2.43 / 5

The Open University Reviews

55 Reviews by Students
#139 out of 140 UK Universities

How do you rate The Open University?

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Most helpful review

Absolute rubbish avoid like the plague. Horrendous bottomless modules and it takes forever to get anything done. Very very poor experience. There is no-one on Earth I hate enough to recommend the OU to.

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By member1035353
On 21st December 18

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Most helpful review

Absolute rubbish avoid like the plague. Horrendous bottomless modules and it takes forever to get anything done. Very very poor experience. There is no-one on Earth I hate enough to recommend the OU to.

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By member1035353
On 21st December 18

The Open University Reputation

The Open University is located in South East England, Buckinghamshire. 117,935 students are enrolled at The Open University:

- 117,725 of these students come from the UK
- 165 come from other EU countries
- And 50 are students from non-EU countries.

(Source: HESA 2017/18)

Updated: 23rd September 2019


Q&A


Q
Is the degree recognized anywhere in the world or just in England?
By member532858 On 16th July 18
Yes it is recognised outside of England and the UK, but if you're planning on using your degree for something in another country, check if they accept it or not.
By member1133671 On 28th August 18
"The Open University" is accredited by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education, which is recognized both in the UK and by the United States Secretary of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
By member533917 On 21st September 18
Q
For anyone who studied Property Services (real estate), how did you find it when you started looking for work? Please give me any other feedback you can.
By member532805 On 12th July 18
Q

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 16th October 19

Unlike at a “red brick” uni you will not get any support from the OU. I asked for support due to disability and it took literally until the penultimate month of my modules to get even the most basic support. You would think in 2019 they could record lectures, but instead of that they just send you a textbook and you have to get on with it on your own. It also means you can’t later get funding to go to a conventional uni, and none of their courses match well enough to on campus courses; so if it doesn’t pan out you’ll be stuck without a route to transfer to a better uni. Unlike studying an HNC/HND at college, my 240 OU credits are completely meaningless in the workplace.

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0
Student Review: 2 /5
By On 30th September 19

WENT TO THE OPEN UNIVERSITY FAILED MY EXAM AND RESIT DESPITE THE WRONG REVISION MATERIAL !!!!!!!! PERSONALLY I WOULD NOT RETURN TO THE CONSTITUTION

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 20th September 19

I have absolutely loved studying with the OU! The tutors were amazing! I have now finished my honours degree with a 2:2 something I never thought I could do. Best decision I have ever made!

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 30th August 19

The OU has been amazing for me. Their material for mathematics, science, and engineering is top-notch and on par with Russell group universities. They also have extremely high grade thresholds so that 85% is required for distinction instead of 70% at other universities. This makes the OU a much harder choice plus the fact that you have to be so motivated to succeed on your own without daily or weekly meetings. It definitely has helped me to progress in my career and my education.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 13th August 19

I suffer with Mental health illness. I was promised loads of help with my learning. I was appointed a 1 t 1 support. It turned out this lady only had a diploma in counselling. Did not know TMa's nor had any experience with Open university level. I qualified also for a Student disability grant that gave me Dragon assist soft ware to help with dictating and voice command. This broke down continually. Everything i was promised from my 3rd year did not help me at all my marks actually reduced. I went from 60 down to 45 with the extra help. I received grade 4 pass before. On the week leading up to my exam. I had been revising for my exam 5 weeks before my exam date. Turned out to be an old exam paper 2012. I failed the exam. I would not recommend anyone to study with the OU. They make promises they can' keep. Its all about the money they receive from governmen student grants. 5.000 year. 4 years lost for me. I could have spent this time going on holidays with my kids. Stay away! So no to OU

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 7th August 19

Do not study with the OU. Don't do it.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 7th August 19

Do not study with the Open University. Standards are extremely low. Modules are badly structured and out of date. Tutors are not committed to helping students to achieve and understand modules because tutors do not understand the course. Useless place and a waste of money. Choose another university as there are better ones than the Open University. Extremely poor.

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0
Student Review: 3 /5
By On 27th July 19

Really good university and tutors are very helpful

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 26th July 19

I have really enjoyed studying with the OU. Very friendly and informative staff and great resources.

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0
Student Review: 2 /5
By On 26th July 19

Very little support to students in regards to their current studies and their future job plans

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 26th July 19

I absolutely love the OU. It's amazing. You get such a unique experience from it both distance and campus learning. There is so much to inspire from those who study on OU as they often work so hard to achieve what many others get handed on a plate. Working a full time job and studying full time I am well aware of how difficult OU study is to self manage but the staff at the university are more than happy to help and provide the relevant advice to get top marks.

