Friday, 21 November 2014

Open University - Access Module

I started an Open University Access Module in February this year and just got my results back and I'm really pleased to say that I passed. I was one mark off a distinction (one bloomin' mark!!) and I am now looking at starting a degree in English Literature & History in February 2015.

I did the course with the Access to Success route. If you don't have a degree and are earning under £25,000 (well have a household income of less than £25,000) then you can enroll onto the Access to Success course and you get a massive discount on both the Access Module and the first module of your degree. I had been looking at enrolling into a degree for some time, I decided not to go to university for a million different reasons when I finished my A Levels and I regretted it. I wanted a degree, at the moment it's not really for anything career based but more to do with the fact that I want this for me. I want to say I did it and doing the Access course was my first step towards this. If you are considering a degree using the Access to Success route then hopefully I can give you some of the pros and cons in helping you make the big decision...


The massive cost saving - if you can the Access to Success route saves you a shed load of cash. The access module is a tiny £25 in comparison to the usual cost of £625 if you wanted to do the access module without the Access to Success option and the you only have to contribute £1000 to your first module instead of the usual £2632 it would usually cost. You can even get a student loan to finance the £1000 which I am now in the process of applying for. 

Confidence building - Open University learning is done as a mixture of online learning with phone tutorials and course materials supplied and is a pretty unique way of doing a degree. When looking at doing the degree with the Open University I was pretty worried about the way I would get on with this but Access gives you the intro into this style, builds your confidence and skills in online learning at a really low risk stage.

Low Risk - I'm a worrier but with the first module you aren't tied into anything. You don't have to complete the second part of the Access to Success route and if you absolutely hate it well you have only lost £25


For me it was a little too easy at times. You have no minimum requirements to enter the Access module and it is designed a lot for people who struggle with English or English is their second language. A lot of the early stuff was very simple, stuff I had completed at high school and I had already gone past that when I did my A Levels, so sometimes I found it a little bit dull. Also each task had a suggested amount of time that it would take and for me I found this was a massive exaggeration and to start off with I thought I must be doing something wrong! 

Limited topic area- I am looking at doing a degree in History & English Literature but there are only a certain number of Access modules that are designed to cater to a large number of degrees so if you were looking at doing English, Art, Religious Studies, History etc. the Access course I took would be the one for you to do so if you hated History you would still have to do the part on this. I'm not a huge fan of Art and the final essay (and the only part your final grade was based on) was on art which I really had to push myself to complete. 

Self motivation - if you aren't self motivated then an Open University degree isn't for you but then if you aren't self motivated maybe a degree in general isn't really for you.

All in all I would recommend it. It took a lot of time and I found it hard to keep motivated at times especially when work was tough or the subject was not to my taste but I think this has prepared me well for what is to come. Obviously the degree is going to be harder but I'm really glad I completed it. Learning online was completely alien to me and I think if I had to do the more difficult tasks and get my head around this part it would have been much more of a task. I am now in the process of applying for the second part so will let you know how I get on but I'm excited and nervous (and not looking forward to dealing with Student Finance!)

If you have any questions about my experience then drop me a comment and if you are interested in finding out more then visit the website here:  (

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