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English Literature degree courses


Hilary
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(Mod Edit: First few posts extracted from Dracula thread as requested, leading to Hilary's later post to explain this thread - David)

 

 

I am about to start reading this as part of a course I am doing so will be back to read this thread more closely soon...

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I am about to start reading this as part of a course I am doing so will be back to read this thread more closely soon...

 

Shouldn't you be reading Dracula first Hilary, as HoD is the last books of the term? ;)

 

ETA - Ah, you are a September start, which is why HoD and not Dracula.

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Well yes, I should have but I am waiting for most of the books to arrive and could find only two, Heart of Darkness and Dracula. Both looked to be at the end of the course and so I started the one which looked the least scary as I was on my own in the evening and didn't want to creep myself out! :rolleyes: (they seem to be the only two which are already included in the course materials too...)

 

Annoyingly, for several of the authors, I have every other novel they wrote but not the one the course requires... But it's not all gloom, it did mean it was necessary for me to buy a lot of books second hand on Amazon. Shame.

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I started a tangent with Hazel on another thread as we realised we were taking the same OU literature course. I thought (if there isn't one already) that maybe there should be a thread for it in case there are others who would like to discuss books they are studying as part of a course and how the course is going, etc.

 

I am about to embark on an OU course called The 19th Century Novel.

 

I did a course called Approaching Literature a couple of years back, also with the OU. After this next one I have one more course to choose to complete my degree. I can't wait to get it finished, I've been studying for so long...

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I am doing the 19th C lit course with the OU this year, exam is October. Then next year I have the Shakespeare year which completes my degree, but as I have said I am taking an extra year to do the 20th C lit course.

 

What are you doing next year Hilary?

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I gave up work to have my first baba and just wanted something to do to keep my brain from liquidising so went online and had a look at all the OU's courses. The lit degree stood out as I liked reading books and it seemed like a good idea. You don't have to go for a degree and just do the courses as they take your fancy, but if you go for a degree you just link your courses to that, though you may have some compulsory ones to do.

 

I started with A103 - which is a foundation course covering 8 disciplines of the Arts & Humanities. A good one to start with if you aren't sure what are to specialise in.

 

I really enjoy studying, though I may moan about it from time to time. It is hard work but the Level 1 courses really break you in gently. Level 2 is tougher, and Level 3 is probably the most intense. For my degree I had to do 1 Level 1 course, 2 Level 2, and 3 Level 3s - appropriately enough.

 

You have an essay (called a TMA - Tutor Marked Assessment), each month to hand in and it counts towards your final mark for the year. Some courses have an exam, some have a ECA - which is a double weighted 'project' essay at the end.

 

You get tutorials every so often, where you meet your tutor and others in your tutorial group - but they aren't compulsory.

 

On the whole it's not too bad - the OU recommends about 10-12 hours work a week for Level 1, 14-16 for Level 2, and 18+ for Level 3. Sometimes you can get by on less, sometime more. It is very flexible.

 

Hope this helps.

 

The biggest recommendation I can give is that if I had my life again, I would still do my degree through the OU - their methodology has suited me down to the ground.

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Thanks David.

 

My degree is the complicated I know. I did my first year in Nottingham. It started out life as a Humanities degree. I did some English Literature, some Religious Studies, some Sociology and some IT. Then life got a bit more complicated and so I transferred those credits to the OU. Over the following umpteen years I did a further Religious Studies module, an Education one and an English Literature one. I completed that one at 5 months pregnant with dd and had a break. Three children and a degree seemed just too difficult, particularly as we seemed to have a moving house addiction too. Now my dd is about to start at nursery 5 mornings a week and it is time to pick it up again. I have just booked myself onto 'The Nineteenth Century Novel' starting in September. After that I have a degree but one more course will make it an honours degree which would be really great so I am already poring over courses to do next. I can't decide which yet, anyone suggest anything? It must be level 3 and 60 credits and preferably no summer school...

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I completed that one at 5 months pregnant with dd and had a break.

 

I can't decide which yet, anyone suggest anything? It must be level 3 and 60 credits and preferably no summer school...

 

I have you beat there Hilary, I did my A210 exam while in labour. I went into labour the night before and by morning baby hadn't arrived, so I signed myself out of hospital, went to the exam with 5 minutes to spare, did the exam and went back to hospital. That's the level of devotion the OU inspires!

 

I have completed E301 The Art of English which was really interesting - all about the origins of the English language and it's changing nature in history. More a linguistics course but fascinating. It really illuminates the literature courses.

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In labour...?! *bows down in front of Hazel*

 

I did sit another exam at about 8 months pregnant with ds2 which was the closest I got. Sitting one with morning sickness was pretty bad though...just how many sweets can I guzzle in three hours to stop myself being sick without the sweets actually making me sick themselves... :rolleyes: It was a fine line...

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Falling asleep on my kitchen table during A210 was the worst problem. I was so tired carrying that baby, and looking after eldest, that when I sat down to study I promptly fell asleep.

 

What are your choices for your last course?

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Because of my year 2 choices, I am restricted to English language or literature, Religious studies and Education. I think I may stick to English now. I'm wondering about 20th Century Literature or maybe an English language one, I can't remember what it is called.

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There is U210 (Level 2) English: Past, Present, and Future, which is the updated U210 which I did. E301 (Level 3) The Art of English, and there is a Level 3 grammar course which I can't remember the code for. Don't you fancy the Shakespeare year?

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I don't think a level 2 one would be enough for my degree...

 

The Art of English, that's the one I was reading about the other day. Has anyone here done it?

 

Shakespeare, I'm afraid, isn't for me. I have studied him a lot for GCSE and A-level and in the earlier part of my degree and...well...I think a level three 9 month course of him might be too much. I *know* I should love him and I do love watching his plays but not to study.

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I did E301 The Art of English last year and really enjoyed it. It is about the origins of the English language, how it is used in different fields (advertising, conversation, online, texting etc), and how it develops as a global language. I really enjoyed it, and would say that it was my most enjoyable course yet.

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I have just taken delivery of the last half of my course books. HOW much reading!?! Someone please tell me that Dombey and Son is very very good because it is HUGE! I'm now a bit scared I have taken on too much. I'm just relieved I have September with the boys at school and only dd at home as I will have my nose in a book a lot!

 

Which one do you recommend I take camping with me?

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Dombey and Son is great, Hilary - you'll enjoy it!

 

EDIT: Just been searching for the thread on it which I was sure existed; it's not in Google's cache either (not that I can find, anyway). Am I imagining this? Hazel, I know you posted on it, but was this part of another thread?

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D&S is one of my favourite out of the AA316b books Hilary - it really is fab. Don't be worried about all the reading, best to read them in order of the study calendar though just so you don't get behind. Admittedly, I had read them all before the course actually started so my re-reading was very light.

 

Out of the 13 books you study you'll only do TMAs on about 8 of them as you get to choose between books for each TMA. Plus the advice is to revise 6/8 of them for the exam - so you can easily afford to ignore books you aren't huge on if time gets tough - and I'll be here to help if you need it.

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