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charlie, computer cat

November 2018



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charlie, computer cat

Next steps

So I've been browsing round the OU website thinking about what my next course might be, and I've come up with some intriguing possibilities, but way too many to take all at once!

I'm definitely keen to take Understanding Children, another 10 point course. It looks like it would be very interesting and some of it would be relevant to the work we do at Brownies so it would be good from that point of view as well. As this is a 10 point course, I think I could manage to take another course along side this though.

There's Intro to the Social Sciences: Understanding Social Change (although I'd probably take this as the 2 30 point lumps). This is the follow on to the course I'm currently doing, and it does sound interesting. The study areas sound good and its likely that the frustrations I've felt with lack of depth on the course I'm currently doing wouldn't be so much of a problem in a broader course. On the one hand, it would be good to do this while I'm in a social science mindset but on the other hand, I quite like the idea of having a bit of a change and studying a different area.

There's Rules, Rights and Justice: an introduction to Law, which just sounds fascinating.

Discovering Science is another one which caught my eye. It's incredibly wide ranging and could be really interesting.

Then there are some level 2 courses that look interesting. That implies they'd be more challenging than the level 1 courses but on the other hand, they're both history courses, which I studied to A-level and have kept up an interest in.

Exploring History: Medieval to Modern 1400 - 1900 sounds really fascinating. It's a period I've never studied in depth (we did mostly 20th century for GCSE and 19th for A-level), although I have This Sceptered Isle level basic knowledge of what was going on in this country. It does sound like it's got quite a tight timetable though.

Then finally there's Exploring the Classical World. That's a period of history I know basically nothing about and would love to know more.

Most of those have a pretty close deadline to register for the course (end of this month basically) so I have to decide fairly soon. Can I do a 10 point course at the same time as a 60 point one? The stuff on the website suggests that most students only take 60 points worth of courses in a year but I do know that I'm a quick study and certainly the 10 point course I'm doing right now hasn't really made much impact into my free time at all. Or I could combine it with the 30 point Social Sciences course, although that wouldn't give me as much of a change of pace. And then am I ready for level 2 courses or should I try a longer level 1 course first? What do you reckon? Which of these would you pick?


I did a couple of classics papers at university as fillers, and although I didn't do especially well I really enjoyed it. I do think, though, choosing subjects like this is very individual. If it was me, doing something from scratch, I'd be more tempted to something with a physical science base because I've never done anything like that before; far more exciting than social science, which is basically my core business.
Yeah, social sciences was quite a branch out for me, as a programmer and ex mathmetician. I too haven't done much science at all, which makes it interesting but slightly scary.
I, OTOH, would love to do some maths and/or computer science. Although I'm scared to in case it actually loses its innate sexiness once you actually know something about it all.
Some of it does, some doesn't :) I developped a terrible loathing for stats and mechanics but love love love the set theory and logic stuff still
I know that Maths and Computer Science do seem to go hand in hand with each other but why is it?
Because late stage maths is mostly about logical thought and so is computer programming - it's just about being rigorously logical when you get down to it.
late stage mathematics

...sounds like some kind of horrible new, terminal disease! ;-)
The Discovering science one is one that I've been pondering myself, because it's a compulsory course if I decide to go for the BSc in Geosciences. I've decided not to do it this year because of the workload involved in doing a 60 point course (I am also doing A-level Spanish this year).

But I'd be really curious to know if it is fun (and easy), so I reckon you should do that one ;-). I think you could do that with a 10 point course because, well, how hard can it be for someone with your background?

As for whether or not you're ready for level 2 courses, I'd certainly have thought so, possibly depending on subject - my first OU course was a level 2 course (astronomy) and it really wasn't at all hard to anyone with maths/physics A-level or equivalent, and still perfectly doable for those people without GCSE equivalent in either of those. I'm signed up for oceanography next, which is level 3, so I'm not too sure whether or not to be worried (I think I've studied the right sort of stuff before).
first OU course was a level 2 course (astronomy) and it really wasn't at all hard to anyone with maths/physics A-level

Ah, that's good to know - I've A-level History so I would probably be OK with either of the level 2 courses I'm thinking of.

I think you could do that with a 10 point course because, well, how hard can it be for someone with your background?

Well, that's what I'm hoping, but pride comes before a fall :)



The medieval history course is the one that Jayne (with some input from me) is doing. I have to say it looks very interesting and you've always beeen interested in that period. Exploring the Classical World is the course we did this year and have the course books for. I have to say that I found it less interesting than I thought and it became a bit of a slog. The tutor wasn't brilliant and that makes a difference - I suppose the Greeks and Romans are just too distant for me. mum

Re: OU

Ah, so I could pick your brain on that :)
Well, if it was me I'd probably pick the mediaeval to modern history course, but YMMV!
One of the 'foundation' courses (A103, S103, DD100) is often a good place to go after dipping your toe in with a 'Y', especially as they often change people's minds about what they most want to study and offer a broad range of topics.

Personally (in my skim reading of the materials) I've never been grabbed by DD100, although the reviews are all really positive so it is probably just me. However W100 always draws me in - I've always thought Law was all about memorising Acts and Cases ad nauseam but this course really aims to get you thinking about the ideas underlying the making and enforcing of society's rules.

I don't think you'd have any problem academically with the level 2 history courses, but time commitment-wise it's a big jump - to churning out 2000 word essays every six weeks or so - especially if you're doing another course at the same time.

If you think Y156 won't stretch you enough (and it probably won't) I've heard good things about the level 2 courses ED209 Child Development (concentrates on the psychology side) and U212 Childhood (multidiscipline but more human geography oriented), both 60 pointers.

I'm currently thinking of testing out level 2 with a 10-pointer: AT272 Ancient and Medieval Cities: A Technological History with the aim of moving on to the new 30-point A251 World Archaeology in September...
Is that about the timing it would be? An essay every 6 weeks? I found it quite hard to find info on what the pace of the courses was. I saw that Cities one and it sounded really good but I thought I might save it for another go around...