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OpenPlus at Open University

  • Thread starter bhobba
  • Start date
Hi All

I have decided to do module with the Open University in the UK (was going to do a whole degree, but why bother already have one in math so decided on separate modules instead):

While looking around the site I noticed something interesting:

Some of the schools you transfer to are quite good - one being named UK university of the year and ranked 6 overall in the UK.

Such a route would have advantages for some people. First you go into second year and degrees over there are 3 years - 4 with an integrated masters. So you only need 2 or 3 years instead - of 4. If you are in the US this drastically reduces time - you can start the program at 16 - complete the open university part in 1.5 to 2 years and go straight to a quality UK university. Secondly with the exchange rate it's quite a good option finance wise - do the sums and you will likely find it will save a heap - with no college debt. However you do need some money up front.

Note UK 3 year honors degree are recognized as equivalent to US 4 year degrees - in fact the British seem to think they are equivalent to US Masters degrees because you specialize more - no generals or anything like that (BTW I do not agree with that view - just mentioning it out of interest how country bias can affect just about anything):
'British honours degrees are sometimes considered equivalent (by British sources) to a US master's degree, with the US bachelor's degree being equivalent to a British pass degree, due to the much higher degree of specialization in the UK.'

There was a recent thread about a person retired and financially OK who wanted to do a PhD and get a Nobel for solving some problems he liked. The thread was shut, but I temporarily reopened it to give one way you would do such an undertaking. But he was doing it for the wrong reasons. You do not do it because you want a Nobel - you do it for the reasons Feynman famously said. Physics is not important - love is. He simply loved physics. So if you are finding you love physics and are older then do not let age stop you from getting a PhD and doing research work - it can be done. But do it for the right reason - Feynman's reason. And if you love physics words of discouragement will not change that love - you will be compelled by something deep inside to do it. The same of course goes if you are young and desperately want to do physics (or any of the other sciences covered by the program - or math - it admits you to double degrees in math and theoretical physics) - do not let age stop you. You can use the program I linked to if you are 16 or older to get admitted to a good school and pursue your dream. How you would fit it into your HS studies at the same time really would require another thread. I know how to do it in Australia - if anyone is interested.

I attempted the PhD route at work. We are affiliated with a University but in some sense it was doomed from the start. While we had a staff education benefit, we had to compete with incoming students for spots and this is just impossible to do unless you are a recent graduate and have great GRE scores. For me, I was out of school for at least 30 years and would have to relearn some undergraduate math to even begin to compete. The bar was just too high to overcome.

A senior PhD suggested another route where you work on a dissertation worthy project and when sufficiently developed ask for it to be considered for a PhD degree. A committee would be convened to review your progress suggest some directions and some additional courses to take and then you’re on your way. I could never find such a project and so have yet to complete a dream that I deferred long ago.

Perhaps upon retirement I can try this route or discover something cool in mathematics and hope I can get accepted somewhere to get a PhD degree in math, applied math or physics.

PF is helping me recover my long lost math or more precisely math I never learned well enough to master.

There was one other route and that was a Math Ed PhD although I suspect you’d never be taken seriously in the math world even while getting paid better than a full mathematician. Math Ed folks do curriculum design in mathematics and are sought after by high schools and undergrad colleges alike. At least, that’s what I was told.

Thanks for this new route @bhobba.

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