Be ready for a cold plunge - A857 presents a very different OU year to any you may have done before - you're basically on your own.
Yes, the usual support elements are there and can be ticked-off, but at root there's little difference between A857 and the sort of work entailed in doing a research degree. You deliver a map (the proposal) the OU tells you if they think it covers the intended territory, and then you're off with a 'bon voyage' and a 'see you at the other end'.
More encouragingly? Put the time in, do your reading and A857 turns into a cracking course. On reflection? A year well spent.
Course starting: February 2011
Review posted: December 2011
I've never felt as lonely as I did during this course...
The redeeming features were:
1) the constant support and encouragement by my tutor
2) the philosphy day school that was organized in Birmingham, where I met some of my fellow A857 students for the first (and sadly, only) time.
But overall, it was a great challenge and opportunity, and I'm glad I took it.
Course starting: February 2008
Review posted: June 2009
Wonderful to be able to choose the topic and approach at last, and to have more scope (16-18,000 words). You need plenty of self-discipline, though, and the time between sending the last draft and submitting the bound dissertation is not really enough to be able to make any but very minor changes.
Course starting: February 2004
Review posted: December 2004
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