Category Archives: open university student

elective subjects

I started studying for a degree in mathematics and statistcs with the Open University last October and so far, it seems to be going well. It is involving a certain amount of planning however, particularly in terms of modules.

I’ve been to university three times before and have the paperwork to prove it. Each time, I pretty much did what I was told by the university concerned in terms of working towards said paperwork. In DCU, I think I got to choose options from a couple of pairings of subjects but there wasn’t much in the way of electives and that was for the language degree. I don’t think there was an elective for the postgraduate diploma in IT and apart from freedom to choose from some of the evening school (I did Finnish), I don’t think there as anything much in the way of elective at the University of Westminster for the interpreting diploma either.

I have 60 credits to play with on this course, however, and I am finding it difficult now to make a decision. Initially, because there are such a lot of maths courses there, I was going to choose from them but one of my friends has noted I’m going to be doing a lot of mathematics and statistics and a break probably would be a good idea. I looked at a database design course which I figured might be useful but actually, what I’m slightly more interested in at this point are some of the science courses. The shortlist was initially oceanography, geology and astronomy (pick two) but being honest, I don’t think I’m up for the astronomy. So there’s a very strong possibility I will take 30 credits in oceanography and 30 in geology. This decision needs to be made soon because the oceanography course is only available this February. I don’t see any evidence that there will be some sort of replacement. I need to look into it very carefully, however, because it’s a level 3 science course and at this stage, aside from some statistics and maths, I won’t have any level two science which makes a level three science quite a tall order.

The Open University helpfully provides a reading list and having looked at an introduction to one of them on Kindle last night, I’m going to get it and read through it and if it looks like I can manage it, or can get enough help on the basics that I may be missing, I might be okay.

I have past history with science; I did chemistry for the leaving certificate, yes, and had to study technical English and physics in my language degree (I got a very good grounding in economics at the time too, enough to avoid buying property in Ireland between 1999 and 2012 (so far)). I studied supermolecules for my degree project in French and German. They were amazing.

So I’m inclined to hope I can make this work. Then, the question is, will anyone want a statistician who knows a bit about rocks and oceans?


You never know.