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Latest Reviews

★★★★★

“Perfect, really enjoying degree, helpful tutors”

Written on: 02/04/2015 by Katie2015 (1 review written)

I have just completed my first year of OU studies. I felt the need to write this review as some people are stating to avoid the OU because they have withdrawn and demanded a refund. So lets put this in perspective from an actual student... The OU has many students and id very popular. Unlike some posting on here, I have attended tutorials, which are well organised, thought-out and extremely helpful. The work books and assistance you receive are, in my view, value for money. Again some… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Do not use Open University”

Written on: 30/03/2015 by gazamac95 (1 review written)

Paid £490 for my first OU module, then found out that in Scotland, we do not have to pay OU fees, but they kept very quiet about this. Requested withdrawal from my module due to a change in my financial situation and hence required refund. OU said they would credit back (i.e. refund) module. However, they only gave me a credit for a future module. This was against their claim to 'credit back' and was also useless as do not need to pay fees anyway in Scotland as SAAS pay for all OU fees. Again… Read Full Review

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Peony's Response to gazamac95's Review

Written on: 24/04/2015

I agree about the complaints procedure. Three years ago, I had a terrible experience with the OU, and for the first time ever, wanted to make a complaint. I enquired re my regional centre, who referred me to the case studies office (this is before the complaints procedure was fully online). The case studies office referred me back to the regional centre, who refused to deal with me, and merely referred me back to the case studies office, who once again referred me back to the regional centre. They stated the complaint had to start at the point of origin, which was my regional centre.

So, I gave up as the regional centre refused to deal with me. Three months later (I changed to another region) the manager emailed me out of the blue and said I had been trying to complain about something 'automatic'. Whatever that meant. I politely protested at her emailing me as it was a sort of harassment, but she never explained or apologised.

The OU is at the mercy of individual staff whether they do their jobs properly or not. If one or two do not, then this can damage a student's course and the image of the OU, so prospective students are put off.

I stopped studying with them, but had money to use up (similar to yourself as they would only allow money to be used on a future course). Took a course to use up the money, great course, my best ever, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but had a rotten tutor throughout, got through the course without the tutor's help. I informed my regional centre informally, but they then assigned me to the same tutor in my next course.

Not such a great course, tutor could not always answer questions, fobbed off sometimes I felt. Fortunately, the course team were great and gave support online and answering students questions (except for the final part, so I was on my own for that).

I have to complain this time round and will do so in writing, and see how I get on. I may put my experience on here in a few months time.

But I agree with you, as it is my experience is similar to yours. I saw yesterday the OU is protesting to the government about a huge drop in part time students. Its not the governments problem if the OU is causing problems to their customers who then decided to take their custom elsewhere.

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★★★☆☆

“Invaluable but going the wrong way”

Written on: 27/03/2015 by Jeramiahv154 (1 review written)

The education received here has been invaluable. It's accessible and effective. Recently things have started to change. I've studied there for 8 years and during the last two, feel like I'm being pushed out in favour of a younger generation, with a different attitude. On all the courses, don't expect to be accepted or included on the forums, and don't expect progressive debate or discussion on there. If you're intelligent, you'll likely be ignored and possibly quieted by well chosen words of… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Miserable experience studying with this university -...”

Written on: 20/03/2015 by anon12371 (2 reviews written)

I suppose that I am not the only person who feels that studying with this university has proved to be a mistake. It has proved to be a truly miserable experience. (1) Marking is incoherent and inconsistent (2) Lack of support from tutors especially if you have a disability. They will throw laptops, and software and dictaphones at you, but they look at disabilities as one size fits all. In terms of exams, essays (TMA's), tutorials, they do not fully accommodate the problems that students might… Read Full Review

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Peony's Response to anon12371's Review

Written on: 21/04/2015

I agree with you. I have had very similar experiences and found the lack of alternative support very soul destroying. It erodes your self esteem with your disability, so is damaging to your disability.

It was so bad, I stopped studying for a few years, but last year decided to have another go. Got through a course on my own and then decided to take a bigger course, the same problem on both courses, not one single word for me in lieu of tutorials. (I can't get owing to health and disability). Forums were fine, no bad students (some who tried their remarks were removed quickly by the course team who were very active on the forums, not experienced that before).

Depending on my results for my current course and the outcome of a complaint I am going to make, I may or may not continue, as it is very disheartening.

