The Open University Reviews

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Latest Reviews

★☆☆☆☆

“An educational money making machine.”

Written on: 21/03/2015 by Emely360 (1 review written)

The OU does not encourage you to read outside of their module books and independent thought is discouraged. More importantly the average degrees they hand out are 2:2's and 3rd's. Look at the other reviews on this site to confirm this. Lecturers mark inconsistently, study outside of course books is frowned upon, hardly a Professor in sight..with not that many Dr's of disciplines either. Academic support is whimsical. Disability support is one fit for all. Complaining is a waste of time and if… Read Full Review

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Worn_Out's Comment

Written on: 26/03/2015

I'd be more concerned if they were handing out a hell of a lot of Firsts as that would mean they were too easily obtained and devalue the grade. Also a fair proportion of students are only doing it as a hobby and not interested in getting the highest grade and doing it for enjoyment.
As for the amount of Drs I would imagine that would depend on subject as most my tutors have been doctors in Computing, Mathematics and Biology so far. I'm on my second degree with the OU. Although tutoring I imagine is a part time job so I'm guessing a lot of tutors either do it alongside other work or part of retirement.

However I will admit any sort of change to complaints is painfully slow to be addressed with all the hoop jumping. I have no experience with disability support as it's not something I need so can't really comment on that.

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Hoodoogirl's Comment

Written on: 26/03/2015

I am glad that your experience has been good but for many students this has proved NOT to be the case and having looked at many online reviews about the OU I now realise that my experience is not singular. I did not say that the OU should be liberally handing out 1st and 2:1's but many students end up with 2:2's and 3rds and many ethnic minority students end up with 2:2's and 3rds which SHOULD be a concern for these particular students when they are trying to decide upon which university to attend. As I stated before, the OU's own diversity and equality report states this.
The support - or lack thereof is also a ubiquitous issue at this university and their marking system is bizarre. You could obtain an average of 80% for all of your essays (TMA's) and then receive 50% for your actual exam and that mark will count as your final mark for the module.
In my opinion, potential students should explore the possibility of studying part time degrees at conventional universities. I have found another link on this website for the OU and the reviews there are equally bad.

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Dannyb23's Comment

Written on: 20/04/2015

I wish I had read your review before signing up with this so-called university. The tutors and senior faculty staff advise you not to bother using the process to review your marks as it will basically be ignored.
Staff are increasingly using OU tutoring as one of a number of income streams and do not put in the effort you would expect in their work.
They also censor any critical comments on their social media without saying they are doing it.

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Peony's Comment

Written on: 21/04/2015

My current tutor tutors a number of courses and also works for the OU. Has no real academic qualifications for the subject. I have never encountered a professor as a tutor with the OU, and these days no Dr's either.

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Worn_Out's Comment

Written on: 21/07/2015

Yes but to get fewer students with lower seconds and thirds then either the number failing goes up or the number of higher honours awarded goes up which in turn will change the 'value' of the honours if more people are getting best degrees or failing.
There need to be better statistics published by the OU of what honours are awarded and why the course was undertaken (career prospects, hobby etc.) and the age of the recipient. But trying to find anything on the website is a nightmare in itself. :(

I don't see why ethnic students would be awarded more lower class honours as I don't see how support would differ between ethnic group, maybe due to region which could have a higher percentage of ethnic groups. As I know the support I get in region 9, the North, is lacking compared to the South and regions containing cities as they have more tutorials (f2f ones too) and day schools whereas region 9 has next to nothing and is lumped with the international students.

there used to be a advisor who saw you through the whole qualification not just SST groups they have now and I think they should bring that back.

As for the marking system, it's not bizarre. Most brick universities only class small percentage of the modules as coursework (my brick uni its was only 10-15% on modules so an 80% coursework score doesn't have that much affect on overall grade). Also with it being distance learning your tutor isn't as heavily involved with you so might not recognise someone else's work passed off as your own and there have been cases where exams have been reintroduced to some modules due to TMA questions appearing on websites offering answers and help. You are only as strong as your weakest link. But they should reword the blooming assessment strategy and stop referring to it as 50:50 which makes people think it's the average as that crops up year after year and on every module I've done people question it. (Although wouldn't have minded the average myself when I was a couple marks off distinction in one exam and TMAs were in the 90s).

As ever I agree with considering all options as there are more part time and distance learning facilities out there these days and it all depends on the student's life and circumstances, what they want to ultimately do with the degree and what subjects and unis will best further that.

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Peony's Comment

Written on: 21/04/2015

I agree that disability support is about non existent. I thought it was just me, but have seen on these forums a number of others saying they experienced lack of support. It seems to be a policy on paper that is not applied in practice.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Prepare to be frustrated... for several years solid”

Written on: 10/02/2015 by Jimmyq85 (1 review written)

I've attended bricks and mortar too. And I thought at first the OU was better as the material is much more thorough, for science anyway, (in the old book modules). However, the OU are now changing to online modules... and they are a NIGHTMARE!!!!!! Prepare to cope with the likes of 'interactive laboratories' which DO NOT WORK most of the time, and which have 3 DIFFERENT SETS OF INSTRUCTIONS ALL WRITTEN BY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, NONE OF WHICH HELP in some cases, and for which the 'topic specialists'… Read Full Review

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Hoodoogirl's Comment

Written on: 21/03/2015

I agree with you Jimmyq85 - I wish I had never wasted time with this university - It has been a totally miserable experience !

