OU Studying Psychology, is it possible to finish the courses earlier ?

It usually takes 3/4 years full time to get an undergraduate honours in psychology then You can go on to postgraduate :) BUT if your clever at it and work your bum off can you finish the courses quicker and gain your honours in less than 3/4 years if your pretty clever ?

OU = open university :)

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Hi Jade,

    Unfortunately regardless of how clever someone is it's unlikely that they would manage to complete an entire psychology degree in less than about 3 years, even with the OU.

    Whilst you can choose if you study full or part time with the OU they have fixed course start/finish dates meaning you can only study for a course at a time that the OU decides (for 60 credit modules with the OU this is usually 9 months, from early in the year until October). Also, throughout the courses you complete Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA's). It is possible to complete and submit TMA's early if you have done the work for them, but a tutor is not allowed to return a marked TMA until after the submission date and because some TMA's are linked with others in the same module you need to receive back the earlier TMA's before you can complete later ones. Also, the OU have fixed exam dates, typically about a month after the last TMA is due, so even if you have finished the TMA's early you will not be able to sit the exam early.

    The workload involved in a psychology honours degree is also quite high, and taking on more than the equivalent of full time study (120 credits at any one time) would be very risky and difficult to compete to a good standard. For example, with the OU you need to complete 360 credits to achieve an honours psychology degree, providing you complete the compulsory psychology modules. When I studied for my psychology degree with them these were:

    Level 2: Exploring psychology: 60 credits

    Level 2: Exploring Psychology online OR residential school project: 15 credits

    Level 2: Child Development: 60 credits

    Level 2: Biological Psychology: 30 credits

    Level 3: Cognitive Psychology: 60 credits

    Level 3: Social Psychology: 60 credits

    Note that all of these courses do not add up to 360 credits, so you need to also complete other courses that you are free to choose (i.e they can be in any subject) to make up the credit. When I studied with the OU I had credit transferred from study I had completed at another Uni, so I only had to study for the above courses with the OU to get my degree. These courses required me to submit a total of 28 TMA's, 2 ECA's (an ECA is an assignment that is submitted as an examinable piece) and sit 4 3-hour exams. This was on top of all the reading and carrying out of research etc that is needed to gain the knowledge to complete coursework/exams. These figures would be even higher had I also had to complete other OU courses to get 360 credits. Unfortunately it's really not feasible to cram this into a couple of years...it would be mentally exhausting and not very enjoyable.

    It's maybe advisable to try an OU course and see how you get on with the workload studying part time, then increase this to full time if you are managing fine, but I really wouldn't recommend anyone to go beyond 120 credits at one time. There's no need to rush and the more time you take the better your understanding will be and the better grades you will get.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

    Source(s): OU student at undergraduate and now postgraduate level
  • 5 years ago

    Most likely you cannot complete your PhD degree early and you will need to follow your program's rules. The course work will be more demanding than at the BSc level and you will find that take more classes will not be that beneficial to you.

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