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Hoodoogirl's reply to Peony's Comment

Written on: 21/04/2015

Peony I really would be interested in speaking with you about your experiences and wonder how that can be done via this forum

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Hoodoogirl's reply to Hoodoogirl's Comment

Written on: 21/04/2015

BTW I am an OU student also and I have been very unhappy all in all. I wanted to complain but do not think it will get anywhere..

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Peony's reply to Hoodoogirl's Comment

Written on: 24/04/2015

If you are thinking of complaining, and have any sort of evidence, such as emails, or telephone conversations you have recorded some of the things said, date and time of the call etc., that have taken place over the duration of your course, I would suggest you give it a go to complain formally if you have grievances about the lack of alternative help from your tutor.

I think complaints (I am not sure, I have to research this) go to the Student Casework office.

If you have any printed evidence, you can submit a special circumstances form to the course examiners as well as the exam examiners. This has to be I think within 14 days of the last TMA and so many days after the exam. (I think 14 again, not sure).

But don't let this get in the way of your completing your course, it is easy to feel upset and that can become obstructive, I feel like this myself just now and am trying to talk myself out of it to get on with the final weeks of my course.

But it can sometimes makes you feel better to give it go at complaining, as it tells the staff something is amiss, (and maybe that tutor is doing the same thing to others or has done in the past) and it tells the staff you are not getting the help they have taken time to arrange.

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Peony's Response to anon12371's Review

Written on: 21/04/2015

I agree with you. I have had very similar experiences and found the lack of alternative support very soul destroying. It erodes your self esteem with your disability, so is damaging to your disability.

It was so bad, I stopped studying for a few years, but last year decided to have another go. Got through a course on my own and then decided to take a bigger course, the same problem on both courses, not one single word for me in lieu of tutorials. (I can't get owing to health and disability). Forums were fine, no bad students (some who tried their remarks were removed quickly by the course team who were very active on the forums, not experienced that before).

Depending on my results for my current course and the outcome of a complaint I am going to make, I may or may not continue, as it is very disheartening.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Univ of Exeter / FutureLearn online Course - Climatic...”

Written on: 13/03/2015 by RJStansfield (2 reviews written)

An open letter to the OU and FutureLearn. Please pass this to the OU's course creators. Univ of Exeter Course -- Climate Change - ended 2015 Mar 6 ========================================================== "Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" . . I have just completed this Course. I am retired now & wanted to obtain a balanced assessment of the present state of knowledge on climatic change from the respected OU & Exeter Univ. I am disappointed. Instead, I found… Read Full Review

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Peony's Response to RJStansfield's Review

Written on: 21/04/2015

I absolutely agree with you. I think a few scientists and the media have decided to make a big issue of GW. My husband and I believe volcanic activity (particularly beneath the sea) is responsible for global warming together with other factors. Yes, humans are contributing to it, but are not the main culprits as the media would have you believe.

Global Warming is just a theory, but people are accepting it as fact.

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★☆☆☆☆

“MSc Mathematics Appalling”

Written on: 17/02/2015 by blYoung223 (1 review written)

MSc mathematics seems cheap - but less so when you realise that you get nothing for it. Courses now seem to consist mainly of an instruction to read a particular book (not supplied, and sometimes a wholly inappropriate reference book) and an examination. Do not expect lectures!… Read Full Review

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★★★☆☆

“0 star for OUSBA, 4 for the courses”

Written on: 19/01/2015 by dogman70 (1 review written)

A few years ago I enrolled on an OU course (having completed several others); I lost my job a few weeks later. Assuming the OU would offer similar standards of service that we're all accustomed to, I thought I would take advantage of the cooling off period. So I removed myself from my course (naively believing I knew my stuff and we can all cancel things), however when I rang the OUSBA they said I had no legal right to change my mind, and that I am still fully liable for the entire debt (they… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Ring enquiries lines to abuse/management know nothing”

Written on: 10/01/2015 by Calhounog443 (1 review written)

If ever you have a bad day, just ring The OU and swear at the agent, OU management will not do anything about it except to punish the staff who retalliates to your aggression. If this does not happen, then do not worry as if you are an existing student, then you will have a phonecall with an apology. Also, if there are any failures on their side, then you will be accused of having disabilities, e.g. if you cannot write e-mails to a university standard, you must be dislexyc. How this relates… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Terrible”

