December 05, 2021, 09:35:54 AM
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Topic: [UK] OpenUniversity Chemistry / RSC Accreditation ?  (Read 222 times)

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Offline Arawn

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[UK] OpenUniversity Chemistry / RSC Accreditation ?
« on: November 12, 2021, 03:07:57 PM »
Has anyone here done, or have knowledge of, the OU chemistry course? I was wondering if anyone could give some insight on what they think the course is like, and what limitations (if any) i'll have compared to a more traditional course?

I dropped out of a research uni a few years ago (mental health) and want to get my degree but don't think I can handle going back. I do have a fair amount of lab experience from that, and as I understand it the OU does run in person lab courses as part of the degree also.

I'm also wondering what limitations I'll see considering it's not an RSC accredited degree? I'm okay with the fact that I may struggle to get far in academia without an RSC accredited degree, or that I won't get a super prestigious job or anything like that. Just want to set expectations accordingly.

Offline Corribus

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Re: [UK] OpenUniversity Chemistry / RSC Accreditation ?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2021, 04:08:13 PM »
I can't comment on the value or comprehensiveness of that particular program. However the question of whether accreditation is important is an interesting one. A few years ago Stanford foregoed (forewent?) accreditation of their ChemE program, citing as a reason the wish to modernize their curriculum and not be imprisoned by requirements they felt were outdated. (Source). So maybe accreditation isn't as important as it used to be. Then again, Stanford is Stanford - the name carries its own prestige regardless of accreditation by an external organization.

Whether or not accreditation is going to be important for to you personally will depend a lot on what you want to do with your credit/degree. If your goal is to learn, accreditation may mean nothing to you. On the other hand, a lot of people in hiring positions are probably going to turn up their noses at a program like that, and how high the noses are turned will depend on whose noses they are. In a lot of cases it may not matter, but in others your resume might go right into the rubbish bin. In cases where the quality of the program may be questioned, you can always buy some insurance by taking (and doing well on) a standardized test and weaving a good story on a cover letter.

If you dropped out of a University for a good reason, have you tried contacting the university to see if you can finish your degree? Not 100% sure what you mean by "I can't handle going back" - but if it's physically being on a campus that turns you off, a lot of non-lab classes are virtual now anyway. Also, there are plenty of local (community) colleges that have accredited programs (at least here in the States) that you might be able to enroll into just for a few credits.

None of that's to discourage you. It's just a hard question to answer without any information about your career goals.
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Arawn

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Re: [UK] OpenUniversity Chemistry / RSC Accreditation ?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2021, 04:47:02 PM »
If you dropped out of a University for a good reason, have you tried contacting the university to see if you can finish your degree? Not 100% sure what you mean by "I can't handle going back" - but if it's physically being on a campus that turns you off, a lot of non-lab classes are virtual now anyway. Also, there are plenty of local (community) colleges that have accredited programs (at least here in the States) that you might be able to enroll into just for a few credits.

None of that's to discourage you. It's just a hard question to answer without any information about your career goals.

Yeah. The reason why the OU degree seems appealing is that it's more of an "at your own pace" type of degree. The university I went to only offers full time for their course. It wasn't so much it being in person or anything like that, just that it was a bit too full on whilst also dealing with my mental health issues.

I appreciate it's hard also, I'm not sure what my career goals are any more to be honest. I guess I'm just trying to find out what limitations a recognised but not accredited degree will bring me, if any. I know that for the really top positions some people will turn their noses up, in the same way that any other university course will carry a "prestige" with it or not.

At the moment I think I'm interested in doing something in food science (from a chemistry point of view) or going on to do something like a PGCE (teaching degree) or a CILIP diploma (research librarian). Just trying to find out what my options would be with this sort of degree.

And yeah, I didn't take any of it as discouraging. I just want to be able to manage my expectations and understand where this could potentially take me (and potentially not take me).

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