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 23rd July 19

I passed year 1&2, got a grade 4 pass for years 3&4 and grade 3 passes for years 5&6. But I have failed to pass my degree and I am obviously stupid but can’t find out where I went wrong. Broken

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 18th July 19

One of the best choices I ever made.

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 18th July 19

Really great university, they provide you with all the tools you need to complete the course. Lecturers are so friendly and helpful. Feedback on assignments was always on time for me, and was actually constructive, giving me tips for how to improve for the next one

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 17th July 19

Awesome experience, the materials are of the highest quality and the support given by the University staff and tutors was great.

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 16th July 19

So little help , too much expectations

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 3rd July 19

I did BA (Hons) English Lit as a mature student and loved it as I could fit it around my job and lifestyle. The module choice was good and although the quality of tutor did vary, I always found the comments useful and motivating. The negative reviewers who seemed to expect a similar experience to a brick university should actually GO to a brick university and stop griping about a distance learning option that needs self discipline and the capability of being an independent learner.

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 24th June 19

I'm surprised seeing so many negative reviews. I just finished my degree at the OU, and I'd say all my tutors were quite good and supportive. The materials tended to be very well structured and interesting. If you're considering the OU, don't focus on the reviews here; go on Facebook and ask students in the Open University group.

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 24th June 19

I'm surprised seeing so many negative reviews. I just finished my degree at the OU, and I'd say all my tutors were quite good and supportive. The materials tended to be very well structured and interesting. If you're considering the OU, don't focus on the reviews here; go on Facebook and ask students in the Open University group.

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 12th June 19

I did an online tutorial once and thought I would pluck up the courage to answer one of the tutors questions in the text box only for another student to post the same wrong answer seconds earlier. The tutor shouted 'Oh don't be so stupid. Someone's already said that. I felt about as welcome as a fart in a space suit.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 27th May 19

The materials are good but unfortunately the tutors are really variable. Some tutors add extra requirements, some even go on holiday in the middle of studying, a lot of them are very slow at replying / marking and don't give much feedback. Worst of all is the fact that different tutors have different marking standards. In one module all the students of one tutor were getting really low scores. The examples they gave of what they were being marked down for were things nobody else was. There are people who've had a tutor make a mistake marking, admit it but refused to change it! After complaining the OU who corrected the mark but wouldn't change the tutor and they had to have their mark corrected for the remaining TMAs as the tutor didn't them. The OU has worse reviews than other unis for a reason. Yes, people complain more if they have a bad experience but that's true of other unis too and they don't suffer as many bad reviews. Even good OU reviews mention bad tutors! Says it all...

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 22nd May 19

Stay well clear. It should be called the Isolation Univeristy. When I complained about how bad a module(web technologies) is that was withdrawn two years later I was threatened with expulsion.

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 5th May 19

Fantastic MBA course they offer. I am so far very inspired.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 22nd April 19

I have found my experience with this university very disappointing. There are no measures put in place that ensure tutors do not impose their own academic prejudice upon TMAs. There was one tutor who said they would simply stop reading a TMA if it went beyond the word count (even though the module guide provided a 10% leeway). There is no support, you are effectively handed a block of materials and then you are left to figure it out on your own. Because most of the tutors have other full time jobs, you only get, perhaps, six tutorials with them over the course of an entire year. You can email them, but if your experiences are anything like mine, your emails are sometimes left unanswered and then you effectively have to go at it alone. I wouldn't promote OU to anyone, if you had a good experience with OU, it is most likely because you were lucky and had a good tutor. My experience was awful and I regret spending so much money on this course.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 14th April 19

Next to no support. The prices are incredibly high. I feel cheated out of 4 years of my life.

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 12th April 19

Shocked to hear many of the reviews on here. I am on my 3rd year and so far it has been inspiring. The tutors are extremely qualified and can are thorough on their marking, with good feedback. The material used is always the most updated and evidence-based. Often with other top universities using their material. ( I have heard). The only downfall is that you do have to discipline yourself as you are on your own studying at your own pace. Excellent structured time-table is in place though to follow which is brilliantly laid out and easy to understand. have had to work extra hard with my degree, as I haven't got an A'level to my name. It has been 25 years since I left school with virtually no qualifications. This has changed my life. My career prospects are good.

