Distance Learning with the Open University – Jonathan

Jonathan Rooke - Open University

Jonathan currently works full-time for the police for the crime and domestic abuse investigation departments. Jonathan left school and went straight into the working world. Whilst working for the police he has developed a keen interest in law and the criminal justice system. This has motivated him to pursue an LLB (Hons) Law with the Open University.   

Why did you choose to study via distance learning?

  • Studying via distance learning means I can carry on earning money, in a relevant job, whilst paying less for a degree.
  • It also shows future employers my commitment to learning and self-organisation skills, as I am taking personal responsibility for researching and submitting assignments.

How did you find the application process?

  • I applied and paid online on the same day, it was really simple to navigate the OU website.
  • The only difficulty was trying to select the right distance learning degree for me.  

Was it easy to find useful information about distance learning?

  • The research I did was more focused on the prices and how much time I would need to commit to the course, which is all on the OU website.

How do the fees compare to traditional non-distance learning courses?

  • My course costs £2,500 per module, with 6 modules I’ll pay £15,000 for a degree.
  • Compared to other people I’ve spoken to who pay £7,500 a year for a foundation degree in policing I think I’m getting a pretty good deal as my degree is a full degree and far more flexible for career options.

How are you finding the experience of studying via distance learning?

  • I'm really enjoying the learning process. Sometimes it's difficult to find the time to write assignments and complete modules on time but the slight pressure keeps me motivated. 
  • There’s plenty of support available if you're struggling or falling behind. 

Anything you’re finding more difficult compared to traditional teaching courses?                          

  • I’m probably finding it easier as I don’t like sitting in a classroom. It means I can do the learning when I have time and I'm in the right frame of mind to do so. 

Any obvious benefits to studying via distance learning when compared to traditional teaching courses?

  • The same goes for as the last question really, just being able to work at your own pace and be able to skip certain irrelevant sections, which don’t contribute towards assignments. 
  • Also being able to use your own learning style instead of being forced to sit and listen to a lecturer.

Does the university support your learning well?

  • They provide optional tutorials about a week before an assignment is due in, just to recap on the material and give a you a push in the right direction for assignments.

What do you plan to do after your course?

  • I’d like to leave my current job and work as a solicitor or train as a barrister. If I don’t then it’ll give me a boost for promotion in my current job.

Do you feel that studying via distance learning will help you to achieve your ambitions?

  • I think it will help as I believe it shows more of a desire and dedication to prospective employers than those who have followed the typical route to gaining a degree. 

More about distance learning.