Written on: 04/12/2014 by Sinclairlp18 (1 review written)

I have studied with the OU since 2003, and used to think they were great, however after my course fees went up by nearly £2000 (for a part-time course this year), I applied for a student loan as I could not afford this myself. I have completed 5 courses and this was to be my last in order to complete my degree with honours. The student finance was accepted, and I received my books before the course start date, so excitedly decided to get a head start. 6 weeks later I received a threatening… Read Full Review

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★★☆☆☆

“Poor guidance and support”

Written on: 25/11/2014 by Kody166 (1 review written)

Studying at the OU can be a struggle - different of a challenge. Whilst the course is challenging and can be motivating, the lack of support and guidance from the 'remote tutors' has made learning really tough. Theres unclear guidance on what to do - and some of the books from which you have to base you learning (obviously authored by the Open University) does not appear to be well laid out. Given that their books (and poor tutor support) are predominantly what one has to rely on for doing the… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“DO NOT study with the OU”

Written on: 13/11/2014 by Chady386 (1 review written)

I studied with the OU for 6 years only to be given a worthless degree that they seem to think it is recognised, however all the employers I have been to do not recognise it. So I spend all my time and money on nothing. It is a constant battle to get the right courses as well as advice as the people on the phone do not know what they are talking about half of the time. Go anywhere else BUT the Open University… Read Full Review

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Laal_Nick's Comment

Written on: 18/11/2014

What degree/ subject(s) did you do? What did you finish with; first, second, third?
Also if wanting a degree for career prospects it's advisable to see what employers think of it before starting it and research each module, get opinions from other OU students doing the same course past & present and researching other courses with other establishments.
My degree with the OU has been worthwhile and recognised my by new employers and by the few brick universities I have been contacting with the prospect of applying for a masters degree. How do you know it was solely your degree that has put possible employers off? Did they give that as the reason?

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★☆☆☆☆

“Waste of Time”

Written on: 21/08/2014 by Ewingvj419 (1 review written)

Did a 6 year law degree and I wish I had never bothered or wasted my time. My assignment grades were always in the high 70's and 80's ( 2:1 territory) but I never once got an exam score , no matter how good or hard I tried that was better than a 60? not once and totally unbelievable and I eventually received a useless 2:2 law degree because of it. And I do not believe for one instant that the exam scores I was ever given during those 6 years were ever correct ! No improvement what so ever in 6… Read Full Review

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Helimum's Comment

Written on: 24/10/2014

HI I am feeling for you after all that hard work!!!
having just done an opening module, averaging 81 i garnered a 44% on my ema ...holy moly barely a pass!!!!

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Peony's Comment

Written on: 21/04/2015

I find in TMA's it seems to be if the tutor likes your work as to how many marks you acquire. I stopped undertaking their exams as I felt there was A) no advice or support from tutors and B) you cannot challenge the exam markers. One accounting examinable component I submitted I only just passed despite that the biggest question of 70%, worked fine and my written answers I had expected higher marks. Something wrong with the marking critieria or exam marker.

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★☆☆☆☆

“Getting worse”

Written on: 20/08/2014 by kxKeegan476 (1 review written)

When I started the degree 6 years ago it was fantastic. Unfortunately now they seem to be more interested in making money education. Less tutorials, 9 months crammed into 8 months - they seem to have forgotten that most people are working full time as well. I was going to study for the masters but now I'll be going elsewhere… Read Full Review

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★★☆☆☆

“For Students with Previous Higher Education Stay Clear!”

Written on: 04/08/2014 by egwew (1 review written)

First of all I'd like to point out that my review is not based on course material and the quality of tutors etc. Having studied several modules at OU mainly the technology/science based modules I must admit I haven't really found that part too bad always room for improvement though. The thing I want to point out is to any who may have previously studied an HNC or HND at other colleges and universities do all you can to avoid topping up your qualifications here. In my case I did not receive… Read Full Review

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Worn_Out's Response to egwew's Review

Written on: 08/08/2014

It's not just being able to study at level 3 but what you have actually studied I would have thought. As modules and their content differ between universities and if you want to do level 3 modules you may have needed to have covered certain topics as prerequisites. I think that's why they want you to send in course syllabuses when you apply for credit transfer to see how it stacks up with their modules,

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★☆☆☆☆

“Awful service, rude staff, disabiltiy discrimation”