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Dannyb23's Comment

Written on: 20/04/2015

I think their systems are actually getting worst as well. Online tutorials are ridiculous with no-one knowing what they are doing and entirely repeating course materials.

I'm not sure there is nothing the tutors can do about it, I agree they do generally sympathise and some go beyond in their condemnaiton of OU management. Covering their backs takes priority over our educational experience generally. Given what we as students have to contend with, I guess maybe it's understandable. What could they do?

In courses where materials are provided they are massively out of date (referring to tapes for example). For new courses they don't even bother to provide materials in order to keep a few more pounds to themselves.

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★★★☆☆

“enrolled to 2 courses, boring and expensive”

Written on: 04/02/2015 by ColinCorbett (1 review written)

they shipped quick(to my UK address)one was business the other starting with psychology the book was thin like my small finger, thats all you get for hundred of pounds psychology was OK for me but NOTHING SPECIAL GIVING NO CREDIT I COULD HAVE READ THIS IN A LIBRARY IM SICK AND TIRED OF FALSE ONLINE SCHOOLS SELLING LIBRARY-KNOCK-OFF MATERIALS the business course was boring and not giving me any ideas how to become a business person running my own... THESE COURSES GET U NO JOB, AND DODGY C.V… Read Full Review

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★★★★☆

“Good communication and support”

Written on: 09/12/2014 by happyhorris (5 reviews written)

I telephoned to discuss my course requirement before booking. Customer service is brilliant - really good advice. I was also given some tips re; financing the course which i didn't expect. Easily accessible information - study groups, tutor support, online chat and of course an email contact which other online training establishments do not necessarily provide! Really pleased with this learning provider. However, I think that the fees are a little high considering it's home study. I'm sure… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Unsupportive and stressful!”

Written on: 27/10/2014

I have health problems that made me transfer to open university from a uni had been physically attending and thought working from home would be better. Except they have not been supportive. At first I thought they were great but now they only care about the money. I have only recently started and my student loan has been delayed so they are saying they will de register me. How just how can they do that?? It's been difficult for me to pursue studies because of on going health problems and I… Read Full Review

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Anon12371's Comment

Written on: 20/03/2015

I totally agree with your review.. the OU experience has been awful for me and I have health issues too. I wish that I had never studied with them. What upsets me more, is that they insist they do support students with issues. They simply do not.

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Dannyb23's Comment

Written on: 20/04/2015

I'm really sorry to hear about your experiences with this dreadful organisation.

I found there approach and arrogance actually increases stress and makes it worst. it is like dealing with a bad bank, mobile phone or train company, though worst actually as at least they do tend to offer some remedy when their service is terrible. I don't know if is just shambolic disorganisation or plain malice but they really should not be allowed to continue in their current manner.

They do not meet their duty of care obligations in any way shape or form and actually silently censor any criticisms made on their facebook page.

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★☆☆☆☆

“The Open University is only in it for profit - full stop.”

Written on: 17/12/2013

I have to agree with other reviews I have read - make no mistake people the OU is a business and they are only interested in taking your money. I was ill during my course and given poor advice by my tutor who clearly did not know the regulations. The faculty staff are not interested in student satisfaction or heaven help us, customer service. Simply in ducking responsibility. This is not the same university I studied with in the 90's and I will never spend any of my hard-earned money on them… Read Full Review

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★★☆☆☆

“I enjoyed studying with the OU to begin with and...”

Written on: 02/07/2013 by shifty13 (3 reviews written)

I enjoyed studying with the OU to begin with and sucessfully completed a module in computing. I then went on to take a module in retail management and was given half the amount of time to complete assignments as I had with the previous module. I passed on the TMAs even though it was a stuggle but failed the EMA failed due to starting a new job and having to travel for it. The OU doesn't give extensions for EMAs so if you fail this you have spent your time and money on nothing. On the plus side… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“A waste of time”

Written on: 26/03/2013 by Grotty (1 review written)

I have Aspergers syndrome so tend to not get on in the company of others in fact every time i have been to a college women have complained about me even though I never looked or talked to them and kept myself to myself,so I decided to try an OU short course a module as they call it,but clearly this is for very bright people,not me I am way to stupid,they say the course is for people without any qualifications,but they are lying,you need to be an intellectual to understand what to do,the paper… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“passed all TMA's but failed EMA so waste of time and...”

