I heard about the Open University from a friend who was studying short courses and certificates, in order to improve her university application. I was originally planning to go to University, however due to personal circumstances my plans changed. The reason I chose to study with the Open University is that it has so many benefits over going to University. You still get your degree at the end of it, you have a choice of modules you can study to make up your degree. I’m currently studying my first module called TU100:My Digital Life which is 60 credits. Overall a degree is 360 credits, and there are modules ranging from 10 to 90 credits. Some courses are compulsory towards your degree, and others you are able to pick to suit your interests. Yes, unfortunately you do miss out on the wild university life style, but who says you can’t still go out and have a good time! For me the Open University seemed to work better for the long run, the course is cheaper than going to university (especially with the fee’s rising to £9,000 a year!) and you are able to apply for financial support. My course cost £770, but I had financial support to assist me with this as well as a grant to help me pay for supplies, such as books and computer materials. You work in your own time which means I am able to work and do relevant work experience at the same time which will help me get a job when I’ve finished. Each credit represents the amount of hours you are meant to spend on the course, if you work a little time every day it doesn’t seem to be overwhelming. I’m currently juggling a part time job in a local pub, and two forms of work experience, one is as office support for a local charity, and another I am training to be an advisor at a local advice centre. The Open University offers great support, with tutorials, online forums and you are even able to phone your tutor for help. Other students are always very friendly and they are always willing to help. You don’t have to want to study a degree to study with the Open University and you can actually study subjects purely out of interest, you have many peers that are studying for all different types of reasons and the Open University encourage you to work together. The Open University was the right choice for me, and hopefully with my degree and work experience I’ll be able to get a great job quickly.