I have been looking at some of my options this morning for what study I could undertake, and I have ended up overwhelming myself a little with the possibilities. Unfortunately I’m interested in quite a lot of different things, and as has been the case for me for years and years I have no particularly strong desire to do one thing over another.
The main options that I have identified so far are:
- A BSc(Hons) in Mathematics at the Open University
I’m quite keen on this, as I like maths very much and I think I’d find it challenging. Being the Open University, I also have the option of not completing the whole degree if I don’t want to, and instead claiming a Certificate or a Diploma depending on how far through I get. However the downside is that I may not like some of the later maths modules when it starts to get very abstract and theoretical; I’m not sure I want to embark on a course that will take up to six years to complete; and I already have a BA, so a further undergraduate degree is perhaps not especially valuable.
- A BSc(Hons) in lots of different things at the Open University but featuring quite a few maths modules
This is similar to the above, but as it’s the Open University you can choose to combine quite different courses and achieve what they call an ‘Open Degree’ at the end that isn’t in any one thing. So I could do some of the maths modules I want to study, and I could also do some other things like maybe some language courses (either new ones or to brush my French back up), some computing modules, a politics module, and even a geology module (told you I was interest in diverse things).
- An MA in French Language and Culture at Kings College, University of London by distance learning
This would basically be a continuation from where my degree left off, and would bring my French back up to a high level and then take it further. It’s a more obvious course to take after my degree, and it’s postgraduate so I’d get that masters I’ve been coveting. I’m not totally sure I want to study the French any more than I already have done though.
- An MA in Translation Studies at the University of Portsmouth by distance learning
Similar to the above, this would let me continue my language study but in a more applied way. I’ve studied translation before and worked as a translator for a while, so it might be OK. Translation theory is a bit dull though, and if I’m studying for pleasure and academic fulfilment rather than to get a job out of it I’m not sure if this is the right course for me.
- An MA in American Foreign Policy at the University of Leicester by distance learning
I found this one this morning and was quite keen on it straight away. I’m really interested in American history and politics, and this course would allow me to study some of that at postgraduate level. You have a choice of modules, so you can choose the aspects that most interest you (for instance I could do the role of the presidency, or a module on intelligence and security). As with the other two MAs above, I could do this course in two years rather than the six for the Open University degrees, and it’s an MA.
I’m not sure if my degree would qualify me to apply for this course though, as their entry requirements are a degree in history, politics, international relations or a related discipline. My languages degree featured quite a lot of history and politics, and so I’ve emailed them to ask if it would be suitable.
So you see, I have a lot that I could do, and still no idea what I am actually going to do. I hadn’t looked around properly for distance learning MAs before today, and that’s thrown me a bit. It was only because I realised just how much an Open University degree would cost me and how long it would take that prompted me to have a look – before I’d thought if I’m not going to do an MA at Sussex or Brighton (where I can do them for free) then it’s not financially worth it. But given I was considering spending up to £5,000 in total at the Open University that suddenly became less of a consideration.
Oh I don’t know. I’m still confused. I’ll wait and see what Leicester say. The OU still has the advantage that I can just do a module or modules for fun and then stop if I get a new job or I can’t afford it any more.
Choices, choices, choices, far too many choices.