Written on: 07/07/2012

I have started with the OU 2 years ago and i have passed all my TMA's but failed on the EMA's very little help or comments given and that's it is GAME OVER,all the money gone and the time not to mention the stress.Now i am making a formal appeal but is there anyone with this kind of experience as i feel they have taken my money and do not bother about anything any more. I have a 10 year work experience in the chosen field,my EMA's were checked by a university lecturer prior to sending and i… Read Full Review

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Shifty13's Comment

Written on: 02/07/2013

I know exactly how you feel I also passed my TMAs but then started a new job with more hours and couldn't complete the EMA so failed the whole module. Felt my time and money has been wasted. The tutor couldn't care less and didn't really give me any support even though I emailed him a few times saying I was struggling. I've now had enough of the OU and am going to study at Birkbeck. The module I was studying also had too large a workload, I was given half the amount of time to comlete assignments as a module I had previously studied.

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★★☆☆☆

“Waste of time and money”

Written on: 28/02/2012 by DylanJS (1 review written)

My first OU course was great. The tutor was very helpful and accessible and the OU admin process worked well enough. There were a few errors in the materials that made life difficult (being told afterwards "yes, those were mistakes and catch everyone out" didn't really help), but generally things went along okay. Unfortunately the subsequent courses have been terrible and I've now given up on the OU completely. I've had a tutor that would only meet me on Friday nights in trendy pubs (I… Read Full Review

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Abbigail1987's Response to DylanJS's Review

Written on: 20/05/2013

I am absolutely sick to death of small minded idiots. Im so sorry you have to put up with people who make your life harder. Every person is entitled to an education. You have aspergers not 10 heads 3 arms and 3 legs. I know a few people with aspergers and you guys are no less of a human being than a person withoit a disability if anything your more. Its so easy for people to cast judgement and turn their nose up but really thats where theyre less of a human being. I really hope you find a place that will educate you without prejudice. Fair play to you x x.

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★★★★★

“My experience with the Open University has been very...”

Written on: 29/12/2010

My experience with the Open University has been very good. Throughout the 5 years of study I found the tutors and staff helpful, well organised, supportive and encouraging. They are an excellent value for money too.

Yes, you have to put in a lot of hard work, perhaps that's why there is such a high drop out. But sorry, if you want to have a degree you better stock up on determination… Read Full Review

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★★☆☆☆

“I enjoyed the first couple of years but have now come...”

Written on: 31/03/2010

I enjoyed the first couple of years but have now come to hate OU. I am doing level 3 and get no help from my Tutor. The course is expensive and I do not think that only ten hours in a year of tutorials is enough. Ou seems to think that the course books are enough but they aren't. My tutor comes to the tutorials unprepared, talks off subject and makes rude and unhelpful remarks when marking assignments. I wish I had never started with OU but now I only have two more years to do it seems as… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“I passed the law foundation course and found it...”

Written on: 04/12/2009 by JemmaJo (1 review written)

I passed the law foundation course and found it enjoyable, but W201 in the Bristol region wasn't a nice experience. The cost of the course is nearly £2000 and there's very little support. When my tutor was off sick I had a much higher mark than usual, so as I wanted to improve I asked my usual tutor why I had lower marks when he marked my assignments but better marks when another tutor marked my assignments and instead of being helpful, he didn't bother replying and started to be awkward and… Read Full Review

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Rainbowsurfgirl's Response to JemmaJo's Review

Written on: 25/01/2010

I found this review very helpful because it shows what the OU is really like. I can totally relate to this. My business course was just as bad - £4000 for some badly-written course material and a DVD. No tutor support, student support weren't interested and the OU's whole attitude was one of indifference. All they want is your money. Avoid at all costs.

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★★★★☆

“good support from tutor. very good materials. good...”

Written on: 04/10/2008

good support from tutor. very good materials. good website. trusted academic institution.

good distance learning institution. qualifications are recognised… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I've been very impressed with The Open University. ...”

Written on: 04/07/2008 by Acai (1 review written)

I've been very impressed with The Open University. They are professional when contacted and I have been treated with respect by them. They are helpful when you ask for information, and take you seriously. The courses so far have been excellent. There is a wide choice of courses within subjects with new ones appearing quite often, though I would like to see a wider variety of subjects. I've been interested in a couple of courses that have been discontinued, and no replacement offered in… Read Full Review

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Digs's Response to Acai's Review

Written on: 12/12/2008

Hi there! I've just started receiving my materials from the ou after a year of deciding whether to study with the ou or not. But now that I have I just feel have I made the right decision. Are the degrees recognised and valued? Also what's the quickest way to complete a degree, I really don't think I can do it for SIX years!!
<br/>Please advice me thanks!!!

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★★★★★

“I studied science and arts with the The Open...”

Written on: 12/05/2008 by Legion (1 review written)

I studied science and arts with the The Open University. The experience was fantastic, but the level is not for those who are easily distracted or bored with life… Read Full Review

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★★★★★

“I passed first time doing social work with the Open...”

Written on: 04/01/2008

I passed first time doing social work with the Open University. I loved the course and I loved doing it in my own time at my own pace. However, distance learning is not for those that are easily distracted, you need to keep getting yourself in gear to be disciplined, but then you can do it!… Read Full Review

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