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 3rd April 19

Your on your own during study there is no help at all when you ask for it , the whole thing is a total scam , tutors are a joke and their markings, save your money and your sanity look elsewhere

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 3rd April 19

Your on your own during study there is no help at all when you ask for it , the whole thing is a total scam , tutors are a joke and their markings, save your money and your sanity look elsewhere

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0
Student Review: 5 /5
By On 3rd April 19

I was shocked at reading some of the reviews, and have a feeling large portion of the negative ones would benefit from hearing the other side. I have been with OU for 7 years, and while I can't say everything was rainbows and unicorns, my experience overall has been positive. It is not for everyone - it is harder than brick and mortar uni as there is little student community, no lectures and you just have to keep yourself organised. I suppose some find this is frustrating, but I prefer no distraction. I definitely learned a lot and my studies are relevant to my career. 9 times out of 10 the tutor support has been excellent. I have had a couple of useless tutors, too - to be fair, I just got on without them, but if I struggled I could request change of tutor. Other than that, occasional poorly timed TMA, occasional frustration over outdated information given - but nothing major, and nothing that wouldn't, once in a while, occur at any university...

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 11th February 19

it's bad there is no 0 rating. As someone else said if you can study on your own and are willing to sacrifice 3 years of your life to get an unrecognized degree go for it. The grading standards are rubbish, no one governs them and they are unqualified to grade as well. Don't go, the soas offers better online courses and some are in collaboration with top unis like lse. Save your money and time for something better.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 18th January 19

1 star FOR TERRIBLE ACADEMIC SUPPORT If you are struggling with a concept on the TMA (the assessment), as a matter of policy, they do not help at all! I guess if you can learn "everything" on your own, you will do fine at the OU but if you need academic support you will probably find the system irritating and not very sensible.

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3
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 21st December 18

Absolute rubbish avoid like the plague. Horrendous bottomless modules and it takes forever to get anything done. Very very poor experience. There is no-one on Earth I hate enough to recommend the OU to.

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2
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 13th November 18

I enrolled with OU because of their reputation. What I found was a complete lack of support, no consistency in teaching standards, poor materials and part time tutors who are otherwise full time employed in another role. It's a bit of a postcode lottery with who and what you end up with. There's very little continuity in how the tutors grade and the external markers grade, which only exacerbates an already unfair overall marking system. The admin side of OU is abysmal and I've never felt more like 'just a number' before in my academic life. I studied at a brick and mortar university for a year prior and although everywhere has downfalls, I've felt so let down by OU throughout my study. The price is ridiculous for the service too, there's vastly better value for money at universities who offer distance learning WITH support & accountability beyond a website log in and some books. Research other institutions - OU is NOT your only option.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 8th November 18

It pains me to be writing this review, because I had really high hopes for the Open University, but this has to be said. If you are seriously considering studying a degree, I urge you to go anywhere but the OU. Their customer service is appalling, and the uni seems to be managed and run by inexperienced people who have no clue how to use the internet, which is not particularly useful considering that the OU focuses mainly on distance learning. The course I chose to study was am Honours Degree in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, but I had to stop after the first year, as it was extremely dull and had absolutely nothing to do with Astronomy or Physics, to the point that I genuinely believed I had mistakenly taken the wrong course (which I hadn't). The "TMAs" and marking systems are idiotic, and the timetables they set you for the modules are completely wrong, but they're hardly the biggest issues. So, in conclusion, do not waste your time and money with the OU.

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1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 2nd November 18

Watch out of this s***. Don't join

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1
Student Review: 2 /5
By On 1st October 18

Open University BSc (Hons) Open OVERALL UNIVERSITY RATING Tell us about your overall university experience so far. 17 Mar 17 I spent nine years part time studying here to get my degree and I have very mixed emotions about the place, even though I spent a lot of time and encountered quite a few issues some which were handled badly by the OU I will still try and keep this as brief as I can and unbiased. The main reason I choose the OU was I wasn’t fortunate enough to be in an environment leaving full time education that would have really supported me with further education, plus the fact I didn’t really apply myself as best as I could in school obviously due to many factors, however I decided later in life that perhaps I would like to see what the academic world was actually all about and as I have taken on other challenges I thought why not a degree, let’s see what it teaches and why sometimes people who have them have the better opportunities and jobs. Distance learning was practical

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1
Student Review: 2 /5
By On 29th September 18

As a distance learning provider, some of the areas needing review are not appropriate (campus facilities etc). So I think its important to be aware of some significant differences to bricks and mortar universities: - The lowest mark overall is your module result. So if you score 80% over the year, but score 40% in the final piece of work, your module score is 40%. - The module result is affected by non-academic factors. So might score 35% which is a fail (because it’s under 40%), but actually get a pass 4 (40-49% bracket). - No past papers are given. You may not see any previous work whether students consent to it being shown or not. - There is limited time given to staff to provide feedback. So do not count on detailed feedback to improve the score on your next piece of work. End of module (EMA) feedback is also sparse and hardly covers the reasons why you scored the way you did. - Appeals are tightly restricted. You may not appeal their academic judgement.

