Open University Degree and working full-time

George88

New Member
Hello everyone!
I'm 32 years old and want to study for a BA Hons in Graphic Design with the Open College of the Arts (OCA).
I am currently self employed in another creative field but want to change careers and do something I am interested in and get some solid qualifications.

My question is has anyone with a mortgage/bills studied on this course with OCA before and how have they found juggling working full-time to pay 'grown up' bills whilst studying for a Degree?
How many hours a day do you need to put aside to focus on the Degree?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

George
 
Hello!

I started out doing a Design degree with the Open University, while also working about 38 hours a week in retail. It was hard and my grades started to suffer. When you're working full time, trying to earn a degree and have a social life, it can take it's toll. If you're a total novice, even getting to grips with certain software can be time consuming. It isn't something that can happen over night. You have to put the hours in.

I asked for my hours to be dropped to 22 a week, that made it a little easier. In the end, the course I realised the course Iwas doing wasn't for me. I learn much better by physically being taught and attending a class with others (of course, this might not be the case for you. You might really enjoy online courses)

In the end, I had to make a choice; continue you with dead end retail jobs, or do something I really care about so I quit my job and enrolled at my local Uni full time. The reason I didn't do that to begin with was because I was worried about money. Luckily, I got enough student finance to manage, and I was living at home so I wasn't having to pay rent/mortgages.

Personally, I would choose one or the other. Full time work, or full time Uni. Ring student finance and find out what you'd be entitled to; because you aren't living at home, you're usually entitled to more money. However, if you're also working, you might be entitled to less. It's swings and roundabouts really. So maybe it would be better for you to leave work?

I guess it's all about what your priority is. Is a career in design really important to you? If so, there could be sacrifices you have to make to support yourself through it.

This is just my experience and opinions obviously. I think the best thing you can do is contact student finance (assuming you're in the UK) and talk about your options. As far as I'm aware, students who attend the Open University/College arent entitled to any maintenance allowance.

Hope this helps and good luck!

(Also, with the Open University, you are sometimes expected to attend actual classes. The one's I was supposed to go to were in Leeds; quite a distance from where I live and I couldn't drive at the time, so if you can't travel, that could be an issue)
 

Csillagadry

New Member
hi. Im on the same shoes. I really want to learn to be a graphic designer. I was also looking the open University introducing course. Do you think is a good start? I don't have any previous experience at all
 
hi. Im on the same shoes. I really want to learn to be a graphic designer. I was also looking the open University introducing course. Do you think is a good start? I don't have any previous experience at all
Hello!
Personally, if it's specifically Graphic Design you want to study, I wouldn't choose the Open University. The design courses they offer aren't really Graphic Design related. The ones they had when I studied with them were Design and Innovation and Design in the 21st Century- or something along those lines. Anyway, they had very little to do with Graphic Design. I studied for about 5 months, and I hadn't learnt anything I wanted to, which is why I quit.

You'd be better off either physically going to a College/University that carries a Graphic Design course, or buying the Adobe software and practice on being self taught; there's lots of tutorials on Youtube.

Good luck!
 

Csillagadry

New Member
hi. I just moved to uk recently, so i dont know much about criteria about to learn in uni. I was checking the uni in Wrexam, they do this course, but i dont know how to get there. Can you please help me?
 

sprout

Active Member
Can you please help me?
What area of the UK are you based in? Maybe we can make suggestions for the best universities in your area. If you can move anywhere In the country, then pick the best university you can – if you meet their criteria and are accepted, of course.
 
hi. I just moved to uk recently, so i dont know much about criteria about to learn in uni. I was checking the uni in Wrexam, they do this course, but i dont know how to get there. Can you please help me?
Usually the easiest way to apply to any University is via the UCAS website, but if you're new to the UK, I would suggest you contact the University you're interested in, explain to them your situation and they might either give you the contact details for their student service department, or they might ask you to visit them, so they can speak with you face to face. I would also keep an eye out for any open days, this is a good opportunity to ask questions and get to know the campus. The criteria you need to be accepted onto your course should be stated on either the Uni website, or in their prospectus.

When I went on my induction day at my University, I was able to ask questions, see the class schedule, the curriculum, and I was also given maps and the tune table for surrounding public transport.
 

Csillagadry

New Member
What area of the UK are you based in? Maybe we can make suggestions for the best universities in your area. If you can move anywhere In the country, then pick the best university you can – if you meet their criteria and are accepted, of course.
I'm in Wales
 
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