Written on: 28/07/2014 by BrianErickson (1 review written)

I had advice over the phone in regards to how my disabiltiy would effect my courses and they helped me find a course which was suitable. I was enrolled but later found out that the course wasn't what they said it would be. I asked to change, and that involved switching 1 module. They took me off the module before checking if they could enrol me for the correct one! They couldn't.. So I was left a year waiting before I could enrol. I was also doing a maths module. I was told over the phone… Read Full Review

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★★☆☆☆

“waste of money,time and effort”

Written on: 20/07/2014 by Whitedv1976 (1 review written)

I have been studying with the Open University for seven years now. In September I will be doing my sixth and final module which will cost me €1,500 but is worth nothing when the O.U. give me my Degree results, since it is a free choice module. Out of the five modules I have already completed, I mostly received a Grade 3 Pass. I was disgusted by this, since I always averaged 65-80% in each TMA, and out of the five modules I only needed to sit two exams. One exam significantly reduced my Grade… Read Full Review

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Worn_Out's Comment

Written on: 21/07/2014

Your free choice can count depending on the rules for the degree you are doing. It's only if all the credits at L3 used for classification are specified modules.
People usually get a lower score in the final assessment (especially exams) compared to TMAs as you are under time constraint without access to the course material. I understand this but I still find it annoying when always get Dist. in TMAs but drop due to the exams. It does seem a bit unfair how you can't get EMA back especially when the grade differs so much.
As for your novel, your friends are likely to be more biased than your tutor and writing I imagine is a hard one to mark as it is subjective and somewhat depends on the tastes of the reader. Most OU tutors are ok, sounds like you got a bad one, did you put in complaint or request a new tutor?
Workload wise it is hard but you knew it was going to be a big commitment and assignments are going to have to be due in at some point, I've always found I struggle if keep eye off the ball and have multiple assignments due at similar times. Takes some hell of time management. If you went to more traditional uni I think you would face the same problems, you'd be limited to a set timetable rather than flexibility of working around work/child responsibilities and still have to get work in.
Just think though, nearly over and you will end up with something :)

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★☆☆☆☆

“only 1 star because couldnt give a minus!”

Written on: 25/06/2014 by Murray25 (1 review written)

I have studied with the OU for 13 years. All the time i was paying they were great. Once i became government funded for past 2 years... Abysmal! Studying psychology degree and due to mental health problems i was unable to attend an exam. They failed me of the whole course!!! A psychology course completely unsympathetic to mental health issues! avoid like the plague unless plenty of money and no threat of any health issues! plus over the years the materials have deteriorated drastically along… Read Full Review

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Peony's Comment

Written on: 21/04/2015

They should have sent you forms to submit for a resit which you would have been entitled to.

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★☆☆☆☆

“only want your money”

Written on: 02/06/2014 by CrystalHewitt (1 review written)

Dont bother! signed up for a masters course to find volume of reading was way too much with us being expected to know medical terminology despite never studying anything medical previously. Was told that it would be fine before paying them though. inadequate support from tutors and a care less attitude from others you raise your issues with. if you want to defer then you have to pay the rest of the fees. absolute rubbish… Read Full Review

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★☆☆☆☆

“Student Support is Lacking”

Written on: 29/05/2014 by Isaac201 (1 review written)

I started off in my first year (which I finished), really thinking that I made the right choice by studying with the OU. However, when I needed there support in my second year, they have been nothing but a stumbling block and they have been very disappointing in there service. Be very careful when thinking of studying with them as the doors close as soon as you challenge them and noone seems to want to take responsibility and assist you. Lesson learned... and as soon as I have finished my… Read Full Review

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Peony's Comment

Written on: 21/04/2015

There is very little support with the OU. I have a neighbour who is a head teacher and the support young people at school get is superb in contrast, the OU is the exact opposite.

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★★☆☆☆

“Too expensive, tutors unreliable but good marketing ”

Written on: 22/05/2014 by Lifelonglearner (1 review written)

Have just completed one year at the OU and decided not to continue. Let me be clear: I completed the course 'with distinction' so I am not a disgruntled student with poor grades. Main points of criticism : 1. Our tutor often did not show up for meetings on the web (we were students in Germany) even though he had announced the planned dates and times, reason given was always the same : IT problems ( He was busy elsewhere - perhaps in his second home in France) 2. No relevant feedback was… Read Full Review

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