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2
Student Review: 4 /5
By On 4th September 18

Just finished my first module with the OU and I've been very impressed. I studied at a brick Uni for a year and decided to leave because of personal reasons, the OU was the only way I was going to get a degree after that. So far though, it's quality has exceeded the brick Uni I went to by far, the material is relevant and interesting, I love the self-directed study and my tutor has been really helpful and willing to go the extra mile to help me complete my assignments. Finally, I've actually learnt something, which I can't really say about the brick Uni I went to (Which, by the way, had been rated Gold for teaching excellence.)

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-2
Student Review: 4 /5
By On 28th August 18

I would like to remind any prospective OU students who are reading reviews here or anywhere that it is nearly always the disgruntled or those who did not do their research who have written such negative and quite rude reviews about the Open University. For every one bad review, there are hundreds of students who have enjoyed the OU but haven't thought to leave a review as the OU does not suggest it to students. Also, all university related review pages ask about campus facilities and other things that a distance learning university does not offer, understandably. The OU is a superb option for those who are working, suffer with chronic illness and/or are parents who wish to gain a qualification that allows them to get to the career they want eventually, without giving up their lifestyle now. From what I have seen, so many students have done this successfully and many come back to do postgrad. Visit https:[website link removed] for genuine responses!

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0
Student Review: 4 /5
By On 28th August 18

The ratings system is not applicable to distance learning. ive done degrees at oxford london and edinburgh (ba/ma mb bs phd) before studying at open. i started with the intention of doing some modules that interested me. however the ou studying drew me in and i complteted my degree in 5 years. all the courses were clearly and thoughtfully organised, highlighting important areas of knowledge, thought processes and principles. all my tutors worked hard to provide constructive criticism. i found it was well worth attending face to face seminars. the ou community is wonderfully diverse, with particular groups represented being women whose children had left home, men who had finished being traditional breadwinners and young folk who hadnt gone straight to university then re evaluated things. however there were many other shades too. as this is distance learning tuturs can and do provide help and guidance. however it relies on the student to be sufficiently self organised and self motivate

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 25th August 18

I agree with all the previous reviews. The OU is a huge organization and they are unable to provide a personal service in spite of their efforts. They and their tutors are still working through and learning how to navigate through the online services whilst their students are quite knowledgeable about online services. Therefore the process is very frustrating for international students. When one fails the first credits for a course, there is no real follow up. I am/was on a course towards my Masters in Education and I failed my last assignment (what they call EMA, "External" marked assignment, a 100% assignment) although I passed all my TMA ("Teacher Marked Assignments"). I paid 3,000 UK pounds out of my own pocket money towards my MEd. The OU is just an online money making business. They don't care about their online students when they fail.

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-1
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 24th August 18

Avoid! Go travel the world instead, you'll learn more rather then studying with OU!

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 6th June 18

Please be careful. I would advise anyone to go ANYWHERE but the Open University. I know they can be convenient but it is a corrupt organisation that masquerades as a reputable education provider. Their courses are not cheap, I broke my back saving for mine and was so excited to start. From the beginning my tutor ignored my questions and made it clear they didn't want to be involved in my study at all. I tried to do my best anyway and managed to pass all but the final module despite being driven to tears on a couple of occasions frustrated and confused by my tutor outright ignoring my short, polite questions about issues I didn't understand. I failed my final by one mark on an area I had pleaded for help with. After being stuck in the complaints process for a year they were told I couldn't get a refund, resit my exam or resit the course, so they took my money and left me with absolutely nothing. I didn't think it could happen to me as I'm a good student and work really hard. Be careful.

