Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Education, education, education . . . .

Greetings, one and all!

Yep, education is very much back in the forefront of my mind this week as I start a new Open University course and ponder my potential future line of study.

Regarding the former, I've enrolled on a short 10 point Level 1course, 'Fossils and the History of Life' which kicked off last weekend. And it looks like it will be a fascinating couple of months of peering at a kit of fossil replicas through a hand lens and learning all about this fascinating subject. I've been supplied with a couple of cracking books which I suspect will only be a small part of the learning process. It should all stand me in good stead for when I eventually get to study Geology at University - whenever and wherever that may turn out to be.

So, to bring you up to date then . . .

You may recall that I was given an unconditional offer of a place at Leicester University on their 4 year MGeol course earlier this year. Much rejoicing ensued as I celebrated this momentous feat and looked forward to getting started in Sept 2010. Oh, that it could possibly be that straight forward!

Alas, while most educational establishments are openly emphasising their willingness to admit mature students onto their degree programmes, it isn't necessarily as easy to achieve as it should be and as they make it sound. The harsh facts of the matter are that if like me, you have studied at a higher educational level at some time in your past, then don't go expecting to receive full funding for a degree second time around even if your previous level of study was NOT at degree level.

As it stands, it seems I would have to fund the first two years of study at Leicester myself, which was a crushing blow and makes taking up my place there next year damn near impossible!

But just as despair was about to get the better of me, my wife suddenly remembered that Derby University offer a Geology degree part time! So blinkered have I been about doing a degree full time that this possible answer to my prayers had gone right over my head!

So I attended another Open Day there last month, met one of the lecturers for a chat and I now reckon it's my best chance of getting to study Geology at a University properly. An OU Geosciences degree would be a good last resort, but there's nowt like actually going in to lectures, tutorials and getting out in the rain doing proper geology fieldwork which would be rather lacking in an OU degree I think.

Funding the study myself, paying per module at the rate of as little as 3 modules a year, make it a much more viable option for me and my family at this time. Unless I win the Euro Millions draw of course, which would be a hell of a shock, particularly as I don't actually buy a ticket!
So, I now hope to get an application in shortly for a potential September 2010 start and take it from there. The dream is still alive!!!

Will be back shortly with a progress report on my 'fossils' course.

Cheers for now,

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