Neil's News

Open University

16 April 2005

The exams for yet another term are underway. Assuming I pass them, all that's remaining is a six-month Software Engineering course over the summer, followed by a nine-month research project and dissertation starting in January. Then I get my masters degree.

Update: The OU just sent me a cryptic letter saying that the final research project course is no longer being offered, and that they were in the process of reviewing the program. As the bowl of petunias said, "Oh no, not again."

Why did I pick the OU? The local 'university' (UHI) doesn't go much beyond "Introduction to Excel". Courses offered by other UK universities were significantly better than this, but there weren't a lot of features that differentiated them from each other. The OU was one of the few which offered courses that weren't Microsoft-centric (though I did get marked down on my very first assignment for submitting it in HTML format instead of Word). In the end the deciding factor was that the OU was the only university to have sent a robotic lander to Mars. A few months after enrolling, the OU became the only university to create an impact crater on Mars. Things were great until I arrived.

Will it have been worth it? Given that I haven't learnt much, probably not. On the other hand, an MSc may open doors in the future. But if all I wanted was a wee bit of paper, I could have obtained one faster and cheaper elsewhere. One thing it has done is kept me busy and out of trouble over the past couple of years.

What's next? An entirely moo direction...

Update: At last! Google Maps crosses the Pond. Looking for someone to do programming in Elgin?

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