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What Our Students Say

Adam Baldwin

The Open University allowed me to study at an educational level that was otherwise not available to me. 

The teaching materials were excellent, and the passion and enthusiasm of the tutors inspired me to work through the full six years of part-time study. I had the opportunity to study texts from a variety of authors and time periods, from Shakespeare, through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and into the twentieth century.

Going on to an MA as an extension of my undergraduate study, the obvious choice had to be the OU, and I again received enormous support and encouragement from my tutor over the 2 ½ years it took to complete it. 

The fact that I am now working on a PhD in English at the OU is testament to the addictive nature of studying here.

Adam Baldwin

I moved to the UK from Pakistan with my family four years ago. My family are big advocates of education and were keen for me to further my studies with a degree. Although I researched brick universities, including those local to where I live in Bradford, I couldn’t find a course that I liked which still offered me the flexibility to work and remain living at home. The OU’s English Literature and Creative Writing degree ticked so many boxes for me. Not only did it include modules about genres that I already adored, but it also offered the opportunity to explore so many areas that I hadn’t yet ventured into. The OU’s course material has been great. As well as looking at classics like Jane Eyre, I’ve also written a film script, which is something I never thought I would do.

I’ve been diagnosed with OCD and anxiety, and although I’ve been able to manage my condition with medication and meditation, the support from my tutors has relieved so much stress. In my first year of study, I was on the verge of giving up. I was unhappy with my grades and didn’t feel like I had what it takes to complete a degree. The OU community, including my tutors and fellow students picked me up and encouraged me to carry on. By working with my tutors on how to improve my marks and getting feedback on assignment drafts, I’ve been able to lift my score to Distinction level, which makes me incredibly proud.

Studying via distance learning isn’t a lonely experience. I’ve made life-long friends through the OU and spend my spare time travelling the country visiting them. It’s been refreshing to find likeminded people, who love books as much as I do!

Khudayja Makda

I am so grateful to The Open University for the journey I have taken over the last decade. I studied for both my BA and my MA and am now a PhD research student at the university. I was able to fit my studies around a full-time job, and without this flexibility I may not have ever decided to study at all. I have found every module extremely interesting. My favourite undergraduate module was AA316 The Nineteenth-century Novel. This comprised twelve novels, starting with Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and ending with Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The texts were carefully selected and exemplified some of the major areas of discourse in the nineteenth century, including colonialism, race, gender, and class. The teaching materials were of very high quality, and I still refer back to them from time to time.

My MA prepared me for my next steps in postgraduate studies. In the first year there were set texts with an emphasis on further independent study and engagement with literary criticism. In the second year, we selected our own area of study to write a dissertation on. This was an important step in writing a longer piece of work and tested out both stamina and commitment to larger projects, as well as teaching the importance of planning and research.

I so enjoyed studying for my BA and MA with The Open University that I knew I wanted to continue my academic research there. AA316, in particular, reignited my interest in the nineteenth century and has been an invaluable foundation for my understanding of the period.

Antonia Saunders

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