It is very flexible so you can study on any day of the week rather than set days. Great if your doing shift work, also if you just cant manage it one week, its all there waiting for you the week after. So theres no missing out on vital stuff. It can be harder becausse it is up to you to set times to study, and some people need the days and times to drive them through. But it would have been impossible for me to do anyother way.


Also the OU year runs from either Feb-oct or May to Jan. So although you get no breaks you then get 3m off at the end. It does helps some people who are off in the summer, but then again if your home with kids then it makes it harder!


If your finding it hard to juggle with work you are commiting yourself to 9m of study at a time, and can always take a year out if you feel you need to. Be happy to answer any more questions you have.

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Thankyou for your reply's.


I have been to Uni today and found out the work load for next year and they want students to go on a wednesday and thursday night . Which my setting is not happy about and It will kill me as my setting opens at 6 in the morning so i work till 4 then go to uni. But will need to make up the time in another way really supportive work place can't you tell.

I have rang the OU and they were brill as I can just work on one unit at a time instead of having to work on 2 at a time to meet the deadlines. So from reading all the advice that is the path I am going to take It will take me longer but will have a bit of a life back. To be honest the units with the OU are more points were the ons I were doing at uni have been worth 15 points.


So once again thanks guys fro the support


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Hi Bluebelle

Glad you got it sorted! I hate the way some settings dont support you., Mine woulnt let me take a day off paid for my EXAM!! I could understnad if was for driving test but would have though after you pay for course yourself, study, buy all your books to benefit your setting. Havine 1 shift off wouldnt have killed them!!!

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Hi Bluebelle - glad you've got it sorted.


I just wanted to add that I also took the first year of a FD at my local college but could not attend college due to work committments. I opted for the OU route and they transferred the 120 credit points from the first year of the FD towards the Childhood and Youth Studies degree. I'm just finishing my first 60 points - just got the exam to go! I've found OU to be brilliant, the tutors and tutorials are really helpful and although it will take longer to get my degree, I can study when I want.


Good luck with your studies.

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