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0
Student Review: 1 /5
By On 14th May 18

I am writing this review as I feel my son has been ripped off by open university! A few years ago he attempted to do a course alongside a full time job, within 8 weeks he realised that it was too hard for him so he quit after ringing them up and posting a letter. It seems that the OU continued getti g funding and now years later he is expected to pay £1500 back deducted from his wages before he receives them. No problem with paying for the books sent or 8 weeks minimal online tuition, but what about a cooling off period? He has been in touch but seeems there is no get out! So future students be aware £1500 for 8 weeks I would avoid at all costs.

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Student Review: 1 /5
By On 6th May 18

I began studying with the open university as i thought they would be flexible for people who work full-time. However, I have found to my cost they are not. Only interested in taking your money. Dont study with them. You will find a brick university offers more flexibility for part-time students.

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Student Review: 1 /5
By On 7th January 18

I started my Masters in November 17 and here I am in January ’18 feeling completely discouraged and seriously considering not going any further. The tutor is completely useless - sends one line responses to emails if she bothers to respond at all, tells you to one thing for a TMA (demonstrate understanding of the models and relate to work experience) and then you get it back with a crappy mark with feedback that you shouldn't have focussed on the models or related to your work experience. I have studied as an undergrad at 2 Russell Group universities and have never experience anything like it. I thought the OU would be the ideal solution to studying around a full time career but have already realised it wouldn't be worth the paper it is written on - time to find another Russell Group Uni that takes my £10k investment seriously. My advice ... DON'T bother. It is a lot of money for supremely crappy and indifferent service and less than mediocre quality teaching.

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Student Review: 1 /5
By On 5th January 18

Open University is a joke. The course materials are either their own or some outdated (10years) lecture texts that carries an amazon review of 1 star. Start off with module, coming from the IT COMPUTING DEGREE areas. Ok, some of the material is enjoyable, and just when you think you ready to CRACK the TMA, surprise! The TMA is worded so confusingly, that almost everytime there is an errata that follows. Then, the TMA looks like nothing you have read and practiced beforehand. So you are up sh*creek. I get the feeling, the TMA outsourced. And whoever draws these things up doesn't take into account if the tasks being requested are in fact covered. Now, you will here, well its a university, you supposed to research your studies. Ok, but not research on the Internet and stackoverflow. Bottom line, the modules are lacking what is required for you to succeed in the course. But, if you already know everything about IT and programming, well you will probably be just fine.

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Student Review: 1 /5
By On 19th December 17

Ok, so I started my degree with OU a couple of years ago. The materials and online services OU provide are of good quality. However, the issues start to appear once you are asked to complete your tasks and assignments. The tasks are of very poor quality and I'm shocked that they get away with it. Commonly your first assignment consists of 1.000 words, yep 1.000 words. This is, they ask you to read a whole book but usually they only expect you to use one of the sections of the book to answer the TMA questions. This is once you are at level 1 or 2, the word counting at the entry level is even smaller. Because the assignments are so small you feel like you are not getting the service you are paying for. The word counting is clearly designed to make tutors life easier. If you think you can get away with it by putting extra information on the appendix, forget it!Tutors will take points off, even if you show that you clearly understood the subject. My advice? AVOID IT!

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Student Review: 2 /5
By On 29th September 17

The Open University can be summed up in very few words. Reactive NOT Proactive. They make the same mistakes over and over again and can only be described as complacent. Poor in ALL ADMINISTRATIVE AREAS which causes stress and upset to Students and Tutors alike. Disorganised poorly managed departments

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Student Review: 1 /5
By On 26th June 17

Don't go to The Open University!!!! Nothing good about this University. They just want your money without any student support, any information provided. If you have any problem, they won't help you especially if you are postgraduate student. You can send to them complaint but they will ignore you anyway. There are many new- excellent Universities who provide distance learning, just don't go to the Open because you will regret your decision like me. Maybe they were good 20 years ago but not anymore.

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Student Review: 1 /5
By On 6th February 17

This used to be a fantastic institution. Sadly it appears to have gone the way of many focusing on process over humanity. If you can at all spare the time do not use the OU. If you have absolutely no choice then go in with your eyes open, For the lack of support and lack of quality and availability of tutors you are much, much better studying yourself.

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Student Review: 4 /5
By On 3rd August 16

Despite being an online university, the staff are very supportive and give exemplary feedback that really allows you to learn and fulfill your potential. Tutors have an understanding of the needs of mature students who are working full-time and studying simultaneously. The books and online study materials are of a very high standard. I am very proud to be an OU student and would recommend it over any "brick university" that I have previously attended.

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Student Review: 4 /5
By On 31st July 15

Even though it's an online university I still felt part of s community, we had our own freshers week and SU activities

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